Sources close to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers have reported that the Washington Wizards will call-up former Houston Rocket Mike Harris, presumably to fill the void left by Josh Howard, who is out for the season with a torn ACL.
Harris, a 6-foot-6, 235 pound combo-forward out of Rice, is averaging 26.3 points and 9.8 rebounds while shooting 58% from the field for the Vipers. He was also ranked as the top prospect in our most recent call-up rankings. He's probably best remembered for being one of the better role players on the Rockets team that went on a 22-game win streak during the 2007-08 season.
What can Wizards fans expect from Harris? He has great athleticism and strength, works hard inside and is even developing an outside jumper, despite what his 29% from beyond the arc might tell you. He's the hustle player every coach wants.
He's been dominant in the D-League because it's nearly impossible to guard him with any player in the D-League. In the NBA, things might change, but for the D-League he's simply too quick to be defended by big men and too big to be defended by wings. I've long assumed this is why he hasn't been called-up since his trek with the Rockets in December - no position - but it's great to see that the Wizards are giving him an opportunity.
According to my friend Synergy, Harris' offensive breakdown is as follows:
13% Spot Up
10% Offensive Rebounds (Put Backs)
9% P&R Roll Man
This not only shows his versatility on the offensive end, but the only area they graded him Below Average was 'spot-up' shooting, while everything else ranged from "good" to "excellent." Suffice to say, he's also pretty efficient.
Harris is a great combo forward, an excellent hustle guy and has shown this season that he can do a lot of things well in the D-League. I'm hoping it translates well to the Wizards.
There's also a good bit of youtube highlights available for Harris: "Hustler" is probably my favorite.