DETROIT — Moe Harkless had been through this before, sweating out trade deadline destinations. Actually, he’d been traded before he’d ever played a game in the NBA.
So when the call came just ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, he wasn’t surprised. Whether he was disappointed might be a different story. Harkless, who grew up in South Jamaica and attended Forest Hills High School for three years before finishing at a prep school and spending one season at St. John’s University, was happy to be coming home for sure. But he also had to balance that with a drop from the championship-contending Los Angeles Clippers to the lottery-bound Knicks.
“Obviously, it’s different,” Harkless said. “You go from a team who had hopes of contending for a championship to a team who is struggling right now, obviously. It’s also a good opportunity to be a part of something and try to turn things around. I’m going to just take it day by day, take things for what they are and make the most of the situation.”
His future remains uncertain because the reason he was included in a trade for Marcus Morris was to facilitate the acquisition of future draft assets for the Knicks with his expiring contract. Whether he will remain with the Knicks after this season is unclear.
“It means a lot to me, being from the city, growing up watching the Knicks, loving the Knicks,” Harkless said. “Being here is a great feeling. I’m excited and grateful. It’s a dream come true. 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.
“Obviously, like I said, playing for the Knicks is a dream come true. If that happens, that would be great. I don’t know what this summer is going to look like. Being in New York would be fine with me.”