Steve Nash and Steve Blake returned for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. Jordan Farmar should be back soon, too.
So, it makes sense the Lakers wouldn’t re-sign Manny Harris. They’ve already signed him to two 10-day contracts, the second of which expires today, and they’d have to re-sign him for the rest of the season to keep him.
Harris might have still helped the Lakers, but with so many guards returning, that’s just too big a commitment to make right now.
In a show of class, the Lakers told Harris of their decision before Tuesday’s game against the Timberwolves. That allowed him and his agent more time to plot his next move.
While that was happening behind the scenes, Harris scored 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds against Minnesota. Arguably, no Laker played better in the game.
Harris, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“Not knowing whether you’re going to stay or you’re going to go, you’re kind of scared to make mistakes,” Harris said. “It’s always better when you know either you’re going to stay or you’re going to leave. It’s always better.”
With Pau Gasol on the trade block, Kobe Bryant’s return on the horizon and an uncommon desire to win for a 16-32 team, the Lakers don’t have a clear path ahead. Harris’ strong game shouldn’t make them re-think their decision. They’re better off filling that vacant roster spot after the trade deadline, once they know their direction.
But if they determine they need a shooting guard capable of scoring efficiently, they should know where to look.