For former St. John's forward Moe Harkless, the intense workout period before the NBA Draft means everything to his future. Harkless didn't come into his only St. John's season with the buzz of an Anthony Davis, but he left with NBA staffers and draft gurus intrigued about his length, his effortless athleticism, and his developing skill set.
Harkless, who signed with agent Happy Walters - who has represented players like Amare Stoudamire and Zach Randolph - needs to show out in his workouts to prove he is ready to step to the next level.
"They tell me just to go hard all of the time and just show real intensity at whatever workouts that I go to," Moe told Draft Express in an interview on what advice he has received about his workouts. "Always play as hard as you can play."
Each workout Moe Harkless competes in helps bridge the imagination gap between "he's got potential" and "we want to use our pick and invest money to develop him". Bridging that gap is the key to guaranteed money. Harkless made plays on the college level, but as a projected wing in the NBA, he needs to prove that he can shoot well enough to play the position.
Still, Harkless' age and ability to produce on a decimated St. John's team speaks well for him. He doesn't have whispers about him being an "enigma" like players like the athletically talented Quincy Miller of Baylor or questions about an anxiety disorder like the talented Royce White. With Harkless, what you see is what you get - which works to his advantage.
A look at Moe's list of workouts, Harkless highlight film, and draft projections from some of the leaders in NBA prognostication, below the fold.
Moe Harkless has worked out for the Orlando Magic (pick #19 in the first round) and will work out for the Boston Celtics (picks #21, 22) on Monday. Moe will also attend the Chicago draft combine, June 7th and 8th, for prospects deemed likely to be in the draft.
Per the Moe Hakless Fans twitter site, Harkless has workouts scheduled with the Phoenix Suns (pick #13), Portland Trailblazers (picks #6, 11), Dallas Mavericks (pick #17), and Toronto Raptors (pick #8).
With the NBA Draft Lottery order settled by the bouncing of balls last night, a number of sites have updated their guesses; he has risen 6 slots on Chad Ford's draft board, and remained about the same on Draft Express and NBADraft.net from the time Harkless announced his entry into the NBA's draft:
Chad Ford: 20, Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets don't have any glaring needs right now, which gives them the luxury of taking the best player left on the board. We've had Quincy Miller here the past few mock drafts, but there seems to be a growing consensus that Harkless might be the better prospect.
SI/ Sam Amick: 23, Atlanta Hawks
The athletic, versatile Harkless would give Atlanta another option at small forward, where shooting guard Joe Johnson started down the stretch this season while longtime starter Marvin Williams moved to the bench. The Big East Rookie of the Year averaged 15.3 points last season, but shot just 44.5 percent overall and 20.2 percent from three-point range. His impact elsewhere entices front-office types who watched him average 8.6 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.6 steals.
Draft Express: 19, Orlando Magic
NBADraft.net: 19, Orlando Magic
Highlights of Harkless' 2011-12 season with the Red Storm: