Moe Harkness, Quincy Miller or Terrence Ross — Which Should the Warriors Draft and Where?

Mo Harkless, the freshman small forward out of St. John’s, said it doesn’t matter to him where he’s drafted. Unfortunately for him, it probably matters to the Warriors.

Even though Golden State may like Harkless, their best-player-available mantra all but rules him out at No. 7. The Warriors could still get him if they want. They could trade down to snatch him up late in the lottery. They could use the No. 30 pick and their second-rounders (Nos 35 and 52) to get a pick in the middle of the round.

“I can bring a lot of energy,” Harkless said Saturday from the Warriors’ downtown Oakland facility. “A guy who plays hard, rebounds and can score in a lot of ways.”

Physically, Harkless is the prototype small forward, a position the Warriors have plans to address this offseason. He’s 6-foot-9, 208 pounds with a 7-foot wingspan. He’s a legit athlete, who scouts say runs the floor like a guard.

His physical attributes coupled with his current skills leave some in Warriors’ camp to believe Harkless, if he played another year at St. John’s, could have been a top-five pick in next year’s draft.

For Warriors’ fans, Harkless’ most enticing trait is his rebounding. He averaged 8.6 for St. John’slast season – and he did it while playing power forward for the undermanned and undersized Red Storm.

“It showed (my) toughness,” Harkless said. “Guys were 60 pounds heavier than me, and a few inches taller.”

But one word has kept Harkless’ name from being mentioned among the lottery: raw.

Harkless is just 19 years old. Though he had a standout freshman season for St. John’s, many question whether it will translate to the next level. He’s got some tools: solid mechanics on his shot, defensive tenacity and an ability to get to the rim. But he’s also lacking some of the tools needed to play small forward in the NBA, such as an ability to create offense for others and his inconsistent jumper.

Plus, Harkless has some competition. A couple other freshmen small forwards,  Washington’s Terrence Ross and Baylor’s Quincy Miller, could make more sense for the Warriors than Harkless.

Harkless’ stock has climbed lately, but Ross is still widely viewed as the higher pick, and Miller, who worked out for the Warriors, has a similarly high ceiling thanks to his great size (6-10, 219 pounds) and guard-like skills. The Warriors would seemingly get better value by taking Ross at No. 7 or hoping Miller, Michigan State’s Draymond Green or Vanderbilt’s Jeffrey Taylor fall to the Warriors at No 30 – if they want to draft a small forward in the first round.

Harkless was supposed to match-up with Ross at Sunday’s workout. But Ross, who recently worked out against Harkless in Portland, pulled out of Golden State’s final scheduled workout, robbing Harkless of a chance to perhaps show up Ross and win over the Warriors.

Still, if Golden State really loves Harkness, it could still get him. However, it figures to take some maneuvering as No. 7 seems too high for him, even with his rapidly rising stock.

Marcus Thompson

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Waaaay too high for any of the guys you mentioned, Marcus! I can see us packaging our picks and moving up to get one of those SFs, but I’d still prefer us using that #7 either on Lillard or as part of a package to get Igoudala or Josh Smith.

  • cmart

    I have not seen much of Miller, but Ross to me seems like a dime a dozen player. He’s long and athletic but does not create his own shot. Harkless at appears much stronger and bigger in addition to more ability to create his own shot.

    Still, unless a Kidd-Gilchrest surprisngly falls to them I favor picking Dion Waiters if they stay at 7. As MT III has mentioned while not a point guard he can play a few minutes there. He is 6’4″ and solid – built more like a D Wade. Love his ability to create his own shot which is something the W’s are in short supply of. He fits the asset billing of Meyers as well as he does not duplicate talent.

    I love the idea of having Draymond Green fall to them at 30. He may not have the “upside” of Harkless or Ross but until proven otherwise he’s a better and more skilled player than any other small forward in the draft.

  • Martina

    If they trade back to something like #12 maybe … maybe Harkness is worth it. I’d rather take Lilliard at #7 than Ross, Miller, or Harkness.

  • Rich

    Harkless has no outside shot at all. Taylor, and Miller would be great picks at 30.

  • EvanZ

    Some copy editors have been watching too much Torchwood.

  • fb

    How about trading pick 7 for Houston’s 14 and 16 picks? There the Ws could pick two among Harkness, Perry Jones, Terence Jones, Meyers Leonard, Jared Sullinger, Dion Waiers, Terence Ross, or Arnett Moultrie depending on who will still be available at that point, which I think will be most of these guys. I like the trading up option, or the trade for veteran SF, but if neither happens and no team picking before the Ws loses their mind and forgets to pick MKG, Harrison Barnes or Andre Drummond, I think we could get two players for the price of one – honestly most players between pick 7 and pick 24 are going to be roughly equivalent, at least on paper…

  • Usually (Terrence Ross) a guy pulls out or a previously scheduled workout because someone has “promised” to choose him.

