Raptors rookie Jalen Harris dismissed from NBA over drug violation

Toronto Raptors’ rookie Jalen Harris was dismissed from the league for a year after violating the NBA’s anti-drug program on Thursday, according to The Athletic.

The NBA has a strict anti-drug policy, but over the past few years have softened their stance on the use of marijuana. The league has adopted a three-strike policy for marijuana violations, but players only have one strike for “drugs of abuse.” Additionally, it is only a five-game suspension for testing positive for marijuana, as opposed to the two-year suspension for hard drugs.

The prohibited drugs listed on the current CBA include cocaine, ketamine, LSD, benzodiazepines, and opiates. The NBA is unable to divulge any specifics surrounding the failed drug test.

“The NBA, NBA teams, and the NBPA are prohibited from publicly disclosing information regarding the testing or treatment of any NBA player under the Anti-Drug Program, other than to announce a player’s suspension or dismissal from the league,” the NBA said in a statement.

Normally when a player fails their drug test, they will receive a two-year suspension. However, since Harris was a rookie this season, his will only last one year.

Jalen Harris with the Raptors in 2021.
Jalen Harris with the Raptors in 2021.
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The Raptors selected Harris in the second round of last year’s draft. He only played in 13 games for Toronto this season, as he missed time with a hip injury. In those 13 games, he averaged 7.4 points per game.

However, in his final four games of the season, Harris flashed serious potential, averaging 18.5 points, three rebounds, and three assists per game. He made two starts for the Raptors, which included a 31-point performance in his last game of the season.

Harris was set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, but due to the violation, his contract is voided. The Raptors will retain his rights and can decide to bring him back after Harris serves his suspension.

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