WEDNESDAY, 4:46pm: Orlando is seeking a first-round pick or a “talented young player” in return for Harkless, sources tell Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, which conflicts with Zillgitt’s report that the Magic are only looking for a minimal return.
TUESDAY, 4:32pm: The Magic are willing to trade third-year forward Maurice Harkless, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports (Twitter link). Orlando only seeks what Zillgitt terms a minimal return for the 21-year-old former first-rounder out of St. John’s. The franchise is also reportedly willing to trade Andrew Nicholson, though the team is seeking a more substantial return for the power forward. Harkless is making $1,887,840 this season, and he is set to earn $2,894,059 during the 2015/16 campaign.
A report from Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders last month relayed that numerous teams had called Orlando regarding Harkless, but the Magic’s asking price was too high for inquiring teams. It is unclear if Harkless’ stock has fallen dramatically within the organization since then, or if the Magic have simply become more realistic about the trade market for their young swingman. Kennedy’s report also stated that Orlando’s front office hoped that interim coach James Borrego could coax more out of Harkless than former coach Jacque Vaughn did. This change apparently hasn’t occurred as desired, since Harkless has only logged a total of 12 minutes over Orlando’s last four contests.
Harkless has appeared in 27 games this season, and has averaged 3.4 points and 1.9 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per contest. These numbers fall short of Harkless’ career averages of 7.1 PPG and 3.6 RPG. His career slash line is .459/.317/.594.