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Wizards sign Harris to 10-day contract

The Wizards announced today that forward Mike Harris has been signed to a 10-day contract. Harris is filling the roster spot left open when Josh Howard's season was ended this week by a torn the ACL in his left knee.

From the official news release:

Harris (6-6, 235 lbs.) averaged 26.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in 28 games (25 starts) for the NBA D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers prior to becoming the 15th ... call-up this season. This is Harris' second call-up of 2009-10, as he previously averaged 2.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in two games played with the Houston Rockets. Harris has averaged 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 19 career NBA games (all with Houston).
After leaving Rice University as the school's all-time leading scorer (2,014 points) and rebounder (1,111 rebounds), Harris has also played professionally for BC Kyiv of the Ukrainian Super League (2005-06), the Colorado 14ers of the NBA D-League (2006-07), and the Dongguan New Century Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association (2007-08).

By Alexa Steele  |  February 24, 2010; 12:13 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards reach buyout deal with Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Comments

Danny Ferry will win GM of the year.

Where will Ernie end up on that list?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | February 24, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Zach Randolph dropped 20/10s for 5 or 6 years on crap teams, but no one thought of him as "LEGIT" until he proved he could produce in a winning situation without all of the knuckleheaded behavior and wasn't content just to get his. And even now, it's hardly a consensus.

I don't see why Blatche should get any more consideration than Z-Bo did.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2010 12:12 PM

Sounds like he is the same player on the floor, but since the team is winning, suddenly his stats are legit whereas before they werent. Hmmm.

But yeah, the knucklehead behavior was Randoph's biggest issue, something that AB is (hopefully) well past

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"Sounds like he is the same player on the floor, but since the team is winning, suddenly his stats are legit whereas before they werent. Hmmm."

Hmmm . . . nope.

If all you're talking about is stats, then you don't really have much of a point. I'm pretty sure no one was questioning Blatche's ability to put up numbers if he got the PT. We' knew he could do that; we've seen it. In fact, it was that very knowledge of his ability that's been the root cause of most people's disappointment in/frustration with him. I'm not talking about the legitimacy of stats, I'm talking about the legitimacy of players.

Plenty of guys put up big stats in situations when it doesn't really mean much. But often, when asked to replicate that production in a situation where something is really at stake, they prove themselves to be frauds. After fewer than a half dozen games, it's way too soon to unilaterally declare Blatche the real deal.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

actually i'm talking about Randolph whom you said always put up the numbers but wasnt considered legit. But now that he's on a winning team, he's validated.

chicken egg thing?

at any rate, blatche is currently putting up numbers on a winning team (3 of 4!). So I'll go the optimist route and consider him legit until his performance and/or the team's record shows otherwise

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

How much is the contract worth? I'm always interested about how much a player makes on a ten day stint..

Posted by: bigtriumverate | February 24, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

My impression is that Blatche really is a better player this year, it's not just about opportunity. I think the mental game is probably coming together for him, along with him preparing better and taking better care of his body (including diet).

Posted by: jimwest20 | February 24, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I see Jamison had 18 points on 7 of 14 FGs and 1 of 4 from the arc. Six boards, two assists, two steals, no turnovers in 37 minutes. More importantly, he seemed to play better with the other children.

This is the sort of trade that might even make the team a little less successful in the regular season but could pay off in the playoffs. We'll see.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 24, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Jamison has already had to adjust his game, so has Caron. I think they are recognizing that they were not playing at the intensity level here that they will need with other teams. If an athlete does not have more want than his skill level he will be a bust.

Posted by: jtrob_1 | February 24, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Caron's strug-guh-ling, though. Last I looked, he was shooting 37% from the field since the trade to Dallas.

Posted by: and_1 | February 24, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I don't follow the GMs all that closely, but it seems to me whoever is GM of the Thunder should be in the running for "GM of the Year." There's a front office that got lucky by having Greg Oden go #1 and getting Durant #2, and patiently and deliberately putting some smart pieces around him.

