In nineteen days, the NBA G League will host their 16th annual draft which presents prospects with an opportunity to get one step closer to the NBA, if a team chooses them. Although this honestly isn’t the best outlet for teams to build their rosters, we’ve seen a plethora of solid players go through the G League Draft. Some significant examples include current Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington, Heat wing James Johnson, Jimmer Fredette and Anthony Brown. While those are just some of the big names, a wide array of other players have utilized the league to jump start their pro career.
One player that will look to utilize the G League Draft is former Auburn forward Tyler Harris. Although he hasn’t officially signed a contract with the G League, all directions point him to making his way to the league during the upcoming season. “I decided to take my way to the NBA G League instead of overseas offers because I want to be closer to the NBA,” Harris told Ridiculous Upside. “My goal and dream is to be in the NBA and playing in the G League will help me be closer to the NBA teams to see me play so that they can call me up. I think it's a great opportunity to show scouts that I am NBA ready.”
Harris’ attempt to reach the NBA comes two years after he wrapped up his college career where he played with Providence and Auburn, respectively. With those two clubs, he put up 11.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists on 44% from the field in 29 minutes per game. Harris’ solid numbers were due to him standing as a pretty mobile 6’10 forward that can handle the rock, run in transition and working as screener in pick-and-rolls. Alongside that, he showed the rare ability to stretch out and hit the occasional perimeter jumper as he shot 30% from beyond the arc on 2.1 attempts per game.
Following that solid college career, Harris decided to France to play with Paris-Levallois Basket with LNB Pro A, which is the best league in that country. Harris maintained pretty solid production against better competition as he averaged 7.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in only 19 minutes per game. Despite that limited role, Harris was still able to impress on one of the biggest leagues in international hoops.
Although he put up good numbers against decent competition, Harris is still working hard to improve his game. “During the offseason I have continued to work on my strength and my shooting,” Harris stated to Ridiculous Upside. “I have work to make my shot more consistent from behind the 3 point line, along with any where else on the floor. I’m also continuing to increase my strength and conditioning so it can help me to continue to be a lockdown defender.”
Over the course of the entire summer, he spent time working hard alongside current Pistons forward Tobias Harris, who happens to be his older brother. Tyler Harris’ training pushed him to shoot 25,000 shots per game in an attempt to improve his outside shooting. Another way that he tried to his jumper came from working with legendary shooting coach Hal Wissel.
Harris will look to put that tough off-season work to use in the G League as he’ll be trying to pursue a 10-day contract. While he reportedly received a six figure contract from a team overseas, he turned that down to be one step closer to the NBA. “My defensive ability will be something that the NBA will be very pleased with.” Harris said to Ridiculous Upside about the skills that could impress an NBA squad. “Also my ability as a playmaker and how I can score in a variety of ways. Alongside that, I think they’ll be impressed with my improvement as a shooter.”
Tyler Harris will be looking to transfer his past performance and overall skill level from elite French leagues to the NBA G League. As a 6’10 and 228 pound forward, Harris is regarded as more of a modern player due to how he can handle the ball while also doing some occasional work as a facilitator. Although he’ll need to show his supposedly improved perimeter jumper in live game action, I still think there’s enough reason to think he’ll stand as a very solid player in the NBA G League.