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Dime NBA Draft Profile: Moe Harkless

By 06.07.12
Moe Harkless

Moe Harkless (photo. St. John's University Athletic Communications)


Upside
What intrigues scouts most about Harkless is his upside. He has Paul George, Rudy Gay size that makes you think he could pan out and be that type of player. Even though he isn’t ready to contribute right away, his potential is what makes him a good pick. Similar to Tobias Harris, Harkless only played ond year in college and will need at least one year in the NBA to sit back and learn what it takes to contribute at that level. Eventually, Harkless will be a contributor no matter what. His size and rebounding ability will make him difficult to leave out of a rotation. At worst, he doesn’t fulfill his potential, and ends up being Marvin Williams, who is capable of giving you a big night every now and then, but really should be better than he actually is. Best-case scenario, he develops that perimeter skill quickly, becomes the stud defender he has the size and potential to become and gives you double-doubles night in and night out, just like Lamar Odom was doing in LA.
Grade: 9

Intangibles
This might be the most important area when evaluating prospects. How hungry are they? Do they desire to be great, or do they just want to play to earn checks? How motivated are they to earn minutes as opposed to taking their situation for granted? Do they want to really win, or do they want to play? These are the questions that you think about when you take longevity into consideration. There have been too many players in the past who have had the potential to be great, but their intangibles weren’t there. What side of the fence is Moe Harkless on? Nobody truly knows just yet. So far he’s been working tirelessly at improving his shooting, and getting in NBA condition. He seems to be on the right side of that fence so far. Hopefully in his rookie year, it stays that way. At St. John’s, Harkless showed plenty of heart, and competitiveness. In their toughest games, Harkless was the one you could count on to show up. That speaks volumes about where his intangibles are right now, if he really wants to become the player he has the chance to be, they’ll have to stay that way.
Grade: 7

Combined Score: 36 out of a possible 50 points

Best Fit: Houston Rockets
It’s difficult to pick a best fit for a player like Moe Harkless. Some kids need some time out of the rotation to develop their skills and get used to the new pace. Other players benefit from playing right away and being thrown into the fire to learn as they go. Usually you can tell what would be more beneficial for a kid, but it’s hard to tell with Moe Harkless. A lot of players tend to lose motivation if minutes aren’t promised to them and get a bit lazy, but Harkless doesn’t seem to be that type of kid. He could really benefit from going the Tobias Harris route and taking some time to develop at his own pace. On the other hand, you don’t want him to get complacent, lose motivation and become satisfied with being an okay player. It’s a gamble that GMs will have to take with him. If you throw him into the fire right away, who knows how good he could really become. So really, Harkless would be a good fit anywhere. I’d say he has his best chance to earn minutes right away would be in Houston.

OUTSIDE OPINION:
“Harkless is a long, 6′ – 8″ small forward possessing great athleticism. Still offensively raw, his most efficient looks occur through transition, off-the-ball movement, and offensive rebounds. While aggressive with the rock in his hands, his ballhandling skills are a work-in-progress and shooting range is currently non-existent; he netted only 17 of 79 from three-point range this year. Combined with only making four trips to the foul line a game, in part due to his slender build, his offensive efficiency was poor (50 percent TS, 100 offensive rating). On defense, he possesses much promise thanks to his length, speed and jumping ability, which he parlayed into a combined three blocks plus steals per game.” – Kevin Hetrick of ESPN TrueHoop

VIDEO EVIDENCE:

How good will Harkless be in the league?

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TAGSCOLLEGEMoe HarklessNBA DRAFTSt. John's University

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