On January 5th, 2016, an injured Joe Harris was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers and a 2017 second-round pick and cash considerations to the Orlando Magic for a 2nd round pick in the 2020 NBA draft. That same day, the Magic waived him, making him a free agent.
Nearly five years later, on Nov. 23rd, 2020, Joe Harris signed a four-year extension with the Nets worth 75 million dollars. In just five short years, Joe Harris went from a free agent no-name to one of the top shooters in the league today.
Harris’ High School Career
Joe Harris grew up in Washington with basketball in his blood. Since he was just a boy, Joe’s dad, Joe Harris Sr, was a high school coach. From the time Harris was four, he would regularly attend his father’s team’s practices and games, and Harris managed his father’s teams from third to eighth grade. However, the team manager would soon become the star player as Harris would play his four-year high school career with his dad as his coach.
Harris finished his high school career as a three-star recruit. In his time at High School, Harris recorded 452 assists, 282 steals, 699 rebounds, and a record for his state, 2,399 points. It was no surprise that colleges were calling his name.
Harris was initially recruited to play for then Washington State coach Tony Bennett. However, when Bennett got a job at the University of Virginia, Harris followed Bennett. Changing his commitment from Washington State to Virginia. In his freshman season, Harris had the best three-point percentage than any freshman in nearly ten years, shooting just over 40 percent from deep. However, it was his junior year where Harris began to show flashes of a future NBA player.
His most memorable performance came against the Duke Blue Devils. Harris scored a career-high 36 points against the powerhouse school en route to a 73-68 win over the Blue Devils. At the season’s end, Harris was named to the All ACC first team. In his senior year, Harris lead the Cavaliers to their first ACC Championship since 1981. Harris would also lead Virginia to the sweet 16. Harris had caught many NBA teams’ eye, including another team with the Cavaliers as their mascot.
From Cavaliers to Cavaliers
Joe Harris was selected with the 33rd overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although Harris did see solid production in the summer league and early stages of the season, fighting for minutes with LeBron James and the newly acquired Kevin Love would not bode well for the young sharpshooting forward. Because of this, Harris saw a significant decrease in minutes as the season progressed and was even sent to the G-League on numerous occasions.
Harris would play 51 games in his rookie season with the Cavs. Averaging 2.7 points per game. And in his second season in Cleveland, Harris would only play in five games. On Jan. 5th, 2016, an injured Joe was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers, along with a 2017 second-round pick and cash considerations to the Orlando Magic for a 2nd round pick in the 2020 NBA draft. That same day, Harris was waived by the Magic, making him a free agent. It seemed as if all hope was lost for Harris.
Brooklyn Takes a Chance
On July. 6, 2016, the Brooklyn Nets signed Joe Harris to a two-year deal worth two million dollars. Joe Harris was going to get another shot at his NBA dream. And with a Nets team with little hope for the future, Joe would see an increase in minutes. Harris played in 52 games with the Nets. In his first season in Brooklyn. Averaging 8.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and one assist. Harris would once again see improvement in his second season with Brooklyn averaging double digits for the first time in his career. He played in 78 games and averaged 10.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. Harris’ second season was good enough to earn him a two-year extension worth 16 million dollars.
Harris Breaks Out
In his third year for the Nets, the Nets, as a team, began to find their identity. And Harris was a significant piece to the long broken Nets puzzle. During the 2018-19 NBA season, Harris emerged as one of the best three-point shooters the league had to offer. And at that year’s All-Star Weekend, Harris showed the entire league how good of a shooter he was, winning, taking down the likes of Steph Curry, and winning the three-point contest. The 2018-19 season was a breakout year for the Nets, but Joe was one of the shining stars. Harris started in all 76 games he played that season, averaging 13.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. He also lead the league in three-point percentage shooting an astonishing .474% from deep.
Harris helped the Nets reach the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Although the Nets fell in five games to a powerful Philadelphia 76ers team, the Nets were about to get a lot better. That July, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving came to Brooklyn to form a super team. While it seemed as if Harris would have a hard time earning minutes behind those stars, that was not the case. Joe shined during the 2019-2020 season. Harris averaged a career-high 14.5 points in the regular season and 16.5 in the Nets series loss to the Raptors this past summer in the bubble. Last month, Harris signed a four year, 75 million dollar deal to remain with the Brooklyn Nets.
Four More Years
Harris will line up at the three this season. Playing with the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, and more on a nightly basis should give Harris plenty of open looks this season. And with the Nets primed to win their first NBA championship in franchise history, there is no doubt Joey Buckets will be a significant contributor to a Nets team with championship aspirations.