Summer League Player Elias Harris Signs Two-Year Deal With Lakers

Rey Moralde —  July 26, 2013

It looks like the Lakers are adding to their roster from their Summer League team. Check out this report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!

I am definitely happy for former Gonzaga Bulldog Elias Harris, who showed great energy throughout that Summer League campaign, doing all the things he was asked to do whether it was some defense, filling in the lanes on the break, getting the boards, and converting the three. Here’s what Darius said about him a few days ago.

“Elias Harris. Harris is rangy power forward who has a good combination of skills offensively with good enough athleticism to compete defensively and on the glass. He was a nice “glue” player for the team and was able to do a lot of the little things that helped the team win games, even if his individual numbers didn’t stand out.

Harris is 6’8″ and 240, according to his profile. He’s a big body and immediately fills the need for a four who can play ahead of second-round draft pick Ryan Kelly. Harris is also 24 years old. He’s probably not going to turn heads but again, a great energy guy that can hopefully help out on both ends. Harris will help fill the big man depth of the Lakers.

Harris averaged 10.2 points and 5.6 rebounds in five games at Las Vegas. He scored 17 points in the Summer League quarterfinals against the Golden State Warriors SL team, which probably clinched this deal with the Lakers.

Congrats to Elias Harris and good luck on his NBA career.

Rey Moralde

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41 responses to Summer League Player Elias Harris Signs Two-Year Deal With Lakers

  1. He can guard lebron,.a great hustle player,brings energy

  2. Didnt really watch this guy play but… I think there are still guys we can add to the team like lamar that would make a huge difference compared to someone who was undrafted.

    Even maggette, jackson, daye … personally I would go for talent but it seems that they are trying to mold.the team into a dantoniesque team except we would be downgraded at almost every position compared to the top suns teams

  3. Rusty Shackleford July 26, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    If nothing else a strong rebounder and can finish at the rim.

    No Lamar. Ain’t nobody got timmmmmmmme for that.

  4. All for upgrading Lakers athleticism with younger players. Its really a win-win. If he is a scrub then the Lakers tank and get a better draft pick in next summers loaded draft. If he’s a diamond in the rough then they have a young role player on a cheap contract.

    Just say no to washed up vets like Lamar, Jackson, magette. Although Austin Daye is intriguing…

  5. smoothaswilkes July 26, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Huh? Harris?

    I’m not sure this was warranted now. I know they aren’t signing LO, too much baggage and, quite frankly, he’s my favorite Laker but he’s a head case now.

    Why not wait until after training camp? And what does this mean for Landry, who I thought would be a better option.

    /scratching head

  6. Warren Wee Lim July 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I liked the deal for Harris. He’s the main example of a no-lose signing. His contract is probably the same as a minimum cap hold next year too so he has every upside of his game to offer. This is a survival type of contract for him and he can actually get a good shot at the Lakers’ need for a rangy forward. I look at him as MWP less the D and more the shooting.

  7. I suspect this has to do with his connection with Gonzaga and Sacre. He would seem to be a known quantity and someone they can bet on on-the-cheap. All this sets them up to fill out the team next year after signing a marquee player or two – or having some experience on hand if they don’t land a big fish and have to wait for 2015.

  8. Warren Wee Lim July 26, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    One thing I noticed about him is while he is dominantly right-handed, he uses his left very well. This skillset should be useful finishing under MDA.

  9. Warren Wee Lim July 26, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    The cost to sign these types of players are the same as the cap holds of minimum roster spots that are placed on cap teams. We’ve never had to fill out our team in this manner coz we’ve never had cap space since forever.

    Elias Harris, like I said, is not something you would tout to be the starting PF to be. But he has game, and just like what we all want, we need the athleticism, the hunger the ability to defend when it comes down to it. I also noticed his range, his back-to-the-basket game which would be useful.

    This is like pick #61 of the draft. He went undrafted and we didn’t have to pay for his slot. If we were choosing skillsets anyways, why not wait out for the fallout of the draft and free agency when all teams have filled up their needs mostly.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ryan Kelly get signed soon, along with Marcus Landry and 1 more guard. CDR has been a favorite of many but I have a feeling we’re picking a ball-handler type for the last/14th roster spot.

  10. Harris is a good selection. Marcus Landry also played well in the Summer League. But Landry turns 28 in November. Harris is 4 years younger and a bit bigger. Also, Harris can play 2 positions–the 3 and the 4. His defense is adequate. His offense and rebounding are solid if unspectacular. Considering that he’s the 13th person on the team (and an end of the bench guy), the signing actually makes good sense.

