Andrew Harrison caused mass confusion on the court while playing at Kentucky, he literally had teams seeing double. Magic was not involved; it was more due to the fact that his twin brother, Aaron, shared playing time with him on occasion. After two years of trickery at Kentucky, Andrew Harrison declared for the draft after posting averages of 10.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG and 3.8 APG as a 6’6 point guard.
Draft stock is volatile and hard to predict. This was made harshly true to Harrison when he went from being a consensus lottery pick in 2013 to a bottom of the barrel second round pick in 2015. Having the spotlight on him for an excessive amount of time revealed his flaws and as a result, tanked his stock to rock bottom lows. This must not have been an easy pill for him to swallow, especially when Harrison was once held in the same regard as Wiggins and Parker.
Team after team passed up on Harrison until it came to the 44th turn to select a prospect. The Phoenix Suns weighed their options and decided it was worth a shot to pick Harrison and hope against all odds he can show everyone why he was once seen as a top five pick. Soon after, the Grizzlies felt the desire to add Harrison to their squad and they agreed to a trade to nab him.
Graphic via memphisdailynews
Harrison was expected to make waves throughout the course of the Orlando Summer League. Instead he made tiny ripples in an ocean of talent. He was only able to put together a line of 5.4 PPG, 3 APG and 2 RPG in over 23 minutes per game. These are not the numbers of a player who makes significant impacts in the games they play. These are more like the numbers of a 10th string player who rides the bench their entire career. Harrison also has consistency problems that were highlighted when defenders applied the slightest bits of pressure. He was typically held to mediocre shooting figures and finished with an average of 36%.
On the defensive side of things he didn’t fare all that much better. For a 6’6 point guard many would expect him to be able to terrorize opposing guards due to his sheer frame. In reality things were pretty much the opposite. His frame slowed him down and he just couldn’t react quick enough to stop penetration. He couldn’t even gobble up a steal per game!
The only bright spot in his entire display was his low turnover rate of about 2 per game which displayed his decent levels of basketball IQ.
Fit On The Memphis Grizzlies:
The Grizzlies are a team designed to out-grit the opposing team through tantalizing defensive efforts. How well can a point guard who is lacklustre with defence fit into that system? Not well I’d imagine. Then we have to consider how his lack of offensive prowess can hold back a team that already scores extremely low compared to the rest of the league. Now the cherry on top, the Grizzlies are in contention for a high playoff seed and will definitely not have time to spare on a largely unproven guard in Harrison.
However, if any team can help Harrison specialize at something it’s the Grizzlies. With defensive anchors spewed across the roster, Harrison has the ability to learn from some of the best while being in one of the greater defensive systems league-wide. If he can capitalize and create a name for himself around being a defender who opposing guards are scared to play against, he might be able to carve out a niche role in the league. I would say a ceiling he could possibly aim for would be Patrick Beverley, but that would only be possible with major defensive upgrades!
Graphic via cbssports