Posted by: jweber1 | February 24, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Comparing Z. Randolph and Blatche is a fail. Randolph is infamous for his total indifference to playing defense. Blatche, in contrast, is a good on-ball defender and also gets some weak-side blocks and deflections. He seems to have reduced the number of touch fouls as well, which enables him to stay on the floor longer.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | February 24, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"actually i'm talking about Randolph whom you said always put up the numbers but wasnt considered legit. But now that he's on a winning team, he's validated.

chicken egg thing?

at any rate, blatche is currently putting up numbers on a winning team (3 of 4!). So I'll go the optimist route and consider him legit until his performance and/or the team's record shows otherwise"

Posted by: divi3

No, I think in years past, Randolph was always seen as a player who would get his numbers regardless of how the team needed him to play, and gave little effort on defense.

But in pieces I've seen on his play this year, they've indicated that he's made more of an effort to work his game into the team concept, he came into camp in better shape, etc. So I don't think it's just that winning has validated his stats, I think that he's changed to help the team win, but is still getting his stats. I think one stat that shows he's changed his game is that his three pointers attempted are way down this year.

Blatche has said all of the right things since the trade and seems to have taken it upon himself to be a more mature player and more of a leader. If that means that he takes some of the silly things out of his game and gives consistent effort on both ends regardless of whether his jumper is falling, then I think you can start to say he's legit.

What I have seen of Blatche up until the trade was a kid who had a ton of talent who tried to do too much, sometimes in lieu of just making the smart play. I keep citing it, but stuff like the between-the-legs dribble in the lane, or the ill-advised pass attempt, or the spinning 15 ft fadeaway. Since the trade, I have seen less of that, which is a good thing. What we have seen more of is actually some nice moves around the basket, like the real nice up-and-under move he has been showing. Although when he kept trying to lead the break the other night, I kept thinking, maybe give the rock up to the guards and be a finisher on the break.

What will ultimately determine his legitimacy is how he acts going forward. He is going to start getting a lot more defensive attention and we'll have to see how he deals with it. Does he try to force things to keep his stats up, or does he keep the ball moving and work for better position? If has a 3-14 shooting night (inevitable for any player) does he still work hard on the boards and on D? So far, he has answered the first question we all had...can he bring it every night? So far he has. Hopefully he can keep doing that going forward.

Posted by: ts35 | February 24, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Major dilemma! USA vs. Russia or Wiz basketball?!! ;(

Posted by: rachel216 | February 24, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Oops I meant Canada vs. Russia..

Posted by: rachel216 | February 24, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"What we have seen more of is actually some nice moves around the basket, like the real nice up-and-under move he has been showing...He is going to start getting a lot more defensive attention and we'll have to see how he deals with it."

Posted by: ts35 | February 24, 2010 2:22 PM

That's actually why I'm all aboard the Dray Train right now. It seems to have clicked in his head that at 6'11" with soft hands and agile feet- he can get lots of point blank lay-ins in traffic, so long as he stays in the paint. He's also hitting that semi-fadeaway at a high clip, another shot that is bread-and-butter in the paint.

Randolph and Gasul tonight, JM/AB are going to have to bring their A games cause you know Mayo and Gay are gonna kill us.

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Mike Harris is probably a good choice now. I do think in addition they should also try a point guard who is good at assists with a good assist/turnover ratio. The two existing point guards (I am not including Mike James who may be gone soon) probably will not last the rest of the year healthy. Good luck Wizards! It is fun to watch again!

In addition to Mike Harris, Will Conroy is a point guard with a good assist/turnover ratio (3.19) that should be given a chance. Will played with Mike Harris at Rio Grand Valley in the D-League. He has 14.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 9.4 APG, and an Efficiency of 22.

Posted by: JoeC2 | February 24, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, too bad.

I guess this ruins the team's chemistry? Err, no.

Playoff potential? Err, no.

Cap situation? Err, no.

Player rotation? Err, no.

Hmmm...trying to figure out how this unfortunate injury creates a predicament for the Wiz...

Posted by: p1funk | February 23, 2010 10:38 PM

The exact same thing could be said about Mike Miller.


Posted by: divi3 | February 23, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse


Yes it could, and if Miller went down with a season-ending injury I would respond the same way.

Seriously, does the Howard injury "ruin the season" or something?

