Rockets Sign Mike Harris for Rest of Season
Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston was the first to break that the Houston Rockets have signed Mike Harris for the remainder of the 2009-2010 season, as well as next season. Harris is averaging 26.3 points and 9.8 rebounds, which is, you know, kind of a lot.
Harris provides great wing depth for the Rockets during this last gasp playoff push, especially with Shane Battier on the shelf for a while.
Harris' signing reflects a pretty tremendous systemic success for the Rockets, taking a player and signing him to their training camp roster, developing him in the D-League, giving him a ten-day to evaluate, sending him back down, then recalling him for a longer stretch run. While it's unknown at this time if Harris' contract is guaranteed for next season, the fact that he's on contract is a significant step.
His departure casts serious doubt as to the Vipers' playoff hopes. They were considered by many the favorites to win the D-League title with Harris essentially unstoppable this season, but without him, they're facing a pretty steep hill to climb, especially now since Austin has gotten Marcus Williams back.
Harris is a legitimate talent that will need to adjust to the speed of the game. While I wouldn't expect him to get considerable playing time like some of Houston's other D-League alumni (read: Aaron Brooks) have gotten, I wouldn't leave the possibility out. Houston likes what they have in Harris, and this move indicates that they're committing to him, at least with an open eye to possibilities.
The Rockets also recalled Jermaine Taylor who has been on assignment. Great for the D-League, great for the Rockets to be able to fill depleted spots with system-ready talent, but rough on the Vipers. We'll keep you updated on Harris' performance and contract, and on who RGV decides to sign.
Here's a look at what Harris has been doing to the D-League this season: