2014 NBA Redraft: 12. Joe Harris, Orlando Magic
After spending four collegiate seasons at the University of Virginia, Joe Harris spent the first two seasons warming the bench for the Cavaliers. He was then traded to the Magic, who cut him immediately.
It was that summer of 2016 where Harris found his way to the borough of Brooklyn on a multi-year contract with the Nets.
Coming off a 21-win campaign, the Nets were in the talent-acquisition phase of their rebuild. Positional fit or overlapping skill-sets didn’t matter. They were simply looking for players with just a shred of long-term potential.
Shooting is a trait that can get one quite far in the NBA given how desperate teams are to space the court. Harris couldn’t do much, but he could certainly stroke it from distance. In his four years at Virginia, he shot 40.7 percent from beyond the arc on 4.7 attempts per game.
Without really anything to lose, Brooklyn gave him a shot in his first season with the team. When the sharpshooter impressed, it provided more opportunities.
In helping the Nets to their first postseason appearance in four years back in 2019, Harris averaged a career-high 13.7 points per game as well as career-best marks in both assists and rebounds. He led the league in 3-point accuracy at 47.4 percent and got his name in the national spotlight when he took home the 3-point contest championship at the 2019 All-Star Weekend in Charlotte.
Now, he’s fresh off inking a $75 million deal with the Nets and spends his playing time spacing the court for the likes of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Talk about a rags to riches story in every sense.