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Player Season Preview - Matt Harpring

Since Harpring is still officially on the team, we need to get a player preview done for him.  Not even Lloyd Christmas would like the odds of Matt being with the team at some point this year though.

So this preview might turn into a farewell.

Matt had a significant drop in stats last season when compared to seasons passed.  His FG% was the lowest it's been since he came into the league.  His PPG per 36 minutes was almost 2 points less.

However, he maintained his RPG per 36 average with 6.4 boards.  That's right around what he's been averaging the last 5 seasons.

There's nothing shocking in saying that his knees have finally given up on him.  He's said himself that playing last season was very painful.  Maybe the most telling stat of how much they affected him was how much he fouled per game.  After averaging somewhere around 3.8 fouls per 36 for most of his career, that jumped to 5.3 last season.  He hasn't been able to keep a lot of players in front of him for a while, but last year it was even more evident.  What do you have to do when you can't keep up?  You have to foul.

So far this season Matt has spent more time wearing wing-tips than he has basketball shoes.  Even if he gets some bionic man treatments, there's no way he's back into basketball shape before the All-star break.

He's transitioning into the next phase of his life.  Whether that be in broadcasting, coaching, or starting at QB for the Raiders (he couldn't be much worse, right?), he'll do well. 

As far as his future with the Jazz, I just don't see him ever returning to the court again.  He still has a contract though, a $6M expiring one at that, which is probably the most that he can contribute to the team right now.  He'll stay inactive and I wouldn't be surprised that it (his contract, not him) gets moved before the deadline.

So what will we take away from the Harpring era?  We won't miss the missed layups or his man getting by him.  His work ethic and locker room leadership won't go unnoticed.  I'd like to think that his physical style of play inspired the other guys on the court as well when he was out there.