Although he hasn’t received much credit from the media, reserve guard Devin Harris has been a big part of the Atlanta Hawks success this season. The 30-year old PG has played well in a sixth man role for the Hawks, helping them secure a playoff berth all while going into unrestricted free agency.
Harris was once a full-time starter and 20-point per game scorer for both the Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets and Utah Jazz before being acquired by the Hawks to back up Jeff Teague and he has seemed to accept his role without any conflict. Harris is averaging 9.5 points and 9.5 points and 3.2 assists in 53 games, with 24 of those coming off the bench where Harris has contributed a respectable 7.6 points and 2.9 assists. Harris’s value has even been larger since the loss of Lou Williams earlier in the season, and the Hawks are 31-22 with Harris in the lineup.
The Hawks and Harris will have some decisions to make this summer regarding his future. Harris can sign anywhere he chooses this summer after making $8.5 million this year and given his history of being a starter he may be interested in returning to that role, but at 30 and a with number of younger point guards on the market that goal may be unrealistic for him.
A reserve role and spot is probably the most likely career path for Harris going forward, and sticking with the Hawks in that role wouldn’t be a bad idea. The Hawks are grooming fellow reserve guard John Jenkins to become their starting shooting guard of the future and could use an experienced player like Harris as insurance in case Teague and Jenkins don’t pan out.
Harris should continue his career with the Hawks for now, unless some other team promises him a starting role, which doesn’t appear to be happening this summer.