Can Devin Harris Put Up All-Star Numbers On A Good Team?

Devin Harris had a great 2008-2009 campaign with the Nets which earned him a trip to the all-star game, but he hasn’t played at that level since.

Analysis: Devin has a chance to play for a winning team for the first time since he was shipped out of Dallas in the 2007-2008 season. I think he’ll make the most out of the opportunity and enjoy actually having a decent shot at winning on any given night. Devin now has some great teammates in Utah who will make it easier to pick up more assists. Harris’ first two games with Utah were nothing to write home about, but he produced reasonable enough stat lines. Since Devin left the structured environment of Dallas’s system his field goal percentage has gone down significantly. In his last year with Dallas he shot 48%, but in his next three years with New Jersey he never shot above 44%. With the Nets I believe, and the statistics prove my point, that Devin attempted to do too much. While still effective, he forced his shots more because his team relied heavily on him. Now that Devin is back on a good team with a well structured system and established roles he should become far more efficient. Devin Harris is only 28 and his decline shouldn’t start for another few seasons.

Projection: Devin will enjoy being competitive again, and will appreciate it more this time ’round after being stuck in New Jersey for 3 seasons. His field goal percentage should return closer to the 50% mark, and I believe he’s poised to make a gain in assists as well. Even before the switch Devin was averaging a career high 7.6 assists, and playing in Utah should only elevate this statistic more. It is a small sample size, but in two games with the Jazz, Devin is averaging a solid 8.5 assists.

Nets pull surprise

Wow, didn’t see that one coming…. Or should we have?

Deron Williams joins the New Jersey Nets as the marquee player they desired to open their new digs in Brooklyn a year and a half from now. After Carmelo Anthony opted for the New York Knicks, the Nets snuck in the back door to get one of the top young point guards in the game. Nets management has been trumpeting their ability to drive up the Knicks price for Melo and it looks like they were right. Williams was, and still may be, one of the big free agent targets on the horizon along with Orlando’s Dwight Howard and New Orleans’ Chris Paul. It appears to be a bargain for the Nets, compared to the fortune given up by the Knicks.

For the now, the Nets have a great young building block at the two most important and hardest to fill positions in the NBA. Center Brook Lopez and Williams combine to form a centerpiece that will certainly entice other talent around the league to come join them.  Extending Williams is the key. Deron has a player option for free agency after next season, but the Nets cannot extend his current deal until this Summer.

Devin Harris will be the key to Utah’s side of things. Rookie forward Derrick Favors is a great building block for the Jazz, but the immediate lies in Harris’ ability to handle the point. Utah also gets New Jersey’s 1st round draft pick, Golden State’s 1st round in 2012 and $3 million in cash. Favors adds to an already promising young front court with Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson.