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Dismissed from NBA, Wolf Pack alum Jalen Harris signs with Italian team

Jalen Harris
Jalen Harris is headed to Italy after one season in the NBA. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Nevada basketball alum Jalen Harris, who was dismissed from the NBA earlier this offseason, has signed with an Italian team.

Harris, who was a rookie for the Toronto Raptors last season, has signed with Vanoli Cremona, the team announced Saturday. Vanoli Cremona plays in Lega Basket Serie A, the top tier of Italian basketball.

The 22-year-old Harris was the 59th pick in the 2020 NBA draft. He split time between the G League and the NBA last season. In 13 NBA games, Harris averaged 7.4 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game, shooting 47.2 percent from the field, including 50 percent from three. Harris capped his first season in the NBA by scoring a career-high 31 points in a game in his hometown of Dallas. In the G League, Harris averaged 15.1 points per game.

“We are happy to have been able to sign a player of the level of Jalen Harris, a guard with great potential who will bring to our team a dangerous offense, both inside and outside the 3-point arc," Vanoli Cremona general manager Flavio Portaluppi said in a news release. "We are also happy to be able to offer an important opportunity for redemption to a player who, in Italy and at Vanoli, will be able to find new incentives to relaunch his basketball career in a big way."

Harris' strong close to the season was overshadowed by his violation of the NBA's anti-drug program, which led to him being dismissed and disqualified from the NBA for at least one year. The NBA's drug policy dismisses players who test positive for drugs of abuse. Harris became the fourth player suspended by the league for at least one season under the NBA drug policy in the last 20 years, joining Tyreke Evans, OJ Mayo and Chris Andersen.

"The NBA, NBA teams, and the NBPA are prohibited from publicly disclosing information regarding the testing or treatment of any NBA player under the Anti-Drug Program, other than to announce a player’s suspension or dismissal from the league," the NBA said in a news release.

Harris can reapply for reinstatement in the NBA after one season, although that would require a stint in a rehabilitation program.

The NBA CBA reads as follows: "Among the factors that may be considered by the NBA and the Players Association in determining whether to grant reinstatement are (without limitation): the circumstances surrounding the player's dismissal and disqualification; whether the player has satisfactorily completed a treatment and rehabilitation program; the player's conduct since his dismissal, including the extent to which the player has since comported himself as a suitable role model for youth; and whether the player is judged to possess the requisite qualities of good character and morality."

Harris had a $1,489,065 qualifying offer with the Raptors for next season but his contract was ruled null and void following the suspension. Harris the third Wolf Pack alum to sign a contract with an Italian team this offseason, joining Jordan Caroline (Dolomiti Energia Trentino in Serie A) and Jazz Johnson (A.S. Pistoia Basket in Serie A2).

After transferring in from Louisiana Tech, Harris played for Nevada for one season in 2019-20 after redshirting in 2018-19. Harris was the 16th Wolf Pack player to be selected in an NBA draft.

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