Scouting Report: Meet the Orlando Magic’s new acquisitions

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Gary Harris

Age: 26
Position: SG
Measurables: 6-foot-4 , 210 lbs
2021 Stats: 9.7 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.7 APG, 30.6 MPG

Gary Harris was obtained in the Aaron Gordon trade via the Denver Nuggets. He was a fan favorite for the Denver Nuggets and looking at his playstyle it is easy to see why.

Gary Harris is a 3-and-D wing with a capital D. Harris gained a reputation as a defensive pest that was able to guard elite playmakers one on one.

Harris’s magnum opus came in last year’s Western Conference Playoffs, where his defensive intensity on Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell was the catalyst for the Denver Nuggets overcoming a 3-1 deficit and advancing to the next round and on to the Western Conference Finals.

His offense has been inconsistent, and of note, his three-point percentage has dipped considerably since his early years in the league. How much of this is due to his own struggles or the fact Harris was often the fourth or fifth option on a very explosive Nuggets team is up for debate.

Injuries have also slowed him down. He has been out since mid-February with a thigh strain and has played more than 60 games just twice in his career. He went from the Nuggets’ second scoring option to their fourth or fifth option in the meantime with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray’s emergence.

The hope for the Magic is they can get him healthy again. But they are excited for his defensive potential with coach Steve Clifford singling that aspect out when discussing the team’s new acquisitions on Friday morning.

What we do know is Harris will make an impact from the moment he steps on the court as a defensive ace who is able to shut down premier offensive talents — a skill that is always valuable.