WENATCHEE – Chelan native Joe Harris has a guaranteed roster spot on the Cleveland Cavaliers, playing next to LeBron James.
Harris was drafted 33rd overall in June’s NBA Draft by the Cavaliers. On Tuesday, he signed a two-year deal with the team with a third-year player option. The contract guarantees Harris’ roster spot on the Cavaliers for the next two seasons.
It is not usual for second-round picks to receive guaranteed contracts their rookie season. Harris said he will be making slightly more than the rookie minimum. Under the 2011 NBA collective bargaining agreement, the minimum rookie salary for the 2014-15 season is $507,336.
The Cavaliers have been in the media spotlight since draft night when they selected Andrew Wiggins with the first overall pick and Harris with their second-round selection. They brought prodigal son James back to Ohio from Miami and are now trying to bring Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love to join him.
On Thursday, the Cavaliers announced the signing of Wiggins to a deal that prevents Wiggins from being traded for 30 days.
Now that Wiggins is under contract, the league’s seldom-used 30-day rule is in effect: Under a long-time component of the collective bargaining agreement, any rookie or free agent who signs a contract cannot be traded for the 30 days. The agreement was put into place to prevent teams from circumventing salary cap rules.
Cleveland’s decision to sign Wiggins actually makes it easier to trade him. Before his deal, he had zero value on the salary cap but his contract – worth $5.5 million – could allow the Cavaliers to clear enough room to take on a player like Love, who is sent to earn $15.7 million next season.
Harris said though he has not met or interacted with James, NBA Summer League games feature plenty of questions about the four-time most valuable player.
Harris saw the court a lot in Las Vegas, where he participated in the summer league. He shared the court with Anthony Bennett and Wiggins, the league’s two most recent overall No. 1 picks. Harris scored 7.8 points per game in four starts and shot 40 percent on 3-pointers.