Here’s some unfortunate news: Jalen Harris, fresh off his rookie season with the Raptors, has been “dismissed and disqualified” from the NBA for violating the terms of the league’s anti-drug program. That’s the report out there right now from the Athletic’s Shams Charania — with one final detail: Harris can only apply for reinstatement to the league after one year.
Toronto Raptors guard Jalen Harris has been dismissed and disqualified from the NBA for violating terms of anti-drug program, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Harris is able to apply for reinstatement in one year.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2021
Thanks to some additional commentary from Blake Murphy, the fallout from this is clear. And it’s worth noting off the top that had Harris not been a rookie he would have gotten a two-year suspension. The use of “dismissed and disqualified” indicates he tested positive for a “drug of abuse”, which also effectively cancels his current contract with the Raptors (he was about to be a restricted free agent). This is a serious turn of events that puts Harris on a shortlist of players who have been banned by the league for a similar violation.
As Murphy reported earlier, Harris also may have been injured too:
It would appear Jalen Harris is injured. pic.twitter.com/eXbVHVKmxb— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) July 1, 2021
Setting aside the Raptors and basketball, let’s remember that Harris is a 22-year-old young man with hopefully many years ahead of him. Let’s remember to be sensitive to that before we start flying off into what he could or should have done. It’s also impossible to speculate right now on what’s been going on in his life or what’s happened specifically here — only that the NBA caught it and now he’s had to pay the price.
I’ll just add: despite the mention of the Raptors being able to retain Harris’ rights should he make a return to the NBA in one year’s time, it seems likely his stay with Toronto has rather abruptly come to an end. That’s unfortunate, as Harris looked like a fun player who was starting to find a nice niche for himself on the current squad.
But to repeat: that doesn’t mean Harris’ life is over — and hopefully he can make right on whatever wrong choices he’s made to put him in this place. We’re rooting for you, Jalen.