Arnett Moultrie Making Most of Final Chance with Sixers
Arnett Moultrie played 34 minutes off the bench against the Celtics on Thursday, making 8-of-19 from the field for 16 points with nine boards, three assists and two steals.
The former first-round pick was at it again last night, providing some nice defense against the Magic with two blocks and two steals to go with six points, eight boards and two assists in just 19 minutes of action.
It's safe to say Moultrie looks like a new player this season. He had major conditioning issues last season and was in the doghouse, but coach Brett Brown has said he's been impressed at camp so far. The big man has a solid mid-range jumper and seems like a lock to be in the rotation. "You're always curious how somebody looks," Sixers coach Brett admitted when camp opened when talking about Moultrie in particular. "He has put in time, which to me is a real strong indication of his attitude coming into this year. It’s a positive reflection."
This isn't just a two game sample size for Moultrie, who looked great in his preseason debut against the Celtics on Monday, scoring 12 points with six boards and two turnovers in 22 minutes on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. Moultrie was more impressive on defense and he was getting up and down the floor pretty well.
How the Sixers use Moultrie in the rotation is anyone's guess but it's clear that he is turning some heads and earning a role on this team. At 6-10, Moultrie could play some center with Nerlens Noel on the floor as the power forward, which is where Brett Brown seems to want to use Noel. Moultrie could also spell Noel and play the four with Henry Sims giving the Sixers a tougher line up in the front court.
No matter where you play him and what role he is going to be utilized in, coach Brown definitely thinks he can play in the league.
"If Arnett takes things extremely serious, if Arnett understands what it really, really takes to cultivate his obvious skills, then, yes, he can [make it in the league]."
If the Sixers can get some positive minutes from Moultrie it could erase some of the negative memories of the trade that brought him here back in 2012. After scoring 16.4 and grabbing 10.5 rebounds per game as a junior at Mississippi State, Moultrie was drafted with the 27th pick in the 2012 NBA draft by the Miami Heat and then traded to the Philadelphia for Justin Hamilton and a future first-round draft pick.
Moultrie squandered his chance last season because he showed up out of shape. He was sent to the Delaware 87ers on multiple occasions and suspended for five games for violating the NBA anti-drug policy - it seems after that experience, Moultrie understands how much is at stake for him in 2014-15, his third NBA season.
"His body fat percentage is down, his weight is down," Brown said. "Physically, he looks good."
The rebuilding Sixers do owe him a guaranteed $1.1 million.