The Knicks wasted no time taking advantage of the NBA window to sign players in late June claiming Jared Harper’s waivers. Auburn’s former posting was lifted by the Phoenix Suns on the same day the NBA suspended the game due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Claiming Harper, the Knicks were able to retain his limited free agent rights as a player who has less than three years of league service.
Harper was a two-way player for the Suns, playing 33 games in the G-League this season, where he often made the reels with an average of 20.8 points and 5.7 assists per game.
The Knicks hope that this low-cost candidate will turn lightning into a bottle.
“If Jared were an elder, he would have absolutely been drafted in the first round this year,” said his former coach Bruce Pearl in the New York Post. “[The Knicks] are getting a talent in the first round.”
What Harper lacks in size compensates for the swiftness in strength. Watching a movie of him in the past week is surprising how constantly he finds a way to beat his defender on the first step of the basket. He is not afraid to shoot three from beyond the arc, forcing opponents to stay close to him, which gives him the advantage of using his speed to drive.
Harper is an ideal example of a player who could benefit from a potential tournament in Chicago to showcase his skills and convince the Knicks front office and new manager who deserves a place on the roster next season, perhaps even beyond a two-way affair.