The New York Knicks should make signing Brooklyn Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris a priority.
The New York Knicks are behind the times on the offensive end of the floor. That discussion has been held ad nauseam over the course of the past five or so seasons, but the only reason for the redundancy is the fact that it continues to ring true.
Thankfully, there’s a pending free agent who possesses a skill set that could help propel the Knicks into the 21st century: Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Joe Harris.
Signing a key player from a rival team has layers to it that can’t be overlooked. Losing Harris would be a devastating blow to a Nets team that has pledged a considerable amount of money to three players—Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan—and will thus have limited cap space.
Losing a player for whom Bird Rights can be utilized would be a setback, even if said player weren’t the caliber of contributor that Harris has become.
As for the Knicks, this is all about addressing the biggest need that the team has on the offensive end of the floor. No, Harris doesn’t project to be a No. 1 scoring option, but RJ Barrett is being groomed to take on that heavy burden.
By signing Harris, the Knicks would be able to address an issue that has plagued it long enough: They simply can’t shoot the three-ball.
New York is currently the only team in the NBA averaging fewer than 10.0 three-point field goals made per game. It’s one thing to rank dead last, but the fact that they’re the one and only franchise below that mark speaks to the Knicks’ dated approach on offense.
New York can still value dribble penetration, midrange shooting, and interior scoring, but it needs to complement those strengths with proficiency from three-point range.
Beyond the volume with which the Knicks have struggled to convert from distance, the efficiency fails to inspire, as well. New York ranks 27th in three-point field goal percentage, burying just 33.7 percent of its attempts.
That simply won’t cut it.
Going all-out on the three-point shot is far from a necessity to succeed in the modern NBA. As such, the suggestion here isn’t to sign any shooter possible this coming summer—especially when one considers how important the 2020 period of free agency could be.
The argument is simply that embracing the value of the shot has proven crucial for surviving the regular season.
Enter Joe Harris.
Harris has emerged as one of the premier three-point shooters of his era. Not only does he convert with volume—150-plus makes in each of the past three seasons, including 2019-20—but he’s remarkably efficient.
In 2019-20, Harris has made 152 three-point field goals on 41.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc—with his starting point guard in and out of the lineup due to injury.
That bodes well for a Knicks team that’s still searching for an answer at point guard. Harris certainly requires an individual who can find him when he fights off of screens and creates an open shot for himself, but he’s going to find a way to shoot no matter what.
Over the course of the past three seasons, Harris has attempted 1,113 three-point field goals. He’s converted 43.6 percent of those attempts.
If the New York Knicks plan to improve in an area of weakness, then stealing sharpshooter Joe Harris from the Brooklyn Nets would be a massive step in the right direction.