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Andrew Harrison discusses what he’ll bring to the Cleveland Cavaliers

Andrew Harrison, Cavs

Defense. Aggressive offense. Playmaking.

That’s what former Memphis Grizzlies guard Andrew Harrison, who the Cleveland Cavaliers signed to a two-way contract on Thursday, believes he’ll bring to the Wine and Gold with point guard George Hill out for the next two weeks.

Just how true are those claims though?

While the Cavaliers aren’t a switch-heavy defense anymore, minimizing the importance of his defensive versatility, Harrison is a 6-foot-6 guard who will cause problems for opposing point guards because of his height and length (6-foot-9 wingspan). He isn’t dominating in defensive categories like steals (career average of 0.7 steals per game) or blocks (career average of 0.4 blocks per game) but of his 3.3 career win shares, 2.2 of those have been defensive win shares.

Further, per NBA Advanced Stats, Harrison held opponents to a defensive field goal percentage of 43.5 as a rookie (1.5 percent below their season average) and a defensive field goal percentage of 44.4 (0.8 percent below their season average) last season.

One-half of “the Harrison twins,” Andrew does his best work on the defensive end.

As far as being aggressive as a scorer, Harrison isn’t a great shooter but taking 2.3 three-pointer per game (3.8 three-point attempts per 36 minutes), he’s not afraid to take an open jumper. However, he does most of his work on drives to the rim.

Per Basketball Reference, 28.8 percent of his shots attempts have come between 0-3 feet away from the rim in his career and he’s gotten to the free-throw line on 44.6 percent of his field goal attempts.

Only 13.9 percent of his career field goals have been assisted.

Lastly, as a playmaker, Harrison makes quick and decisive decisions with the ball in his hands. Especially in the pick-and-roll. He has the court awareness to pass the ball to the open man and while the Cavaliers’ other guards, like Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson, have gotten flustered when the defense moves to get their ball out of their hands with a blitz or trap, Harrison won’t.

The best aspect of Harrison’s playmaking may be the simplest. Because he’s a solid slasher and has solid passing instincts, the drive-and-kick attack that’s been missing from Cleveland’s offense since LeBron James took his talents to Los Angeles will return. He’s of course no LeBron when it comes to passing but he’s certainly shown a knack for getting the ball to the open three-point shooter when he’s on the floor.

Harrison, nor Sexton for that matter, will be as efficient as Hill was prior to his injury. However, the 24-year-old point guard is may prove worth keeping around, especially if veterans like Hill are moved to contending teams prior to the trade deadline.

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