Feel the Energy: getting to know D-Leaguer Ramon Harris

With the Memphis Grizzlies’ season kicking off in late October, that also means the return of their D-League affiliate, the Iowa Energy.  Last year, three players—James Ennis, Russ Smith and Jarell Martin—played minutes with the Grizzlies after excelling with the Energy. In a series of analyses, we’ll go through the roster in an attempt to decipher who has the greatest chance to earn a call-up to the NBA in 2016-2017.

Ramon Harris, Forward

Going undrafted in 2010, Ramon Harris, 27, came out of the University of Kentucky as something that’s rarely seen from players that sported the Wildcat white and blue—a college graduate. 

Harris averaged 16.3 minutes per game over the course of his collegiate career, but that number is skewed by only 11.0 his senior year on a team that featured future NBA stars DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and John Wall. 

Harris is a relatively new member to Iowa, joining the team halfway through 2015-2016 after three-and-a-half seasons with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Never averaging more than 24.4 minutes per game over a season, Harris’ role exploded once he came to Iowa, averaging 33.8 minutes in 25 games.

2015-2016 D-League stats*: 25g, 33.8mpg, 11.8ppg, 8.4rpg, 2.2apg, 1.6spg, 0.7bpg, 12.6 PER, .366 FG%, .358 3P%, .676 FT%

*only includes statistics after Ramon Harris joined Iowa Energy

NBA stats: N/A

Odds of receiving a call-up?

For the first time in his D-League career, Harris showed he can consistently produce over the course of a full game, but is it enough to warrant a shot in the NBA? At 27 years old, Harris is hitting what is generally the prime for basketball players, so it’s now or never.

His value over replacement player was been 2.2 two years ago in Fort Wayne and 1.9 over the course of the entire 2015-2016 season. For comparison, only two players exceeded both of those marks on Iowa’s team last season.  

Harris has rebounded at a solid clip, 9.0 per 36 minutes with Iowa, but the key will be getting his shot back on track. Of his four years in the D-League, 2015-2016 was the second-worse year of Harris’ career in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, true shooting percentage and effective field goal percentage. Shooting .358 from behind the arc with the Energy, Harris could certainly catch the eye of the Grizzlies’ coaching staff if he can jump back up to the .383 clip he posted in 2013-2014.

The likelihood that Harris suits up in the FedEx Forum for the Memphis Grizzlies isn’t high, but it’s far from impossible. Regardless of what happens, there’s a high chance he’ll be one of the top contributors on the Iowa Energy’s roster.

Also, one more note, Ramon Harris has the clutch gene!