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January 28, 2014

NBA Updates: Manny Harris back in the League, more

The Los Angeles Lakers signed former Michigan guard Manny Harris to a second 10-day contract after he tore it up in the Developmental League. Harris is averaging 8.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 20.7 minutes over six games with the Lakers this season.

His best showing, an 18-point outburst (6-for-9 FGs, 2-for-3 on triples), came Sunday in a 110-103 loss at New York.

Harris shined with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Lakers' NBA Development League affiliate, and was the D-League's leading scorer at 30.6 points per game before joining the Lakers. Harris averaged 30.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.1 steals in 13 starts while shooting 48.5% from the field. He was named the NBA D-League Performer of the Week for the second consecutive time, and fourth time in his career, Jan. 13.

Harris averaged 6.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 17.4 minutes per game (80 games, 20 starts) for the Cleveland Cavaliers in his previous NBA stint.

On the other end, Knicks rookie guard and former Wolverine Tim Hardaway Jr. also scored 18 points off the bench in his best showing in weeks. He made four of his five triples and added four rebounds.

Hardaway is averaging 8.5 points and 1.3 rebounds in 43 games, shooting 45.8 percent from the floor and 40.7 from three-point range. He recently scored 10 points (4-for-8 shooting) in a 125-96 win over Charlotte Jan. 24 and notched 11 points in 26 minutes in a 103-80 loss to Brooklyn Jan. 20.

In Utah, rookie point guard Trey Burke also continues to impress. The December, Western Conference Rookie of the Month is averaging 13.3 points, 5.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game through 33 starts. He recently notched 12 points and eight assists in a 104-101 win over Washington Jan. 25, making four of five triples, and registered eight points and four assists in a 106-99 victory over Sacramento Jan. 27.

"The vast majority of his value comes with the ball in his hands," SaltCityHoops.com reported. "He's 12th overall for offensive adjusted plus/minus. He's just what the Jazz have needed for years, a skilled ball-handler who's also capable of hurting defenses with his shot. But while he certainly has skill and athletic promise, the asset that likely helps him be valued so highly by APM is his IQ on the court. It's cliché, no doubt, but Burke really is ahead of his years mentally.

"He turns the ball over remarkably little for any first-year player, but especially for a first-year point guard. His 2.69 assist-to-turnover ratio is a top-10 figure for over 70 rotation guards league-wide with usage rates over 18 percent, per NBA.com - ahead of guys like Tony Parker, Goran Dragic, and Jeff Teague despite having a comparable usage rate to these names."

Finally, the Los Angeles Clippers featured two former Wolverines the last few weeks, and guard Jamal Crawford (2000), especially, has been on a tear. After scorching Toronto for 37 points Jan. 25, Crawford put up 25 points in 24 minutes, making 5-of-9 triples in a 114-86 victory over Milwaukee Jan. 27. He's averaging 25.4 points and 4.3 assists over his past seven games.

The Clippers did not extend Darius Morris (2009-11) for the rest of the year when his second, 10-day contract expired Jan. 27. Morris never scored more than two points in any of his 10 games with the Clippers: he did score 20 in one game with Philadelphia Nov. 16 at New Orleans.

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