The Portland Trail Blazers continued their offseason overhaul, acquiring small forward Maurice "Moe" Harkless from the Orlando Magic on Sunday, sending a future second-round pick in exchange. Yahoo Sports broke the news.
Orlando is trading forward Moe Harkless to Portland for a future second-round pick, league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 12, 2015
Harkless averaged 3.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in 15 minutes per game for the Magic last season. He was originally the 15th overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Magic. His minutes were drastically reduced last season from his first two NBA seasons. Overall, he has averaged 6.8 points and 3.5 rebounds for his career.
As The Columbian's Erik Gundersen notes, Portland has already shipped out many of their second round picks prior to this transaction:
Also, trying to figure out where that future second from Portland is coming from. 2021?— Erik Gundersen (@blazerbanter) July 12, 2015
This analysis of Harkless comes from SBNation sister site OrlandoPinstripedPost:
Before his February ouster, coach Jacque Vaughn said several times that he wanted Harkless to play more energetic and focused defensively. Fair enough, as it seems every coach expects better defensive effort from all of his players, but it struck Magic fans and NBA analysts as odd that a rebuilding squad would bench a 21-year-old with Harkless' potential.
And yet, bench him Orlando did. Even after James Borrego replaced Vaughn as Magic coach, Harkless remained an afterthought, logging only 15.6 minutes per game to go with eight Did Not Play-Coach's Decisions and two games on the inactive list.
As one might expect from a young player grappling with losing his role, Harkless cratered. He shot 39.9 percent from the floor and 17.9 percent on threes, both of which figures represent career-worsts. And while offense may never be Harkless' calling card, he simply has to improve as a shooter if he's to stick as a rotation player in this league. A more creative coach than Vaughn and Borrego might have found ways to make better use of Harkless' speed and athleticism, perhaps by looking to fast-break more. But even just giving him the ball would be a start: late in his second season, the St. John's product showed better facility and confidence with his handle, leading to some inspired drives to the rim. Pairing that off-the-dribble friskiness with even a league-average corner three-pointer would make Harkless someone defenses can't completely ignore.
Throughout his third season, Harkless at least remained professional and willing to work through his struggles; if he was upset about his lack of playing time and diminishing role, he never let it show in public view. That much, and the fact that he is, by all accounts, a tireless worker, has to count for something. But his uninspiring season on the court, one which marked as a clear regression from his second season, is certainly cause for concern.
Dave's Instant Analysis: Former lottery pick who hasn't played much for his team...athletic...can't shoot that well...I think I'm starting to sense a pattern here. With just a little more data we may be able to pick up on what the Trail Blazers are trying to do this summer...