#27: Arnett Moultrie
There were a slew of talented prospects that has tumbled all the way down to #27 overall in the 2012 NBA draft (including Baylor’s Perry Jones III); however, the recently crowned NBA champion Miami HEAT apparently were not wowed by any of them. Per ESPN’s Chad Ford, Miami has agreed to trade out of their spot, reaching a deal Philadelphia. Miami will send draft rights of Arnett Moultrie to 76ers for the 45th pick in the 2012 draft and a future first-round pick.
The Sixers are getting a terrific value in Moultrie, an extremely versatile power forward out of Mississippi State, who many had projected to land in the mid-teens. Arnett measures 6’-11” and weights in at 233 pounds. During his college career, he was able to successfully showcase a mix of solid low-post, back-to-the-basket offense with an impressive perimeter jumper. In addition, he moves with alarming quickness and dexterity for a man his size. His explosiveness and incredible athleticism is what truly separates him from the pack.
Moultrie can play multiple positions on the pro level, but probably principally projects as a power forward. However, when predicting where he will fit best in Philadelphia, he may be asked to play minutes at center, especially if the 76ers fail to re-sign free agent Spencer Hawes. Besides Hawes, the only other true center on the Sixers roster is Nikola Vucevic, who has just one year of NBA experience after being drafted out of USC last summer. Philly may ask Moultrie to bulk up a bit if they envision him as at the 5; but the kid should be able to contribute right away no where when they stick him. Because Philly selected a raw “project” in Moe Harkness at #15 overall, they likely were looking to bring in another rookie who was ready to contribute right away. In fact, many mock drafts leading up to Thursday night projected the 76ers taking Moultrie at 15th overall. When he slid down to #27, the Sixers obviously felt impelled to jump back into the first round and snatch him up.
Best of all for Philadelphia, they are getting a player who is still developing. After two relatively unspectacular seasons at UTEP, Moultrie transferred to Mississippi State. According to the folks in Mississippi, the youngster improved dramatically during his red-shirt year. During his junior season, he averaged 16.4 points (while shooting 54.9% from the floor) and 10.5 rebounds. Most intriguing/promising may be his accuracy from beyond the arc; Arnett shot 44.4% on three-point attempts last season.
Clearly possessing plenty of “upside,” the Philadelphia 76ers are hoping the best of Arnett Moultrie is yet to come…