NBA Roundtable

Harpring Update

In General NBA on September 12, 2009 at 12:33 pm

NBA Fanhouse reports

But some of that might be out of his hands. Harpring said he will have his Jazz physical on Monday, and doctors will have a say in whether he can continue to play.

“We’ll see once I get up there,” Harpring said from his offseason home in Atlanta about going to Salt Lake City. “We’ll have some MRIs and I’ll talk to (doctors)… There’s been talk over the past couple of years of whether I’m going to play (the next season).”

The article also gives a nice summary on the injuries Harpring has suffered from during his career

“I’ve had two micofractures on four different spots,” said Harpring, saying he’s had two microfracture surgeries and two arthroscopic surgeries on his right knee. “I’ve had probably 15 surgeries on (both) ankles… Well, maybe 10 or 11.”

The worst moment for Harpring came in July 2008 when he had surgery on his right ankle. An infection set in, and Harpring was worried at first it could be life threatening.

“I was in the hospital for five days, and they didn’t know at first what it was,” Harpring said. “They thought it could be MRSA, which is a (sometimes fatal) staph infection. It ended up being a strep infection. I was very worried. They had said this could be serious.

“There was a three- or four-day stretch before (test results were back)… Once I heard that it was strep, I wasn’t worried about my life anymore. But I was worried that summer about playing basketball again… Then I had stomach problems with all the antibiotics killing my stomach.”

An End Result

So we should have a final verdict on whether or not Matt Harpring can return to the NBA in a few days. Hopefully things will work out for Harpring, it’s always great to see truly tough players like him on the court.

If Harpring cannot return to the NBA, and the Jazz get medical relief for his salary, that would help them out in a big way. They badly need all the financial relief that they can get.

Rotation Player?

Is Matt Harpring a rotation worthy player at this point in his career?

No, I don’t think so.

Matt Harpring’s lack of defensive ability makes him a liability out there on the court … and his offensive + rebounding ability no longer cancels out his weaknesses.

Harpring consistently hurts the Jazz when he’s on the court.

So, what am I saying?

Regardless of whether or not Harpring is fit to play … Utah needs to move on and bring through other players into their first choice rotation.

Harpring is still a good insurance player to have at the end of your bench — a 12th man type — and can add to the roster in that type of role, but he should no longer be receiving regular minutes.

Who should Utah be looking at?

I’d absolutely love to see Utah make a run at Joey Graham. I think he’d flourish in Utah’s structured offensive system, and that he’d help them defensively.

Outside of Graham, there are two main wings with good talent left on the board — Keith Bogans and Ime Udoka — both are more shooting guard than small forward, but they can do a dutiful job for the Jazz. Utah also benefits from having a combo forward like Kirilenko + a big two guard like Brewer, allowing them to play smaller wings if need be.

However, since Utah is being squeezed financially, the Jazz are unlikely to sign any of these guys. Most likely, their replacement will come in house … which means more minutes for CJ Miles … with Brewer, Kirilenko, and Korver getting the remainder of the minutes on the wing.

Thoughts on Miles

Poor defender + a poor rebounder + poor passer … a slightly above average complementary scorer with solid shooting ability.

Unfortunately, Miles does not fill any of Utah’s pressing defensive needs on the wing which makes him a poor fit in the rotation. But he’s their best option and he should get those minutes.

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  1. Update on Harpring’s situation

    Also Tuesday, all indications were that the Jazz and Matt Harpring have determined that Harpring will not be able to overcome his ankle and knee problems to play this season, though no official announcement has been made.

    An 11-year veteran, Harpring has spent the past seven seasons with the Jazz but continues to suffer the effects from a devastating infection that followed ankle surgery last summer as well as from the multiple knee surgeries during his career.

    Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor and Harpring’s agent, Richard Howell, didn’t return messages Tuesday. Harpring’s $6.5 million salary is fully guaranteed for this season and the Jazz will not receive any salary cap/luxury tax relief if he is unable to play.

    Why wouldn’t the Jazz get cap relief if Harpring was too injured to play?

    Larry Coon on players who are forced to retire due to injury

    There is one exception whereby a player can continue to receive his salary, but the salary is not included in the team’s team salary. This is when a player is forced to retire for medical reasons and a league-appointed physician confirms that he is medically unfit to continue playing. There is a waiting period of one year following the injury or illness before a team can apply for this salary cap relief.

    It’s because of the one year waiting period.

    Insurance will pay the majority of Harpring’s salary though … if he does indeed miss at least half of the season.

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