Recently Cut Laker Manny Harris Scores 56 Points in D-League Game Over Weekend

David Murphy@@davem234Featured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2014

RENO, NV - JANUARY 6:  Manny Harris #22 of the Los Angeles D-Fenders looks to pass against the Sioux Falls Skyforce during the 2014 NBA D-League Showcase on January 6, 2014 at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by David Calvert/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Calvert/Getty Images

After two 10-day contracts with the Los Angeles Lakers, Manny Harris is now back in the D-League, lighting it up with 56 points and 16 rebounds on Saturday.

Undrafted out of the University of Michigan, Harris has bounced around professional basketball, playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Canton Charge for the D-League and Azovmash in the Ukraine.

In January, the 6’5” guard was called up from the Lakers’ affiliate D-League team, the D-Fenders, averaging 8.1 points and 3.8 rebounds through nine games for the Lakers.

Eric Pincus for The Los Angeles Times, describes what happened next:

Harris returned to the NBA Development League, making a statement Saturday with a D-Fenders' franchise-record 56 points in a 121-106 win over the Santa Cruz Warriors. Playing at the Kaiser Permanente Arena, Harris scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, shattering his own previous scoring record of 49 — set Jan. 10 before his call-up to the Lakers.

Per Tony Nunez for Register Pajaronian, head coach Casey Hill for Santa Cruz had this to say about the record-setting game by Harris:

“That’s a heck of a stat line. Yeah I think he deserves to be in the NBA. I think he’ll get some sort of a look after that game.”

The Lakers have been trying to balance a losing season, an injury-depleted roster and a payroll that is well into the luxury tax. Management had to make a choice of keeping Harris for the rest of the season and paying a dollar-for-dollar penalty, or sending him back to their D-League affiliate.

Harris is averaging 32.4 points through 14 games with the D-Fenders. The Lakers may end up wishing they had hung on to the former Wolverine.

H/T to Scott Rafferty at SB Nation's Ridiculous Upside.