Maurice Harkless expects to stay with the hometown Knicks for the remainder of the season.

The Forest Hills product and former St. John’s star had been a candidate for a buyout following his arrival from the Clippers in a trade-deadline deal for Marcus Morris.

“I’m not thinking about any buyout. All I’m thinking about today is just making the most of it.” Harkless said before scoring three points in Friday’s 106-98 loss to the Pacers at the Garden. “I’ll be here for the rest of the year.”

Earlier this week, the eight-year NBA veteran had insisted he hadn’t “put any real thought into” a buyout, nor had he discussed it with his agent or the Knicks.

Asked about coming from a contending team to an out-of-it franchise such as the Knicks, Harkless added: “It’s definitely an adjustment just with the way things are. Everything’s different, the culture and everything. But it’s just basketball. So we just have go out and play and still try to win games here. It’s not like we’re trying to lose. Guys are still competitors, we’re just in a different situation.”

Maurice Harkless looks to make a move on T.J. Warren during the Knicks' 106-98 loss to the Pacers.
Maurice Harkless looks to make a move on T.J. Warren during the Knicks’ 106-98 loss to the Pacers.AP

Kenny Wooten has been assigned to the Knicks’ G-League affiliate in Westchester since signing a two-way deal in January. The forward posted Friday a photo of Stephen A. Smith with his head down and captioned “Mood,” but he later tweeted that fans shouldn’t construe that as unhappiness with his situation.

“Clearly I gotta say this again.. I HAVE NO INTENTIONS ON LEAVING THE KNICKS!” Wooten tweeted. “ANYTHING I TWEET HAS TO DO WITH MY PERSONAL LIFE. Appreciate y’all for caring though.”


Elfrid Payton (sore right ankle) was held out of Friday’s game, while Wayne Ellington (strained right ankle) was available, but did not play.

“We don’t think it’s anything long-term at this point,” interim coach Mike Miller said of Payton. “It’s just making sure it doesn’t turn into anything more serious and giving him a couple of days I think should take care of that.”


Leading scorer Julius Randle netted just seven points in 30 minutes on 2-for-9 shooting, one point more than his season-low total of six on Dec. 5 in Denver.