DETROIT – Many players would not like switching from a championship candidate in sunny Los Angeles to the blatant Knicks.
Maurice Harkless is not a player. It may only take two months, but South Jamaica, Queens, the Harkless native, will enjoy it.
The former Forest Hills High School graduate and St. John's one-and-do product is a kink – even if the ideal circumstances weren't.
"It's been a dream come true," said Harkless after joining the team via the Pistons before Saturday's 95-92 victory. "I grew up as a Knicks fan. I loved watching the Knicks on TV and I loved going to the garden to play when I could. And I also played in the garden in college. So it's like I've closed the circle now. "
Sources have suggested that Knicks wanted Harkless in the Thursday deadline. Marcus Morris is more concerned with his contract so that the math works than long term. But the 26-year-old Harkless, whose deal expires after the season, said he'd make the most of it.
When asked about his future as a free agent, Harkless said, "Of course you know, as I said, that playing for the Knicks is a dream come true. If that happens it would be great. I don't know what this summer will be like. I wouldn't mind being in New York. "
Although he hasn't yet reached 15th position, where he was drafted by the 76s in 2012 (they exchanged him for the Magic two months later), Harkless played 50 games for the powerful Clippers 38 this season.
Harkless was not necessary to score in a clippers team with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Lou Williams and Landry Shame.
"Obviously it's different – you're moving from a team that was hoping to fight for a championship to a team that is having trouble," said Harkless. "It's also a good opportunity to be part of something and … turn things around. I'm just going to take things the way they are and make the best of the situation."
At the beginning of his career in Orlando, when Acting President Scott Perry was Magic's top manager, Harkless tandemed with Point Guard Elfrid Payton, who commanded the Knicks starting job as Floor General.
“He and I played together for Orlando we played for [acting president] Scott Perry, so there is a little familiarity here. It's a good thing, said Harkless.
Due to Harkless & # 39; cross-country travel in the past two days and lack of familiarity with the game book, interim coach Mike Miller sought to make Harkless's Atlanta Knicks debut on Sunday.
"He's a really versatile guy," said Miller. “Defensively, he can take three positions on the floor. He is very sporty. He brings the element of the game to the edge without a ball. He plays the dribble, can get to the edge. And he can shoot the ball. "
After Knicks rookie RJ Barrett left the bench on Thursday to make sure his tender ankle was fine, he returned to the starting lineup after a shootout on Saturday, but only scored three points in 21 minutes.
On Friday, the number 3 in Draft 2019, which missed nine games in a row with ankle problems, came off the bench to play 18 minutes and score 12 points. It was enough to convince Miller that Barrett was ready to lift every minute limit.
Now that Marcus Morris has been traded, the Knicks need a closer look – and it may be time for Barrett to show off the talent he showed as a newcomer to Duke. Aside from a win over the heat in January, Barrett has made no progress in times of crisis.
Perry was in Detroit with the team on Saturday but was not allowed to speak to the media in the file – a tell-tale sign of his insecure status. Perry was joined by the player's human resources manager, Harold Ellis, one of Perry's representatives from their days together in Orlando.
The new President Leon Rose was spotted at the SMU Temple game with William Wesley, who was expected to be hired as a consultant. Rose is a graduate of the temple. They were sitting with the former Knicks security guard Rod Strickland, who in a way could participate. Trier, the former Arizona star, could also be a takeover candidate.
Allonzo Trier, the second-year forgotten man at the Knicks, did not travel to Detroit. The Knicks said he was sick. The Knicks tried to trade Trier to give him the chance to present himself as a free agent this summer.