After his teenage brother Dorian tragically died of heart disease, Dawkins tapped into his basketball network to pay for a memorial and an AAU team in Dorian’s memory. He says he quickly raised more than a hundred thousand dollars from some of the most important people in the sport. His network mattered. Before long, NBA agent Andy Miller noticed Dawkins and hired him. Fast forward a few years and Dawkins is at the NBA draft, barely legal to drink, sitting in the green room with Miller and Elfrid Payton’s family. Rodney Hood, Fred VanVleet … Dawkins was instrumental in directing their careers, in the belly of the basketball beast. “Everybody knew Andy was paying players,” Dawkins says in “The Scheme.” “Andy’s been paying players since I was born. It wasn’t, like, a secret.”
“He understood his role — mainly to guard one of the other team’s best perimeter players, sparing Kawhi (Leonard) and Paul (George) for parts of games,’’ one Western Conference personnel man said. “He is an excellent defender — especially when guarding against guards and smaller wings. In Portland and in L.A., he played with ball-dominant stars, so he was often tucked in the corner. But when he cuts, he can be effective getting to the basket.’’ Harkless’ hefty four-year, $40 million contract is about finished. NBA sources believe Harkless will get more than the minimum because of his versatile defense. In a 115-106 Knicks loss in Philadelphia on Feb. 27, Harkless buried five straight 3-pointers in the third quarter.