How Well Did the Magic Make out on J.J. Redick Deal?
Not only were the Magic able to clear some salary cap room, but they obtained a player who many raving about as a potential franchise talent in Tobias Harris. Harris entered the NBA draft after just one season at Tennessee, and that choice is one which usually raises flags.
Essentially, one-and-dones are the closest thing we still have to high school guys leaping to the Association, and while Harris had displayed some of his immense scoring talents in the SEC at Tennessee, going from averaging 15.3 points per game in the NCAA to putting up big numbers as a starter in the NBA is a leap pretty tantamount to just coming straight from a major prep school.
Harris played sparingly in Milwaukee. Magic guard Beno Udrih (who was acquired with Harris) said he was just never given a chance there under Scott Skiles. Harris saw just 479 minutes his rookie season, and prior to coming to Orlando he had amassed just 804 minutes in the league.
He’s already managed more than that (816) in just 23 games with the Magic, and he is averaging 16.3 points per game and 8.4 rebounds in blue and white. He’s also making a game changing impact defensively, averaging 1.5 blocks and over a steal per game.
It’s hard not to look at a 6’8″ strong and athletic power forward, a guy who can overpower even rugged power forwards, and not see a similar career path to Carmelo Anthony, who also played just one season at the NCAA level. Anthony led the Syracuse Orange to a national title in his lone NCAA season, so the path was more celebrated, but essentially the underlying premise is this: if a guy can leap into the league at age 19, there’s usually a good reason why.