Justin Harper Rumors

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Justin Harper
Justin Harper
Position: None
Born: 08/30/89
Height: 6-10 / 2.08
Weight:225 lbs. / 102.1 kg.
With the Idaho Stampede, who invested the third overall pick in him, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to make up for the experience he missed out on last year. “It’s exciting man,” Harper said to HOOPSWORLD. “It’s a blessing just to be called at the time I was. You have to look at it as another opportunity to get back to work. “I think it’s going to be good. You have to have confidence going in, especially when the team believes in you and takes you high. They have expectations and you have to go from there. And, have even higher expectations for yourself and be ready to work.”
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The Orlando Magic have waived wing Quentin Richardson, combo forward Justin Harper and wing Chris Johnson, team officials said. The moves bring the team’s roster down to 15 players, ahead of the NBA-mandated 5 p.m. Monday deadline. It also means that wing DeQuan Jones, an undrafted rookie and former Miami Hurricanes player, made the regular-season roster. Richardson, 32, didn’t fit into the Magic’s long-term plans, and he didn’t play in Orlando’s final four preseason games.
Young acknowledged that playing overseas carries a risk of injury, but ultimately Harper determined that there also would have been a risk of injury if he had decided to remain in the U.S. and play pickup games and train on his own. Because of the lockout, officials from NBA teams are not permitted to have contact with their players or with their players’ agents. “Obviously, the Orlando Magic will be reading about this,” Young said. “I think they will be supportive of this. I haven’t been able to reach out to them. “But I think they, like everyone else, will realize this will only help Justin as a player and as a person. We’re just crossing our fingers he comes back in October or November [because the lockout ends] and not January or February or staying the whole year.”
Add forward Justin Harper to the list of Americans who play overseas during the NBA lockout. The Orlando Magic rookie has agreed in principle to a deal with SIG Strasbourg, a team in France’s top professional league, said Lance Young, Harper’s agent. Young said the only part of the contract yet to be finalized is the exact language of the clause that will allow Harper to return to the U.S. when and if there is a 2011-12 NBA season. “We’re hoping he can go out there for a couple of months and improve on a few things at the Pro A level in France and come back for training camp whenever that may be,” Young told the Orlando Sentinel. “He’ll be able to have some money in his pocket. But the main reason he wanted to do this was not for the money but just for the experience of playing professionally.”
A number of GMs reported to me on Friday that they passed on some players because of injury concerns. What’s interesting is that some team doctors see problems that other team doctors don’t. I heard particular teams had concerns about Bismack Biyombo, Kemba Walker, Justin Harper and Josh Selby. The concerns didn’t affect Biyombo and Walker’s draft stock much, but may help explain why Harper and Selby slid like they did.
And that’s where the tremendous intrigue of Harper’s game comes into focus. While the practice of evaluating international prospects with size and skill is an annual practice among NBA scouts, rare is the American college player that presents this kind of package at the high level that the Richmond senior does. While he certainly isn’t on the same level as Kevin Durant, it’s easy to make the argument that no college player has so closely resembled the current NBA star since he left the University of Texas four years ago. Harper has shown off an advanced skill set throughout the season, but may have only scratched the surface of what he is capable of from a skills perspective, meaning he could further impress when it comes time for individual workouts. “When I get to those individual workouts people are going to see that I’m not just a spot-up shooter, but I can score pretty effectively with my back to the basket as well,” Harper says.
Not surprisingly, Mooney who has thought of his star as a pro player since his freshman year, sees the workout setting as the place where Harper will make a massive jump in the NBA draft picture. “I think when teams get to see how fluid he is, how well he moves, how well he dribbles, just how effortless his shooting is, it’s really going to impress people,” he says. “There aren’t many guys his size, it’s not even close, that are that fluid. It’s a very rare for a player to have all of those abilities.”
The senior is averaging 17.9 points and shooting better than 56 percent from the field for the Spiders (16-5, 5-1 Atlantic 10), who host Xavier (14-5, 6-0) at noon Saturday. In league games, Harper’s even better — averaging 23.7 points and shooting nearly 59 percent. NBA scouts have attended pretty much every game, and several are expected Saturday. Harper says the key for him is not to think about it and to just keep playing his game.