Thursday was Signing Day for Nuggets shooting guard Gary Harris. But this was no college commitment. This was a signature on his newest contract, keeping him with the Nuggets for the foreseeable future.
“I’m happy, I’m excited,” Harris said. “I finally got it signed, all set, ready to go, four more years. Love the team, love the organization, love the city. So I couldn’t be happier.”
The Nuggets are just as happy to retain one of the team’s key cogs in last year’s seven-game improvement. Harris’ game improved along with the team.
Gary Harris shook off considerable missed time due to early injuries to put together his best statistical season, averaging career highs in points (14.9), rebounds (3.1) and assists (2.9). He nearly averaged a career high in steals (1.2) as well. Harris finished in the NBA’s top 10 in 3-point percentage (42.0), and shot a career-high 50.2 percent from the field overall. Harris hit 77.6 percent from the free throw line.
“He’s really emblematic of the program we’re trying to build,” president of basketball operations, Tim Connelly, said. “He came in as kind of a scrawny 19-year old, struggled his first year, continued to work on his craft, got better and better, was given opportunities and ran with them. Never deviated from his desire to be here.”
And so he’ll stay at least four more seasons. Harris reflected on a wild summer in which his name was reported in trade rumors, then was part of the pitch to get then-free agent Paul Millsap, and then flew to Denver from Indiana to be part of the Nuggets’ new uniform reveal.
“It’s a business,” Harris said. “I couldn’t look into it too much. I just had to be professional about everything I did. Everything ended up working out. I really didn’t think too much about it. I’m happy where I’m at. It was a crazy summer, but fall is here and it’s time to get started.”
But first, the Fishers, Indiana, native took a moment to reflect on his time in Denver.
“Going back to my rookie season, things were a little shaky,” Harris said, smiling. “But you know, it’s been fun. It’s been a journey. I wouldn’t change anything. Everything that happened help me get to this point, and I think it kind of helped me out in the long run, especially the rough start I had. Just made me appreciate things more, made me work that much harder. And I’m in a great situation now.”
Christopher Dempsey: email@example.com and @chrisadempsey on Twitter.