The Brooklyn Nets have had a nightmare season. Kyrie Irving has barely played due to a vaccine mandate preventing unvaccinated players from taking the floor in New York. James Harden has declined considerably. Kevin Durant is now injured, and while he is expected back relatively quickly, sharpshooter Joe Harris likely won’t be so lucky.
Harris initially suffered an ankle injury on Nov. 14 and had surgery to correct it on Nov. 29. The Nets set a four-to-eight week timeline for his return, but we have since zoomed past that timeline with Harris suffering a setback in his rehabilitation. Now, his agent Mark Bartelstein has told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Harris might need a second surgery on that left ankle.
The decision on whether or not he will undergo that surgery will be made in the next week or two depending on his progress, according to Bartelstein. It is not clear how long a second surgery would keep Harris out, but if the timeline matched the four-to-eight week frame of the first surgery, Harris could be out until April, when the playoffs begin.
Harris has led the NBA in 3-point percentage in two of the past four seasons, and he was shooting over 46 percent from behind the arc this season before his injury. Brooklyn has badly missed the spacing he provided offensively. A Nets team designed to excel offensively ranks just 14th in the NBA in 3-point percentage and seventh in offensive rating.
The combination of Durant, Harden, Irving and Harris has not played a single minute together this season. They played only 140 together last season. Brooklyn’s best-case scenario now likely means entering yet another postseason with their core players have spent very little time together on the floor. Their worst case scenario? Injuries knocking them out of the playoffs early yet again.
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