With the 59th-overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on Wednesday, the Toronto Raptors took Nevada redshirt junior combo guard Jalen Harris.
Harris was the Raptors’ second pick on the evening, as the club took San Diego State point guard Malachi Flynn 29th overall.
As a second-round pick, and one taken second last in the entire draft, there likely won’t be a lot of expectations placed on Harris, but the Raptors have proven time and again they know how to find diamonds in the rough with success stories from the second round and undrafted players. And given Harris’ skills, there’s a chance Masai Ujiri, Bobby Webster and Co. may have struck gold once again.
Here’s a little more on Harris.
Position: Point guard/shooting guard
Height: Six-foot-five | Weight: 195 pounds
2019-20 stats: PPG: 21.7 | RPG: 6.5 | APG: 3.9 | 3P%: 35.9
Harris comes from a family with some basketball pedigree as the son of two former Southern Methodist University basketball players, Karlin Kennedy and Erion Harris.
Kennedy, in particular, was a great player, leaving the Mustangs as the school’s all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocks and field-goal percentage.
Harris grew up in Duncanville, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, and played his high school hoops at Duncanville High School where he excelled — averaging 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists as a senior — despite breaking a vertebrae and missing half of the season.
Nevertheless, Harris bounced back and managed to secure a scholarship to Louisiana Tech where he played for two years before transferring to Nevada, where he ended up playing the best ball of his career this past season.
If you’re going to stick in the NBA, especially as a second-round pick, you need to bring at least one high-level skill to the table to carve out a niche for yourself, and in Harris’ case, he could have a future in the league due to his scoring.
Harris is an athletic guard who is adept at getting his own shot up thanks to a tight handle and a quick first step that allows him to get into the lane where he’s a strong finisher.
He projects to be scorer mainly because he shoots the ball very well off the dribble and his pull-up game in conjunction with his handle and finishing ability will make him a very tough cover.
The varied ways he can score the basketball should translate to the NBA and are talents the Raptors are surely happy to have.
Even more exciting than Harris’ ability to score the ball has been his steadily improving playmaking abilities.
Harris makes sound decisions in the pick-and-roll and shows potential to be a good passer. This appears to be something the Raptors are banking on and why they seem so high on him.
“He’s a big-time athlete who does a lot of different types of playmaking and attacking,” said Raptors assistant general manager Dan Tolzman. “He’s really comfortable with the ball in his hands and some people think he could potentially become a point guard down the road.”
Tolzman isn’t completely convinced that Harris has true point guard potential, but envisions him as a secondary ball-handler.
So even if Harris doesn’t manage to master the lead guard role, for a second-round pick to possibly turn into a pressure-reliever who can fill it up occasionally sounds like some pretty good value.
Defensive focus looks like a question mark
The main knock against Harris is his defensive intensity.
He’s an athletic guy and has the potential to be a strong defender, but he’s been known to have a lackadaisical attitude on the defensive end — not fully committing to staying in stance and, occasionally, giving up on plays.
Granted, with Nevada, he was asked to carry a huge offensive load and it’s possible he may have been saving himself on defence.
In the NBA, he certainly won’t have as many offensive responsibilities, so it will be interesting to see what his commitment to the defensive side of the ball might look like if he only gets one or two shots per game starting out.
In Pictures: Grief and shock over Maradona's death – Aljazeera.com
Hundreds of people have begun filing in to see the coffin of Diego Maradona in Buenos Aires’s Casa Rosada after the football legend died at the age of 60.
At a slow pace, people on Thursday passed in front of the coffin that was draped with the Argentinian flag and his number 10 jersey.
Scuffles briefly broke out as crowds jostled as they queued to enter and police had to hold people back.
Maradona’s family and closest friends came at dawn before the start of the public wake.
Tens of thousands of people spent the night in a vigil in the Plaza de Mayo, singing songs in tribute to Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup victory in 1986.
Stunned fans gathered outside the humble home where he was born and raised in the Villa Fiorito neighbourhood.
Fans also went to the stadium of Argentinos Juniors, where he started as a professional footballer in 1976. They stood at the historic La Bombonera stadium of his beloved Boca Juniors.
More were at the headquarters of Gimnasia La Plata, the team he was coaching.
“I am touched. I can’t understand it, I can’t see the reality. Diego will never die, today is the birth of the Maradona myth,” said Dante Lopez, a physician who went to the Argentinos Juniors stadium, which carries the beloved player’s name.
Fans put candles and flowers along the wall around the field.
“Diego was Argentina in the world. He gave us joy and we will never be able to repay him for so much joy,” said Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, who issued a decree for three days of national mourning and offered the presidential palace for the funeral.
Raptors waive centre Dewan Hernandez, open up additional roster spot – Sportsnet.ca
The 23-year-old battled injuries throughout his time with the Raptors organization after being selected 59th in the second round of the 2019 draft, and spent the vast majority of his on-court stints with Raptors 905, where he posted career stats of 13.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks on 40.8 per cent shooting in nine games.
Waiving Hernandez, whose deal was set to guarantee this coming weekend, also opens up an additional roster spot for the Raptors, who will likely use it on Canadian forward Oshae Brissett (he had a nice season on a two-way contract with the team last season) or a standout training camp invitee.
Report: Ravens record more positive COVID-19 tests – theScore
The positive tests from Wednesday include one player, one position coach, and one staff member, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Baltimore has reported multiple new cases every day since Sunday.
The Ravens’ Thanksgiving matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers was postponed to Sunday amid the team’s ongoing outbreak.
Baltimore has seven players on the reserve/COVID-19 list and an unconfirmed number of positives among coaches and staff.
The AFC North club disciplined a strength and conditioning coach Wednesday for failing to report symptoms, or wear a mask or tracking device consistently, which may have led to the outbreak.
If the game can’t be played Sunday, it’s possible the NFL will have to use its contingency plan of adding a Week 18 to make up delayed games.
If the NFL does add Week 18, it could push back the start of the playoffs or eliminate the extra week between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.
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