Mar 27, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Manny Harris (6) is defended by Philadelphia 76ers guard Jodie Meeks (20) during the fourth quarter at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Cavaliers 103-85. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Manny Harris has the chance to capitalize on a situation that he probably should have taken advantage of earlier.
After going undrafted in 2010 and splitting time between the D-League and the Cleveland Cavaliers the past two seasons, Harris will continue his career overseas this season, in store for the compete overseas experience by signing in the Ukraine.
The former Michigan basketball guard, who was waived by the Cavs back in July, has signed a contract with Azovmash Mariupol in the SuperLeague.
With Mariupol, Harris joins former Milwaukee Bucks guard Lynn Greer and Kyryl Natyazhko, the Ukrainian center who spent three years at the University of Arizona before deciding to turn pro.
Last February, the Cavs called up Harris from the D-League and signed him to a 10-day contract after he went for 46 points and 36 points, respectively, for the Canton Charge. In 17 games (12 starts) with the Charge, Harris averaged 21.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.7 steals in 32.9 minutes per game. And when injuries hit Cleveland, they called on Harris to help fill the void.
In two seasons with the Cavs, he appeared in 80 games and averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 rebounds, but Harris is one of those players that found himself stuck on the fringe between the NBA and the D-League, always toeing the line of prospect and project.
And that's why it's surprising Harris didn't take advantage of signing overseas before this summer (unless the offer or pursuing such options wasn't a focus). Fighting for that NBA dream is admirable, but as far as career longevity goes, the best place for Harris at this stage of his game is finding the right fit overseas.
Maybe now the writing on the wall is easier to read.
Waived by the Cavs back in early July, Harris signed with the Houston Rockets and competed at the Las Vegas Summer League. "Competed" is even a generous choice of words: he went scoreless in 4 minutes in Houston's 99-88 win against the Portland Trail Blazers.
This wasn't a knock of Harris' talent, but instead a circumstance of the situation he found himself with the Rockets.
Moving on to play in the Ukraine, however, could shape up to be the right situation at the right time for Manny Harris.