clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Joe Harris talks about LeBron James' leadership, surviving the NBA trade deadline

The Cavaliers' 2014 draft pick talks to Fear the Sword

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie shooting guard Joe Harris has had an interesting season. The Cavaliers spent the first couple months of the season searching for an answer at the two spot, and it led to the 23 year old Virginia product getting more time than even he probably would have expected. All in all, he acquitted himself quite well. Thus far he is shooting 41.5 percent from the field, 39.7% from three point range. His defense has been what you'd expect, but he's worked hard on that end. Because he hasn't tried to do too much offensively, he has an above average true shooting rate; over 72 percent of his field goal attempts have come from three point range.

His shot distribution looks like this:


With J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, the Cavs have had two shooting guards playing at a relatively high level. Harris has predictably taken a backseat, but Fear the Sword caught up with him before Sunday's game in New York.

Fear the Sword asked him about the fun atmosphere in the Cavs locker room before the game. Snoop Dogg and 50 cent were playing and it was clear the team was relaxed:

"Yeah, the energy ... I mean everything is better when you win. Spirits are a lot higher. Guys are just feeling good, very calm. There's a lot of confidence. We feel like we can beat anybody."

Fear the Sword asked what role LeBron James played in creating the environment and if it reflected his leadership:

"Yeah, definitely. I think he's the main reason guys have that attitude. It keeps things kind of light, especially when we have guys coming into a situation like this (referring to J.R. Smith and Shumpert's New York return) ... he's pretty good at keeping the mood light, making sure we are focused and everything is set on winning. He keeps the energy level high. He's very enthusiastic as a leader, and he makes sure that everybody is trying to match his enthusiasm. We have a lot more fun."

Finally, Fear the Sword was curious what it was like for Harris at the trade deadline. The Cavs assets were limited, and if a deal went down, he looked like a possible trade piece. Harris sort of smiled at the question, and proceeded to answer as though he were just another television pundit:

"Nah, not really. You kinda know when you talk to people that there are rumors that circulate .. I'm one of the few trade-able pieces on the team and there's a possibility that anything can happen. Cleveland is trying to win right now, and if they can a good ... if something good is available for them then they are probably going to take it [smiles]. But you know, I made it through it, and you know I'm here, I'm here for now, and I'm just trying to make the most out of it and contribute what I can."

Harris is smart and has a good sense of humor. He shoots, works hard, and could end up being a decent rotation piece. Fear the Sword hopes it's in Cleveland.