Maurice Harkless

Thunder Trade Vit Krejci To Hawks For Maurice Harkless, Pick

9:02pm: The trade is official, according to a Hawks press release. While also confirming the trade in their own press release, the Thunder provided more details regarding the picks involved.

The second-rounder headed to Oklahoma City is Atlanta’s 2029 pick. The Thunder will also receive amendments on the conditions of a previously traded 2025 second-round pick from the Hawks. The amended 2025 second-round pick will now be top-40 protected. Previously that pick was top-55 protected.


4:31pm: The Thunder are trading Vit Krejci to the Hawks in exchange for Maurice Harkless and a second-round pick, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

After signing a multiyear contract ahead of the 2021/22 NBA season, Krejci appeared in 30 games in his first NBA season, averaging 6.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 1.9 APG. He posted shooting splits of .407/.327/.864.

An early 2020 second-round pick, Krejci underwent an arthroscopic knee procedure in April. His $1,563,518 salary for the coming season is only 50% guaranteed for now.

The 6’8” Krejci, who turned 22 in June, could work his way into a rotation spot with Atlanta. However, the deal is primarily a cost-cutting move for the Hawks. The team drops from $1.7MM over the luxury tax line to $1.3MM below it by swapping Harkless for Krejci, Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype tweets.

The Hawks will also create a trade exception worth $4,564,980, the amount of Harkless’ outgoing salary.

Harkless, 29, has been in the league since the 2012/13 season. He spent last season with the Kings, appearing in 47 games (24 starts) while averaging 4.6 PPG and 2.4 RPG. He has also played for Orlando, Portland, the Los Angeles Clippers, New York and Miami. Overall, Harkless has appeared in 621 NBA games and averaged 6.9 PPG and 3.5 RPG in 22.6 MPG.

Harkless, who has an expiring contract, was traded from Sacramento to Atlanta in the Kevin Huerter deal earlier this offseason. It’s uncertain whether the Thunder plan to keep him or waive him.

Oklahoma City applied for a disabled player exception in late August worth $4.95MM in the wake of Chet Holmgren‘s season-ending injury. Harkless’ contract will slot into that exception, which was granted last week, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. That allows the Thunder to complete the deal without matching salaries, since Krejci’s $1.56MM cap charge isn’t big enough to match Harkless’ $4.56MM salary.

Landry Fields: Hawks “Bet On The Character Makeup” Of Trae Young, Dejounte Murray

The Hawkstrade for Dejounte Murray was about finding a backcourt partner who fits well alongside Trae Young, general manager Landry Fields said in an interview with Mark Medina of NBA.com. Atlanta paid a steep price for Murray, sending three first-round picks and a pick swap to San Antonio along with Danilo Gallinari, but Fields believes the deal was worth it to find a possible long-time complement to Young.

Murray and Young have both been primary ball-handlers throughout their careers, so they’ll have to work on blending their offensive games together. Defensively, Murray can take on the toughest matchups and make it more difficult for opponents to exploit Young.

“We bet on the character makeup of Trae and Dejounte,” Fields said. “Both of those guys want to win, and will do what it takes to win. They need that because their roles will be a lot different than they were last year, from both respective teams. As long as they’re able to do what it takes, Coach [Nate McMillan] then comes in and is able to get creative with how they’ll operate. From a front-office standpoint, we’ll determine if we need to inject more here, here or here. Hopefully, all three of those are working at the same time.”

Fields addresses several other topics during the interview, including:

The trade that sent Kevin Huerter to the Kings in exchange for Justin Holiday, Maurice Harkless and a future first-round pick:

“Justin Holiday gives us more length around the perimeter and an ability to shoot from the perimeter. That opens things up for Trae and Dejounte with an ability to space the floor. That gives room for Clint [Capela] and John [Collins] as they’re working down in the interior. Hopefully, De’Andre [Hunter] continues to take the steps that he needs.

“With Moe, he’s a guy that plays hard and gives us depth at the four. It’s helpful in that regard. He’s a vet. He’s got great character and we like what he brings to the locker room. He’s not the most outgoing guy, but enough so that we feel there’s an impact there, too.”

John Collins, who has been the subject of frequent trade speculation since re-signing with the Hawks last offseason:

“This isn’t one of those, ‘We have to get off of John.’ That’s absurd. There’s a misinterpretation of that. You always think of the player from that standpoint because he is constantly in talks. You try to make sure with him that we check in and make sure he’s doing all right. It’s something where it’s less about wondering if he’s the long-term fit and it’s more about the fact that he gets called on a lot. The moment those calls come up, people talk. Then all of a sudden, here we are in the media with this thought that John Collins is not wanted by the Hawks.”

