Devin Harris was acquired as an expiring contract for former #2 pick and poster child for mediocrity Marvin Williams. The fact that Harris was expiring and Williams had another year on his deal was enough to call the trade a win, but for evaluation purposes we are looking at how the player did once a Hawk. Expectations were tricky because it was uncertain the role Devin would play, but what was sure was he was a 1 year only player. Some of us were worried that he’d take court time from Jeff Teague, who is seen as having more of a future here. That fear was never realized but sometimes when both were on the court together Devin often played the point with Teague moving to the 2 spot.
Devin Harris had some good moments and his confidence and aggressiveness was more consistent than Teague, but many things lead me to grade him out as a slight disappointment. First was the lack of health. After playing in 63 of 66 games last season he was only in 58 games this year. Statistically he was slightly down across the board when compared to last season. He had the lowest PER on his pro career. I attribute that to more 3 point attempts while only hitting on a third and a lower drawn foul rate. Harris still would take the ball to the hoop, but the frequency wasn’t what it once was. It’s worth noting that Harris did start 34 games, but didn’t truly take away from Teague as they were played together a lot.
January 11th Devin’s former team, the Utah Jazz came to Philips Arena. Devin scored 24 points on 7-8 shooting with 4 for 5 from 3 point range. Those stats are impressive enough, but what seals it is that the Hawks were down 8 going to the 4th quarter. That’s when everything starting clicking. Devin scored 12 points that period leading the Hawks to outscore Utah 35-19 good for an 8 point win pulling away. Revenge is best served on the court.
Harris would have to regain the form of his 1 all-star season to make the decision on him hard. He didn’t do that. At the age of 30 it’s time for him to receive a pay cut from the 8.5M he made last year because he just isn’t the player that he once was although he can still put pressure on a defense. The Hawks are looking to land cornerstones with their cap room. That will not leave much money to overpay a backup PG as he heads down the backside of his career.