Marc Berman of the New York Post reported Harkless' defense and love of the Knicks franchise has won over some team executives. Harkless was born in Queens and played college basketball at St. John's, so his trade to the Knicks represented a homecoming.
"It was a chance for him to showcase to the Knicks and to see if he wanted to be here," a source told Berman. "He always wanted to be a Knick."
Harkless is averaging 6.8 points and 3.3 rebounds on 45.5 percent shooting since coming over to the Knicks. He has started 10 of 12 games and taken on the role of defending the opposing team's best wing scorer on most nights.
The Knicks will retain Harkless' Bird rights when he becomes a free agent over the summer, though they should have plenty of cap space to make a signing regardless. Harkless will almost certainly take a pay cut from the $11 million he's being paid in 2019-20.
While Berman notes the Knicks would have preferred to see how Harkless looks with their young core, the NBA season being postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic will likely give them limited tape. The NBA does not currently have a contingency plan in place for returning to action as most of the world remains in a standstill over the virus.