Miami Heat: Moe Harkless was a value get and a good replacement

Forward Maurice Harkless (11) reacts after a three-point basket against the Miami Heat(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Forward Maurice Harkless (11) reacts after a three-point basket against the Miami Heat(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Miami Heat brought in Moe Harless as one of their Free Agent signings. He fits in well with the Heat and especially at his price tag.

This past weekend the Miami Heat signed Maurice Harkless to a one-year deal worth $3.6 million dollars. Now, if you can remember last offseason, Miami did actually acquire Harkless with Meyers Leonard in the Hassan Whiteside trade but had to trade Harkless to the Los Angeles Clippers to make the Jimmy Butler sign and trade work.

With the signing of Harkless, it is clear that Miami still had their eyes on him. What’s the fascination with Moe though?

Last season Harkless played for Los Angeles and the New York Knicks, which resulted in an up-and-down year. With Harkless being on two teams this past year, it was hard to get a grasp on what his role was.

So, that took me down to his last year with the Portland Trail Blazers and I was more impressed with his game when having a defined role. Harkless is a little bit more than a ” 3 and D” guy.

Not that he is better than any other role player but Harkless definitely has a little bit more in his game. Harkless, who lists anywhere from 6’7″ to 6’9″ has a 7’2″ wingspan, which makes him a threat to finish at the rim.

The Miami Heat had to let Jae Crowder walk, but they brought in a guy who can do almost everything that Jae does. He can also do a little bit more.

I was surprised to learn that he’s dunked on a lot of people and especially in the half-court. When you think of Harkless. you don’t think of him as a dunker but he does slam it on people from time to time.

When watching his Portland tape, I was surprised that Harkless has the ability to post up and especially against smaller guards. In today’s NBA, teams do not look for mismatches as much as they should.

With Harkless, he knows what he is doing down there so when he gets switched on to by a smaller guard, Miami should look to give him some touches. Harkless’s jumper has always been inconsistent but so was Jae Crowder‘s before arriving in Miami, so you would think with all the spacing Miami’s offense has, Harkless should be able to be more consistent from out there.

This goes especially in the corner, where Harkless shoots more of his threes from than any other area on the floor. Harkless is a smart passer who makes good reads with the ball.

Having a player making the right reads always makes life easier. Also, Harkless is good at moving without the ball and cutting, which in Miami’s offense is necessary.

Now, defensively, Harkless is very impressive. He has a good knack for reading the passing lanes and has the ability to guard multiple positions.

One thing that really impressed me about Harkless was when being the last line of defense on a given play, he was good at defending the rim. Having that 7’2″ wingspan helps him there and specifically, with his timing.

Harkless is not a flashy signing, by any means, but it’s a nice move for a team like Miami and especially when Miami was not going to commit to more than one year with Crowder right now. Miami fans wanted Crowder back but we all know that Miami wouldn’t over-commit when they have a plan in place already.

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The plan is and always has been for next offseason. Harkless could have that same role that Crowder did last year, plus Harkless is taller and longer the Crowder was as well.

He’s a nice solid signing for the Miami Heat who is a plug and play type of player. He should do just fine in this system.