Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Orlando Pinstriped Post turns its attention to the 2012 NBA Draft with a look at mid-tier draft prospects who might be available when the Orlando Magic select 19th overall. Previously in the series: Meyers Leonard, Terrence Jones, and Arnett Moultrie.
Moe Harkless spent just one season at St. John's, but he made quite an impression in his brief time there. In 32 games, the swingman stuffed the stat sheet with 15.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.4 blocked shots. Yes, he certainly benefitted from logging tons of minutes--36.1 per game, ninth in the Big East--but he made the most of them.
There's more to like than his production, however. At DraftExpress, Kyle Nelson praises Harkless' physical attributes:
Standing somewhere around 6'8 with an excellent wingspan and a wiry frame, he has ideal size for the NBA small forward position.
If there's a drawback to Harkless' game, it's that he hasn't quite figured out how to shoot yet. He connected on only 21.5 percent of his three-point attempts with the Red Storm, a particularly distressing number when one considers he hoisted 2.5 triples per game. His off-the-dribble game also needs refinement, according to Nelson.
Why he fits for Orlando:
Small forward was arguably Orlando's weakest position in 2011/12, as veterans Hedo Turkoglu and Quentin Richardson struggled to produce effectively and consistently. While Harkless doesn't figure to be a rotation player right away, drafting him could keep Orlando's proverbial cupboard stocked for when Turkoglu and Richardson move on. Harkless would instantly be the team's best pure athlete and help the Magic score in transition. In addition, Harkless only turned 19 in May. His extreme youth is an asset, as he'll have plenty of room to grow.
Why he's not a fit for Orlando:
With the Magic trying to make a compelling case for Dwight Howard to stay, they might be better off selecting a player who can crack their rotation immediately. If the team's next coach continues to keep the floor spread like the fired Stan Van Gundy did, Harkless' poor outside shooting stroke would be a liability.