Michigan Basketball: Manny Harris, DeShawn Sims and the NBA Draft

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Posted at 8:00am — 6/28/2010

Michigan Basketball: Manny Harris, DeShawn Sims and the NBA Draft

Hope is on the Way

At the time of this article, DeShawn Sims has signed as a free agent and Manny Harris has not.

All is not lost for Manny Harris. Many teams and many players that go undrafted in the NBA Draft are happier being a free agent and not being drafted late in the second round. This gives the player more flexibility in seeking out teams that best fit his playing style, instead of being drafted by a team stocked with veteran contracts and no openings, or a team that just does not fit the player’s style. The NFL is similar in that a player just missing out at the end of the seventh round can seek out interested teams and might be in a better position to make a roster.

It will be argued that Manny made a big mistake, but the argument is meaningless since it became rather obvious Manny did not really want to return to school. So, now the future can still hold many options, including playing his butt off in summer camp to get a free agent contract, or signing soon, or playing overseas (which does offer good money).

Manny has pluses and minuses that NBA scouts looked at, apparently from a more minus angle. He is a superb athlete, one that can get up the floor easily, and loves freelance basketball, albeit sometimes the freelancing was unsuccessful. Manny is a very quick jumper and as such could be a good rebounding #2 guard or #3 fill-in.

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Likely, NBA scouts saw an inability to finish at the rim, missing layups and not finishing three-point plays on some good drives to the hole. A lack of consistency may have played a part in the decision, as well as average defense. Manny’s range beyond 18 feet was hit or miss, and he seemed to be the type of player who could score very little one half but yet carry a team in the other half.

Manny’s best bet might be to go to a running team that runs few sets and places a value on having athletic guards that can supply about ten minutes of relief to a starter and run the opponent to exhaustion.

The number two position appears to be a cinch at the next level, wherever that may be, but the number two must be a great shooter and that has yet to happen.

DeShawn Sims has been confirmed as having signed a free agent contract with the Boston Celtics. DeShawn has decent size, can run the floor well, is an adequate rebounder at the NBA level and has the ability to hit shots outside of fifteen feet. DeShawn cannot afford to get pushed around in rookie league or Celtic scrimmages. Likely, Ainge and Rivers will be closely monitoring his toughness and physicality, since the Celtics teach and demand defensive intensity.

From this point of view there are more positives than negatives regarding DeShawn signing with the Celtics. First off, the young inside players of the Celtics, excepting the Big Baby, have demonstrated marginal contributions the last few years. Secondly, there is a need for some speed with the inside players. Third, the Celtics are aging and a domino or two will shortly fall off the roster. So, the Celtics appear to be a reasonable shot for DeShawn making an NBA roster. If he is cut late by the Celtics others will at least show some interest in the future.

DeShawn will get his chance to play in the NBA, and for one of the premier franchises in all of sports. Manny will certainly get a shot as well, even if this chance involves only summer league participation as the main ingredient for future opportunity. Summer league does not run set plays or spend hours on fundamentals, but instead rewards survival and athleticism. This may be an advantage for Manny.

Both players are deserving of an opportunity and our site wishes the best for Manny and DeShawn. With minor exceptions both have represented the University of Michigan Basketball very well.

Written by GBMW Staff

Go Blue — Wear Maize!