After spending only two seasons playing for Michigan State basketball, Gary Harris packed his bags and headed for the NBA Draft. Harris was drafted no. 19 overall in 2014 by the Chicago Bulls but was immediately traded to the Denver Nuggets where he spent the last three years. Now that his rookie contract is coming to an end he was able to sign a four-year $84 million contract extension.
With his new contract, he will rank in the top 10 for shooting guards in the NBA during the 2018-19 season.
To me, a four-year $84 million contract ensures that the Nuggets plan to build around Harris. The Nuggets are known for having multiple guards on their roster and sometimes it can be unclear whom they plan to keep. Harris was able to secure a starting role but without a contract, you still never knew if he was going to be traded.
During his rookie season, Harris struggled to adjust to the speed of the NBA. He averaged only 3.4 points, shot 30% from the field and 20% shooting three-pointers. His sophomore season he was able to earn a starting spot and increase his stats. Averaging 12.3 points, shooting 46% from the field and 35% from behind the arc.
Last season, Harris was able to improve even more. He averaged nearly 15 points at 14.9 and shot 42 percent on three-pointers. Which was able to earn him the tenth best three-point shooting percentage in the NBA. I think shooting such a high percentage is what was able to set him apart from other guards and secure his contract.
At only 23-years-old Harris has begun to perform at a level to be labeled as one of the top young shooting guards in the NBA. After a tough rookie season, he has put in the work needed to improve his game and earn this 4-year $84 million contract extension.
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