Portland Trail Blazers roster rumors 2016: Maurice Harkless, Evan Turner competing for starting SF job?

A tight competition might be taking place within the Portland Trail Blazers as Maurice Harkless and Evan Turner have a shot at securing the starting job at the small forward position. 

(Reuters/Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports)Forward Evan Turner (11) during his stint with the Boston Celtics.

As of the moment, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts is yet to make a decision regarding this, although for some, it seems Harkless may have sealed the role. 

However, Stotts told The Oregonian, "You can read into it whatever you want. When I'm ready to announce to you -- I'd like to announce to the team first before I announce to anybody else."

Both Harkless and Turner are quality players who are capable of being efficient starters. 

For Harkless, the upcoming season is his second with the Blazers and having had the chance to already play for the organization could be his edge over Turner. But if given the duty to start, it is the first time in his career to really hold that responsibility. The 23-year-old has started in games before but most of the time, he is a member of the second unit. 


Meanwhile for Turner, experience is his advantage, especially in the playoffs. In six seasons in the league seeing action for the Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, and the Boston Celtics, he has been in the postseason five times. This is huge for the Blazers who are aiming to have a deep run in their new campaign.

Production-wise, Turner is on top as he averaged 10.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, with one steal per game last season.

Harkless, on the other hand, was having 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds each night in the 2015-16 season. 

Whoever is chosen by Stotts and his coaching staff completes the first five for Portland, which will also feature Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Al-Farouq Aminu and Mason Plumlee. 

The Blazers begin the season with a two-game home stand versus the Utah Jazz on Oct. 25 and Los Angeles Clippers on the 27th. 

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