Report: Harkless leaning toward NBA

St. John's forward Moe Harkless is leaning toward leaving St. John's after one season and jumping to the NBA, according to a report in the New York Daily News published Saturday evening.

On Friday, ESPN.com NBA draft expert Chad Ford published an article about NBA draft prospects who won't be in the NCAA tournament. Here is what he wrote about Harkless:

"Harkless looks like he's entering the draft. Scouts love Harkless and he put on a show in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Harkless had 25 points, 11 rebounds and even knocked down a rare 3-pointer. One scout called him a poor man's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist -- which actually is a pretty serious compliment. If he could shoot, he'd be a lottery pick. But as it stands, there's still a good chance he goes somewhere in the mid- to late first round."

St. John's head coach Steve Lavin texted this in response to the Harkless report:

"Moe and I have had a number of productive conversations over the past four days. Naturally the discussions covered the pros and cons of leaving St. John's to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA. Moe and his mother Rosa know, regardless of what his ultimate decision is, we enthusiastically support them. They understand that either outcome will clearly help the Johnnies' cause as we continue to build our basketball program."

After being presented with the Big East Rookie of the Year award on Tuesday, Harkless first revealed that he was considering entering the NBA draft.

Chad Ford currently has Harkless ranked as the No. 30 prospect in this year's draft, which would put him at the end of the first round.