Knicks who could benefit from second bubble: Jared Harper
The Knicks didn’t waste time in taking advantage of the NBA window to sign players at the end of June by claiming point guard Jared Harper off waivers. The former Auburn stand-out was waived by the Phoenix Suns on the same day the NBA suspended play due to the coronavirus pandemic.
By claiming Harper, the Knicks were able to retain his restricted free agent rights as a player who has less than three years of service in the league.
Harper was a two-way player for the Suns, playing 33 games in the G-League this season, where he often made the highlight reels averaging 20.8 points and 5.7 assists per game.
The Knicks are hoping this buy-low candidate turns into lightning in a bottle.
"“If Jared was a senior he would’ve absolutely, without question, been drafted in the first round this year,” his former coach Bruce Pearl told the New York Post. “[The Knicks are] getting a first-round talent.”"
What Harper lacks in size, he makes up for in quickness in strength. Watching film of him over the past week, it’s amazing how consistently he finds a way to beat his defender on the first step to the hoop. He isn’t afraid to shoot threes from deep beyond the arc, forcing opponents to stay close to him, which gives him the advantage of using his quickness to drive.
Harper is an ideal example of a player who could benefit from a potential tournament in Chicago to show off his skills and convince the Knicks front office and new coach that he deserves a spot on the roster next season, perhaps even beyond a two-way deal.