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Thread: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

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    Default Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    As time marches on past Memorial Day and nears June, it is time once again to begin writing this years version of my NBA draft profilesfor Pacersdigest. Though the actual writing is beginning today, the evaluationsstarted for me back in March, right after my own high school coaching season ended. As always, these previews will be based on actual game tape and film,obviously I have seen none of these players in person, nor have I interviewedthem or been to any of their workouts…..I am basing everything on video that Imyself have watched. >
    Like always, I am concentrating only on players that I feelhave a realistic chance of being Pacers, therefore you will see no preview ofAnthony Davis on here. Nor was I able at this point to obtain any film ofanyone playing overseas, though I am still working on one European prospectstape availability. With the Pacers currently picking at #26, I tried to earlyon focus on players I feel either will be chosen around that selection, onplayers who I feel SHOULD be chosen around there, or who perhaps are within range of a potential trade up scenario if the Pacers should choose to do so.
    For those of you new to my scouting reports, you can read mypre draft previews of several current Pacers elsewhere on this site in the archives, including Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough, Darren Collison, and PaulGeorge. You can judge for yourself what type of trust to put into my tape analysis.
    With all of that being said, my first draft preview of 2012 is of the athletic power forward from Mississippi State, Arnett Moultrie.



    Moultrie is an athletic 4 man with nimble feet, and has thesize to someday I think play both the 4 and 5 spots in the NBA. He measuressomewhere around 6’11, and while skinny still should weigh in at around 235LBS.He definitely needs to add some strength to be able to play a traditional 5spot, as he would struggle to hold his ground against the few remaininglegitimate centers left in the NBA, but for most matchups from a size point ofview he should be fine.

    Moultrie is a junior who is already 21 years old, he will turn 22 in November near the third week of theNBA season. He has been in college 4 years, as he began his career at theUniversity of Texas El Paso before transferring to the SEC playing Bulldogs.While sometimes kids who transfer colleges can be a red flag, keep in mind thatour own Danny Granger followed a similar career path in a similar area of thecountry (Bradley to New Mexico), so that to me should not be a factor in his evaluation.



    From merely an athletic point of view, Moultrie is fun to watch. He runs the floor effortlessly, with his long strides covering a ton of ground. He should excel in the NBA as a “rim runner”on an up tempo team, as he can when so inclined beat his own man down the floor. I am going to guess that in the individual workouts that are nobeginning, that Moultrie would impress people in sprints and in footwork typedrills that teams put him through without a basketball. Moultrie moves withgood balance and fluidity, and in general passes the eye test with flying colors just from watching him move around. If picked by Indiana, heautomatically becomes our best big man athlete, and it wouldn’t even be close.


    This athleticism also helps him as a rebounder, where Moultrie excels. He goes harder to the offensive glass than he does the defensive glass ,as he definitely smells an opportunity to score if he can get a putback opportunity. He averaged just under 11 rebounds per game for Mississippi State, which is animpressive number no matter how he may have gotten them. He is very much afinesse rebounder, as he is not a guy who blocks out others really, instead hekind of floats in and out of creases in the lane and pursues the ball well. Heis light on his feet and often the first man in the air, always a good sign fora young big man. He also is good at tipping balls to himself to get them on thesecond hop, something that again shows his good balance. I would also say he isone of the best rebounders in this class at getting balls outside of his area,showing great “range” of rebounding.

    Sadly though, because he doesn’tblock out or play particularly physically, sometimes he will struggle to getrebounds in big spots, or in major traffic. When others are able to put a bodyon him he doesn’t like that at all, and often will just give up on the play ifhe himself is checked out physically. In other words, he is very much a finessetype rebounder, who relies on athleticism and pursuit of the ball more thantechnique and strength. I don’t consider him a monster rebounder at the nextlevel, but he should be able to very much hold his own. I just don’t know thatI see that kind of nasty or tough streak you’d get out of an elite NBA level rebounding big man.


    Offensively he is a big man who can score a little, but isn’ta true “plant your flag” type scorer with his back to the basket. He is more of a guy who needs to catch the ball on the move, which on the right team will begood enough for him to contribute early on as a ballscreening/roll to baskettype guy. He definitely to me is betterwhen he catches the ball facing the basket, instead of catching with his backto the rim. As a guy who grew fairly late, he definitely shows the typical tendencies of guys who fit that profile, who played out on the perimeter early in their development.

    Again, his balance is outstanding offensively, and he is able to catch the ball on the move in traffic and do something with it. But one thing you will likely NOT see him do is pass it, as Moultrie very much has tunnel vision in scoring chances….he gets it inside, likely it is going up. Still that isn’t all bad, as he is a big guy who can finish with either hand inside, and actually might be a bit better with his left hand than the majority of NBA bigs right now.

