On August 14, the Lakers signed rookie forward Elias Harris, having been impressed enough with Harris' play at workouts -- and in particular at the Las Vegas Summer League -- to offer a multi-year deal that includes a team option for the 2014-15.
A two-time All-West Coast Conference Team player at Gonzaga University, Harris was a key cog in the Bulldogs 32-3 record during his final season. He put up 14.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 27.8 minutes per game. The German native ranks second in school history with his 979 career rebounds, an impressive feat for a player often on the wing, and his 1,857 points rank fourth in Zags history.
We spoke to Lakers player development coach Mark Madsen, who alone with the rest of Mike D'Antoni's staff has been working out with Harris almost daily, to see how the rookie's coming along:
MT: What has stood out to you about Harris in your several weeks of watching and working with him?
Madsen: Elias had a great summer league. 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.
MT: What kind of a kid is he?
Madsen: A really good kid. He's fun to be around in the gym, and makes it enjoyable coming in every day. The good thing about Elias is he's a really hard worker – not just on the court but in the weight room, with his diet, and doing every last thing the organization has asked. His improvements have been great. I think Elias has worked for everything he's received. I remember back to my rookie transition camp and Paul Silas said hard work doesn't guarantee anything, but it gives you a chance.
MT: What's his best position?
Madsen: 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. That process just isn't going to happen overnight. You have to win the trust of the officials and familiarize yourself with the NBA.
Read More Here: http://www.nba.com/l...s/130824_harris
That's good news to hear, glad to know he's been in the Lakers facility nearly every day and is working hard on different aspects of his game.
Hope he does well, Lakers obviously see something special in him if they signed him to a multi-year.
I think those years on the National team gave him the kind of experience a "rookie" usually wouldn't have which is a reason why his game looked more "well rounded" and less erratic then most.
Edited by Majesty, August 24, 2013 - 11:24 PM.