NBA Suspends Blazers G Terrel Harris For Anti-Drug Program Violation

USA TODAY Sports

The NBA announced Monday that Portland Trail Blazers guard Terrel Harris has been suspended for five games without pay for violating the league's Anti-Drug Program.

The NBA announced Monday that Portland Trail Blazers guard Terrel Harris has been suspended for five games without pay for violating the league's Anti-Drug Program.

Here's the release.

The NBA announced today that Terrel Harris of the Portland Trail Blazers has been suspended without pay for five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. Harris' suspension will begin with the first game of the next NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

A Blazers spokesman said the organization does not have any comment on the suspension.

The league didn't specify how Harris violated the policy. It's worth noting that a third failed marijuana test would trigger an automatic five-game suspension, per these details from NBPA.org.

Any player who (i) tests positive for marijuana pursuant to Section 5 (Reasonable Cause Testing), Section 6 (Random Testing), or Section 14 (Additional Bases for Testing), (ii) is adjudged by the Grievance Arbitrator pursuant to Section 5(e) above to have used or possessed marijuana, or (iii) has been convicted of (including a plea of guilty, no contest or nolo contendere to) the use or possession of marijuana in violation of the law, shall suffer the following penalties:

(A) For the first such violation, the player shall be required to enter the Marijuana Program;

(B) For the second such violation, the player shall be fined $25,000 and, if the player is not then subject to in-patient or aftercare treatment in the Marijuana Program, be required to enter the Marijuana Program;

(C) For the third such violation, the player shall be suspended for five (5) games and, if the player is not then subject to in-patient or aftercare treatment in the Marijuana Program, be required to enter the
Marijuana Program; and

(D) For any subsequent violation, the player shall be suspended for five (5) games longer than his immediately preceding suspension for violating the Marijuana Program and, if the player is not then subject to in-patient or aftercare treatment in the Marijuana Program, be required to enter the Marijuana Program.

Harris, 25, was acquired by the Blazers from the New Orleans Pelicans in a three-team sign-and-trade deal that also landed center Robin Lopez in Portland. He holds career averages of 2.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in two seasons with the Miami Heat and New Orleans Hornets.

Harris is technically Portland's 15th player but his contract for the 2013-14 season is non-guaranteed as long as he is released by Oct. 31.

Harris played for the Blazers in the 2013 Las Vegas Summer League. He said he wasn't sure what his future looked like with the Blazers following the Summer League finale.

"Whatever happens, happens, as far as training camp and filling that last spot. I hope [to be in Portland for camp]. No indication [if I will be invited]."

Blazers GM Neil Olshey offered these thoughts on the 15th roster spot from Las Vegas.

I don't know. We're really comfortable with where the roster is. Unlike last year, the 14th guy on our roster is capable of playing in an NBA game. What we don't want to do is grab a guy, create another redundancy and have two guys on the inactive list. I like the the ability to do uneven deals. Having that roster spot, and the flexibility, we've got some tradeable contracts. We've done a really good job of not having to go out too far into the future. We've got a lot of young talent.

If the opportunity comes up once again to accelerate this and get another established veteran in, you don't want a deal to fall apart because you have to send something back rather than having an open roster spot to absorb a player.

Candace Buckner of The Columbian profiled Harris recently.

When Harris was just a skinny kid who hadn't yet grown into his ears, he liked spaghetti and wanted his friends to call him 'Teco.' He attended church with his mother and served as a youth usher and an acolyte, lighting the candles prior to worship at Hamilton Park United Methodist Church. On the court, he lit up his rivals as the best basketball player in the neighborhood. So, typically, Harris wrote in a junior high publication that his future profession would be a "Pro Basketball Player."

His mom still keeps that clipping under plastic in her North Dallas home - along with her very own diamond-encrusted replica of the Miami Heat 2012 championship ring.

"It was just a blessing," Harris said. "A lot of people say, 'Man, you're so lucky.' I would correct them. I say that I'm blessed. I had faith. A lot of people don't understand that word 'faith.' "

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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