The Wiz should be giving minutes to guys that actually have a shot of being here next season - that does not really include Howard

Posted by: p1funk | February 24, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

p1funk:

Good point re; minutes and guys already in house for next season. You get NO argument from me.

However, my observation has been that unfortunately the WIZ owners and management don't always do what's best for the team.

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 24, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

On the issues of puting numbers that translate to win, Ab is doing it now.I am not expecting significant wins this season.My evaluation on AB is not numbers or win.AB is a diffrent player for a while,when he get the opportunity he put numbers,so far he is taking high percentage shoots if he try to take more when he is hot it is fine but i expect him to balance his game and try to be a true team player,he should not take anything from AJ except the attitude of being a professional.

Posted by: gtefferra | February 24, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Here's some comments by Bill Simmons of ESPN

So I ask you again ... why should we care?

For instance, let's say you root for the Wizards like my buddy House. Over the last two years, House watched his team overpay Arenas ($111 million; nobody else could have offered more than $85 million at the time) and Antawn Jamison (a $41 million extension for someone about to reach his mid-30s) in a bizarre attempt to keep together the nucleus of a noncontender. Those contracts forced the Wiz to package the No. 5 pick in the 2009 draft, along with a couple of lousy contracts, for immediate help (Randy Foye and Mike Miller). When that move backfired and Arenas went child actor on us, the team called an audible and dealt three of its four best players (Jamison, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood) for expiring contracts and the No. 30 pick in the 2010 draft.

Three unintentionally funny outcomes here. First, Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld was the one who overpaid everybody, then had to sacrifice Butler and a 2009 lottery pick just to undo his own horrendous mistakes. Basically, he created the same cap space that could have been attained two summers ago, only Washington fans lost a lottery pick in the process. Did he get fired for this? Of course not.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/100224

Posted by: bullets_0000 | February 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"actually i'm talking about Randolph whom you said always put up the numbers but wasnt considered legit. But now that he's on a winning team, he's validated."

Not quite. You said:

"Sounds like he is the same player on the floor, but since the team is winning, suddenly his stats are legit whereas before they werent. Hmmm."

I wasn't talking about his stats. He was a legit 20/10 guy even when he was black hole-ing his teams into the lottery. As I said, I was talking about the legitimacy of his value as a player. Stats are what stats are, which is part of the puzzle but not the whole thing, because as we all (should) know, not every 20 point scorer is created equal. Blatche is getting more PT and, as a result, putting up nice looking numbers. Good for him, but not exactly a shock or cause for a coronation. If he can do the same in a similarly-sized role on a structured team team that's really built to compete (as opposed to this patchwork streetball squad the Wiz have now) then I'll give him props. Until then, he's just another guy filling the stat sheet on the express elevator to the basement.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

bullets_0000:

Interesting tirade by SIMMONS. I excerpted one salient comment in the monologue, to wit:

"That's where the illusion of regret comes in. A noncontender needs to convince its fans every spring, You better lock down another year of your seats, because if you don't, you're gonna miss out when we kick ass and make the playoffs and it's going to be impossible to get good seats and you'll be jealous! Hell, look at me. I want to break up with the Clippers ... but what if they get LeBron and I miss out? I would regret it. Every minute. Every day."

My thought which came immediately to mind was, "You need to kick that habit[the NBA] that's monkeying your back."

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 24, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Bill Simmons is among one the worst in the biz. Amazing he had the restraint not to throw in half a dozen '80s references in those 2 paragraphs.

Posted by: IrenePollin | February 24, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Looks like this team will pay only $2M of the roughly $4M left on Big Z's contract, according to Bucher on ESPN:
We told you earlier today that progress had been made with Zydrunas Ilgauskas' buyout with the Wizards.

ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher checks in with the latest on the situation, and here's what he has:

Ilgauskas' buyout with the Wizards is merely waiting for his signature, a source says. Indications from sources close to the situation is that it will cost him $1-$2 million of his $11 million salary to return to the open market rather than finish out the season in the nation's capitol.

So what happens once the buyout is official? Ilgauskas will be waived by the Wizards, at which point any team with enough room under the cap to take his full $11 million salary can pick him up. (Buyout doesn't benefit anyone other than the Wizards, who can slice the buyout amount from their salary-cap total.)

