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NBA Draft 2014 Scouting Profile: Gary Harris

Michigan State's Gary Harris is the classes top shooting guard prospect thanks to his excellent defense and solid shooting range. Would the undersized Harris fit in well with Sacramento?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Harris

NBA Position: SG

General Information: 19 year old sophomore, played at Michigan State. From Indianapolis, Indiana.

Measurables: 6'4", 205 lbs, 6'6.75" wingspan, 8'0" standing reach

2013-14 Season Statistics: 16.7 PPG, 4 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.8 SPG, 1.7 TPG (32.3 Minutes per contest) - 42.9% FG, 81% FT, 35.2% 3P, 56.1% TSP

Summary: Harris is an all-around excellent prospect, with a good shooting ability, solid passing instincts and effective, tenacious defense. He lacks the size of prototypical NBA shooting guards and needs to work on his shot selection, but he's one of the safer late-lottery prospects due to his solid skill set.

Offensive Breakdown: Harris has a nice foundation offensively, with solid three-point range and the confidence and foot speed to attack the basket. Nothing in his offense is fully NBA ready at this point, amd I don't think that he'll ever be a player Coaches stress over stopping, but given a year or two he'll become a capable scorer and a solid role-playing shooter at worst.

Tom Izzo directed an offense that took over 20 threes a game, and Harris was their primary weapon (along with Adreian Payne) for the long ball. More than half of his shots (50.5% to be exact) where from three. He did have some serious cold stretches during the earlier parts of the season and became way too enamored with the three - in a six game stretch in November, he went 16 of 54 (29.6%). For a player who took so many threes, a 35% clip is concerning.

While he needs to continue to work on his long-ball, he also did show a solid mid-range game (he made 42.5% of his two-point jumpers). He gets good separation from his defenders, which is excellent to see considering his limited size. He's also an undervalued passer and can play some minutes at the point, though not for a long period. He's an unselfish player who looked to keep his teammates involved; he had a 16.8% assist rate and a 1.5/1 assist to turnover ratio, both of which aren't bad for a shooting guard.

Defensive Breakdown: Playing under Tom Izzo did wonders for Harris. He's an excellent fundamental defender, reads the offense well and knows how to keep bigger and faster guards in front of him. His defensive footwork is exceptional-watch the video below of Harris matching up against Michigan's Nik Stauskas. Harris didn't have the best success against Stauskas, but you can see he makes life difficult even for a bigger guard (Stauskas is 6'7, Harris is 6'4) with his timing and instincts.

He needs to add muscle, and facing NBA shoot guards who will almost always be bigger than him, it'll be interesting to see if he learns to play opponents a little tighter than he did in college. But one of his best defensive weapons-his quick hands-will transfer immediately, even if he isn't facing as many sloppy ball handlers. He had a steal rate of 3.4%, and stole the ball 1.8 times a contest.

Harris is a solid rebounder, grabbing 4 boards a contest and finishing with a rebounding rate of 10.2%; he won't be able to outmuscle and outwork as many opponents for rebounds in the NBA, but the effort is there.

Intangibles: Watching Harris defensively shows all you need to know about him as a worker-he plays hard and does the little things to help his team win.  His height is concerning, and he's doesn't have above-average foot speed or verticality, but he makes up for it with his good court awareness and grit.

He was asked to do a lot offensively for the Spartans last year, and his efficiency went down because of it; he dropped from 45.6% shooting his freshman year to 42.9% his sophomore year, and from 41.1% on threes to 35.2%. He's only 20, so his offense still has plenty of time to develop, but he's more NBA ready as a defender (even given his height disadvantages) then he is as a scorer.

Fit with Sacramento: Every team needs a wing player like Harris; he can do a bit of everything, has solid offensive potential and is a tough, smart defender. He might not have the potential that some in his draft range possess (James Young, Dario Saric, Rodney Hood or Zach LaVine), but he's a safer selection then any of those four besides Saric.

His size will be a bigger issue in the NBA, but he'd still fit well in Sacramento. He'd give Coach Mike Malone a true defensive minded player, and with his consistent range he'd help spread the floor. He might be as NBA ready as Ben McLemore is at this moment. I'm not sure the Kings would take him at No. 8 over whoever falls (be it Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon or Julius Randle), but he's a great target if the front office decides to move back in the draft.

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