On August 14, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Elias Harris to a multi-year deal. Harris played with the Lakers Las Vegas Summer League team, and was one of the players who stood out. Harris has the ability to play both the small forward, and the stretch four role in Mike D’Anotni’s system if he continues to work on his jump shot. Here’s what Mark Madsen had to say about that:
“ I think right now his best position is the three. To guard twos at the NBA level, there’s still a learning curve there, but he does have the capacity to do it.
“His versatility is the thing you notice right away, because he can play the two, the three or the four. He came in with a pretty developed perimeter game conducive to the NBA, and is working on adding more and more. We see Elias almost every day, and he’s taking all the nuances of what (assistant coach) Dan D’Antoni is teaching him, focusing on making his shot a more balanced and consistent shot. His driving game is something he’s spending a lot of time with (player development coach) Larry Lewis on, taking all the materials Larry’s giving him and implementing them into his game.”
The compliments didn’t stop there. When asked what kind of player Harris can be, Madsen had some good things to say.
“The NBA is a league of specialists and I think Elias could have a number of them. There’s no question in my mind that he can be a defensive stopper. He’s already proven the ability to get out in transition and finish on the break. He can also play the half court game and wear someone down with his size and strength. And as he continues to hone that three-point shot, that can be really big for him.”
All of those things are great to hear, especially from a developmental coach like Madsen. If Harris makes the team and carves out a role for himself, Lakers fans should get used to seeing him in the purple and gold jersey. For the full interview, you can go here.