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Sharp-shooting rookie Joe Harris confident he can help Cavaliers

Medina County Gazette via Associated Press Published: June 29, 2014 4:00 AM

INDEPENDENCE -- Joe Harris won't have to worry about a nickname change, but he knows the level of competition is about to increase.

The 6-foot-6, 225-pound shooting guard known as "Joey Hoops" went from the Virginia Cavaliers to the Cleveland Cavaliers after being taken with the 33rd pick in the NBA Draft.

"I have a lot of confidence in my game," Harris said Friday in a conference call with local media members. "You don't know until you get into that situation where you're actually practicing against that caliber of player day in and day out. ... It will be an adjustment, but I'm really looking forward to trying to prove as much as possible."

Harris averaged 16.3 points and earned First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors as a junior, but that fell to 12.0 points and Second-Team honors as a senior.

However, Virginia's record improved from 23-12 to 30-7.

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"My statistics went down a little bit my last year, but the most important thing is the wins went up," the 22-year-old said. "We had an unselfish, team-oriented attitude. ... We all kind of bought into what our roles were."

Harris was a career 40.7 shooter from 3-point range and finished with 263 makes from behind the arc. That total ranks second in school history.

"I don't think too highly of myself, but I certainly don't think too lowly of myself," Harris said. "With me, you know exactly what you're going to get."

Trade talk

"I don't know what close (to making a deal) is," Cleveland Cavaliers GM David Griffin said. "There were deals we were conversational with at times, but there was nothing that I felt was really actionable. ... It was going to have to knock me over with a feather for it to even be considered."

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Trade happens

After taking Harris at No. 33, the Cavaliers traded back into the second round for 47th pick Dwight Powell from Stanford.

The Charlotte Hornets made the Powell selection, then sent him to the Cavs, along with veteran center Brendan Haywood, in exchange for small forward Alonzo Gee.

With the deal, the Cavs will absorb Haywood's $2.2 million guaranteed contract. Haywood was actually drafted by Cleveland with the No. 20 pick in 2001, then traded to Orlando for center Michael Doleac.

Gee's $3 million deal for the 2014-15 season is not guaranteed.

The Cavs are not expected to officially announce the trade until July 10, when the NBA's moratorium period ends.

News and notes

• Wiggins will wear No. 21 with the Cavs. The No. 22 he wore at Kansas has been retired by Cleveland in honor of Larry Nance.

• After wearing a wild jacket to the draft Thursday in Brooklyn, Wiggins donned a traditional gray suit Friday at Cleveland Clinic Courts when the organization formally introduced him a a media press conference.

• Harris and Cavs center Spencer Hawes, who will become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday, are both from the state of Washington and played in the same AAU program.

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