Brooklyn Nets: Should the team re-sign Joe Harris?

Joe Harris Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Joe Harris Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

Examining whether the Brooklyn Nets should re-sign Joe Harris this summer 

There is a growing sentiment around the league that The Brooklyn Nets will sign Joe Harris to a long term contract this summer. Alex Schiffer of the Athletic (subscription required) stated that he doesn’t see a scenario where the team lets Harris walk during a question and answer article last week.

Is resigning Joe Harris a smart long term decision for the Brooklyn Nets? Unlikely. The team finds themselves in a difficult situation in terms of cap space. According to Eric Pincus at Bleacher Report, Brooklyn already has ten players on the books for next year for a total of $132 million.

Resigning Joe Harris at his $14.5 million cap hold would put the team over the hard tax line ($145.47 million). Being over the hard tax line would prevent the team from bringing actual players during the free agency period, as they wouldn’t be able to use the mid-level ($9.76 million per season) and bi-annual ($3.82 million per season) exceptions.

Brooklyn can address their shooting struggles (25th in three point percentage as the team is currently shooting 34.2 percent) without keeping him. For example, the Nets should renounce the free-agent rights for Joe Harris and use one of Caris LeVert or Spencer Dinwiddie to acquire shooters. They aren’t a good fit alongside Kyrie Irving, as he is a player that likes to hold on to the ball.

Kyrie Irving has averaged 77.8 touches per game over the past six seasons. More importantly, he holds the ball for 4.84 seconds on every touch, making it difficult for other players to thrive without the ability to have the ball in hand for significant enough minutes.

Caris and Spencer are averaging 39.6 and 55.5 touches respectively with Kyrie on the court this season. Their touches are down 8.3 and 9.5 percent respectively from last season. Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert also clearly struggle off the ball. Right now, they are shooting 27.3 and 31.8 percent respectively, on shooting catch on threes.

Of the teams with shooters to spare, Detroit Pistons is the best fit. General Manager Sean Marks should look into trading either Dinwiddie or LeVert to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Tony Snell and/or Luke Kennard. These two are shooting  above 38 percent on their catch and shoot threes this season, making them a better fit to play alongside Kyrie Irving.

Marks could also use the remaining cap space to sign more shooters or other areas of needs that the team has to address. Goran Dragic is a player who’s fit the bill, as he is a candidate to accept the mid-level exception, and would succeed on and off the ball.

Dragic is currently shooting 37.5 percent on their catch and shoot threes this season. More importantly, Goran can step into the role of ball handler when Kyrie isn’t able to play as he is comfortable running  pick and roll.

He has averaged 6.8  pick and roll possessions per game over the last 4+ seasons. The 6.8 pick and roll possessions have produced 5.9 points per game for Goran. If Goran accepts the mid level exception, the next player Marks could target is JaMychal Green with the bi-annual exception.

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Green would provide spacing for the team from the backup power forward as he is shooting 36.6 percent  on catch and shoot threes. In conclusion, letting Joe Harris walk opens the door for Sean Marks to have financial flexibility to add roster depth without hurting the team’s ability to shoot from behind the arc.