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Kings In Review: What went wrong for Moe Harkless?

A season-long promise of making defense “fun” was deflated as Harkless appeared less and less on the floor for Sactown.

Sacramento Kings v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Welcome to Kings In Review, where we’ll be recapping the season for every player that ended the season in Sacramento.

In his second year with the Sacramento Kings, Moe Harkless set out to show his teammates that playing defense can be “fun.” Unfortunately, nothing about Harkless’ 2021-22 campaign was “fun” for anyone.

Appearing in 47 regular season games, including 24 starts, Harkless was mediocre on both ends of the floor. His starts came at the bookends of the season, with more minutes under Luke Walton than interim head coach Alvin Gentry.

In his near-half of a season played, Harkless averaged 4.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. His strongest outing came in a loss to the Golden State Warriors on Feb. 3, tying a season-high 18 points and logging 6 steals.

Diving deeper into Harkless’ defensive statistics, in 17 games he logged at least one steal, while in the other 30 appearances served up nil. While not every defensive effort appears on the box score, it’s safe to say that one of Sacramento’s supposed pillars on that end of the floor didn’t perform up to snuff, even factoring in his lack of game play across the season.

Harkless has one year left on his two-year, $8 million contract that he signed with Sacramento this last offseason. Entering unrestricted free agency next summer, moving off of Harkless or retaining him to come off the bench as a role player going forward both make sense for the Kings. It would be in the Kings’ best interest to shop around their trade package options as they look to build toward something stronger, knowing that Harkless was’t at the peak of his capabilities during the majority of this season.