NBA Rumors: Lakers Preparing Max Offer Sheet For Moe Harkless?

NBA Rumors: Lakers Preparing Max Offer Sheet For Moe Harkless?
2013 Los Angeles Lakers 1Michael Tipton / Flickr cc
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The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping to sign Portland Trailblazers forward Moe Harkless, a restricted free agent, according to a league source.


The Lakers have had a disappointing offseason with the likes of Hassan Whiteside, Al Horford and Kevin Durant choosing to ignore the 16-time NBA champions.

Los Angeles added Luol Deng (4-year $72 million) and Timofey Mozgov (4-year $64 million) besides trading for Jose Calderon despite entering the offseason with approximately $65 million in cap room.

Moe Harkless headed to Los Angeles?

The Lakers still have the option of placing Nick Young on a stretch provision to increase the remaining cap room to approximately $20 million. In such a scenario, they will be able to offer Moe Harkless a maximum offer sheet, something that Trail Blazers would likely refuse to match.

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According to Mike Breshnan of TWC SportsNet, the Lakers are “in the mix” for Harkless and are patiently waiting to make the forward a max offer sheet. There’s still uncertainty as to whether Harkless would sign his qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders also noted that nearly half a dozen teams are vying for Harkless and that Portland is determined to “match anything”.

Portland refusing to match?

According to Jason Quick of the CSN New England, the 23-year-old forward is considering accepting Portland’s $4.04 million qualifying offer which would keep him with the Trail Blazers for another season before he can enter free agency next summer.

Mike Richman of the Oregonian explains that Blazers would go over the luxury tax threshold if Harkless was to sign a new deal in excess of $9 million per year. Remember, Portland also signed Evan Turner (4-year $70 million) and matched Allen Crabbe’s 4-year $75 million offer sheet. Therefore, Portland could be reluctant to match a max offer sheet for Harkless.

Moe Harkless averaged 6.4 points and 3.6 boards last year from 19 minutes per game. He was a key member of the Portland team that made it to the second round of the playoffs.