    With his back to the basket his game is raw. He does a poor job of establishing and keeping low post position and is rather easily pushed out off his spot. I think he does a bad job also of “feeling” the defender withhis rear end, therefore he is forced to guess sometimes what move to make, and often he gets himself in a tougher situation than he should be. He is far too upright in the low post, and that makes him lose valuable real estate inside…..whatshould be a simple drop step move ends up having to be a much more difficultshot for him simply because he is too upright before he gets thebasketball. Still, his athleticism andtalent means he makes a higher percentage of those shots than you’d think, so it isn’t without hope that he can continue to develop as a low post scorer inside as time goes on.

    He will need to score, becausehis passing right now is poor out of the post, as he seems to either not see the floor or is just unwilling to throw it out. Of course, some of that couldhave been the lack of talent around him at Mississippi State, or it could havebeen scheme related, but for now I’d rate Moultrie as a below average passerout of the post.


    I am sad to report that Moultrie is an absolute atrociousdefender away from the ball as a helper. More than anyone that I have studiedthese last 4 years, Moultrie “hugs” his man away from the ball and simply doesn’tsee or recognize what is happening around him. He is extremely man oriented, amajor defensive flaw. This flaw is part of the reason why his reboundingnumbers are inflated somewhat, as he never leaves a rebound opportunity toactually play help defense. While hisown man may not score a ton, your team defense will be poor with Moultrie inthe game playing the way he does now.>
    As athletic and quick on his feet as Moultrie is to averageas few of shot blocks and alter as few of shots as he does is a majorindictment of him in my view. In my opinion this is not necessarily an effort thing, but it is a selfishness thing…..we call this selfish defense where I come from, and it will have to change for Moultrie to stick in the league. Heplays extremely close to his man and very flat on his man, essentially leavinghis perimeter defending teammates on an island to prevent drives on their own. He just seems uninterested in blocking shotsor even contesting them on players other than his own man. Most big guys loveto block shots to their own detriment, but Moultrie seems content to stay onthe ground and not exert the sweat needed to jump to the ball and get in help. It isn’t necessarily lack of hustle, but it is a gigantic lack of awareness that is troubling.

    Having said that, it isn’t all bad defensively. On the perimeter he guards the ball screenvery well. He has the quickness and balance to hedge very hard and stillrecover to his man, and his length and athleticism really help out here in thissituation. He will be able to trap ballscreens, something really none of ourcurrent bigs can do or are asked to do. And if he does create a deflection orturnover, he will be an asset running the floor in transition.

    And on the ball itself, whether it is in the low post or on the perimeter, Moultrie can hold his own. Inside he shows better effort on his own guy, and he has the dance stepsdown to be an effective defender either in a total front situation or onplaying a guy straight up. While some of the very powerful players will be ableto back him down, 95% of NBA guys will not be able to do so, and his better than average feet will let him slide and contest a shot pretty well.

    I do believe that he will be an interesting guy to possibly guard perimeter type 4 men, which we really don’t have on our roster. He wont be worth much in help, but against these ballhandling or shooting stretch 4guys, he will be athletic enough I think to guard them on the floor in spurts.

    So, you can basically say that defensively for Moultrie it is a mixed bag of potential and skill with one gigantic major flaw……but flawed guys are what you typically get at pick #26. The thing that will either make or break his career will be his capacity to improve his weaknesses at the next level.
    Admittedly, that worries me about Moultrie. I tend to prefer big guys with a higher revving motor thatMoultrie has, whose effort on tape seems to ebb and flow from possession to possession. Now part of this may have been fatigue and him pacing himself (Moultrie played almost 36 minutes a game for the Bulldogs), but it also may bethat he doesn’t always concentrate and play his guts out for his teammates andcoaches. This conundrum is why the interview and personality tests that these guys will go through for each team will be so critical, as it will be important to find out just what exactly it is that makes Moultrie tick.


    It is a very tough call for Indiana on Arnett Moultrie, inmy view. If he is there for us at 26, his upside and athleticism would be adefinite upgrade for our current rather unathletic back up big guys. However,his inconsistent motor and one major defensive flaw make him a risky choice, orat least as risky as a draft pick can be at this point in the draft.

    If you trust your coaches to develop him, and if you trust your culture of accountability and toughness that we have to improve him, thenI think the risk is worth taking him here…..but of course that depends on whoelse may be available……and we will get into other potential choices to comparehim to as this series continues from now until draft day.

    Moultrie could of course be long gone by 26. Houston at #14 or #16 is in play for him I think, as are the Celtics at #21 or #22. ……my best guess is that Moultrie is wearing Celtics colors on draft night, but we will see what happens as the draft gets nearer.

    CURRENT NBA COMPARABLE: A poor man's JASON THOMPSON
    FORMER NBA COMPARABLE: A rich man's ACIE EARL

    As always, the above is just my opinion

    Tbird

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    Over the pond ballism's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    Chad Ford just raved about him in his chat, apparently he looks very impressive in his workouts so far. The first time I hear about him actually, intriguing.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    Ah, it's Tbird time!