    The Lakers want to see if they have a diamond-in-the-rough. If not, the investment will have been negligible. They’re rewarding players who played well and with high energy in the Summer League. This makes good sense.

  11. jaycartygoldenwheels July 26, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Good move, mature bit older guy with good game. Nothing wrong with getting younger and more athletic. Hope he’s more than the next Devin Ebanks, wow, did his stock slide in a hurry.

  12. At this point they have 13 so I’d imagine they’ll hold off on any other pickups until training camp. You always want a slot or two open so your own camp invites play a little harder and also in case somebody decent from another team doesn’t make the cut. I like the moves the Lakers have made this summer. They’re signing some wild cards. Could be fun.

  13. Gonzaga kids have great attitude, good work-ethic and solid intangibles. Welcome aboard Harris. Lot of energy guys on the bench – no brainer.

  14. Everyone except Sacre will be playing for the following year’s contract.

  15. Warren Wee Lim July 27, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Again as pointed out this is the 2nd rounder we never had. Only we didn’t have to pay anything to get him, to acquire the rights to draft him. His impact on the payroll is also negligible that’s tantamount to a roster space cap hold.

    We need more of these types – those that teams have no scouting report on that we could pull out from time to time during hard times.

  16. The best case is he`s never needed because of poor play or injuries,and can spend most of the year in the D-league. Needs to work on handle and shot.Like his energy and physical play.

  17. Ditto what kwesi said, and I like the `glue-guy´ factor as well.

  18. Reminds meeof Jared dudley

  19. Harris will be as useful to the Lakers as the royal baby will be to Britain/America… Horray for pointless things!!!!!

  20. Some of the players who make the club this year may not really contribute – much like last year – but I do like the approach that we should retain young, long, and athletic players. The odds are better we can make them into rotation players and we have to start sometime in developing players we can bring along more slowly. This has not exactly been a strength of the Lakers over the last 14 years. Under the new CBA this has to be a greater priority.

    Besides, maximizing average players is one real strength of Mike D’Antoni and his system.

  21. Let’s take a look at what we’re working with at the moment:

    Young – 6’7 .. Johnson – 6’7
    Hill – 6’10 .. Kelly – 6’11 (R) .. Harris – 6’8 (R)
    Pau – 7’0 .. Kaman – 7’0 .. Sacre – 7’0
    Kobe – 6’6 .. Meeks – 6’4
    Nash – 6’3 .. Blake – 6’3 .. Farmar – 6’2

    While I do commend Mitch for doing an admiral job of filling out the roster (on the cheap mind you) after Dwight decided to head to Houston, this team will be hard pressed to make the playoffs. With Kobe on the mend, Pau’s suspect knees, Nash breaking down (plus a year older) and no defensive stalwarts on the team (Johnson and Farmar, imo, have the potential of being the exceptions), I believe that we, along with the Nuggets and Blazers, will be fighting for the last playoff slot out West. The question then becomes is it worth it (with having the priviledge of getting knocked in the 1st round again being the grand prize) or would we be better off wishing for luck within the lottery? Pretty sure that we’ll have a better answer to that question by the A.S. Break.

    Viewing the East, while Brooklyn is receiving all of the attention due the acquisition of KG and Pierce, I really like what Indiana has done to solidify there roster this off season. Of course it had to begin with the re-signing of David West, but the under the radar pick-ups of CJ Watson and Chris Copeland will boost their bench core. The trade for Scola, who, while not what he used to be, will also pay dividends come playoffs. If Granger, who missed basically all of last season, is healthy, that’s the equivalent to adding an All Star caliber player to the squad. If the Heat remain as currently constituted, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Pacers come out of the Eastern Conference next year.

  22. Well, Wesley Johnson and Jordan Farmar are 26, Nick Young is 28, and even Harris is 24, so these are not really super young guys by NBA standards.

    The Lakers’ adds reflect the basic reality that they need to field a roster and play out the schedule, and I also think that Kupchak and Buss are trying to create next year’s bench now (although I think Farmar may well be the starting PG in 2014-15).

    Whether this group of guys is up to it remains to be seen. I am skeptical, although I don’t have any major objections to any of the signings.

  23. Out of necessity under the CBA, our FO is being forced to learn how to rebuild, rather than reload. It’s a good lesson for Mitch & crew. Because of that, I don’t see this season as a total loss.

