Considering that Devin Harris has emerged this season into a legit star-level point guard/fantasy asset, I think it’s fair to begin wondering if he is just a little too injury prone to feel comfortable about.
With a quick look back, you find that after a healthy rookie season, Harris missed 19 of the final 23 games in his sophomore campaign with various ailments. He played only 56 games that season.
Harris bounced back to play in 80 games in the 2006-07 season, but played just 64 games last season. He missed 18 games from late January to February due to an ankle injury.
This season – around the same time – Harris is dealing with a hamstring problem that forced him out of Saturday’s game at Miami and limited to just 18 first-half minutes on Monday. He will miss at least one more game – his fifth missed game of the season as he missed three earlier with a sprained ankle.
That puts him on pace to play 70 games this season.
Now, of course missing 12 games isn’t a huge deal (if it turns out to be only 12) and any player can get hurt at any time (see Anthony, Carmelo). But when evaluating player value, risk is a major part of the equation.
The reason Yao Ming was drafted in no one’s first round this season is because of the risk. The guy has shown an inability to stay healthy along with Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill, Gerald Wallace, Kenyon Martin and numerous other talented players who scare off potential owners in drafts year after year because of their injury history.
But do we add Harris to that list? Not just yet, but it’s becoming a concern for a player who is currently providing a third-round value in nine-category leagues.
One of the most disconcerting aspects of the injuries the last two season is that all three (last season and two injuries this season) have been to his legs.
Anyone who watches Harris on a daily basis realizes that he is still a streaky jump shooter. His footspeed and quickness are the key to his game. If his legs keep getting damaged, his value as a player is perilously close to the edge at all times.
Harris owners have to be feeling incrdirbly fortunate (if they are reasonable) or like geniuses (if they are egomaniacs). But a little bit of concern might be creeping in over the potential frailty of one of the cornerstones of their success.