This year’s draft class is one of the best in recent memory not only due to the superior talent at the top but also the amount of quality depth. There is no doubt that there will be multiple players drafted outside the top 14 selections in this year’s NBA Draft who will have an impact in the league next season.
Michigan State Spartan guard Gary Harris is the second best true shooting guard in this year’s NBA draft (behind Andrew Wiggins). He is a strong and athletic player that can not only finish strong at the rim, but also has nice jump shot that is deadly from mid-range. He is an underrated defender and has the lateral quickness and length to compete on the defensive end at the NBA level. Additionally, Harris is a high motor guy who seems to always be in attack mode.
The draw back to always being in attack mode, seen more during his sophomore season, is his willingness to force up shots and put himself in isolation situations. Although known as a cerebral shooter, he struggled to shoot consistently from behind the three point line this season. Additionally, Harris was unable to stay 100% healthy through his two seasons at Michigan State, something that has raised some questions from scouts and GMs regarding his durability and longevity.
It is no secret that the Chicago Bulls need offensive help, as well as sustainable backcourt depth. Harris could be part of the answer in both areas. His ability to create off the dribble and knock down pull up jumpers would be welcomed by all in Chicago. But the best thing about potentially grabbing Harris in this year’s draft is that the Bulls could address their offensive needs without jeopardizing the way the team wants to defend. Harris is one of the better two-way players in the draft, and would work well under a coach Tom Thibodeau system.
The Bulls have reportedly been in trade discussions with various teams trying to move up in the first round, with Harris being one of their targets.
Harris most closely resembles Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal. Both are young players who left school early to enter the draft with fairly polished offensive games. However, both have struggled (Beal still is) to consistently shoot the ball effectively from 25 feet. That being said, there is still a ton of potential in both these players as future star two guards in this league.
In his sophomore season at Michigan State, Harris averaged 16.7 points per game but only shot 35.2% from behind the arch, down 6% from his freshman year performance. Harris proved scouts were correct to be high on his ability after recording a 22-point performance in a loss against the future NCAA Champion University of Connecticut Huskies in this year’s NCAA Tournament.