When Maurice Harkless was traded from the Clippers to the Knicks, many assumed that the forward would agree to a buyout with New York and move on to a more competitive team. However, will not be the case.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com (Twitter link), Harkless and the Knicks are not in buyout discussions and the veteran will remain with the team through the season.
There were reports earlier this month suggesting the Knicks had no plans to buy out Harkless or any of their veterans. However, it was a point worth confirming after the 26-year-old this week admitted this week that moving from a contender to a non-competitive team has been hard.
Harkless is in the final year of his contract and will hit the free-agent market this offseason. Not many teams are expected to have available cap space and we’ve seen players stick with bad clubs as opposed to agreeing to a buyout for presumed financial reasons. For example, Tristan Thompson declined to enter into a buyout agreement with the Cavs since the team owned his Bird Rights and could sign-and-trade him this summer.
Like Thompson, by taking this approach Harkless may be able to reap a bigger payday than signing outright in free agency since there are a lack of clubs with flexibility. The Knicks acquired Harkless’ Bird Rights when they acquired him, so they could go over the cap to sign the forward.