MauriceHarklessMavs092613

Maurice Harkless grows… literally


Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/Zimbio

All summer we have talked about how the Magic's young players are growing. Their experience working out together at Amway Center throughout the summer, playing in Summer League together and being generally the future of this franchise has been extremely well chronicled.

Now there is only a scant week remaining before training camp begins and we get to see all that progress play out on the court. Like the beginning of every season, this is an extremely exciting time for the franchise and for fans.

During Summer League, no player looked like he had improved more than Maurice Harkless.

The 20-year-old rookie averaged 8.2 points per game shooting 46.1 percent from the floor. His offensive role was largely relegated to standing in the corner to hit 3-pointers or cutting in toward the basket when the opportunity arose.

in Summer League, Harkless looked much stronger and much improved. He averaged 13.0 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game and shot 48.6 percent from the floor. He was more aggressive taking the ball to the basket and looked ready to take the impact. He also took it upon himself to dominate the end of games for the Magic at times.

That is just Summer League, of course. But it really appears Harkless has grown as a basketball player.

Now comes the news that he may have actually grown as a person. The thrill of being a 20-year-old basketball player.

On Basketball-Reference, Maurice Harkless is listed at 6-foot-8. However, on OrlandoMagic.com, Harkless is now listed at 6-foot-9. Teams are pretty well known to inflate heights and weights, it is a common practice. However, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, who went to a community event hosted by Harkless and Tobias Harris on Wednesday, reports that one inch growth spurt appears to be very real.

It is just a physical signal of the growth everyone expects to see from Harkless. If everything has gone as well as it sounds during the summer, the Magic could be a surprise team this year (Playoffs good, I am not willing to say that. I will let the players make that argument).

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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