The status of McMillan, who reportedly could be on the hot seat if Atlanta gets off to another slow start:

“Coach has been great. After the season, as a staff, [president of basketball operations] Travis [Schlenk] had a chance to sit with him. He was working with him throughout the offseason. It’s his renewed approach to things and his viewpoints. He was leading by taking ownership and responsibility. It was good to see. You need that. I know he’s excited about the group. But he’s also hungry to get back to where we are, too. He’s been here day in and day out in Vegas. He’s been in the gym at our facility. He’s always been there.”

Hawks Trade Kevin Huerter To Kings

JULY 6: The trade is now official, according to a press release from the Hawks. Within the team’s announcement, president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk referred to Holiday and Harkless as “two defensive-minded, quality veterans who can help our team on the court and in the locker room.”


JULY 1: The Hawks and Kings have agreed to a trade that will send sharpshooter Kevin Huerter to Sacramento, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

According to Wojnarowski, Atlanta will receive forwards Justin Holiday and Maurice Harkless in the deal, along with a future first-round pick.

That first-rounder will be the Kings’ own 2024 selection and will be lottery-protected, reports Chris Kirschner of The Athletic (Twitter link). If it doesn’t convey immediately, it would be top-12 protected in 2025 and top-10 protected in 2026. If it still hasn’t changed hands by that point, the Hawks would instead receive two second-rounders, says Kirschner.

The Kings have clearly made it a priority this offseason to add reliable outside shooting to complement their two stars, De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. Huerter made a career-high 38.9% of his three-pointers in 2021/22, attempting 5.6 per game.

Neither Fox nor Sabonis is a major threat from beyond the arc, but they should be surrounded by solid floor-spaces. In addition to striking a deal for Huerter, the Kings have also drafted Keegan Murray and agreed to sign Malik Monk since the offseason began.

The Hawks, meanwhile, will replenish their stash of draft assets slightly after giving up three first-round picks and a swap to acquire Dejounte Murray earlier in the week.

Atlanta will also move off Huerter’s four-year, $65MM contract, creating a little extra long-term flexibility and also shedding some salary in the short term. As Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype tweets, Atlanta is hovering right around the tax line for 13 players.

While the Hawks will miss Huerter’s shooting, their first-round pick, AJ Griffin, was considered one of the top marksmen in this year’s draft class and should help make up for that loss. Assuming both are retained, Holiday and Harkless also offer some defensive versatility that Huerter lacked.

The Hawks have now agreed to acquire two of the Holiday brothers today — they also reached a deal to sign point guard Aaron Holiday.

Southeast Notes: Hawks, Beal, Wizards, Magic, Hornets

Dejounte Murray is excited to team up with Trae Young and had been talking to his new partner in the Hawks‘ backcourt about the possibility for the past two to three weeks, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Speaking at press conference Friday, Murray said Atlanta was the only team he wanted to join and told reporters that he probably would still be with the Spurs if it hadn’t been for the opportunity with the Hawks.

Atlanta paid a premium price to acquire Murray, sending Danilo Gallinari and a sizable package of draft assets to San Antonio. General manager Landry Fields said the Hawks took time to assess the risks before committing to the trade.

“This wasn’t one of those that came about in a day,” Fields said. “Looking at what we were going to part with up front was one thing and then once we started to engage with San Antonio, it turned into another thing. We took time between talks to sit and think about how this was going to impact us in the future, how was this going to impact our current team, projection-wise what we are going to look like in several years, after factoring all of that in, we got to a place we were comfortable with.”

Here are some other notes from the Southeast Division:

  • Justin Holiday and Maurice Harkless, who are being acquired from the Kings in the Kevin Huerter trade, are both expected to be on the Hawks’ opening night roster. Kirschner adds. He also states that Atlanta continues to listen to offers for John Collins.
  • The Wizards were able to retain star free agent Bradley Beal in free agency, but questions remain about whether it was the right move for the team, Josh Robbins of The Athletic writes. Washington agreed to a five-year, $251MM deal with the three-time All-Star, prompting Robbins to explore whether keeping Beal at that price will keep the Wizards stuck in mediocrity due to their limited cap flexibility.
  • The Magic‘s free agency moves further prove the team believes in its young core, Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel opines. Orlando reached agreements with Mohamed Bamba, Gary Harris and Bol Bol, and guaranteed Moritz Wagner‘s salary. The team appears ready to run it back and continue developing its own players rather than adding outside help.
  • The Hornets are expected to hire Tyrone Corbin and Bob Beyer to Steve Clifford‘s coaching staff, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweets. Corbin worked for Clifford in Orlando, while Beyer coached under Clifford in Charlotte. Corbin and Beyer hold over 30 years of combined NBA coaching experience.

