Bonuses are a funny thing. Some give players the incentive to push for milestones they may not have otherwise achieved. Others are listed as likely, and they merely provide an additional chunk of change for guys getting after it every night.
Portland Trail Blazers forward Moe Harkless probably knew his bonus was on the line. That could be why he didn’t attempt a single three-pointer in the team’s 103-100 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. And in avoiding triples like a vegan shuns meat, he hauled in a half-million bucks — that’s a big chunk of cash for a player whose career earnings to date have been around $17.3 million.
Harkless had an incentive written into his contract that paid him a $500,000 bonus for finishing the season shooting 35 percent or better from three-point range. He was shooting 35.1 percent heading into Wednesday’s game against the Pelicans.
Here’s how his night could have gone:
Shooting night: Three-point percentage
No threes attempted: 35.1
Portland’s forward is a career 31.5 percent distance shooter and had only shot better than 28 percent once heading into this season. But he’s made more threes this season than any before.
He made the heady move by avoiding the three-point line while still finishing five-of-six from the field for 11 points. Now, Harkless can buy all of us at SB Nation dinner for the next few months.
Thanks in advance, Moe!