Raise your hand if you had money on the Mavericks signing three straight point guards AFTER using the 18th pick on one. Yeah, that's none of you guys.
But as little as preparing to sign Devin Harris (3 years, $9 million) initially makes sense, there has to be some rational to it. Here's what I can gather from it so far.
+ First: At 6'3", Harris played quite a bit of shooting guard for Atlanta last season -- splitting his minutes pretty evenly between the 1 and the 2 via 82games.com. Calderon was signed as the starting point guard and will probably average about 27-30 minutes per game this coming season, assuming health (he averaged 29.6 between two teams last year), but Harris can be plugged in behind him and at the two.
+ Will Harris be any good at the 2? While he sported a respectable PER of 16.2 at the point last year, it fell to 13.6 as a shooting guard. His PPG, EFG%, FGA and FTA all fell -- but so did his turnovers -- making it seem like he was just less involved playing that position.
+ The +/- statistics do grade Harris pretty favorably. He was an overall +20 as a point guard, but it jumped to +133 at the 2. From our own Josh Bowe:
For what it's worth, the Atlanta Hawks defense was better when Harris was on the court (101.1 per 100 possessions on, 107.5 off).— Josh Bowe (@Boweman55) July 6, 2013
According to http://t.co/apNiJysHCM, Harris had the Hawks highest net-rating at 7.3 (Off rating 105.2, def rating 97.9). Higher than Horford— Josh Bowe (@Boweman55) July 6, 2013
+ What does this mean for Shane Larkin? If he and Harris can play together (who's the "point guard" or "off-guard" is inconsequential in that lineup, like JJB+Kidd), then there's still room for him to play a role off the bench. However, with Mekel behind him, it also frees up Larkin to be added to a Shawn Marion package that the Mavericks have been trying to use to nab a center.
+ Unfortunately, Harris doesn't help the shooting issue -- 33.5% last year and 31.8% overall. It's too bad the Mavericks didn't trade for one of the best shooters in the league at last year's trade deadline...oh? They did? My bad.
+ This means no more Mike James next year. That's gotta be a plus...right?
+ Final thought: I wouldn't have done this move. It puts the draft on the back burner (yet again), leaving the Mavericks highest pick in forever without a major role to prove himself. If he's traded, that's even worse. Plus, it only worsens the spacing if Marion or, say, Kirilenko is playing the small forward. But there's always reasons why moves are made, and those above are my best guess as to why. I guess this is a good point for a cliche...time will tell.