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Knicks hope to re-sign Maurice Harkless this offseason

Knicks, Maurice Harkless

Some wondered if the New York Knicks would buy out veteran forward Maurice Harkless after acquiring in a deadline three-way trade that sent Marcus Morris to the Los Angeles Clippers last month.

But not only did the Knicks not buy out Harkless, but they may be planning to hold on to him for the long haul.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, New York is expected to attempt to re-sign Harkless this coming summer. Charania notes that Harkless will also draw interest from contenders in free agency, which comes as no surprise given his solid track record as a starter on playoff teams over four seasons in Portland.

In eight games since joining the Knicks, Harkless is averaging 7.3 points and four rebounds over 24.8 minutes per game while shooting 45.7 percent from the floor, 36.8 percent from three-point range and 60 percent from the free-throw line.

On the season overall, Harkless is registering 5.7 points and four boards across 23.1 minutes a night while making 50.6 percent of his field-goal attempts, 37 percent of his long-distance tries and 57.9 percent of his foul shots.

The 26-year-old, who played his collegiate basketball at St. John’s, was originally selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 15th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft. However, he was traded to the Orlando Magic in a massive four-team deal that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers later that summer.

Harkless spent the first three years of his career with the Magic, carving out a reputation as a defensive specialist. Orlando then traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers in July 2015, and he went on to spend the next four seasons with the Blazers, averaging double figures in scoring every year before signing with the Clippers in free agency this past summer.