Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Joe Harris is one step closer to earning a roster spot with Team USA for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Brooklyn Nets fans can take a deep breath after Friday night’s Team USA scrimmage. Joe Harris didn’t go off, but he played well enough to remain in the running for a final roster spot.
Originally on the USA Select Team, Harris was promoted to the main roster after a slew of dropouts. His three-point shooting is his greatest strength and it could be the reason he makes the final roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Following Friday’s scrimmage, Bam Adebayo and Thaddeus Young were cut from the team, per Tim Reynolds of the AP.
It’s going to be a close call for Harris. Although Adebayo and Young were sent home, Derrick White and Marvin Bagley were called up, per Reynolds. That means there are 17 players still vying for 12 roster spots. Marcus Smart and Kyle Lowry are both dealing with injuries at the moment.
In Friday’s scrimmage, Harris finished with five points, two rebounds, and one assist in just under 20 minutes of action. He was 2-for-4 from the field and 1-for-3 from deep. Harris was criticized by Greg Anthony on the broadcast for being a weak defender, but that’s unfair.
Harris is a disciple of Tony Bennett’s pack-line defense at the University of Virginia. He can handle himself on that end of the floor. His bread-and-butter is his three-point stroke, but the idea that he’s strictly a three-point shooter is ridiculous.
Despite the watered-down pool of players, Team USA is still going to be the heavy favorite in the World Cup. Joe Harris still has a very realistic chance of being part of that group.
Team USA will play an exhibition game against Spain Friday, Aug. 16.