Rumors are flying as the trade deadline nears, and while potential trade packages vary, there is one constant: Devin Harris will most certainly be part of the deal. Those Jazz fans naive enough to veto any trades at this time are quick to remind us all: “You know, Devin Harris is an All-Star point guard,” leading me to respond: “Is he?” It’s a legitimate question, because quite frankly, Devin Harris has been anything BUT an All-Star over the last two seasons. And so, whereas we are accustomed to mildly informed no-holds-barred nay-saying and negativity here at Lower The Rim, we actually did our research this time around. Here’s what we’ve come up with:
Devin Lamar Harris became an Eastern Conference All-Star reserve in 2009. At the time, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook were in their rookie seasons. Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Baron Davis, Chauncey Billups, Tony Parker, and Jason Kidd were widely considered to be the best point guards in the league at that time. Something of note: every single one of those guards played in the Western Conference that year. To put it in perspective, Deron Williams was thought by many to be the #1 point guard in the league, and he didn’t even make the West squad. As far as the eastern conference goes, the only other true point guards on the East All-Star roster were Mo Williams and Jameer Nelson.
To round this all out, the NBA has since seen the emergence of Rajon Rondo, has added Kyrie Irving, Ricky Rubio, Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, John Wall and the unexpected Jeremy Lin, and then of course we all know what has become of those rookies Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. Throw in the much improved Mike Conley, an under appreciated Kyle Lowry and the high potential Jeff Teague, and I think the results are quite startling. It may sound ridiculous, but the All-Star Devin Harris ranks not even in the middle of the pack, but somewhere near the bottom of the league as a starting point guard. There might be only two or three other starters you wouldn’t take over him, but that’s about it.
So yes, stubborn Jazz fan, I guess “in theory” Devin Harris is an All-Star point guard, but it’s only by unique circumstance, that being the sheer lack of Easter Conference point guard talent in 2009, and the rookie status of both Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. To say that the Jazz can win a championship with Devin Harris running the show is to say they can win a championship with Mo Williams, Jameer Nelson, or even Mario Chalmers. And whereas Mario Chalmers will most certainly win a championship this year, he has Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to pass the ball to. Al Jefferson might be at or around Chris Bosh’s talent level, but outside of that, the Jazz got nothin’. Utah needs a star, badly, and since the front court positions are locked down with pretty decent talent, a future Utah star is going to need to come in the backcourt. Newsflash: it ain’t going to be the All-Star Devin Harris.