The Toronto Raptors drafted Jalen Harris out of Nevada with the No. 59 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and they gave the 6’4″ guard a chance with a two-way contract. Except he didn’t give himself a chance — Harris was banned for a year for violation of the NBA’s drug policy (testing positive for a “drug of abuse”).
Harris will get to resume his NBA quest after being reinstated, the NBA and NBPA announced on Tuesday. Here is the official language:
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association today granted the application of Jalen Harris to be reinstated as an NBA player.
Because he was a first-year player, Harris was eligible for reinstatement in only one year (as opposed to two for veterans).
Harris played in 13 games for the Raptors in the COVID-ravaged 2020-21 season, starting two, scoring efficiently for them (63.2 true shooting percentage) and showing promise on catch-and-shoot 3s. Harris might have been in the mix for a roster spot last season in Toronto, but after his NBA suspension played for the Scarborough Shooting Stars of the Canadian Elite Basketball League, where he led the team averaging 19.9 points a game on 41.1% shooting overall and 28.8% from 3.
The Raptors retain his rights but have a full roster and filled both two-way contracts. They could give Harris an Exhibit 10 deal — an invite to training camp and a bonus if he signs with the Raptors’ G-League team — or he could just be headed to the G-League
Harris was an impressive three-level scorer for Nevada — he was outstanding from the midrange — but he had the ball in his hands and was the man in college, so how would he adapt to playing a role? Could he defend at the next level? He showed promise during his two-way season, but the question remained: Can he fit in as an NBA role player?
Now that development can begin at the NBA level.