Team USA might be lacking in big-name stars for the FIBA World Cup, but players like Brooklyn Nets‘ Joe Harris is making the most of his opportunity in China. His experience overseas will pay dividends to come next season.
It’s not an understatement to say that this current Team USA squad battling for the gold medal in China is the most vulnerable roster in recent years. The group might lack superstar names, but it has allowed others an opportunity to make the most of. Among them is Brooklyn Nets’ sharpshooter Joe Harris.
The reigning three-point champion is heading into the final year of his contract, and the hope is that Harris and the Nets both have mutual feelings that he is a vital part of their long-term future. With the acquisitions of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and DeAndre Jordan among others, Brooklyn’s championship window has never been wider.
Harris averaged 13.7 points on a stellar 47% shooting from beyond the arc last season, attempting around five threes per game (ProBasketballReference). He’ll need to have another strong season in 2019 to secure a long-term deal to stay in Brooklyn. Good news is that he’s getting the best practice overseas, competing for Team USA.
“One of the best games I’ve ever been a part of” – @Original_Turner
“My adrenaline is still pumping” – Joe Harris#USAGotGame #FIBAWC pic.twitter.com/DPCijGDRLW
— NBA (@NBA) September 3, 2019
Getting Buckets Overseas
Team USA scraped by in an overtime victory over Turkey on Tuesday, signaling some concern given that it was a Group Stage matchup. Regardless, Joe Harris came to play and more than held his own in international competition. Then again, with the three-point line shorter overseas compared to the NBA, it’s no surprise that Harris continues to be a threat from deep.
Harris chipped in 11 points and five rebounds on 66% shooting from the three-point line. Team USA just staved off Turkey to the tune of 93-92, banking on last-minute free throws. Having ground out a close win, it’s safe to say that Joe Harris’ sharpshooting came in nicely.
KD Shows Some Love
Harris’ stellar shooting happened to also catch the eye of his new superstar teammate. The Nets’ posted Joe Harris’ performance and Kevin Durant was quick to show his support for his future teammate in Brooklyn. With Harris looking to secure a long-term future playing at Barclay’s Center, it can’t hurt to have the support of the franchise’s newest superstar.
Historically, players that have gone overseas to represent Team USA have seen the work pay off come time for the NBA’s regular season. Nothing is certain in the NBA, but there are high hopes that the same will be said for Joe Harris in 2019. He’ll undoubtedly benefit from his new superstar teammates, but don’t overlook how much his Team USA exposure will pay off as well. Harris is holding his own overseas, it will only be a matter of time before we see the same in Brooklyn next season.