Maurice Harkless
Maurice Harkless
26-Year-Old ForwardF
Los Angeles Clippers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Harkless was dealt to the Clippers as part of the multi-team deal that landed Jimmy Butler with the Heat. Playing in his fourth year with the Trail Blazers, Harkless averaged 7.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 2.0 combined blocks/steals across 23.6 minutes per contest. He can play either forward spot and figures to be regularly involved off the bench behind superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Leonard proved last year that resting during the regular season is an effective strategy to remain healthy in the postseason, so it's highly likely he and/or Paul George take it easy in stretches this year. Harkless will be valuable to the Clippers in a rotational role, though this bench features two of the best sixth-men in the league in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, and offensive opportunities may be hard to come by for Harkless. He'll be useful as a streamer in daily formats if he lands in the starting five, but he doesn't need to be rostered in standard formats, playing on a loaded Clippers squad. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $42 million contract with the Trail Blazers in July of 2016. Traded to the Clippers in July of 2019.
Drops team-high 16 points
FLos Angeles Clippers
October 6, 2019
Harkless ended with 16 points (7-7 FG, 2-2 3Pt), three rebounds, two blocks, and one assist in 12 minutes during Sunday's 127-87 preseason victory over the Shanghai Sharks.
Harkless hit all seven of his shot attempts on the way to a team-best 16 points Sunday. This game was a blowout meaning the minutes were all over the place. Harkless could have patches of backend standard league value this season but it is all dependant on other players resting. He is more of a defensive specialist in any case and is only worth monitoring from afar at this stage.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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.
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
Shipped to Los Angeles
FLos Angeles Clippers
July 1, 2019
Harkless will be traded to the Clippers as part of a multi-team sign-and-trade, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
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Traded to Miami
FMiami Heat
July 1, 2019
Harkless was traded to the Heat on Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.
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Second consecutive solid effort
FPortland Trail Blazers
May 17, 2019
Harkless registered 12 points (4-7 FG, 2-2 3Pt, 2-2 FT), four rebounds, two assists and one steal across 23 minutes during the Trail Blazers' 114-111 loss to the Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals Thursday.
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Strong performance in Game 1 loss
FPortland Trail Blazers
May 14, 2019
Harkless tallied 17 points (7-12 FG, 1-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT), four rebounds, three blocks, one assist, and one steal in 30 minutes during Tuesday's 116-94 loss to Golden State.
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Thrives in Game 3 win
FPortland Trail Blazers
May 4, 2019
Harkless (ankle) managed 15 points (6-14 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 2-3 FT), 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal across 45 minutes during the Trail Blazers' 140-137 quadruple-overtime win over the Nuggets in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal-round series Friday.
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