  24. the other Stephen July 27, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    If we sign Daye, it would mean that five out of the ten players who’ve gone from Gonzaga to the NBA will have adorned the purple and gold. Turiaf, Sacre, and Elias are all bundles of energy–what do they feed these Bulldogs?

  25. Matt Barnes + Jared Dudley = Elias Harris.
    Energy Guy, Good Rebounder for his size, Shoots the occasional 3 and Great BBall IQ.

  26. Well, Wesley Johnson and Jordan Farmar are 26, Nick Young is 28, and even Harris is 24, so these are not really super young guys by NBA standards.
    ________
    Totally true. But after seeing so many greybeards in purple and gold of late, you can’t blame fans for thinking 28 is “young.”

  27. I believe that it’s:

    Matt Barnes + Jared Dudley – talent = Elias Harris

  28. I’ve seen the comparison on several websites, but Jared Dudley shoots over 40% from 3 point land over his career. Not wise to compare them until Harris shows he has at least a reliable shooting form. Shooting is a huge difference maker.

  29. Warren Wee Lim July 27, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I can’t believe the great minds here are criticizing the signing. Its a 2nd rounder you never paid for and its a skillset fit that you are going to use when injuries hit. His contract is small enough to disregard, and will not matter if you are a team thats being held by a cap hold anyway.

    So rather than get a washed up veteran that can’t run or defend to save his life, I like us getting relatively young guys that play for contracts and “see what they can do” …

  30. 26 and 28 is young for a rotation player, probably not a superstar making deep playoff runs every year. Farmar is better equipped to keep up with Jackson, Beverly, Miller, Bayless. Same with Wesley Johnson for backup sg’s. And nick young will make sf work on defense. It’s yet to be seen if they’re going to be game changers, but subtle things helps the team this year. Blake, Ron and Nash couldn’t drive when given an angle, Farmar and Young can.

  31. Nash is in better shape now than much of last year. However, until he shows otherwise, I’m not convinced he should be our starting PG due to his limitations. Like Gary Vitti, I think he’d best serve the Lakers at the 2, sharing spot-up duties with Jodie Meeks. Nash could bolster the second unit like Ginobili does for the Spurs.

  32. I can’t believe the great minds here are criticizing the signing.

    No one is criticizing the signing that I can see. We are just putting it in perspective. Harris is a low-ceiling 24-year-old with limited upside and the other guys (Farmar, Johnson, and Young) are past the age at which they are likely to get any better. You and the other pro-FO guys will calm down a little, I think, when you actually see this team play against teams like Houston and the Clippers.

    Kevin,

    I have said several times that I liked adding Farmar, I was one of the first people here to bring up Wesley Johnson, and they may indeed help the perimeter D. They certainly can’t hurt it, but MDA will need to get past his Steve Blake love and put Farmar on the floor. But one more time: these guys, except maybe for Farmar, who said he would not have taken a minimum deal anywhere else, were available at the minimum for specific reasons–which we are going to see when the games start.

    To make this clear, I don’t think these are bad signings. But I think this team is going to be pretty bad.

  33. Mike D’Antoni is our coach and Steve Nash is our starting PG beginning 2013/14 season. I think we can all take that to the bank. Arguing about it seems a fruitless discussion. Those two go together and they will be together until Steve Nash proves he can’t start. Both from his back’s standpoint and his history, he has earned that right with Mike D’Antoni. Anyone think Kobe should not be starting? Besides, when Steve Nash warms up he has to play, not sit and cool down. His minutes may go way down and Farmar may actually play as many or more minutes – even with Steve Blake taking some minutes – but I don’t believe there are people actually saying they think Steve Nash might not/should not start.

  34. Warren Wee Lim July 28, 2013 at 4:41 am

    rr, I can’t believe you are considering yourself as one of the great minds. JK.

  35. rr, obviously I am more optimistic about the team than you are, but that doesn’t mean I think we can reach the playoffs and gain home court advantage in the first round – if that happens I think everyone will get off Mike D’Antoni’s case.

    This team had to undergo a change, whether or not Dwight Howard left. It is just that his leaving means this is the year we really start this change. With the new CBA, the type of change will be new – and it will not be an easy change for a front office used to emphasizing other things.

    All that being said, those of us who support the front office think the moves are in the right direction and show a possibility for pleasant personnel surprise that wasn’t realistic with past veterans. It is also why we are more likely to support Mike D’Antoni, and his system over the triangle, with its over-reliance on veterans. We can’t afford to add more veterans who are only going to decline, abet slower, in a triangle-like system. A more open system is easier for these younger players to master and the new CBA drives teams toward younger players. Incidentally, the same thing is happening in the NFL – mid-level veteran players are being somewhat squeezed out, or taking minimum deals.

