The Utah Jazz were thought to be finished making moves, but with the preseason starting this weekend and the regular season just around the corner, the front office had one more up its sleeve.

In an attempt to add defensive depth on the perimeter, the Jazz signed free agent guard Shaquille Harrison to a one-year, minimum salary deal Wednesday.

Harrison became an unrestricted free agent after the Chicago Bulls declined to extend a qualifying offer to him this offseason.

Before we get to what the signing means for the Jazz and what to expect from Harrison, we have to talk about his height, which was a hot topic of discussion among fans after report of the signing made its way around social media.

Harrison, who spent the last two years with the Bulls, says he is 6-foot-4. His draft profile from back in 2016, as well as everything from Tulsa, where he played collegiately, and the G League lists him at 6-4. But the NBA lists the fourth-year guard as 6-7.

This seems to have been cleared up when NBC Sports Chicago reporter K.C. Johnson asked Harrison at the beginning of the 2019-20 season, “How tall are you?”

Harrison confirmed that he is in fact 6-4 and that his listed height was a mistake.

After passing a physical and officially inking his deal with the Jazz, the team released a statement that also lists his height as 6-4.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the 6-4 defensively minded guard. 

Despite his limited playing time and largely reserve role, Harrison ranked third in deflections per 36 minutes among NBA players who played at least 43 games last season with 4.9, led the league in blocks per 36 minutes by a guard with 1.4 and was seventh among guards in points off turnovers per 36 minutes.

Harrison is crafty in passing lanes and moves around screens with speed. When thinking back to how much trouble the Jazz had creating any sort of containment around Jamal Murray in their playoff series against the Denver Nuggets, Harrison is the ideal plug-and-play type of person who can take on the task of guarding even the league’s most daunting perimeter players.

The 2020-21 season is going to present challenges to teams unlike any before with the need to rest players more often and also with the inevitability of players contracting the coronavirus, forcing teams to pivot away from their normal rotations.

The Jazz have a large number of ballhandlers and playmakers, but lockdown defense from those players has been a weakness.

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Royce O’Neale, while an excellent defender, cannot play 48 minutes, and he cannot take on all of an opposing team’s weapons at once, so when players such as Donovan Mitchell or Joe Ingles pick up some of the more exhaustive defensive assignments, it takes away from the energy the can expend on the offensive side of the ball.

With Harrison in the rotation, it should allow some of the Jazz’s more prolific offensive players room to operate at a higher level on that side.

Additionally, if any of those players happen to end up in the NBA’s COVID-19 protocol because of contact with a confirmed case or testing positive themselves, the presence of Harrison should allow the Jazz to breathe a sigh of relief. Not only is Harrison a more than proficient defensive player, but he’s able to play both point and shooting guard, making him a Swiss Army perimeter substitute in the event the Jazz need to move things around.

There’s no reason to believe Harrison will be playing significant minutes through the regular season, however. The Jazz’s starting unit and core of players is pretty well set. Harrison will be a reserve, and it will take him some time to learn the Jazz’s system, especially considering he is coming to the team at the tail end of training camp and that he is recovering from a minor hand injury, according to a report from The Athletic.

Though, there is certainly reason to believe that after Harrison finds his groove with the Jazz, he could end up playing an important role down the stretch or even in the playoffs where defensive stops are of the highest value, as evidenced by the Jazz’s most recent playoff run.

Harrison’s offensive game is where there is some cause for concern, but it’s not like the Jazz targeted him because they need him to score at a high rate. Harrison averaged 4.9 points and 2.0 rebounds per game last season while shooting 38.1% from distance.

That being said, when injury to other players gave Harrison a little more time on the court at the end of last season, before the suspension of play in March, his offensive numbers skyrocketed. In the final eight games of the season, including six starts, Harrison averaged 9.5 points per game, shooting 50% from the field and 56.3% from 2-point range in 24.3 minutes per game.

There are many arguments to be made about whether Harrison can manage that type of efficiency in a reserve role and with a ton of variables that could impact how he plays, including the talent level of the players next to him.

As the Jazz’s roster stands, the starters are Mitchell, O’Neale, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Rudy Gobert, with a bench rotation of Joe Ingles, Derrick Favors, Jordan Clarkson, Georges Niang and Harrison, along with a host of rookies and second-year players (Udoka Azubuike, Elijah Hughes, Miye Oni, Juwan Morgan and Jarrell Brantley) who could find playing time as well.