WHY ELIAS HARRIS MAKES MUCH MORE SENSE THAN LAMAR ODOM
Posted by Brian Kamenetzky on Jul 27, 2013 in Lakers Analysis, Lakers News, Opinion, San Antonio Spurs
I didn’t watch him play at Gonzaga, saw virtually no Summer League ball and in those moments I did wasn’t paying particularly close attention to any single player. Still, it’s easy to support the Lakers’ decision to sign Elias Harris to fill the league-mandated 13th spot on the roster. (I’m already counting 2nd rounder Ryan Kelly, currently unsigned, as the 12th guy.) For what it’s worth — and it may not be much given the loose relationship between SPL ball and NBA performance — those reviewing Harris in Vegas say he has a skill set going beyond scoring. Given the role he’d almost certainly play with the Lakers, i.e. asked to do virtually anything but score, that’s a big deal. But the key numbers for Harris: 24 years old, 6’8″, 240 lbs. Meaning he’s is a big body in the frontcourt, and most importantly a fairly young, potentially developing talent and reason enough to like him as a concept, even if (like me) you don’t know much about him as a player.
Cheap youth and upside are things the Lakers don’t have nearly enough access to, given all the draft picks they’ve traded away over the last few years. Until they can replenish their stocks on the trade market, the franchise starts to rebuild with one hand tied behind its back. That reality puts a premium on finding talent that may have fallen through the cracks, guys who cost a million but eventually play like they’re worth three or four. The type of player San Antonio churns out regularly.
Is Harris that guy? I have no idea. The odds say likely not, but if they believe Harris has potential to crack an NBA rotation the Lakers did the smart thing in signing him. If they’re right, they’ll have a quality asset at a low cost.
Certainly Harris makes more sense than Lamar Odom, a popular candidate for a roster spot among more sentimental fans, but someone who on most levels is a poor fit for the Lakers of 2013-14. While last season’s run with the Clippers was certainly an improvement on his apocalyptic turn in Dallas, Odom still didn’t crack 40 percent from the floor and was a disaster on the perimeter. But more importantly, he’ll be 34 in November, and has virtually no chance to provide the Lakers with what they need long term.
This before he went supernova as a tabloid/TMZ star over the last couple weeks, a distraction worth tolerating for a Sixth Man of the Year candidate, less so for the space Odom currently occupies, particularly on a team without realistic title hopes.
I don’t know if they will given the financial considerations involved, but I’d love to see them sign another “Harris” or two, making more small investments in the future that could pay big dividends (and save them some cash) down the road. At the very least, the move is another in a positive summer-long trend for the Lakers, who continue using their limited assets on younger players potentially capable of growing with the team.
LTLakerFan wrote:I'd take me a little combination of Fox and Matt Barnes with a lot of Kurt's mindset from his days thrown into the mix. Always, always wanted him to get to McHale after his cheap bleep clothesline of Kurt high in the air, instead of being tripped on the sideline. Just to see what he would have done. Who the eff even bounces up like he did from 7 feet prone in the air to the floor. He was going to rip Lurch a new one. We'd have had him suspended or course.
Harris needs some Ron Ron in him too and he will get to know Kobe's intensity every day in practice and in the weight room.
He sounds like a bigger Shannon Brown.
Doc Brown wrote:So here's hoping he has a Chandler Parsons-esque season
therealdeal wrote:Lamar is thinner than Elias Harris and by all accounts he's likely to be weaker. I'm not saying Harris is going to be great, no one is, but neither was Lamar.
This gamble makes way more sense.
Our PF rotation wasn't going to be great with Lamar anyway. That article made more sense than anyone's rational argument FOR Lamar.
The Lakers have officially announced the signing of Gonzaga forward Elias Harris.
Although the Lakers agreed to terms with Harris in July, the paperwork wasn't finalized until Wednesday.
Harris played in five games for the Lakers' summer league squad in Las Vegas, averaging 10.2 points on 44.7% shooting.
Harris will make $490,180 in the first year of his deal, although only an undisclosed amount is guaranteed. His second year is at $816,482 and that is believed to be non-guaranteed.
The Lakers are also expected to sign rookie forward Ryan Kelly, taken with the 48th pick in the 2013 NBA draft. With Harris and Kelly, the team will hit the league minimum of 13 players under contract.
