Cavs draft sharp-shooting Joe Harris with No. 33 pick


Having already added Andrew Wiggins to the fold with the No. 1 pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Joe Harris, the sharp-shooting swingman out of Virginia with their first pick in the second round (No. 33 overall).

Harris, who had a first-round grade by’s Jay Bilas, is a 6-foot-6-inch efficient scorer with a quick release and excellent range. On the defensive end, he’s a solid defender despite lacking top end athleticism and sizable wingspan. Had he come out last season (instead of returning for his senior season), Harris would have been a lock to be selected within the first 30 picks.

Harris ended his collegiate career at the University of Virginia by leading the team to an ACC regular season title and conference title while earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. His biggest asset is undeniably his shooting. At the combine, he made 16 of 25 NBA spot up three-pointers. He complemented this by shooting 40% on three pointers in his senior season—his third collegiate season shooting at least 40% from long distance—while posting an overall effective field goal percentage of 54.7%.

Given Cavaliers’ general manager David Griffin’s desire to increase spacing and add solid shooting, Harris’ selection makes sense. He will likely compete with the bevy of shooting guards on the Cleveland roster, including last year’s selections of Sergey Karasev and Carrick Felix.

  • Lunch

    Welcome to the Cavs, Harris.

  • mgbode

    Older, non-athletic SG with the shortest wingspan of the draftable wings after taking a likely SG #1 overall and having a bit of a glut on the roster there.

    However, I still like this pick because we just don’t have enough shooters on the roster and Harris is at least feisty on defense (and UVa had a pretty sophisticated rotation system, so he is ahead of the curve there).

    Also, it likely signals some trades of wing players, which I think we all agree that we need a reboot on.

  • RGB

    “Also, it likely signals some trades of wing players, which I think we all agree that we need a reboot on.”

    Like Alonzo Gee?…

  • mgbode

    Honestly, I didn’t even remember that his contract extended into next season (team-option we weren’t likely picking up) and I haven’t even been putting his name down on depth chart lists for the Cavs, so gettting assets for Gee feels like stealing.

    Current wing players:
    SG-only: Jack, Waiters, Harris
    SG-SF: Wiggins, Karasev, Felix
    SF-only: Bennett? (hopefully not)

    Likely gone in free agency: Deng, Miles

  • Harv 21

    Looks more rugged than Karasev. Hope this doesn’t mean the end of Karasev, still really intrigued by his potential.

  • Pat Leonard

    I love the pick, and I hate UVA. I’ve been able to see a lot of Joe Harris over the years and I think he can be a solid rotation player (which is all you’re hoping for with a 2nd round pick). He’s better inside the 3-point arc than people think… he can take it strong to the hoop and finish, and he can hit the mid-range shots and can post up smaller guards. He’s not a fast defender, but he’s big and physical and will fight around screens. I’ve been seeing comparisons to JJ Redick as his ceiling and that’s not really a good comparison for Joe Harris. He’s a lot bigger than Redick was coming out of college and plays bigger (and gives much more effort on defense). He’s probably more like Anthony Parker (this might make some Cavs fans shudder, but think of a younger version of Anthony Parker than the one who played for the Cavs).

  • technivore

    Harris is more than 2 years older than Karasev. I think Karasev has a decent chance to be a very good player in 2 years, whereas Harris is probably close to his ceiling already.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Early was my choice but if Harris can make shots all the better. This team still needs front court help IMO. I’m hoping Houston goes after Anthony and Parsons is left out in the cold. Maybe Griffin would take a shot at him. He wouldn’t be the front court add I’d be looking for but Parsons all around game starting with his shooting would be great. It’d also give Wiggins more cover to work on his game which IMO has plenty of holes.

  • Harv 21

    Agree Karasev might be very good – I loved the pick last year – but I wonder whether they are redundant on this roster. Karasev was Grant’s project, and Grant is long gone. Griffin may think Harris has the option to drive inside and Karasev is just too slight. Hopefully Griffin is just stockpiling guys with accurate jumpshots while dumping others (Gee, Jack).

  • Pat Leonard

    One counterpoint… Blatt has been on the record as saying that he really likes Karasev (probably came up because of Blatt’s time coaching the Russian national team). I’d be surprised if Blatt wants to get rid of Karasev… I would bet a ham sandwich that Carrick Felix doesn’t make the roster though.

  • Harv 21

    agree, hope Felix is renting. Seems way more like a Mike Brown defensive specialist than any sort of fit for Euro balling.

  • Scott @ WFNY

    Griff loves Miles. I think that’s still up in the air.

  • mgbode

    He also fits in with what we seem to want/need on the wings. I wouldn’t mind keeping him, but think someone will overpay for his services on the open market.