Niagara Gazette

Sports

June 15, 2009

BASKETBALL: Harris flexes his game in workouts

Niagara Falls native Paul Harris participated in a workout over the weekend in East Rutherford, N.J., where 24 NBA teams were represented. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com reported that Harris gave a standout performance.

“Paul Harris may have helped himself the most I thought here,” an observer told Givony. “He plays so hard. He got in everyone’s face. No one wanted to go against him. On offense and defense.”

The article also noted that Harris measured to be 6-foot-3 in shoes, with a freakish wingspan of nearly 7-feet. He also reportedly performed a 36-inch standing vertical jump, better than all 52 prospects at last month’s pre-draft combine in Chicago. Flynn’s 33-inch standing vertical was the second-best combine effort.

“I think I did pretty good in New Jersey,” Harris said by phone Monday, back in Chicago, where he’s training, after another workout in Dallas. “I was doing good on defense, and I was scoring.”

Harris confirmed part of Givony’s report that said he got the better of Arizona swingman Chase Budinger.

“Chase was killing one of the guys on my team, so I said, ‘OK, switch,’” Harris said. “I started checking him and I don’t think he took another shot.”

Harris has also worked out for scouts in Chicago and Minnesota, where he prompted Timberwolves.com writer Jonah Bellow to observe, “Paul Harris was the most physically impressive player out of the morning session crew. If Harris can make the adjustment to shooting guard, he could be a lockdown defender off the bench for Minnesota.”

Minnesota holds the sixth, 18th and 28th picks in the first round, as well as the 45th and 47th picks in the second round.

Harris said he’s got workouts lined up in Utah and Cleveland this month.

E-mail reporter Jonah Bronstein at jonah.bronstein@niagara-gazette.com

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