Posted by: Tom Sunnergren
11/30/12 1:14 pm EST

Zach Lowe submitted a typically thoughtful breakdown of the ongoing Andrew Bynum debacle on Grantland this week.

In examining the central question — did the Sixers screw up?— Lowe wrote something that struck me as off base on the first read through: management gave up significant future value to land Bynum.

Okay.  Iguodala stung, but I’m not losing any sleep over Vucevic or the lottery-protected first rounder.  I also forgot Moe Harkless was a person until I slipped over to the excellent NBA Geek and saw this:






The stats in the above screen shot are from November 20.  All small — and in this case, very small — sample size caveats obviously apply, but it still stands that Moe Harkless was, as of a week ago, the second most productive rookie in the NBA on a per minute basis.  He hasn’t tailed off since then.

As of November 30, Harless is first among fellow rookies and seventh in the NBA in WP48 (wins produced per 48 minutes) among players who have logged over 180 minutes, just ahead of Tim Duncan. What makes the thing go is his handiwork on the glass.

Harkless, who was a good rebounder at Saint John’s, has, thus far in his very young NBA career been an extraordinary one.  He’s grabbing 4.6 offensive rebounds per 48 minutes and 7.5 per 48 on the defensive glass —2.7 and 1.8 rebounds above and beyond what the average SF provides in that time.

He’s also, for good measure, averaging almost a block a night in just 16.9 minutes of playing time, shooting 52 percent from the floor, and has committed just four turnovers on the season.

By the reckoning of the WoW system (which has its detractors, I’m not one) Harkless is logging .309 wins per 48 minutes—300 percent over the typical level of production—and according to its PoP48, a newfangled figure that attempts to capture how many points a player generates, or loses, for his team over the course of a game compared with an average player at his position, he’s at +6.5 per 48 minutes.

And he’s 19.

Now it might not mean anything — just another strong late-November performance in the NBA’s ongoing Small Sample Size Theater — or it may be an indicator of greater things to come from the draft’s 15th pick.

Either way, wonder what he bowls?



  1. Steve Toll
    30. November 2012 at 13:40

    Nice Article, Tom.

    76er fans truly don’t understand how awful St. John’s was on offense last season and how history was truly on the side of Harkless;

    On a per minute basis this season, he has been one of Orlando’s best players. Harkless has the best defensive rating of any regular rotation player on the Magic and he has a positive Roland Rating, 4th highest on the team. His WS48 is a robust .139 which is higher than every player on the 76ers except for Jason “Career Year” Richardson.

    This was a bad trade from the start, healthy Bynum or not

  2. Matt
    30. November 2012 at 13:54

    This is great and all, but do you think coach collins would really play harkless anywhere near 17min/game?

  3. Lck
    30. November 2012 at 14:05

    The Sixers took an aggressive risk, and it ain’t looking good now. But hey, I’m glad we rolled the dice

  4. Philadunkia
    30. November 2012 at 18:45

    @Lck. You’re absolutely right man. Given what the Sixers knew then, it was a move they absolutely had to make. That said, it’s gone about as poorly as possible.

  5. RYN_JAY
    30. November 2012 at 20:09

    The question I would ask is would of it been better to trade Evan away instead of Harkless? Probably a little more risky but the whole trade was risky to begin with.

  6. Brett
    30. November 2012 at 21:28

    @Ryn Jay. Definently not, the core of the 76ers team right now is Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young (JRich is the veteran who keeps everything together). In a way that’s our big 3 haha, shipping away Lavoy would have been the best idea seeing as how he’s playing this year.

  7. RYN_JAY
    30. November 2012 at 22:52

    Yea I agree with you. I just thought I would throw it out there. Evan is really playing great lately after a slow start. It seems like he’s just more comfortable out there. I like Lavoy. You gotta remember that it’s only his second year. He’s still growing as a player. I’ve been praising the addition of JRich from the get go. And I don’t even have to say anything about Jrue. In my mind right now, I don’t believe that we are even going to see Bynum this year. I’m just expecting that. I don’t wanna get my hopes up and him not play at all.

  8. Sean
    1. December 2012 at 03:07

    i agree with matt, harkless never woulda played this season. if dorrell wright can barely get time, how would moe. i think moe will be good player but i dont see him ever being an all star. still with bynum bein out the trade/risk hurts more and more every day he doesnt play

  9. Jon
    1. December 2012 at 17:50

    Still don’t think you can blame the Sixers for making this trade, they had to take their chance to make a great leap and stop middling in mediocrity.

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