Denton's Analysis: This time a year ago, Harkless had yet to even go through his first NBA practice following surgery to repair a sports hernia. Now, after playing well late in the season as a rookie and spending all summer on his game, he is miles ahead from both confidence and experience standpoints.
Harkless was extremely effective last season when slashing to the rim and dunking in traffic, but it is shooting from afar and from the midrange that he struggled mightily with. Over the summer, he tore apart his jump shot and reconstructed it to one where he gets the ball more out in front of his head instead of behind it. It is a shooting motion that Harkless can repeat and one that allows him to get off shots quicker.
It will also be interesting to see what the added bulk and strength do for him defensively. Already thought to be the prototypical wing defender because of his long arms, quick feet and good timing, Harkless actually grew an inch to 6-foot-9 this season. He should be a stat stuffer what with the way he can pile up blocked shots, steals, rebounds and fast-break points.