    Ross’ stock has been soaring. Therefore he should be chosen no later than, say, 15th. . .

  • Why does everybody like Josh Smith so much? He’s a head case & has no outside shot @ all. Plus I can’t see him as an unselfish player recognizing his role. He would be a cancer, albeit he does posses defensive skills. . .

  • Young

    Miller and Harkness are projects and the warriors can not develop projects ie no way in the world…I wouldnt even draft them at 30. Id rather have Taylor who can shoot and defend well now.

    Ross is a beast who put up like 17 ppg vs good competition on a good talented team. He defends well now and can shoot. He’s a significantly better choice, but not talented enough for #7, plus he is a Klay clone. Both are too skinny to defend the SF in NBA. Theyd get killed nightly…

  • PhillyJ

    Bogut, #7, DWright to ORL for DHoward.

  • AP

    Why on earth would orlando doo that when previous offers have been brook lopez + 2 foirst rounders n others /// bynum plus others

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Orlando might do it if it’s Bogut, #7 and Klay.

  • Ron

    Let Mr West decide.

  • Derek

    Arnett Moultrie is better than anyone recently mentioned by fans and Warriors staff. Look for them to miss out on another offensive and rebounding beast who dominated in college, while selecting a prospect they falsely believe has a higher ceiling.

    The Warriors need atheletic big men, currently they have none, yet they apper to stupid to comprehend reality. Who hires some of these uninformed imbeciles.

  • Young

    @ Derek, your a genius!

    I hadnt even really looked at this guy!

    This guy is a really tall small forward like a Tashuan Prince! This our guy! He’s good now on offense and can defend the perimeter…

    I say draft waiters at #7 or fall back and draft Moultrie! this guy should at least be a Batum / Paul George SF and can play NOW!!!


  • rotfogel

    Arnett Moultrie is not as good a prospect as Terrance Jones. If I were GM and we had to take the 7th pick, it’d either be T. Jones or Ross.

    But I cannot iterate this point enough: NO ANDRE DRUMMOND. We need players who are good at the game of basketball which Drummond isn’t even close to.

  • Young

    lol @ your drummond comment.

    I agree 100% and thats exactly why I would rather Arnett than T Jones (just dont draft Arnett at #7, maybe #12-16). I agree Jones is a better prospect (bigger risk tho), he is also less skilled IMHO and its not close.

    Skill defined here as a move you can do repetitively (vs NBA players) and get the desired result.

    I love T Jones and Ross, suggested early on we trade back to get houstons 14 and 16 picks.

    however ross is Klay, but less consistent shooting more ATH. And Tjones is almost impossible to project bc what are his true skills in an NBA game?

    I think Arnette now is tall / long enough to guard the perimeter. Fast enough with enough handles to drive, good enough to shoot and will eat major boards. DAY 1

    Again, to your point, good at basketball…Love to hear your take

  • rotfogel

    Terrance Jones is less skilled than Arnett? In what way? Terrance Jones is a better shooter, dribbler, I guess passing they might actually cancel each other out, Jones is WAY stronger than Arnett and he’s bigger now and has the ability to pack on 20 lbs without losing any speed (look at the kid’s frame). Arnett has some nice Antwan Jamison like moves down low but the kid has little outside shooting ability…I don’t dislike him as a pick it’s just that Terrance Jones is right now very good NBA defender and could eventually be a first team all NBA on defense. Less skilled? In what way exactly?

  • Young

    2011 3-pt shooting

    Jones 32%
    Arnett 44%

    2011 FT Shooting

    Jones 63%
    Arnett 78%

    When I say more skilled I mean things we can be certain the player will do well in the NBA. Shooting is the easiest to project bc the rims dont change and Jones was not a good shooter in college. Arnette had much better numbers as you can see.

    Jones also played the 4 in college so projecting him as a 3 is hard. Can he drive the lane in the nba? Hard to say bc he wasnt guarded by 3’s as he tried to drive in college. Arnette was a 3 before he played 4 last year. I am not a huge fan of Jones as a 4. He is like Josh smith at best because though he is strong, he’s not that tall or long (for a PF). He’s a better 3 prospect to me than 4.

    Being stronger doesnt really matter at the 3 in the nba IMHO. You just really need to be long like Prince or Batum. Neither of them look like they can lift 220 once…KD looks like he has nvr lifted a weight (SF)…

  • PhillyJ

    agreed with Harp’s Dubs. Take out Wright and put in Klay, and we can get Howard. Bogut is arguably a top-3 or 4 center right? I think Bogut is more of a defensive force and better rebounder than Lopez for sure.

  • river’s edge

    thanks for bringing up the trade possibilities for howard guys. I think that Bogut, the #7, and Curry would be a fair trade. But would they take two guys with messed up ankles?

    If that senario doesn’t play out then I would like to see them draft Terrance Jones. He is a NBA power forward guys, not a small forward. Think Larry Johnson of UNLV then Knicks, yes Jones is going to be a baller.