No team will pick him up because none have anything anywhere near that room. Thus, after 48 hours, the waiver period will expire and he will be free to sign with any team he chooses -- except the Cavs. League rules require him to wait 30 days from the day he was traded to re-sign with them. Both Atlanta and Denver, sources say, would love to pick him up but the general belief is that he will wait the 30 days and re-join Cleveland.

It's an understandable belief -- Ilgauskas is a devoted family man who has spent his entire career in Cleveland, a franchise that is as close to winning a ring as it's ever been. What, he's going to set up shop some place else now for a couple of months? Yeah, right. All that, though, isn't enough for the league to prove that some pre-existing deal was struck with Ilgauskas to return to Cleveland before he was traded, in which case commissioner David Stern would not allow him to re-sign.

The only way that is proved is if someone directly involved confesses that a deal was struck, which is not likely to happen. Ilgauskas, a source says, only spent a few hours in Washington, D.C., after the trade before returning to Cleveland. Where he will hang until March 18. Then he'll re-sign with the Cavs and appear at a press conference to talk about how he considered his options but at the end of the day wasn't ready to move his family or felt an obligation to finish what the Cavs have started. Or something like that.

Posted by: -CN- | February 24, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Not that Howard was likely to be part of the team long-term future, but he was the obvious go to guy at the end of games and was providing on court leadership. I wonder how much the loss of him for the season will impact some of the younger players like AB, Thornton, and Foye who will have to carry an even larger load on a nightly basis.

I'd have liked to see the Wiz evaluate Howard for the last 30 games of the season and then determine if they should try to resign him at a lower price tag. Now with a serious knee injury it's unlikely they would even consider a one-year deal for him. I personally thought Howard just needed a change of scenery like Caron to be more productive. I'll be surprised if the team can continue to win many games without Howard in the lineup.

Posted by: wizfan89 | February 24, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I think they should change the rule to allow teams in include discussion of a post-trade buyout as part of the original trade negotiations. If the Wiz had been able to use it as an above-board lever when they were putting the deal together, they might have pried some additional assets out of the Cavs.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 24, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Since the Wizards need bodies, where is this Skinner dude(you know... the journeyman with the hideous scruffy orange/yellow goatee) the Wizards got in the trade? The Wizards could use his brute and 5 or 6 fouls per game. Maybe the Wizards could keep Ilgaskus, he would make a good practice dummy. Just don't play him in real game, because that flat footed jump shooting stiff of a center would slow everything down.

Posted by: Theone9 | February 24, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Harris should fit in well with the defensive style that Flip is playing.
He is another guy in the vein of Ross and Singleton, he's going to try and hustle his way into the league. Always quick and rugged he's expanded his range on offense.

Like Roger Mason when he caught on here, he could be a guy that can make an NBA roster because he carves out a role. From seeing him in his time at Houston, he will defend and he's coachable.

p1funk, Howard's injury might have actually increased the chances of him resigning here. I don't see him getting any where near the 11m his option calls for, here or anywhere else.

Oh, Kal, Kal, Kal,
In my time I seen some damned good ball played on the streets, lots of guys really know how to play the game out there. The basics aren't hard to learn on the fly, a pick and roll is not rocket science. Neither is defending it, just take a willingness to get after it.

But if you're going to call hustling on defense, rotating to help, hitting the boards on both ends, and moving the ball to an open man, streetball.

Then I'd rather watch this group play streetball then what we've been watching the last two years. The team had gotten stale and it was time to shake things up, so the coach can coach.

That's the difference, he's doing it on the fly, but Flip's got a group that will let him coach now. Sometimes you got to strip it all down to the basics and then start to build it back up again.

My bet is Flip has this team in the playoffs next year...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | February 24, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Major dilemma! USA vs. Russia or Wiz basketball?!! ;(

*******************************************Oops I meant Canada vs. Russia..

Posted by: rachel216 | February 24, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Aaah the DVR, one of the greatest inventions of recent years . . . . I say watch Ovie and Semin vs. Sid the Kid et. al. and tivo and watch the Wizards during the between-period breaks instead of that idiot Millbury. Having grown up during the cold war, I never thought I'd be rooting for the Russians in anything against Canada, but the 3 Caps on the Russian team (along with the ending of said cold war) have changed all that.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 24, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"Mayo has fared even better -- 26.3 points in three straight wins versus Washington for his best career average against one opponent."

