Harper was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 11th overall pick of the 1983 NBA Draft. He spent his first ten seasons with them, averaging 15 points and 6.1 assists, the entire time in a backcourt tandem with All-Star shooting guard Rolando Blackman.
Harper was traded to the New York Knicks 28 games into the 1993-94 season, as the Knicks were looking for a defensive point guard to replace injured Doc Rivers, sidelined for the rest the season. The shift sent him from a team that finished 13-69 to being an integral part of one that came within one game of winning the 1994 NBA Championship.
After one more season with the Knicks Harper returned to Dallas in 1996-97, then played one season each with the Magic and Lakers. The Lakers traded him to the Detroit Pistons, but he retired without reporting to the team.
Harper played in 1199 regular season games in his career, tying him for 35th in NBA history (as of the 2013-14 NBA season). He retired having the eleventh most steals and the seventeenth most assists in NBA history, and is widely regarded as one of the best players to never have been selected to an All-Star game.
Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday salutes all round solid two way player …Derek Harper.
|1994–1996||New York Knicks|
|1999||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||16,006 (13.3 ppg)|
|Assists||6,577 (5.5 apg)|
|Steals||1,957 (1.6 spg)|