But one player the Lakers are keeping their eyes on is Moe Harkless, who was sent from the Clippers to the New York Knicks in the deal for Marcus Morris. Sam Amick of The Athletic recently reported that the Lakers are monitoring the situation regarding Harkless in New York.
Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic provided a significant update regarding that situation, reporting: “Moe Harkless says he hasn’t initiated any talks with the Knicks about taking a buyout before the end of the month. He says he and his agent might talk about it at some point and weigh whether he wants to play for a contender.”
Harkless was the 15th overall pick in the 2012 draft. He’s never been able to break out as a star but has been a key role player on multiple teams and has a reputation as one of the stingier perimeter defenders in the league.
This season, Harkless is averaging 5.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.0 steal in 22.9 minutes per game.
Moe Harkless Calls Playing for Knicks a ‘Dream’
It was initially thought that Harkless would be a prime buyout candidate following the move, but he has called the opportunity to play for his hometown Knicks a “dream.”
“It means a lot to me, being from the city, growing up watching the Knicks, loving the Knicks. Being here is a great feeling. I’m excited and grateful. It’s a dream come true,” Harkless told reporters, via SNY. “I was a Knicks fan growing up. I loved watching the Knicks on TV, I loved coming to the Garden for games when I could. And I actually played at the Garden in college, too, so it’s like I’ve come full circle now.”
The Knicks are in the basement of the Eastern Conference, entering the All-Star break at 17-38. Led by Anthony Davis and LeBron James, the Lakers are sitting atop the Western Conference with a record of 41-12.
Lakers Did Not Pursue Reggie Jackson: Report
Veteran guard Reggie Jackson signed with the Clippers on Tuesday, taking one of the top buyout targets off the board. Jackson has averaged 14.9 points and 5.1 assists in 14 games this season after missing some time early in the season with an injury. He’ll play a key role in the Clippers’ second unit.
It was rumored that the Lakers were eyeing Jackson as a buyout option, but Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus reported he does not believe the team pursued him because of his link to Clippers star Paul George through his agent Aaron Mintz, who they share.
The Lakers have been pursuing a backup option for James at point guard, with Rajon Rondo not playing up to the expected standard. The team was courting retired guard Darren Collison, who they hosted at a game, but he decided instead to stay retired.