Paul Harris, a former Syracuse standout, said goodbye to the Maine Red Claws this week, opting to buy out his contract to join a team in the Philippines.

Harris, who was a fan favorite, admitted playing time became a factor when his minutes were cut about a month into the season.

Still, he contends he has nothing but good things to say about his time in Maine, and the choice will be better for his family. Harris has two sons, 7 and 3.

“Playing time played a little part,” said Harris, “but it was a situation where I felt like we went to the (D-League) Showcase. It was the biggest stage of the year. I think I played pretty well. I waited around to see what happened. Nothing really happened.

“This was an offer that I felt like was really good, not just for me but my family, too.”

Harris recalled how happy he was when the Red Claws opened camp this year.

He had missed the team’s inaugural season with season-ending ankle surgery and was giddy to be back on the court.

“I know. I remember it, too. I really was happy to be in Maine. They stuck by me,” said Harris. “They brought me right back. They accepted me from Day 1. I really appreciated that.”

Harris was a starter who averaged 33.6 minutes of playing time in his first nine games. Since he has come off the bench, his minutes dropped to 24.6 per game.

He averaged 10.8 points per game.

Harris told the Niagara Gazette he was unhappy with playing time but contends it only played a part.

Harris said he isn’t worried about the culture shock of playing in a different country.

“I like going to new places. I think the type of person I am I can fit in wherever I go,” he said.

Harris will leave the country Sunday to join the Talk N Text Tropang Texters, a team that is part of the Philippine Basketball Association.

Red Claws General Manager Jon Jennings didn’t comment. Teams are precluded from speaking about the transaction by the D-League until the contract is officially bought out.

Maine’s roster remains at 10 with Harris gone and Avery Bradley on assignment from the affiliate Boston Celtics.

It’s unclear if any moves are on the horizon for Maine (10-14) as it reaches the season’s midpoint.

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

[email protected]


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