Forward Marcus Landry is also considering an invitation from the team. Additionally, rookie Detroit forward Nick Minnerath recently tweeted that he'll attend Lakers' training camp.
Reports have also linked the Lakers' interest in Shawne Williams and Gary Forbes.
The Lakers are expected to bring 16 to 20 players to training camp. They can start the regular season with up to 15 players under contract, although 14 may be a more realistic number.
chingy248 wrote:You got to be kidding me. You got both Sasha and Odom wanting to come back and you sign a guy that will not see 1 second on the court? I checked in on every game during the summer league and didn't even see anything from him. The only person was Landry.
Center Court wrote:Having a guy who is a legit NBA player versus the never NBA player is not a no brainer.
Maybe Mitch sees something in him that makes him bleive Harris can be a factor in the NBA, maybe Jim Buss consulted with those at the local bar.. but either way they wouldn't sign quality role players to minimum 2 year deal so they must really like him.
Still, Odom (or Jamion, Harrington, Beasley- if waived) is a necessity right now. If he can steal mins from one of those guys, then he deserves it
Mike Trudell Header
On August 14, the Lakers signed rookie forward Elias Harris, having been impressed enough with Harris' play at workouts -- and in particular at the Las Vegas Summer League -- to offer a multi-year deal that includes a team option for the 2014-15.
A two-time All-West Coast Conference Team player at Gonzaga University, Harris was a key cog in the Bulldogs 32-3 record during his final season. He put up 14.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 27.8 minutes per game. The German native ranks second in school history with his 979 career rebounds, an impressive feat for a player often on the wing, and his 1,857 points rank fourth in Zags history.
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12: Elias Harris #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers moves the ball up-court against the Cleveland Cavaliers during NBA Summer League on July 12, 2013 at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada.
We spoke to Lakers player development coach Mark Madsen, who along with the rest of Mike D'Antoni's staff has been working out with Harris almost daily, to see how the rookie's coming along:
MT: What has stood out to you about Harris in your several weeks of watching and working with him?
Madsen: Elias had a great summer league. His versatility is the thing you notice right away, because he can play the two, the three or the four. He came in with a pretty developed perimeter game conducive to the NBA, and is working on adding more and more. We see Elias almost every day, and he's taking all the nuances of what (assistant coach) Dan D'Antoni is teaching him, focusing on making his shot a more balanced and consistent shot. His driving game is something he's spending a lot of time with (player development coach) Larry Lewis on, taking all the materials Larry's giving him and implementing them into his game.
MT: What kind of a kid is he?
Madsen: A really good kid. He's fun to be around in the gym, and makes it enjoyable coming in every day. The good thing about Elias is he's a really hard worker – not just on the court but in the weight room, with his diet, and doing every last thing the organization has asked. His improvements have been great. I think Elias has worked for everything he's received. I remember back to my rookie transition camp and Paul Silas said hard work doesn't guarantee anything, but it gives you a chance.
MT: What's his best position?
Madsen: I think right now his best position is the three. To guard twos at the NBA level, there's still a learning curve there, but he does have the capacity to do it. That process just isn't going to happen overnight. You have to win the trust of the officials and familiarize yourself with the NBA.
MT: L.A.'s head advanced pro scout Clay Moser told me that Harris has "great size for his position, a good overall game, and needs to develop a specialty whether it's the corner three or a dribble drive. Your thoughts on what he can do to really carve out a role?
Madsen: The NBA is a league of specialists and I think Elias could have a number of them. There's no question in my mind that he can be a defensive stopper. He's already proven the ability to get out in transition and finish on the break. He can also play the half court game and wear someone down with his size and strength. And as he continues to hone that three-point shot, that can be really big for him.
MT: And the bottom line – does he belong in the NBA?
Madsen: There's no doubt in my mind that Elias can play in the NBA. Training camp is where everyone has to prove themselves. Any player coming in has to, but there's no doubt that Elias has NBA talent.
Showtime.Revival.05 wrote:Doc Brown wrote:So here's hoping he has a Chandler Parsons-esque season
hell yeah, i cant wait to see him blatantly tampering to get a top free agent next summer
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