After the slew of front office moves that have been announced over the past few months, the New York Knicks switched it up on Thursday with some roster news, per Shams Charania of The Athletic:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 25, 2020
Jared Harper is a guard who went undrafted last year. He was signed to a two-way contract by the Phoenix Suns and spent most of this season playing for their G-League affiliate, the Northern Arizona Suns.
Harper may only stand at 5’10” and 175 lbs, but that hasn’t stopped him from putting up great numbers. In 33 G-League games, all of them starts, he averaged about 21 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds and 1 steal per game while shooting over 41 percent from the field and 36 percent from three. Harper was called up but only played in three games for Phoenix before the league was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of the NBA suspension and G-League season shutdown from the coronavirus, Harper was waived by the Suns back in March, but teams weren’t able to claim him until the league’s transaction window opened on June 23.
In college, Harper had a very productive three-year run at Auburn with career averages of 13.5 points, 4.8 assists, and 1.2 steals. He shot 38.4 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from three. Harper was named Second Team All-SEC twice and lead Auburn to a Final Four appearance in 2019, where he was named the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player for his performance. Harper also became the third player in Auburn history to score at least 1,000 points and 500 assists.
In order to make room for Harper, the Knicks needed to get rid of one of their two-way contracts, so they released guard Kadeem Allen who had been with New York since 2018. Harper now replaces Allen alongside forward Kenny Wooten as the Knicks two players on two-way contracts. In 29 games for the Knicks over the past 2 seasons, Allen averaged 8.2 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.1 rebounds, but spent most of his time in the G-League with the Westchester Knicks.
This marks the first roster move made under new Knicks president Leon Rose. After spending the last few months piecing together what his front office will look like, Rose took a break from that and turned his attention to the roster. Over the course of the next few months, Rose and his team will be deciding on a new head coach from their growing list of candidates and preparing themselves for both the draft and free agency.