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Maurice Harkless to Orlando = More Harkless

<strong>Moe Harkless</strong> hopes the path to playing time is clearer in Orlando. The Rumble takes a look at his prospects.
Moe Harkless hopes the path to playing time is clearer in Orlando. The Rumble takes a look at his prospects.

Maurice Harkless has been traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Orlando Magic.

Yesterday, Yahoo! Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski wrote about the break in the summer-long Dwight Howard trade saga, aka the "Dwightmare". Last night the Rumble wrote that Howard's trade is Moe Harkless' gain, since starting Sixers forward Andre Iguodala would be traded.

Last night, the terms of the deal changed, and the 4-team blockbuster deal would send Maurice Harkless to Orlando - just weeks after having been signed by Philly - with Howard going to the Lakers.

Could a move to Orlando give Harkless a chance to start? How could the Sixers be so Harkless? Hit the jump and find out.

After being drafted 15th overall by the 76ers this past June, Harkless was figured to be a raw talent that would see some playing time thanks to his strong defensive play and through time he would work on polishing his offensive tools - his spot-up shooting, his scoring off the dribble. His smarts about the game and athleticism would earn playing time.

Iguodala was the main player in the way of Harkless earning ta lot of rookie playing time as he did at St. John's. That time developed his game and instincts. The Orlando trade brings along a shooting guard (Aaron Afflalo), a center (Nikola Vucevic) and a power forward (Al Harrington). Harkless is the youngest player of the bunch. Can he play more in Orlando?

With the Magic, Maurice Harkless has a pair of players in front of him on the depth chart. Hedo Turkoglu is projected to be the starting small forward with Quentin Richardson as his backup. Harkless could take the backup role from Richardson whose career is nearing the end, and see a lot of time at small forward when Turkoglu moves to power forward during times in the game.

Harkless had a very strong showing while his one year stint at St. John's, posting multiple 30 point games as well as strong showing on the glass. scouts Maurice Harkless with a lot of positives for the offensive part of his game:

Harkless passes the eye test at 6'8 with smooth athleticism and great length (wingspan is roughly 7'2) ... His ability to attack the rim from the perimeter gives him a distinct advantage over his defender who is unlikely to share his agility ... Quick first step and comfortable handle and footwork for his size ... He has a great feel for the rim, and can score by hitting off-balance shots at awkward angles ... His jumper has range out to 20 feet. He's got a quick second jump: he gets off the ground and reaches the ball before his defender, resulting in tip-ins and rebounds given his length...Defensively he reads passing lanes extremely well, and frequently gets tips, deflections or blocks playing off the ball.

The biggest disappointment for Harkless this summer was that he couldn't play in many of the Summer League games for Philly. Due to a hip flexor, Harkless was limited to two games averaging 5.5 points during those games, shooting 5 for 11 and grabbing an average of 3.0 rebounds.

Summer league coach Aaron McKie and many other NBA scouts have praised Harkless mostly for his defense. His long arms and quick feet help make him a useful asset to any team at the 3 or 4 spot on the floor.

The main knock on Harkless is his unpolished offensive game and his long-range shooting. If Harkless adds a nice dose of muscle and works on his offensive game to expand his shooting range, he could be a strong player for the Magic.

With the Magic seemingly headed for a rebuilding phase, Moe Harkless could find himself as a key player in newly named head coach Jacque Vaughn's team; he was added to the trade for a reason. He joins Campus Magnet HS' Kyle O`Quinn, center from Norfolk State, as Queens players in Orlando.

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