It’s not often you see a player who’s just centimeters away from being 6’10 (in shoes, mind you) play shooting guard in the NBA, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen when Maurice Harkless takes the court for the Orlando Magic this season.
The forward has been working on his ballhandling and his shot this offseason as the Magic coaching staff informed him that he would be spending time at the two guard, which will allow he and Tobias Harris to be on the hardwood at the same time.
One of the most frequently asked questions from Magic fans is if Harkless will play some shooting guard this season, so that he can play alongside Harris on the perimeter. Harkless said that the coaching staff has told him that he will spend some time at two-guard this year, which is one reason why he has worked hard to expand his game.
“For the first half of the summer, I was working on my body, ballhandling, keeping my dribble through contact and stuff like that; now, I’ve been spending a little bit more time focused on my shot,” Harkless said. “It’s just repetition. I think confidence comes from doing something over and over, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve spent a lot of hours in the gym and my jump shot has been improving. … I’m just trying to make constant improvement. I have a few personal goals that I’m looking forward to trying to achieve. Hopefully it’s a big year for me.”
The Magic have one of the best youthful cores in the league, with Harkless one of the primary talents behind that.
Orlando likely won’t challenge for a playoff position this season, but in a year or two, should all the pieces come together, there’s no reason they won’t be playing well into May.