Jared Harper will return in blue and orange. On Tuesday, the Phoenix Suns officially announced that they would give up Auburn’s former basketball star. The 5-foot-10 guard didn’t last long on the open market as the New York Knicks claimed the 22-year-old licensee according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. In addition to claiming Harper, the Knicks have given up on third-year guard Kadeem Allen.
Now, as far as the New York Knicks are concerned, the team has been a bit of a dumpster fire in recent years. Criticized by their front office and property, the team hasn’t made the post-season since 2013 and churned out a staggering 21-45 record this season.
Part of the reason for the Knicks’ lack of success in recent years has been their lack of constant impact on the guard position. This is exactly why I think Harper can absolutely have an impact at the NBA level and New York offers him a great opportunity to do it.
Sixth year pro Elfrid Payton has been the team’s point of guard for most of the season, where he averaged 10.0 respectable points, 7.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game.
While Elfrid provides a strong defense and is a great facilitator, his offensive play leaves a lot to be desired and his three-point shot is fairly nonexistent (20.2 percent on 1.5 attempts per game).
On the other hand, Harper threw the ball 35.9 percent from 7.4 attempts in depth per game. It is clear that Harper is not afraid of throwing the ball and for a team ranked penultimate in the ranking by score and last in three points per game, it is clear that the team could use part of what Harper offers.
Behind Payton, the Knicks also have the former Dennis Smith Jr. lottery selection but after the incredibly disappointing season it has had this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t last longer in the Big Apple.
The Knicks, who are expected to have the sixth overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, are likely to draw a guard. They would be stupid not to. Regardless, I firmly believe that Harper has a place in this league and I think he would quickly become a favorite among Knicks fans if he gave the shot.