Earlier today, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reported draft-pick talks between the Portland Trail Blazers and the New York Knicks. ESPN’s Ian Begley added an additional wrinkle, naming Maurice Harkless as a player of interest.
Talks between New York and Portland are believed to be in the early stages, but at least one scenario discussed involved an additional player from Portland being sent in a trade, according to sources. Portland's Moe Harkless is one player who was discussed in a possible trade scenario, sources told ESPN.
It is unclear which players outside of Harkless have been discussed. It's worth noting that the Blazers have nearly $133 million in guaranteed contracts on their books for the 2017-18 season, so they may be looking to shed salary in any transaction involving their first-round pick.
Harkless has not previously been named in any active trade rumors. He averaged 10.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game this season, a rise from last season’s 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds. As the Blazers struggled to find wins this season, Harkless traded roles between starter and reserve.
Deveney also mentioned the possibility of Harkless being moved in his piece.
Harkless is a more attractive option. He has $40 million coming to him over four seasons, and was better in many areas than Crabbe last year. But, as well-stocked as this draft is rumored to be, teams still appear reluctant to hand over much for picks.
The Blazers have the 15th, 20th, and 26th picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Knicks have the 8th pick, but Begley notes that they want to keep it, and supplement it with another first-round talent.