Moe Harkless, a restricted free agent, and Portland Trail Blazers have failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension, per a source close to the team.
Harkless, the starting power forward when Blazers reached the second round of the playoffs earlier this year, has been seeking a max contract in the aftermath of teammate Allen Crabbe signing a four-year $75 million deal.
If Harkless and Portland are unable to strike a deal, the forward would be forced to accept a qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next summer when he can pursue a maximum contract with another team.
Moe Harkless to sign qualifying offer?
Harkless’ agent, Happy Walters, told Jason Quick of CSN Northwest that there hasn’t been any progress with regards to a contract extension. “Walters says several teams have shown interest in Harkless, but the small forward wants to re-sign with Portland. However, talks with the Blazers have shown ‘no movement’ in recent days,” Quick reported on Wednesday.
In recent weeks, there have been several reports that the Los Angeles Lakers are among half a dozen teams ready to make Harkless a max offer sheet. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported that Portland would be willing to match any offers due to Harkless’ closeness to point guard Damian Lillard.
However, Harkless hasn’t signed any offer sheet since he has been trying to work out an extension with Portland. At this stage, it’s difficult for the two parties to reach an agreement since Portland have exhausted most of their cap room by acquiring Evan Turner with a 4-year $70 million deal besides matching Crabbe’s max offer sheet.
Moe Harkless started only 14 games last season but he was undoubtedly Portland’s best defensive player during the successful playoff campaign. He played lockdown defense against the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, earning the praise of coach Terry Sttots in the process.