Moe Harkless, who left St. John's University for the NBA after his freshman season, was selected 15th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday.
Harkless, a 6-foot-8, 208-pound small forward, averaged 15.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game for St. John's in the 2011-2012 season. The 76ers entered the draft looking for front court help.
In an instant analysis, SI.com voiced approval of the selection:
"I love this pick by Philadelphia. Harkless was a front-office favorite in recent weeks, and it's his combination of scoring ability, rebounding and athleticism that has executives thinking he is going to be "really, really good," as one such source said. The 76ers might have made it easier to trade veteran small forward Andre Iguodala with Harkless as an option for coach Doug Collins."
SI.com summarized Harkless this way in its player profile:
"Harkless is a smooth player with great athleticism and length, possessing a quick first step which enables him to beat his defender and get to the rim. Shooting from the perimeter, though, is an area he needs to work on. Harkless only made 17 of 79 3-point attempts (21.5 percent) and often struggles to create his own shot or make baskets when pulling up off the dribble. He is a solid rebounder due to his ability to attack the rim but is slight and may need to bulk up in order to bang down low with the bigger bodies in the NBA - especially if he is going to be used at one of the forward positions."
Here, from NBA.com's prospect profile, are Harkless' strengths and weaknesses:
- Great athlete
- Good rebounder
- Good shot blocker
- Great in the open court
- Attacks the rim
- Gets in the passing lanes for steals
- Has to get bigger and stronger
- Perimeter shot has to become more consistent
- Ball handling can use tightening