Flip should stick NY on OJ Mayo, let him earn his minutes on the defensive end where we've seen him show real ability. It's a tough call given Miller's "glue" factor, but if Mayo starts lighting us up hopefully Flip isnt afraid to make the switch.

If Boykins and Foye end up as the backcourt at any point, Flip should be fired on the spot.

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

will also be fun to watch how AB handles Snacks Randolph (as lilhollywood says). Obviously against AJ, it was just a scoring duel. But AB has some length on Randolph, hopefully he will use it on both ends.

And if there are nights Javale is going to get ragdolled, this would probably be one with both randolph and Gasul being wide bodies

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

i guess wizards might have a new coach next game..haha...flip will have them both out there at some point for some strange reason, you can count on it. hopefully while mayo is getting his 2 minutes of rest and no more.

Posted by: joerutgens72 | February 24, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Since the Wizards need bodies, where is this Skinner dude(you know... the journeyman with the hideous scruffy orange/yellow goatee) the Wizards got in the trade?

Posted by: Theone9

The final deal never included Skinner.

Posted by: ts35 | February 24, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Flip should stick NY on OJ Mayo, let him earn his minutes on the defensive end

will also be fun to watch how AB handles Snacks Randolph (as lilhollywood says). Obviously against AJ, it was just a scoring duel. But AB has some length on Randolph, hopefully he will use it on both ends.

And if there are nights Javale is going to get ragdolled, this would probably be one with both randolph and Gasul being wide bodies

Posted by: divi3

NY should get some minutes on Mayo, but I suspect Ross will see more of that duty, more of a defensive rep and he shot the ball well against the Bulls. Mayo's the kind of guy where we will miss Howard's length, athleticism and defensive skills.

AB / JM will definitely get pushed around, so I expect to see more of the Fab show. But while AB and JM are in there, the Wiz should push the ball hard even after made baskets (you know, like the Bulls did to us). No way Gasol can run with McGee. They both also need to focus on not picking up cheap fouls against those two.

Posted by: ts35 | February 24, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

maybe ernie makes the top GM of a year list if we miraculously make the playoffs

Posted by: destewar | February 24, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

yeah, the cheap fouls could doom us. Nobody on our squad will get any calls.

agree 100%, gasul and randolph are both 260+, run them into the ground!

Posted by: divi3 | February 24, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

@divi3
'preciate tha Snacks Randolf reference. Hope tha Juiceman doesn't kill like he did vs. the Lakers. I think we sneed to worry about Rudy if MM is guarding him, Rudy isn't a great offensive player, but he has tons of athleticism and could end up giving MM trouble.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | February 24, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

AB made it point to step up this year. Changed his regimen then things got mired in the Gil-JC situation but now is finally seizing the opportunity. His offensive skills have made crazy mad leaps this year. I hope he keeps it up.

Posted by: richs91 | February 24, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

maybe ernie makes the top GM of a year list if we miraculously make the playoffs

Posted by: destewar


I've been an EG apologist for many years now, but no way should he get GM of the year for blowing up his own creation. That's like making Toyota the carmaker of the year for fixing their deathtrap gas pedals.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | February 24, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

AB made it point to step up this year. Changed his regimen then things got mired in the Gil-JC situation but now is finally seizing the opportunity. His offensive skills have made crazy mad leaps this year. I hope he keeps it up.

Posted by: richs91 | February 24, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse


Did this man just say crazy mad leaps? BET is destroying society man...I swear

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 24, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

There was excitement in D.C. until Josh went down but the traded guys came with heart, energy and a know-how attitude to win, unlike Jamison and Butler, who are followers. I am glad to see the BIG MONEY GUYS go because we were being cheated game after game and Gilbert is still a big time baller. This time could be dangerous next year and I am glad that slow poked Z is taking the money and slowly ease on elsewhere.

Posted by: gman54 | February 25, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

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