If we could travel in time to the 2007 NBA season we would be talking about Devin Harris as one of the premiere young point guards in the league alongside Deron WIlliams and Chris Paul. Currently, Harris is an after thought in the conversation of top 10 point guards in the “Association”.
Harris would be lucky to even be spoken of in the honorable mention portion.
During the 2008-2009 NBA season, Harris averaged 21 points and seven assists per game. That bloated statistical season has made the last couple of seasons pail in comparison. 2011-2012 season ended with Harris is the post-season being outclassed by a player he was often compared to in his early years, Tony Parker. Harris averaged 11points and 5 assists for the season.
This summer The Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks made an exchange. The Hawks sent Marvin Williams out to Utah for Harris. On the surface this looks to be counterproductive for Harris seeing as the Hawks have a young flourishing point guard in Jeff Teague.
Insert whatever botched trade the Hawks were trying to pull of by acquiring Harris, and you have an excellent situation for the once promising point guard. With Lou Williams coming in to be the Hawks starting shooting guard this season, Harris becomes the more viable option as the starter. Williams and Teague in the back court leaves some height and defense to be desired.
Now in Atlanta, and going into his ninth season, Harris has an opportunity to jump back into the conversation, as he is back in the Eastern Conference and Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose likely to miss a large percentage of the season. Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets is the best point guard in the game. Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics has established himself as elite and the on-again off-again Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks seems to be his only other consistent competition for point guard supremacy in the East.
Because of Williams being an undersized shooting guard, Harris will be forced to guard the 2 position. If Harris can use his quickness and length to pester opposing shooting guards defensively and utilize his play making skills to keep Williams, Josh Smith and Al Horford satisfied offensively the Hawks could be a surprise team our of the East.
2012-2013 Projected Stats: 13 ppg, 7.7 apg, 3.1 rpg, 1.7 spg