Moe Harkless Signs Four-Year, $40M Deal With Portland Trail Blazers
After months of negotiations, Moe Harkless and the Portland Trail Blazers have finally agreed upon a contract extension. The budding forward has agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract to stay in Portland.Advertisement
Harkless, one the integral components of Portland’s successful season that culminated with a second round exit in the playoffs, became a restricted free agent after the Blazers tendered a qualifying offer worth $4.04 million at the start of the offseason.
According to several sources, Harkless was a highly sought-after free agent, with close to half a dozen teams willing to pursue him with max offer sheets, which Portland intended to match.
Moe Harkless: Portland’s best defender
During Portland’s postseason campaign, Harkless was the starting power forward and arguably best on-ball defender through 11 games which saw him average 11 points and 5.1 rebounds. Harkless and the Blazers gave the Warriors a run for their money in the conference semifinals before losing the series in five games.
According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, there are no player or team options in Harkless’ deal, meaning the $42 million in a guaranteed sum.
Prior to last season, Portland lost four of their starters from the previous season (LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Mathews, Robin Lopez and Nicolas Batum), propelling coach Terry Stotts to build around a group of youngsters. The team acquired Harkless as part of a trade with Orlando Magic.
Blazers secure future
Harkless’ extension comes a day after Portland roped up C.J. McCollum for the long haul, signing the two-guard to a four-year contract worth $106 million. The Blazers have been the most active team this summer, signing free agents Evan Turner and Festus Ezeli, besides extending Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard, McCollom and now Harkless.
Last year, Portland also secured franchise player Damian Lillard for the long haul. With Lillard, Crabbe, Leonard, Ezeli, Turner, McCollum and Harkless secured for several years, Portland has established a promising young core that would sustain them as an elite team in the West.
Moe Harkless, the No. 15 pick in the 2012 NBA draft, averaged 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds from 78 games last season, before assuming a starting role in the playoffs.