Arthur Hill contributed to this post.

Pacific Notes: Booker, Schröder, Lakers, Harkless, Kings

Suns star Devin Booker confirmed on a Twitch stream on Sunday that he’s currently dealing with a case of COVID-19, as Kellan Olson of 98.7 Arizona Sports relays (via Twitter). The team had announced over the weekend that Booker was in the NBA’s health and safety protocols and will miss at least part of training camp.

According to Olson, Booker said on Sunday’s stream that he tested positive about a week ago. He has experienced some symptoms – including losing his senses of taste and smell – but said he’s feeling good now and expects to be back soon.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Addressing the oft-repeated rumor that he could’ve signed a four-year, $84MM extension with the Lakers during the 2020/21 season, Dennis Schröder said today that he technically never had that contract offer in front of him to sign. That may be just a matter of semantics, since it sounds like there was a time when the Lakers were willing to put that offer on the table. However, Schröder said that he never felt like he fit in 100% in Los Angeles, adding that “money isn’t everything” and he still got a “nice deal” for him and his family (Twitter links via Keith Smith of Spotrac and Jared Weiss of The Athletic). Schröder signed a one-year, $5.9MM contract with the Celtics.
  • Kings forward Maurice Harkless said he didn’t explore other opportunities when he became a free agent, preferring to work out something quickly with Sacramento (Twitter link via James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area). Harkless agreed to a two-year, $9MM deal with the team on the first night of free agency.
  • The Kings have a new jersey advertisement sponsor, announcing today in a press release that they’ve partner with Dialpad and will wear the company’s logo on their uniforms in 2021/22 and beyond.

Maurice Harkless Re-Signs With Kings

AUGUST 8: Harkless’ deal with the Kings became official late on Saturday night, according to a press release from the team.

“Moe is a consummate professional with a unique unselfishness that makes our group better,” GM Monte McNair said in a statement. “He provides the team with physical defensive versatility and we are fortunate to have Moe’s leadership and veteran experience.”


AUGUST 2: Maurice Harkless has agreed to re-sign with the Kings on a two-year, $9MM deal, agent Nima Namakian told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

The journeyman forward was part of a swap with Miami in March that sent Nemanja Bjelica to the Heat. He averaged 6.9 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 24.9 MPG during 26 games with Sacramento, including 20 starts.

Harkless has played for six franchises during a career that began in 2012.

Sacramento possessed non-Bird rights on the defensive-minded Harkless, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. That allowed the Kings to sign him at 120% of his $3.6M 2020/21 salary without eating into their $9.536MM mid-level exception.

Kings Notes: Walton, King, Sunday’s Game, Reserves

Luke Walton says he’s “very confident” he’ll be retained as the Kings’ head coach, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee reports.

Monetary factors may work in Walton’s favor, Anderson notes. He’s reportedly owed $11.5MM over the next two seasons and first-year GM Monte McNair has publicly expressed support for Walton, pointing out the progress made by several key players.

Walton is focused on better results for next season.

“We have an offseason plan put in place from when they’re going to be in Sacramento, and what coaches will be working with them, and what we need them focused on,” Walton said. “Clearly, a big thing for all young players is developing in the weight room as well, but it’s good, after you get a taste of what the NBA is all about, to be able to really fine tune some things in the offseason.”

We have more on the Kings:

Pacific Notes: T. Davis, Kings, Thompson, Craig

Terence Davis hopes last week’s trade to the Kings will give him a fresh start and help him leave off-the-court issues behind, writes James Ham of NBC Sports. After scoring 27 points Saturday in a narrow loss to the Bucks, Davis addressed the legal matters that arose in October when he was still with the Raptors.

Davis was originally charged with seven counts of domestic violence, but all charges relating to an alleged assault were eventually dropped by the New York District Attorney’s office. He still faces two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and criminal mischief, but those will reportedly dissolve in a year if he avoids further legal trouble.

“When you’re going through something like that, it defines you as a person, as a man, for me, as a father,” Davis said. “I’m just excited to be here, excited to be a part of the Kings. I’m happy man, I’m ready to get to work and continue to work. This is a fresh start for me, man, I just want to take advantage of it.

