The Real MVP – How Maurice Harkless Made $500k Because He Stopped Shooting 3s

Photo Credit: Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Real MVP – How Maurice Harkless Made $500k Because He Stopped Shooting 3s


27.4%, 38.3%, 17.9%, 27.9% – ladies and gentlemen, these numbers are Maurice Harkless’ three point percentage season averages throughout his first 4 NBA seasons.

When Harkless signed his four-year, $40 million contract with the Portland Trailblazers, the contract included a contractual clause; $2 million in incentives, one, worth $500,000, being activated if Harkless shoots 35% from three point land over a full season.

You see, for his career Harkless was only shooting slightly over 31% from three and only had one of his four NBA years with an above 35% three point average.

This season, Harkless was always around the .35 mark. After missing a three-pointer against the Utah Jazz on April 3, his 3-point percentage was exactly 35%. Another missed three would have resulted in Harkless not getting the bonus. So what did Harkless do? Well, he stopped shooting threes. Maurice Harkless didn’t attempt a single three pointer in the Portland Trailblazers’ last four games of the season. To put this into perspective, he has attempted at least one three pointer in 14 of the 15 games prior to the last four.

It’s always good to be aware of your stats, in Mo’s case, it made him half a million.

Before Portland’s last game of the season, he was asked if he would attempt a three point shot.  He responded with a smile and said:


“Would you?’’


The CSN reporter then asked what he would do if the game was on the line, and the Blazers needed a three? Harkless responded:


“Then I would pump fake and try to get fouled.”


After Portland’s last regular season game, Harkless posted a photo of himself smiling on Instagram and captioned it: ‘I guess dinner is on me tonight.”

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