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Hey Moe! How About Harkless For The Celtics?

Raw talent.
Raw talent.

I say it is totally worth taking a flyer on Moe Harkless just for the endless 3 Stooges references.

One of the things the Celtics have been struggling with in the last few years are the lack of long, athletic, forwards that can run the break and finish all those ridiculous alley-oops that Rajon Rondo is just itching to dish out (rather than having to wait for the delayed break).

Harkless is all that and then some. He's 6'8" and has a ridiculous 7'2" wingspan. So what's the rub? Well, he's pretty raw and is projected to take some time to develop.

Green Street " NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: St. John’s SF Moe Harkless

While Harkless can get to the rim, he really can’t create his own shot, and his pull-up isn’t great. He also needs to add muscle in order to be a more effective forward. The St. John’s product is also stuck between the 3 and 4 positions, because he’s not a good enough shooter for the small forward position and not strong enough for power forward.

With that said, the potential is definitely there and if the Celtics keep both picks I could definitely see them taking a flyer on a guy with big upside.

DraftExpress NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Moe Harkless, Stats, Comparisons, and Outlook

Not a prolific shot-creator, Harkless gets a good amount of production moving off the ball intelligently in St. John's half-court offense. His teammates do a good job of passing him the ball in open spaces, where he can use his terrific length and leaping ability to finish above the rim, often in impressive fashion. Harkless' perimeter shooting is very raw at this stage and may be the main thing hampering him from making a full transition to the small forward position at this time. He is making just 24% of his nearly three 3-point attempts per game on the season, and 66% of his foul shots. On film, inconsistent shooting mechanics and release points are definitely a concern, as Harkless rarely shoots the ball the same way twice. He is a solid shooter in rhythm, but it takes him too long to plant his feet and get his shot off, which sometimes results in in a rigid, truncated release when he's not completely wide open.

A little bit of coaching up and perhaps a year on the Avery Bradley plan would be just what this kid needs.