Fran Fraschilla on Harris' NBA draft ranking on the Big Board. He thinks Harris is ranked too high. I do too.
No. 16 Elias Harris, Gonzaga
In September, Harris was a role player for Germany in the European Championships in Poland and was engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the likes of Pau Gasol and Boris Diaw. By the end of December, he was a big reason why the Zags are right back in top-10 discussion. However, I think his stock is too high.
Harris, who may be smaller than his listed height of 6-8, is an excellent and naturally strong athlete who has scored most of his points in the paint this season. He is an excellent offensive rebounder at the college level, who gets a lot of putbacks and, consequently, is shooting 60 percent inside the 3-point arc. While he has made 9 of 20 shots from deep, outside shooting has never been a strength of his. He has a good stroke that can improve, in time, though.
While I do like Harris' long-term NBA prospects, I believe taking him in the top half of the first round is putting the cart before the horse because there are other parts of his game that need to be addressed. His perimeter defense is average, at best, and his intensity level comes and goes. Neither is uncommon for a 20-year-old, no matter where they grow up, so it will not be a major concern for NBA teams. His international experience is a plus, as well.
Right now, considering the fact that he's not a natural small foward and that his skills are very much a work in progress, it's a reach to take him so high. If he can improve some of these weaknesses over the course of the college season or against international competition, though, I'm likely to change my tune.