Portland Trail Blazers small forward Moe Harkless is $500,000 richer today, and he earned it in interesting fashion.
It is not uncommon for NBA players, or professional athletes in general, to have incentive clauses in their contracts. By reaching certain statistical benchmarks, they collect extra cash.
Moe Harkless, the Portland Trail Blazers’ fifth-year small forward, had a $500,000 bonus in his contract this season, provided he shot better than 35 percent from three-point range. Harkless shot just 28 percent from beyond the arc last year, and had only topped 35 percent once in his first four pro seasons.
With four games to play, Harkless had hit 68 of 194 three-pointers, which is 35.1 percent marksmanship. In his team’s final four games, Harkless played in three of them, logging 88 total minutes and 18 field goal attempts.
How many of those 18 shots were threes? You guessed it: zero. That’s right. By abstaining from long-range, Harkless made himself half a million bucks.
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 13, 2017
Now, we can’t prove Harkless intentionally withheld from shooting three-pointers, or if it just worked out that he didn’t get any open looks. However, it is tough to imagine he did not know about this clause, and that it didn’t factor into how he played at all.
Harkless celebrated his extra $500,000 with a humorous Instagram post.
With this milestone behind him, Harkless and his teammates move on to the NBA Playoffs, where they will face the No. 1 seed Golden State Warriors in the first round.