Yesterday, Sohil wrote about the Sixers' big man most closely associated with hope and the future: Nerlens Noel. Today, I write about the Sixers' big man most closely associated with disappointment and despair: Arnett Moultrie.
They* say you cannot truly appreciate where you are going until you have come to appreciate where you've been, and Arnett Moultrie has been a lot of places. And while a basketball court is not one of those places, Doug Collins and Rod Thorn traded up to draft him, and he was on the roster this year. Therefore, he shall be talked about because he had a headline or two.**
*Just who "they" are, no one knows
Well technically, Moultrie was on a basketball court, but only playing 12 games for the 2013-14 Sixers is not exactly one's resume highlight. His stats were down almost across the board from last season, and he ended his season in Delaware with the Sevens. And the biggest headline he made had absolutely nothing to do with basketball.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet. Let us take a look back to the night Arnett Moultrie was drafted.
Prior to the 2012 Draft it is fair to say many of us at Liberty Ballers were not at all interested in Arnett Moultrie. The Sixers had the 15th pick, and there was a consensus that Moultrie would be overvalued at 15th overall.
Here is what Liberty Ballers blogger emeritus Jordan Sams wrote about the 6'10" center back prior to the 2012 Draft (bold emphasis mine)
Moultrie's an interesting guy. There have been questions about effort and consistency throughout his three-year college career, but he has an intriguing skillset - one that would fit with the Sixers nicely. (His 38 inch vertical is pretty explosive, especially from a big man).
The Sixers need a big man who can protect the rim, rebound and finish at the basket. Unfortunately - despite athleticism suggesting he should - Moultrie is an underwhelming shot-blocker and defensive rebounder. However; he's a very good offensive rebounder and can finish at the basket via cuts, offensive rebounds and alley-oops - things Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner would immediately benefit from.
But picking him 15th is not what happened. The Sixers went upside 15th overall and selected Moe Harkless who would later be flipped to Orlando in the ill-fated Andrew Bynum deal that led to a series of painful yet fortunate events that led to Sam Hinkie that led to awesomeness.
But Doug just had to do some damage before his final season. He flipped a 2nd round pick and a lottery protected future first round pick for the rights to trade back into the first round at 27. And Doug liked himself some poultry.
Now let's take a look at what Levin said about Moultrie immediately following the draft.
Later in the first round when Moultrie continued to slip, the Sixers did a very un-Sixers thing -- they traded up to get their man. My issues with Moultrie at 15 were much greater than those at 27. He's got a lot of athleticism to him -- more than anyone in the Sixers frontcourt right now -- and could become a better rebounder and defender with some polishing. I still think he's a backup big, but they clearly loved him. Rod Thorn even drunkenly claimed he was "one of the top 10 players in the Draft". And by trading up to get him, the Sixers feel like they've got two of the 10 best players in the Draft. Pretty rad.
Now compare that with what I said last year:
Worlds apart. Kudos to Doug Collins, Rod Thorn, Courtney Witte, and Tony DiLeo for getting their guys.
Ha. Hahahahahaha. Ha.
Suffice to say, the Moultrie pick could not have gone any more wrong if shortly after being drafted Doug Collins spoke to him and gave him a five point plan on failing in the NBA. In fact, this may have happened. Let's take a retrospective into what Doug
may have possibly probably definitely advised Moultrie after he drafted him and how it has affected his career.
1). Learn the iso.
Doug says: Listen Arnett, the most important play in basketball is the iso. Learn it, love it, become intimate with it. It is the most essential play of any basketball team and you would be advised to know it more than Lou Williams knows rap. "I made my first million before I ever got laid." I love that song, don't you?
2). Finding an aging potion and age yourself 10 years.
Doug says: Listen dude, you are a young 21-year old. No coach is going to want to play you at this age. You have to do everything in your power to naturally or artificially age yourself ten years ensuring you instantly have veteran locker room presence. You can be just like Tony Battie!
3). Never take no for an answer
Doug says: There will come a time when you and I or whoever your future coach ends up being may not get along. But you gotta trust me on this. If I am arguing with you, you gotta fight back. Even if it means you end up in my Doghouse for some time, it will only motivate you to do your very best in the future. Look how it worked for Andre Iguodala. You think he sinks those clutch free throws in Game 6 against the Bulls if we had a perfectly chummy relationship? I DON'T!
4). Conditioning is secondary to hustle and grit
Doug says: The state of your conditioning is secondary to your effort on the court. It's like I always say "defense and heart wins championships." Heart's everything in this league. How else can you explain LeBron James not winning a title until Erik Spoelstra taught him the value of heart and being a good teammate? If you spend all your downtime focusing on your mental approach putting effort into everything you do on the court, you'll have a nice career.
5). Smoke marijuana.
Doug says: You gotta get yourself hooked on the good stuff. Just last night I hosted a bake out and came up with the brilliant idea to offer Kwame Brown a four-year, twenty-million dollar contract.
The Sixers may not win the lottery, but Hinkie will do his best to further the Sixers' rebuild in spite of that. No Andrew Wiggins will result in disappointment., but contrast possible disappointment to not getting Wiggins to satisfaction over trading back into the first round for Arnett Moultrie, and the Sixers are in an all right spot right now.
As for Moultrie, his option has been picked up for next season. Brace yourselves for a year of weed jokes.