Moe Harkless stayed close to home to play at St. John’s during his lone collegiate season, and showed some versatility by averaging 15.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks per game during the 2011-2012 season. He is among the prospects getting a lot of attention during the pre-draft process, as his athleticism and variety of skills has him now being mentioned as a possible lottery pick ahead of Thursday night’s draft.
Many mock drafts still have Harkless going somewhere between pick 15 and 20 overall, which makes him a potential option for the Minnesota Timberwolves at 18th overall if they want to go that direction. He would certainly seem to be a fit for the team, as the need for versatile, athletic wing players has become apparent over the last couple seasons.
Let’s look closer at Harkless.
Weight: 205 lbs
Age: 19 (5/11/93)
- Has ideal size for an NBA small forward; looks the part
- Displays excellent athleticism, is very fluid
- Plays with high energy, showing a good first step and quickness in transition
- Is a versatile scorer, can play with his back to the basket and out on the floor
- Is a solid passer
- Played a variety of positions at St. John’s
- Is not a particularly advanced ball handler
-Is very raw as a perimeter shooter (21.5 percent on three-pointers) last season, displaying inconsistent footwork and mechanics
- Needs to add strength to be a successful post player on both ends of the floor at the NBA level
Harkless is a raw and intriguing prospect that was productive playing against good competition in college and seems to have plenty of room for his game to grow. Players like him can be drafted way too early at times based purely on potential, and any team that takes him would be unlikely to get a major contribution from him immediately as a rookie. That said, the Timberwolves could see him as a player that could eventually play small forward or shooting guard, and his ceiling looks higher at this point than 2010 first round pick Wesley Johnson. If Harkless is the pick for Minnesota at #18, Johnson could go on the trading block immediately.