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Marks: Maurice Harkless’ Slump Brings Potential Savings to the Trail Blazers

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Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless’ struggles from beyond the arc could prove costly.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

It is been a rough start to the season for Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless. The former Orlando Magic castoff is shooting a paltry 23.7 percent from beyond the arc, and he has been replaced by Pat Connaughton in coach Terry Stotts’ starting rotation. But his slow start does have a potential silver lining for the team, as his struggles from the 3-point line could reduce Portland’s luxury tax bill at the conclusion of the 2017-18 NBA season.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks explained Harkless’ bonus situation with the following:

The Portland Trail Blazers' Maurice Harkless will need to find his shooting touch if he wishes to be rewarded with a $500K bonus, as he was last season. The small forward, currently shooting 24.3 percent from 3, has to reach 35 percent by the end of the season.

The cost of Harkless not reaching the 3-point percentage criteria could result in financial savings for the Blazers. Portland would see its luxury tax bill drop from $4.3 million to $3.5 million, a savings of $800K.

Harkless’ 35.1 3-point percentage from the 2016-17 season saw him barely claim his $500K performance bonus. After being relegated to the bench following Portland’s 101-81 loss to Philadelphia on Nov. 22, it will be an uphill climb for Harkless to salvage his current shooting percentages.

You can read Marks’ full story by following this link.