Hard Work Pays Off: Shaquille Harrison
Shaquille Harrison in action during the 2018/19 season
Photo via NBA.com

 Shaquille Harrison has had a long, difficult journey to the NBA. After turning down an offer from Kansas to play football, Harrison attended the University of Tulsa, where he would play for 4 years.

He would go undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft, but joined the Phoenix Suns affiliate G-League team, Northern Arizona Suns. On February the 21st, 2018, the Suns NBA team offered him a 10-day contract and would officially sign a long-term contract less than a month later.

After being waived by the Suns, he would join the Chicago Bulls Summer League roster, and after playing 73 games in 2018/19, he signed a minimum contract to play for the Bulls in 2019/20.

Harrison would begin 2019/20 by playing mainly garbage time minutes for the struggling Bulls, but an injury to Otto Porter Jr gave him a better chance to record some meaningful minutes. He was thrust into the starting lineup after Chandler Hutchison had sore shins, and it only took a few games for Hutchison to be out of the rotation completely, Jim Boylen preferring Harrison.

As Harrison is naturally a Point Guard, it says a lot about his character and desire that he is now the Bulls' second-option Small Forward. With no timetable for Otto Porter's return, it seems he will be starting for them indefinitely.

In his 4 games as a starter, Harrison, in 21.6 minutes, is averaging 7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists on a below-par 49.1% True Shooting. These numbers are quite good by themselves, but considering his incredible defense and hustle, it is clear that he is the right choice for the Bulls at Small Forward. In these 4 games, the Bulls are 2-2, a far cry from their 6-11 on the season.