Maurice Harkless
Maurice Harkless
25-Year-Old ForwardF
Portland Trail Blazers
GTD
Injury Knee
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Harkless is set to battle Evan Turner for the starting small forward role as he enters his seventh season. The veteran seemed to be on the verge of a breakout after averaging or equaling career bests in scoring (10.0), rebounds (4.4) and assists (1.1), while also draining a career-high 50.3 percent of his 8.1 attempts per contest. Each of those figures took a hit to some degree last season while he battled knee problems that limited him to 59 games. That was also the culprit for his inability to play in Game 4 of the quarterfinal round versus the Pelicans, but Harkless reportedly enters the new season healthy. While he’s shown the ability to contribute the occasional double-digit scoring effort, Harkless likely is what he is at this point in his career – a serviceable all-around player who’s capable of offering solid supplemental offensive production through an above-average shot. His ability to fill in at power forward should also continue to afford him an appreciable allotment of minutes even if he doesn't emerge as a starter at the three. Read Past Outlooks
$Re-signed with the Trail Blazers on a four-year, $40 million contract in July of 2016. Contract is worth up to $42 million with incentives.
Will be limited to start camp
FPortland Trail Blazers
Knee
September 24, 2018
Harkless said he's yet to make a full recovery from the knee procedure he underwent at the end of the 2017-18 season and will be limited for the start of training camp, Joe Freeman of the Oregonian reports.
ANALYSIS
Harkless missed 11 of the Trail Blazers' final 13 games last season with a knee injury, which included sitting out two of the team's four losses to the Pelicans in the first round of the playoffs. He apparently underwent a procedure to correct the issue at some point following the season, though an exact date hasn't been provided. Either way, Harkless is still dealing with some discomfort and is set to be limited for the start of training camp. He hasn't been cleared for 5-on-5 work, so with the preseason kicking off this Saturday against Toronto, it seems highly unlikely that Harkless is available. Whether or not Harkless sees any time at all during the preseason is also up in the air, so it will be a situation to monitor over the next few weeks. The Trail Blazers' regular-season opener is scheduled for Oct. 18 against the Lakers.
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Maurice Harkless NBA Stats
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Maurice Harkless 2017–18 NBA Game Log
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Depth Chart Status
#2 Power Forward
#2 Small Forward
Portland Trail Blazers Power Forward Depth Chart
Average Fantasy Points
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2015
2014
2013
2012
Harkless finally gained some traction during the 2016-17 campaign, starting 69 of the 77 games he took part in. He split time between both forward spots and that versatility allowed him to average 28.9 minutes per game, which was a huge increase from the 18.7 he averaged a year prior. The bump in playing time ultimately allowed Harkless to post career highs of 10.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists, while also chipping in as a solid defender with 1.1 steals per game. The improvement with his shot was especially encouraging, as he jumped from 47.4 percent from the field and 27.9 percent from the three-point line, to 50.3 percent and 35.1 percent, respectively. That growth as a floor-spacing big man currently has Harkless sitting as a favorite to open the season as the team's starting power forward, although that could certainly change depending on how training camp plays out. Guys like Al-Farouq Aminu and Noah Vonleh saw brief stints as a starter last season and rookie Caleb Swanigan looked very impressive during summer league as well, which could threaten some of Harkless' workload at power forward. Still, Harkless' ability to play both forward spots likely means a similar role for the upcoming campaign.
Once one of the promising young wings in the NBA, Harkless fell out of favor with coach Jacque Vaughn and interim boss James Borrego last season, garnering 27 DNP-CDs and 10 more contests on the Magic's inactive list. In his 45 outings, Harkless surpassed 20 minutes of run on just 10 occasions, as veterans like Channing Frye, Willie Green, and Ben Gordon were tabbed when the young core was afflicted by injury. Consequently, Harkless' output tumbled – 3.5 points (on 40 percent shooting), 2.4 rebounds, 0.7 steals, and 0.6 assists in 15 minutes per game – but the 22-year-old has been afforded an opportunity to rebound after July's trade to the Blazers. Bereft of a talent like Nicolas Batum, who was shipped to Charlotte this summer, small forward is open for business in Portland. General manager Neil Olshey expects Al-Farouq Aminu to occupy Batum's former spot in the starting five, but he also believes that Harkless can prosper within the organization's player development system. Nevertheless, until Harkless flashes a semblance of his potential, he's a difficult prospect to trust.
Maurice Harkless is entering his third season in the NBA. During his sophomore campaign, Harkless averaged 7.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 24 minutes per game through 80 games played. He shot 46 percent from the field on 6.0 attempts per game and 59 percent from the free-throw line on 1.8 attempts per game. Harkless improved to become an above-average three-point shooter last season, converting 38 percent of his shots from beyond the arc. He finished 34th in total steals (97). Sadly, it was his second consecutive season shooting less than 60 percent from the free-throw line, and even though half his shot attempts were in the restricted area, Harkless fell four percent shy (56 percent) of the league average in that zone. The addition of Channing Frye at power forward creates a position battle at starting small forward between Harkless and Tobias Harris. With Harkless possessing two traits his counterpart lacks - quality perimeter defense and outside shooting - coach Jacque Vaughn may anoint the St. John's alumnus the Opening Night starter at small forward.
Prospective owners see upside when they look at Harkless. He had a stretch in mid-March during his rookie season where he averaged 16.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 1.4 three-pointers per game over a five-game span. Of course, he averaged better than 37 minutes per game over that stretch, but it represented a quick glimpse of his potential. Over the course of the whole season, his 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks in 26 minutes per game are the only numbers that really stand out, but he will also be just 20 years old for the entirety of the 2013-14 regular season. He should start the season as the Magic's starting small forward, and if he plays relatively well, playing time shouldn't be a big issue. The Magic are rebuilding, and Harkless is one of the pieces that is part of the long-term plan, so he will be allowed some growing pains. He makes for a nice high-upside play at the end of standard league drafts and is worth targeting in dynasty formats earlier than that.
Harkless was a key piece in the Howard trade, and clearly the organization has high hopes for the former Johnnie. Harkless is a solid 6’9 with good athleticism, but is still incredibly raw with only 32 games of college experience. His absence until mid-November will delay his development, and he needs to improve his outside shooting. Orlando expects him to be a contributor off the bench.
More Fantasy News
Out for Game 4
FPortland Trail Blazers
Knee
April 21, 2018
Harkless (knee) is out for Saturday's Game 4 against the Pelicans, per Portland Trail Blazers courtside reporter Brooke Olzendam.
ANALYSIS
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Questionable for Game 4
FPortland Trail Blazers
Knee
April 20, 2018
Harkless is questionable for Saturday's Game 4 against the Pelicans due to left knee soreness, Casey Holdahl of the Trail Blazers' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Quiet in Game 3 start
FPortland Trail Blazers
April 20, 2018
Harkless scored five points (2-8 FG, 1-5 3Pt) while adding four assists and three rebounds in 26 minutes during Thursday's 119-102 loss to the Pelicans in Game 3.
ANALYSIS
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Starting in Game 3
FPortland Trail Blazers
April 19, 2018
Harkless will draw the start for Thursday's Game 3 against the Pelicans, Casey Holdahl of the Trail Blazers' official site reports.
ANALYSIS
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Productive in return to action
FPortland Trail Blazers
April 18, 2018
Harkless (knee) pitched in 11 points (5-5 FG, 1-1 3Pt), five rebounds and one block across 27 minutes during Portland's 111-102 loss to the Pelicans in Game 2 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.
ANALYSIS
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