The Portland Trail Blazers have to be excited when they start looking ahead to the upcoming 2013-2014 NBA season. They already showed last year that they had a solid core in place with reigning Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and LaMarcus Aldridge and they now have added solid depth to their bench, which was awful last season, including rookie C.J. McCollum.
However, their off-season took a bad turn on Monday when it was announced that Blazers shooting guard Terrel Harris was suspended for five games for violating the NBA’s Anti-Drug Policy, per Ian Begley of ESPN New York. However, USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt pointed out that the suspension is not related to Performance-Enhancing Drugs and NBA PED violations result in a 20-game suspension for first time offenders.
Harris came to the Blazers this off-season as a part of the three-team sign-and-trade with the New Orleans Pelicans that involved Tyreke Evans. The 25-year-old Harris just finished his second season in the NBA, though he hasn’t played much at all in his young career. In two years he has appeared in just 42 games and has averaged only 2.3 points, 0.8 assists and 1.8 rebounds in just 10.8 minutes per game. He’s also only shot 30 percent from the field and 17 percent from long-range.
Though it’s never a good thing to see a player suspended involving the league’s drug policy, the suspension for Harris is relatively inconsequential. He’s not going to be a big part of their team next season or for the future. At best, he would be a trade chip down the road. However, he’ll probably be waived sometime in the near future. He wasn’t that valuable of an asset to begin with, but this makes him even less valuable.