Knicks, Harkless Not Planning On Buyout

FEBRUARY 21, 6:05pm: Harkless plans to remain with the Knicks for the rest of the season, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets.

FEBRUARY 20, 9:15am: When the Clippers acquired Marcus Morris from the Knicks two weeks ago, they sent Maurice Harkless to New York as a salary-matching piece. With Harkless on an expiring contract and New York well out of the playoff race, there was speculation that his new team may be willing to buy out the veteran forward to allow him to join a contender.

As Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic reports (via Twitter), Harkless said on Wednesday that he hasn’t initiated any buyout talks with the Knicks. However, the 26-year-old didn’t entirely rule out the possibility, suggesting he and his agent may discuss a potential buyout at some point and weigh whether he wants to finish the season with a playoff team.

Harkless appeared in 50 games (38 starts) with the Clippers before being dealt at the deadline. His counting stats (5.5 PPG and 4.0 RPG in 22.8 MPG) were modest, but he was a solid complementary piece alongside a handful of ball-dominant players in L.A., providing good perimeter defense and shooting well (.516 FG%, .370 3PT%) when he did end up with the ball.

A New York native, Harkless said upon being traded to the Knicks that it was a “dream come true” to join the club he grew up rooting for. So it’s possible his desire to finish the season with his hometown team may outweigh his interest in signing with a contender. Even if he seeks a buyout, the Knicks would have to be willing to negotiate the terms of his release.

If the two sides end up pursuing a buyout agreement, they’ll do so by March 1 to ensure Harkless retains his postseason eligibility. A player who is waived on March 2 or a later date can’t appear in the playoffs for a new team.

Harkless wouldn’t be able to re-sign with the Clippers if he’s bought out, but any other team would be fair game. There have been rumors suggesting that Los Angeles’ other team, the Lakers, would have interest.

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15 thoughts on “Knicks, Harkless Not Planning On Buyout

  1. metsie1

    I still don’t see a real reason why Knicks would negotiate a buy out. They get no benefit.

    • lakersfan27

      The get to save money and they build reputation of doing right by vets.

      • Ironmonger835

        How is this “doing right”? He has a contract. Show up. Everyone wants to be a cry baby like Iguodala now.

        • SheltonMatthews

          Teams have been buying players out for much longer than Iggy sitting this season. Which seemed to be agreed upon, so I’m not sure why you really care about it at all.

    • JT19

      Clears a roster spot too if they have another player in mind they would rather use it on.

    • Averagebro

      Saves money. Opens a spot for another call up. Vets love teams that don’t handcuff players come free agency. Frees up minutes for youngsters.

      • metsie1

        Money is not an issue for the Knicks. Harkless has no impact on the cap. Knicks are loaded with cap space. Knicks have plenty of minutes available and it’s not like Harkless is ancient. He is just 26.

  2. There’s no reason for a buyout. Harkless has been a rotation starter and rotation player in the league for awhile (and for some good teams), and he’s healthy and still only 26. Having him on the roster at the end of the year (with his Bird rights) has value. More than a few contenders are going to explore supplementing their teams this off season with S&T deals. If a player isn’t getting the multi-year offers he wants, it’s always best to stay with the current team and continue Bird Rights. Particularly for a local guy.

    I hope Rose won’t begin his tenure giving away potential assets. Particularly with so many real issues on his plate.

  3. x%sure

    The Knicks FO may have nodded to their existing vets when they said Harkless would be bought out, but they need to calculate who they really want to bring back next year.
    Harkless’ career would be a good role model for Barrett if he never learns to shoot well. Better than Knox or Randle or Trier, anyway.

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