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The reason Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry acquired Devin Harris last summer was not because the team needed an upgrade at point guard (where they have the talented Jeff Teague). Rather, Ferry traded for Harris because he was entering the final year of his contract.
The Hawks were able to simultaneously dump Marvin Williams’ egregious contract in a deal with the Utah Jazz. Needless to say, this move was a no-brainer.
Harris’s best statistical campaign came in 2009 when he averaged 21.3 points and 6.9 assists per game for the New Jersey Nets (now the Brooklyn Nets). Since then, his numbers have been on a steady decline.
This year with Atlanta, the 30-year-old point guard is averaging just 9.9 points and 3.3 assists per game. Although those numbers leave a lot to be desired, Harris has started to regain his old form to some degree.
Over the past 15 days, Harris has averaged 16.5 points, 5.5 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals while knocking down 2.3 three-pointers per game. He’s also shooting 47.7 percent from the floor over that span.
His numbers have been inflated due to back-to-back solid performances against bad teams. Harris scored 17 points against the Orlando Magic on March 30, then 25 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 1. He has since been sidelined with a toe injury.
It’s safe to say that Harris won’t garner anywhere near his 2012-13 salary of $8.5 million next season. His abilities on the court are predicated on quickness, which is something that has been taken away from Harris by age and various injuries.
So even though Harris has been a spark plug recently for Atlanta, his overall decline in recent years and injury woes provide two evident red flags for NBA general managers.