NBA Rumor: Joe Harris Free Agency

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Keeping Harris will not be cheap. Bobby Marks of ESPN has estimated that if the Nets don’t make a major move prior to signing him, signing Harris to a contract starting at $12 million, a 50 percent upgrade from his current deal, the Nets are looking at a luxury tax of $50 million, fifth highest ever. Add in the $5.7 million MLE every fan seemingly wants to use and the $2.4 million guarantee a first round pick would bring and you’re testing historic limits. (The Nets hold the record —$90.6 million— paid after the 2013-14 season.)

Joe Harris: My ideal scenario, though, is to come back to Brooklyn. You know, this is again, where I was able afforded the opportunity. You know, I’ve spent the last four years here, I love living here, I love being here. I love what the nets are about. The organization as a whole is second to none across the league, you know, in terms of our reputation, how they treat their players. It’s a first class operation. And then at the end of the day to look at the roster, we have a unique situation where we, we really can look at the roster and say we have an opportunity to play for a championship and you can’t say that about a lot of teams. So we combine all of that. The ideal scenario is for me to stay in Brooklyn.

“I met with him the other day, grabbed a coffee with him and Sean. First time I met Steve,” Harris told “The JWilly Show” podcast. “His reputation obviously across the league is incredible. Everybody that’s ever played with him, everybody that’s ever been around him, nothing but good things, and that’s exactly how he was in person, too. You add that into the mix too, you have a coach like Steve Nash — and I’m excited to see the staff he assembles — but factor that with what Brooklyn’s already got going on and it obviously makes it a very appealing place.”

“My ideal scenario is to come back to Brooklyn,” he said. “This is where I was afforded the opportunity. I’ve spent the last four years here. I love living here, I love being here, I love what the Nets are about. The organization as a whole is second to none across the league in terms of our reputation, how they treat the players. It’s a first-class operation. And then at the end of the day too, when you look at the roster, we have a unique situation where we really can look at the roster and say we have an opportunity to play for a championship and you can’t say that about a lot of teams. So you combine all that, the ideal situation is for me to stay in Brooklyn.”

In catching up with YES Network’s Michael Grady, Joe Harris called re-signing with the Nets “my ideal scenario,” but admitted that it’s not his priority right now. Getting back to play is. “I haven’t thought about it a ton obviously. There’s so much going on right now that you’re worrying about [more than] free agency. The biggest concern is figuring out the best way to get back to actually playing. I haven’t even really discussed anything with my agent or with teams in terms of free agency.”

When Grady asked what it would mean for him to return to Brooklyn once free agency opens, Harris left little doubt of his interest in re-signing … and his connection to the team and city. “It would mean everything. I look back just over four years ago coming to Brooklyn, getting an opportunity to play here, to learn as a young player to play through my mistakes and be given a niche in this league. And I’ve always loved New York and I love living in Brooklyn. Obviously, it’s a business at the end of the day and there are things you can’t control a lot of things that go on. My ideal scenario … that’s what it is for me.”

Free agency is scheduled to begin June 30, “but, shoot, with everything that’s going on, nobody really knows now,” Harris said. “All the dates could get pushed back. So say we were to [resume] the season in late June, early July, everything––the draft, free agency, all that stuff––would just get moved to a later date, like August or September.” He’s likely to have multiple options as a free agent, but Harris said he hasn’t “really thought about it a ton. It’s one of those things where I’ll just sort of cross that bridge when I get to it. Right now all the focus is on prioritizing your health and well-being. I’m really more worried about that versus anything basketball-related, to be honest. Not being around it takes your mind off of it a little bit, in a weird way.”

Joe Harris hoping to remain a Net for life

Harris not only loves basketball, but being in Brooklyn. In February, the pending unrestricted free agent said he hopes to re-sign with the Nets this summer, and Monday he told YES Network’s Ian Eagle he would love to remain a Net for life. “In [an] ideal world, I’d play my whole career in Brooklyn,” Harris said. “I came in with [GM] Sean [Marks] even the ownership. It’s just one of those things where you have a close connection with a lot of people that are within the organization. You kind of all came in together.

Harris, who scored 12 points Thursday, will be a restricted free agent this summer, and due to make a raise on his team-friendly $7.6 million deal. The sweet-shooting wing played alongside Irving in Cleveland as a rookie, but he essentially grew up in Brooklyn. He blossomed into a starter and won the 3-point title last season. He’s hoping to re-sign with the Nets, with the lure of playing a full season alongside the likes of Irving and Durant on a contender a strong one. And if he has a disappointment from this season, it’s that both stars, along with LeVert and others, have been in and out of an injury-riddled Nets lineup.

The Brooklyn Nets have re-signed guard/forward Joe Harris. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released. Harris, who originally signed with Brooklyn on July 19, 2016, returns to the Nets after spending the last two seasons in Brooklyn. The 2017-18 campaign saw Harris average 10.8 points (49.1 percent from the field, 41.9 percent from 3-point range and 82.7 percent from the free-throw line), 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 25.3 minutes per contest in 78 games (14 starts), all of which represented career highs.

While there’s still a bit more of the regular season left, and free agency still several months away, it’s something Harris has already thought about. If all goes well, Brooklyn is a place he can see himself staying long-term. “Yeah, it’s one of those things that I’ll worry about that sort of decision when the time comes. But I have really enjoyed my time in Brooklyn,” Harris told Basketball Insiders. “It’s a great organization with a lot of good people, and they try and do stuff the right way. I enjoy being a part of that and trying to kind of rebuild and set a good foundation for where the future of the Brooklyn Nets is.”
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October 27, 2020 | 9:12 pm EDT Update
These are the three main reasons a December start, after the longest N.B.A. season, suddenly became the target: This is what the league’s television partners want. Throughout the N.B.A.’s three-month stay at Walt Disney World, all signs pointed to the 2020-21 season beginning in 2021. League insiders frequently cited mid-January as the earliest possible start date, and several said they would not be surprised to see the wait extended until February or March. Playing the long game, it was often suggested, would enhance the chances of fan attendance for at least a portion of the regular season.
Storyline: 2020-21 Season Plans
Disney, which owns ESPN and has been described by Silver as the league’s biggest partner, badly wants to continue that Christmas tradition and have five games to televise on either ABC or ESPN. Turner, the N.B.A.’s other primary broadcast partner, would get its traditional opening night doubleheader on a Tuesday if the union agrees to the Dec. 22 proposal. The league, for its part, has informed the union that it projects a difference of $500 million in revenue if it can start the season in December rather than mid-January. All of those factors resonate pretty loudly after the season that the N.B.A. just endured.