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Manny Harris Off To An Unbelievable Start For Texas Legends

Editor Dakota Schmidt takes a look at Manny Harris’ D-League success and determines if he could return to the NBA.

Texas Legends

Over the last few years, there arguably hasn’t been a D-League guard that’s been as consistently solid as current Texas Legends guard Manny Harris. After spending two unsuccessful seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Harris started his NBADL tirade in 2013-14 with the Los Angeles D-Fenders. With the D-Fenders, Harris erupted by averaging 31.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2 steals per game on 47% from the field. That excellent play by Harris pushed him to being named to the 2014 NBADL All-Star game.

Harris’ D-league dominance continued through the following two seasons with both the D-Fenders and Texas Legends. Although Harris spent most of those two seasons playing with various teams in Turkey, he always found a way to head back to the D-league and dominate for about a dozen games. Harris’ continued excellence is evident through numbers and on-court film.

During the 2014-15 season with the LA D-Fenders, Harris averaged 25.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists on 47% from the field. In the following season with both the D-Fenders and Legends, Harris took another step forward as he put up 19.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists on 43% from the field and 43% from beyond the arc.

That perimeter efficiency was a huge progression for Harris as he only had one season during his entire career (NCAA, D-League or NBA) where he shot better than 37% from beyond the arc, which happened during his 2010-11 campaign with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Despite how fantastic Harris has been throughout his D-League career, nobody would’ve expected Harris to play at the level that he’s currently at with the Texas Legends. During his first eight games with the Legends, Harris is averaging 28.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 3 steals per game on 48% from the field and 46% from beyond the arc. In those initial eight games, Harris put up a double-double in five of those outings. That efficiency as a shooter has pushed Harris to having a relatively solid 58% True Shooting Percentage.

Like those numbers could curtail, Harris has been able to score in a plethora of different ways during the young D-League season. As has been the case since his time in Michigan, Harris’ biggest strength is as an on-ball cutter. Able to drive to both the left and right side of the paint, Harris has this weird knack of confusing the opposing defender by changing speeds and directions on a dime.

Alongside that knack as a cutter, Harris continues to impress by his improvement as a shooter. Whether he’s launching a catch-and-shoot perimeter jumper or hitting step-back mid-range Js, Harris just looks like the most confident player on the court. Although that confidence could eventually make Bob MacKinnon rip up any of the remaining hairs on his head, at this point Harris’ tenacity has only been used for good.

If Harris can continue to combine that confidence with solid efficiency, it might be only a matter of time until Harris back in the NBA. Even before this season, Harris was probably on most team’s radar due to his prior D-League success and past stints with the Cavaliers and Lakers. However, two straight seasons of being a standout perimeter shooter is something that most NBA teams would never have expected.

Although the 6’6 guard might still have a lot of work in front of him, Manny Harris should remain optimistic about what his future could entail.