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

06.13.12 at 6:13 am ET

As part of’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Moe Harkless leaves St. John's after one season in which he was named Big East Rookie of the Year. (AP)


Position: Small forward

School: St. John’s

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 208 pounds

Achievements: 2012 Big East Rookie of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 15.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.6 steals, 45.2 FG%, 36.1 minutes

What he brings: Harkless is a long, athletic forward who runs the floor well. He has a great first step and, thanks to his solid ball-handling, footwork and agility, he attacks the rim well. The 19-year-old also has a solid mid-range jumper, and while he isn’t a terrific 3-point shooter, he has quality shooting mechanics that may allow him to be a solid 3-point shooter with some coaching. He reads the passing lanes well on defense and forces a lot of deflections and blocks.

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.

Harkless still has major potential and could be a great NBA player if he develops properly.

Where the Celtics could get him: Harkless is projected as a mid-to-late first-round pick. ESPN’s Chad Ford predicts Harkless to the Celtics with the 21st pick in his mock draft 6.0.

Notes: Harkless won the Daily News Queens High School Player of the Year award as a junior. He transferred to the South Kent school in Connecticut for his senior year.

Recent articles:

ESPN: Moe Harkless leaving St. John’s early for NBA draft

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Harkless.

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