  36. Sigh…this guy will be a non-factor
    The Lakers might become one for awhile too if they are signing guys like this.
    If losing DH12 did not wake up the front office then what?
    When has any big time player ever walked away from the Lakers?
    Time for management to face some harsh reality.
    They did not have a clear plan or vision after Phil.
    The D’Antoni system was a disaster for Lakers roster.
    DH12 sees that the plan in place does not favor his talents and he knows that he will be 100% healthy next season looking to remind all that he is an elite player. Which he is and one that can dominate both sides of the floor…hmmm…the only other guy who can do that is that guy called LeBron. So, now we are reduced to being excited about guys who really are D League caliber players. Hoping to draw talent to the team in 2014 with Kobe dominating the franchise and not willing to play second fiddle to anyone (see DH12). Yeah, I see them lining up for the chance to watch Kobe jack up 30+ shots a game.

    Sorry, cannot pump Sunshine because the harsh reality is this team will not be that good and it might be that way for the next few years. Kobe will probably hang on long enough to get the scoring record but that’s all we our going to be celebrating for awhile Laker Fans.

  37. LordMo: “DH12 sees that the plan in place does not favor his talents”

    Not sure what this means, but HOU runs a similar offense to MDA’s offense, heavy on the pick-and-roll, that D12 was so critical of last season. If he would’ve embraced the style, which the FO brought MDA in to implement, there would have been a different outcome IMO. We all saw how dreadful he was in the post with his back to the basket. I look forward to the new drama in HOU as D12 demands his “touches” in the post. HOU is going nowhere until and unless he accepts his limitations.

  38. Not sure what you were watching last year LordMo. Dwight has very few offensive moves other then the dunk which he refused to utilize when he wouldn’t run pick n rolls. He did league the league in turnovers from center position and missed free throws though. If you think that qualified as elite then I question your understanding of basketball. Lakers will win as many games next year as the did with Dwight and do so without the bad manners as a teammate.

  39. Lakers will win as many games next year as the did with Dwight and do so without the bad manners as a teammate.

    Very doubtful, given the likely decline in the interior D, Kobe’s injury, and the age of the core. With Howard, 45 wins was pretty much the floor. Without him, it is the ceiling.

    I am not in agreement with Craig’s idea that MDA ball is going to catch a new wave of NBA offense and the that the Triangle is out of date. Last year, Memphis was 30th in Pace Factor; Indiana was 25th. Miami was 23rd in Pace. Among the four conference finalists, only San Antonio, at 6th, played at a fast pace. There will be fast-paced contenders this year (Houston, the Clippers) but there is no evidence that a new type of fast-paced basketball is sweeping the NBA. You might have an argument in that SSOL generates a lot of 3s, but Indiana was 25th in 3PA and Memphis was 30th. The game is always changing, but it will always be about elite talent and good coaching. That will never change.

    And, of course, adding old guys/unathletic guys had very little to do with the Triangle. Between the time Phil and the Triangle left, and the day Howard walked, the Lakers added:

    Murphy
    Kapono
    McRoberts
    Sessions
    Hill
    Nash
    Howard
    Meeks
    Jamison

    These moves were all made for specific reasons, but all of them post-dated Phil’s departure and the decision to hire Brown instead of Shaw. But none of those players except, obviously, Howard, is known for either elite athleticism or defense. The Lakers are going in a somewhat new direction simply because the team is not a contender, and, again, the guys they have added are not really that young. Finally, Kaman is exactly the kind of guy they have been adding the last few years, conceding that he is better than Ratfliff/Smith/Murphy/McRoberts.

  40. I’d add that the need for athleticism on the perimeter had becomes so acute based on both the numbers and the eye test, that I think even if they had hired Shaw after the season and he had announced the return of the Triangle, they would have brought in guys along those lines.

  41. Honestly, this is some of the best news I’ve heard in a while.

    What the lakers need to be doing, now more than ever, is searching for young talent. We don’t have enough of any talent, and young is the best kind of talent, the kind that’ll stick around for a while.

    The playoffs? Anyone who thinks we could make them is fooling themselves-even if we did, what would we do? Lose in the first, or maybe by some work of God, the second round?

    This is a sign that Lakers management gets that and is more concerned with future success then with how casual fans will feel short-term.