How Michigan State’s former players fared in the NBA this season

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Apr 1, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris (14) dribbles the ball as Utah Jazz guard Elijah Millsap (13) defends during the first half at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

4. Gary Harris, SG, Denver Nuggets

Everyone around Michigan State would have hoped to see Gary Harris in the green and white for one more year as the shooting guard declared for the NBA after his sophomore season with the Spartans. If Harris was on the team this year, who knows how far the Spartans would have gone. A Final Four happened with a group of guys that weren’t highly-touted, but add Harris to the mix and you might have seen MSU’s second NCAA title since 2000 and third ever.

That’s neither here nor there. Harris headed to the NBA, picked No. 19 in the first round by the Chicago Bulls before being traded on the same draft night to the Denver Nuggets, where he played the entirety of his rookie season.

He didn’t have quite the year he had expected, just like Michigan’s Nik Stauskas who was drafted near the same spot and thought to have been a rival of Harris.

Gary averaged just 3.4 points and 1.2 rebounds in his first season, while showing some flashes of brilliance with a few double-digit performances. However, he shot just a measly 30 percent from the floor and an even more embarrassing 20 percent from three-point range. His three-point shot was supposed to be a strength going into the NBA.

He will likely have a bigger role on next year’s squad as the Nuggets were eliminated from playoff contention earlier on in the year. Harris has the skills to be a solid NBA pro, but even Tom Izzo felt that he was forced into the league because NBA scouts look at college juniors as damaged goods.

Next: Adreian Payne, Minnesota Timberwolves

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