Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Season Review: Josh Harrellson

Josh Harrellson turned out to be one of the only pleasant surprises that happened to the Pistons this season.  Jorts provided the team with solid outside shooting, adequate rebounding for a stretch big and hustle plays, with effort that stood out above his teammates.  Fittingly, Harrellson suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee and wouldn't see any action past February 1st.  For the 317 minutes that he did play, Jorts gave the Pistons a much-needed spark that they weren't able to find on a nightly basis without him.  Harrellson's ability to stretch the floor clearly had some value to the team and it should be the reason he's brought back, even though his contract for next season is not guaranteed.  Here's what Josh Harrellson brought to the team statistically in 2013-14.

PER PPG TS% 3P% 3PAr TRB% AST% TOV%
13.4 2.9 54.7% 38.7% .378 13.1% 6.9% 10.5%

Harrellson doesn't really jump out in any statistical area, other than his 38.7% three-point shooting, which is an impressive number for a 6'10, 275 center.  Harrellson played to his skillset, taking 37.8% of his shots from beyond the arc.  His rebounding numbers are nothing special, but on the offensive end that is likely caused by playing away from the paint.  Still, he's a below average defensive rebounder as well, which would be an area for improvement going into next season.  Harrellson's 54.7 TS% ranked 4th on the Pistons in 2013-14, a mark that might be more telling about the team than it is about him.  Defensively, Harrellson is not of much use other than on the block bodying up big post players.


Harrellson's shot chart speaks to his low 12.8% usage rate, as he played 371 minutes and managed to not attempt a shot from four shot zones.  He was an impressive 7/14 from the top of the key, an impressive number, with a lot of those looks likely coming in pick-and-pop situations.  100% of Harrellson's made three-point attempts were assisted this season, which isn't surprising.  6'10, 275 centers usually don't feature strong pull-up jumpers.  For his limited opportunities, Harrellson struggled on the left side of the floor and in the mid-range, but was average around the basket.  Assuming he's back next season, using him in more pick-and-pop plays would likely be a smart move.

OUTLOOK FOR NEXT YEAR

2014-15 contract status: non-guaranteed for $948,163

Harrellson could very well not be back next season if the Pistons new GM decides they need a more traditional post option off the bench.  If he is brought back, he'll serve the same role as he did this year, as the 2nd big man off the bench, providing spacing for whoever he's on the floor with.  For less than a million next year, the Pistons can have a low-usage sharpshooting stretch big man.  I expect that if they choose to let him hit the open market, he'll find work somewhere.  

2014 SEASON GRADE: B-

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