The Los Angeles Lakers signed undrafted rookie forward Elias Harris to a two year contract worth the minimum salary on Friday. (Via LA Times Eric Pincus)
Harris is a former Gonzaga forward who also played for the Lakers summer league team with averages of 10.2 points and 5.6 rebounds a game.
“I tried to show what I’m capable of,” Harris recently told The Times. “I’m a guy who is willing to work. I’m not just a guy who is going to sit around and think everything’s going to fall into my lap. That’s just not me. I hope I get the opportunity and I can reward the guys with playing hard.”
Harris, just a few days ago, spoke to Pincus about hoping for his dream to come true to play for the Lakers. Now with this contract, he will get his wish and a prime opportunity.
“I really hope so. I really hope I get an opportunity with the Lakers or whoever wants to give me a shot — primarily with the Lakers,” said Harris. “Once I get 100% comfortable and know my role 100%, I think I can help a team out. I really believe that.”
“I hope [I’m going to] the Lakers. If it doesn’t work out for me, then I’ll have to change my plan and try to take a different kind of tour to reach my dream … just go over to Europe and come back next year.”
Elias’ tough play and basketball IQ seemed to have left a mark with the Lakers staff. Player development coach Mark Madsen spoke highly of Harris when asked about the promising players from the summer league roster,
“Elias had a great career up at Gonzaga,” Madsen told The Times. “I think the word that comes to my mind with Elias is ‘versatility.’ At times we asked him to guard two men.
“His ability to guard men, and with the ability to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket, is a tremendous skill set,” continued Madsen.
While Harris may not have the highest of expectations placed upon him he certainly can develop into a valuable prospect. While at Gonzaga, Harris was known for his fundamentals, defensive and rebounding abilities. All aspects the Lakers will sorely need moving forward.
Do you believe Harris was a good signing for the Lakers? Or should they have gone after another free agent? Sound off below!