Cohen's Analysis: In October, Maurice Harkless was recovering from a sports hernia. In November, he was receiving a wakeup call that reminded him how grueling the NBA can be. In December, Moe was in readjustment and learn mode. By early February, Harkless had started to figure it out and was ready to unveil his aptitude. Now, he is one of the most impressive rookies in the NBA.
Some are already comparing the long, athletic and adaptive Harkless to Indiana’s Paul George, a stat-sheet stuffer who has already emerged into an All-Star. You can argue that after Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis and Bradley Beal, Harkless is the league’s most dazzling first-year prodigy. And remember, Moe was another piece in the Howard trade.
While he still needs to develop an offensive identity that allows him to generate offense in ways other than baseline cuts, rebound put-backs and open corner jumpers, Harkless is on the right path and by the time he is 22 years old (three years from now), we may be talking about him as a top five small forward in the league.
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