- Sam Wolson/Daily
BY TIM ROHAN
Daily Sports Writer
Published June 27, 2010
The Michigan basketball team may be losing 54 percent of its offense with Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims leaving the program, but neither Harris nor Sims were among the 60 players drafted last Thursday night in the 2010 NBA Draft.
As the Phoenix Suns made the 60th and final selection, Harris was atop ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford's list of best players available. And after the draft, DraftExpress tweeted that Harris was among the top undrafted free agents available. Ford also tweeted that he was “shocked” that Harris hadn't been selected.
Harris left the Wolverines after his junior season in which he averaged 18 points and six rebounds per game. Sims put in a solid senior campaign with 16.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
In Ford’s mock draft released hours before the selections would begin, he projected Harris going No. 52 overall, and picked in the second round by the Boston Celtics. “Harris is a high-scoring combo guard who, based on talent, is probably a first-round pick,” Ford wrote.
Following the draft, Harris and Sims signed contracts to play in the NBA's Summer League.
On Saturday, Harris announced on Twitter his plans to play on the Cleveland Cavaliers Summer League team, which plays in the Las Vegas Summer League and runs July 9-18. Sims tweeted as well, saying he's signed a summer contract with the Boston Celtics, which plays in Orlando's Summer League and runs in early July.
The Celtics and Cavaliers may be appropriate selections for Sims and Harris to choose to stick with NBA teams. It was reported on draft night that Boston forward Rasheed Wallace will retire before next season, opening up potential space for a big man to make the team. But the Celtics drafted Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody in the second round of the draft.
The Cavaliers, on the other hand, already have guards Delonte West, Mo Williams, Daniel Gibson and Anthony Parker in Harris’ way. But with the uncertainty surrounding LeBron James’ decision on whether he'll return to Cleveland next season, the team could see upheaval in its roster and a potential need for cheap talented players.
With the coming and going of the NBA Draft and yet no certainty in the futures of Harris and Sims, things might be more clear after the handful of summer games are played next month. Despite not being selected, there’s still a chance the two can make an NBA roster.
Last year Marquette senior guard Wesley Matthews went undrafted but made an impression in summer league play. Matthews played in all 82 regular season games, started 48 of them and averaged 9.4 points per game for the Utah Jazz.
As for Harris, when he announced his intentions to forego his senior season back in March, he told reporters that he would play in the NBA Development League or in Europe if those were his only options.
“If that came up, and it’s like I had to do it, then definitely, because I love playing basketball,” Harris said. “Whatever route I have to take to get there, that’s my final destination, is to be in the NBA, whatever route it is.”