    Tbird, this year in particular, I think many of us would enjoy reading your considered opinion on what type of player, if added, would benefit the current roster the most. Does our long-coveted athletic 4-5 "Player X" remain #1 on the wish list? Or would you prefer to see the improvement gained from a top-flight pass-first point guard? Or maybe just notable improvement in drive-to-the-basket ability by our own Paul George? Knowing how you prioritize the team's needs will add to the fun of "cheering" for certain individuals to be selected.
    "I'd run through a brick wall for that man."
    - Roy Hibbert on playing for Coach Frank Vogel

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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    Quote Originally Posted by ballism View Post
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    Chad Ford just raved about him in his chat, apparently he looks very impressive in his workouts so far. The first time I hear about him actually, intriguing.
    He will be a workout riser but anyone who watched his tape knows he doesn't play nearly as athletic as he looks. Plus the quitting on his team this year rubbed methe wrong way. It is one thing to call out your teammate if you play hard. But IMO he doesn't and when he checked out on his teammates and called them out it was a huge red flag for me. I said on the draft thread he will go way higher than he deserves based on workouts and IMO the team will regret it in 3 years. He reminds me in many ways of A Randolph on my phone will go on once I get home

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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    I think we need multiple pieces to improve to the next level.

    We need a high quality athletic big who can defend 2 positions....somewhat who can back Hibbert up AND play along side him. "Player X" was my term for that kind of guy long ago.

    We could use some perimeter guys who could more consistently make shots, maybe someone you could run plays for off the bench.


    But more than anything I think we need a "creator", someone to get shots for others and that makes the game easier offensively for his teammates. It doesn't have to be a point guard either, though that makes the most sense probably to most fans.


    Tbird

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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    Thanks for the write up Tbird. Much appreciated. I'd take a Jason Thompson type player. Much better than Hans who just looks lost on D most of the time, imo.
    Lance + Starting SG = Awesome

    Now really free Lance!

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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
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    I think we need multiple pieces to improve to the next level.

    We need a high quality athletic big who can defend 2 positions....somewhat who can back Hibbert up AND play along side him. "Player X" was my term for that kind of guy long ago.

    We could use some perimeter guys who could more consistently make shots, maybe someone you could run plays for off the bench.


    But more than anything I think we need a "creator", someone to get shots for others and that makes the game easier offensively for his teammates. It doesn't have to be a point guard either, though that makes the most sense probably to most fans.


    Tbird
    I concur.
    Lance + Starting SG = Awesome

    Now really free Lance!

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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    He's not going to be there imo..

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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    Glad to see you back, tbird.

    From what you and p4e says, Moultrie doesn't seem to be the kind of player that the Pacers would go for. Though I do agree that at pick 26, Pacers are basically picking which flaw they can live with or think they can correct.

    That said, if we want to get that elusive Player X, might as well use free agency to go after the real Jason Thompson or a similar player in Mareese Speights who are both RFAs. Both guys at least have had a couple of years to mature in the league. Speights in particular seems attainable, since Memphis is up near the tax and it seems unlikely that they can keep all 3 of their RFAs (Mayo, Arthur, Speights).

    Are you taking requests, tbird? I'd like to suggest Andrew Nicholson and Drew Gordon, if they were already on your radar anyway.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    Great article.

    Is there any chance that he falls to us?

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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    Quote Originally Posted by Nuntius View Post
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    Great article.

    Is there any chance that he falls to us?
    moultrie was a guy that i wanted the pacers to draft if they could. after reading t-bird analysis, i'm less interested. nice size, nice athleticism, but lot's of questions.

    if the pacers take him, great. if not, that's ok too.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    Heeeeeee's Baaaaaaaack!!!

    YES!
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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    TBird,

    How much of a drop off is this kid from Drummond or Sullinger? Bigs that are in the second tier of prospects. It seems to me that there are a lot of bigs in this draft and we might get more talent there at 26 because of the depth in this draft.
    "Your course, your path, is not going to be like mine," West says. "Everybody is not called to be a multimillionaire. Everybody's not called to be the president. Whatever your best work is, you do it. Do it well. … You cease your own greatness when you aspire to be someone else."

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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    Damn good write-up. Not sure how I feel about him, but he sounds better than Hansbrough.

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    Default Re: Tbird 2012 draft analysis #1: Arnett Moultrie

    I finally took a look at Moultrie after seeing he gained the Tbird Seal of Approval™. I like him, he plays similarly to Perry Jones III (my dream draftee, in case no one has noticed), with less of PJ3's higher qualities (finishing ability, incredible handle, etc.). However, Moultrie seems like he could be a very valuable pick at 26, if he falls that far.

    However, I have a feeling that after more workouts and pre-draft measurements start rolling in, a lot of these players will start coming out of the woodwork, and Moultrie will be one of those who jump up the list. He's versatile, as it appears, and he might get selected higher than 26. I wouldn't mind having him, though.
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