Joe Harris, the Cleveland Cavaliers second-round pick in the 2014 draft, has been the missing man this season for the Cavs and now we may have some reason for why Harris has hardly been seen this season.
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Harris will need surgery to remove a bone in his right foot, which will place the former Virginia Cavalier on the shelf for the season.
After appearing in 51 games for the Cavs last season, it seemed as if Harris might be a solid contributor for Cleveland in years to come. His sweet shooting stroke, mainly from the corners, gave Cavs fans hope that GM David Griffin may have found a diamond in the rough in the second round.
After Cleveland acquired J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert in February though, Harris’ court-time diminished and he was sent back and fourth to the Cavs D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, for the rest of the season.
Despite the increased opportunity in Canton last season, Harris struggled to find his shot in the D-League. Last season, Harris averaged just 14.1 points per game while shooting 39.1% from the field and a woeful 26.1% from the three-point arc, as his passive nature didn’t allow him to take over games the way Canton hoped he would.
Harris entered the 2015/16 season fresh and with a new mindset and he was the Cavs most experienced player in their 2015 Summer League squad. The hope was for Harris to dominate the Summer League and take that confidence into the new season.
Unfortunately for Harris, that didn’t turn out as planned, as his Summer League was nothing short of a disaster. Harris shot only 23.3% from the field and 26.1% from the three-point line during the Summer League, as he failed to gain any type of confidence or consistency. I broke down Harris’ missed opportunity at the Summer League, here.
Harris’ Summer League struggled have carried into the regular season, as his only appeared in five games for the Cavs, with a grand total of 15 minutes played on the season. In those 15 minutes, Harris has attempted just four shots, all three-pointers, and has made just one of them.
In the D-League, Harris’ struggled have continued, as he is averaging 16.4 points per game, while still trying to find his jumper, shooting 39.7% from the field and 32.3% from downtown.
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Harris has struggled to find his jumpshot this season but his foot issues may be an issue for that. A big part of shooting a jumpshot is the player’s base and footwork and if that part of the shot fails, the chance of hitting the shot diminishes greatly.
With Harris now out for the season, the Cavs will need to wait another season to watch him play again and hopefully the next time he takes the court for the Wine and Gold, whether that be in Cleveland or Canton, Harris comes out as a more aggressive offensive weapon.
There were reports the Cavs were working on trading Harris, which now are likely scrapped leaving the Cavs roster full at 15.