According to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt, the Magic are looking to unload forward Maurice Harkless.
A player the Magic are willing to deal for mininmal return, I’m told, is forward Moe Harkless, whose minutes have dropped each season w/ORL.
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) February 17, 2015
Moe Harkless, in his third year, is averaging career lows across the board with 3.4 points and 1.9 rebounds while shooting 42.2% from the field. The career lows are because of Harkless’ decreased playing time this year, only playing in 27 games and averaging under 14 minutes per game.
With Harkless’ value to the Orlando Magic diminishing daily, Orlando will look to get anything in return for the 21-year old from St. John’s. Harkless, who received high praise from 76ers head coach (at the time) Doug Collins, is still young enough to improve and flourish on a new team.
The Orlando Magic are no stranger themselves to receiving young players who just needed a change of scenery. The most recent names that come to mind are Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic who the Magic received in the same deal that sent Moe Harkless to Orlando.
Harkless was projected to be a 3-and-D type of player in the NBA, and showed some promise in his limited action during his first two years with the Magic. In his second year, Harkless significantly improved his 3-point shooting percentage from .274 to .383. Harkless also averaged over one steal per game in his first two years with the Magic, showing his promise on the defensive end.
The most the Orlando Magic could get for Moe Harkless is a second round draft pick, a bad contract player, or another young player like Harkless who might flourish in a new system.
If the Magic want to increase their earnings, packaging Harkless with a player like Channing Frye or Tobias Harris could sweeten the deal for a team looking to add further scoring to their roster such as the Utah Jazz.
A potential deal involving the two teams could be Moe Harkless and Channing Frye for Steve Novak, Trevor Booker, Jeremy Evans and their 2016 second round pick from the Warriors.
The Magic would get rid of two struggling players and in return receive a legitimate 3-point shooter in Steve Novak (or the Magic could waive him), a solid big man in Trevor Booker who has a team option at the end of next year, and a young forward prospect in Jeremy Evans.
The Jazz’s acquisition of Channing Frye and his 3-point shooting ability would help spread out opposing defenses. Moe Harkless, an upgrade over Marvin Williams, brings the Jazz some added depth on the wing.
If the Magic can’t get a deal for Harkless by the trade deadline, don’t be surprised if they hold on to him. The Magic will be bringing in a new head coach next season and Moe Harkless could finally see some increased playing time.