“As an individual, I’m a tough dude. You know, just having to deal with so much. I haven’t really seen my son in a while. I’m getting kinda teary right now, man, just talking about this situation. I’ve been through a lot. I’m just happy to be here and happy that the Kings welcomed me with open arms.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings‘ new additions were noticeable for the energy they brought to Saturday’s game, while the holdovers didn’t seem to provide as much toughness and competitiveness, observes James Jones of The Athletic. The Kings have lost some of their veteran leaders in recent years and they’re hoping to get those qualities from Davis, Maurice Harkless and Delon Wright, who were all acquired at the deadline. “I’m excited about these guys our front office brought in,” coach Luke Walton said. “I think that will, with some more time, will continue to get us there faster. But when they come in, there’s an intensity level they’re playing with. And that’s how it has to be at the start of games, middle of games.”
  • Klay Thompson delivered a message to his Warriors teammates after a 53-point loss Friday night, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. The injured guard talked about the need to uphold the tradition that the franchise has built. “He was just kind of going off about how he missed the game and how it’s just not acceptable to lose this way,” Kent Bazemore said. “He’s fired up, man. It’s hard watching, regardless if you’re playing or not playing.”
  • The Suns acquired Torrey Craig at the deadline, but they were hoping to add him last offseason, coach Monty Williams tells Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Craig said he wanted to sign with Phoenix at the time, but “pretty crazy and pretty wild and unpredictable” things happened and he chose the Bucks instead.

Kings Notes: Wright, Davis, Harkless, Bagley

There was speculation in the weeks leading up to March 25 that the Kings could be major sellers at the trade deadline, with players like Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield, and Richaun Holmes frequently mentioned as possible candidates to be on the move.

However, general manager Monte McNair chose another direction, making a series of smaller-scale deals to add talent to the current roster, rather than dealing away established veterans for long-term assets. While Sacramento didn’t go all-in, the team’s deadline deals made clear that the playoffs are still a goal in 2021.

“I think really we saw this year that there were maybe some traditional buy/sell moves, but I think where we categorize ourselves was like, value buyers,” McNair said, per James Ham of NBC Sports California. “We kinda explored all opportunities and this is what came to the forefront.”

As Sean Cunningham of ABC10 tweets, McNair said the Kings entered the deadline hoping to add depth and defense, and he felt like they did that by acquiring Delon Wright, Terence Davis, Maurice Harkless, and Chris Silva.

Here’s more on the Kings:

  • The Kings’ deadline deals are paying dividends so far, with Wright, Davis, and Harkless helping the team extend its winning streak to five games on Monday night in San Antonio, Ham writes for NBC Sports California. “Delon does a great job of making sure our pace is good. TD adds an aggressiveness on both sides of the ball. Moe is just savvy, smart, knows where to be,” center Richaun Holmes said of his new teammates. “Those guys came in ready to fit in and ready to help the team.”
  • Kings big man Marvin Bagley III has remained away from the team while he recovers from his left hand fracture, but he has remained in constant communication with the Kings and the plan is for him to rejoin the club as he gets closer to returning to action, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.
  • In case you missed it, an earlier report indicated that Holmes’ price tag in free agency this summer could be upwards of $20MM per year, with Charlotte among the teams expected to challenge Holmes for free agent center.

Kings Trade Nemanja Bjelica To Heat

8:06pm: The trade for Bjelica is now official, per a Heat press release.


11:46am: The Heat and Kings are finalizing a trade that will send forward Nemanja Bjelica to Miami, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Sacramento will receive Maurice Harkless and Chris Silva in the deal, Woj adds (via Twitter).

The Heat have been linked to the stretch four for several weeks. They could have fit Bjelica’s $7.15MM salary into a $7.5MM trade exception, which expired on Monday. Instead, Heat president Pat Riley opted to send out players in order to stay below the luxury tax line. Harkless has an expiring $3.623MM contract and Silva is making $1.52MM. There’s a $1.78MM team option attached to Silva’s contract for next season.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes (Twitter link), Miami stays $3.3MM below the tax line and also opens up a roster spot in the two-for-one transaction. Sacramento will have to waive or trade a player to accommodate the extra incoming player.

Bjelica’s role was greatly diminished this season as the new front office and coach Luke Walton made Marvin Bagley III the starter at power forward following an injury-plagued season until he fractured his hand this month.

The 32-year-old Serbian has only appeared in 26 games this season, averaging 7.2 PPG and 3.8 RPG. He had a career year last season, averaging 11.5 PPG and 6.4 RPG in 72 games, including 67 starts. He’s a career 38.7% shooter from 3-point range.

Bjelica’s 3-point threat will likely make him a rotation player for the Heat the remainder of this season. They can then decide whether to re-sign the unrestricted free agent or let him walk to create additional cap flexibility. They’ll have his Bird rights and can go over the cap to re-sign him.

Harkless and Silva only appeared in 11 games apiece this season. They’ll get a fresh start in Sacramento, unless the Kings opt to waive one or both of them.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.