Doug Collins officially announced his resignation as the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday after coaching the team for three seasons. The resignation came after speculation that Collins would be relieved of his duties was circling wildly earlier in the week. After the year that the Sixers had in the 2012-2013 NBA season, it was definitely time to move on to the future and away from Collins.
The Andrew Bynum saga obviously marred this season and Collins because of how poorly it was prepared for and how poorly it was handled. However, the now former head coach made several other questionable decisions. Notably, when it became clear that the playoffs were out of reach, Collins stuck with his normal rotation instead of getting some talented younger players experience. Arnett Moultrie was the guy that most people really wanted to see more of.
This year was the 22-year-old Moultrie’s rookie season and, though his playing time was limited, he showed a ton of promise. He appeared in 47 games for Philadelphia, playing 11.5 minutes per game and averaging 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game on 58.2 percent shooting. For a rookie not seeing the floor much, that’s not a bad stat-line.
Collins did give Moultrie a slight increase in minutes at the end of the season, but not nearly as much as people would have liked him to. In nine games in April, Moultrie averaged 18 minutes per game and put up 6.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game on 71.1 percent shooting. Over the last five games of the year, Moultrie saw the floor for 23.4 minutes per game and averaged 9.4 points, seven rebounds and 0.6 steals per game on 68.8 percent shooting.
23.4 minutes per game isn’t a bad average for a rookie, but for the Sixers it really didn’t make sense. The savvy move would have been to give Moultrie the bulk of Spencer Hawes’ minutes as Hawes has pretty much established himself as a competent center with little upside. Contrarily, Moultrie has heaps of potential and it would have been nice to see how he’d perform with a starter’s share of minutes.
The Sixers are about to go through the process of selecting and hiring a new coach this off-season. Though there are many things that the new hire will need to do, one of the primary things he has to focus on is getting Moultrie a consistent role in the Sixers’ rotation. It’s hard to say what type of player Moultrie could develop into, but he has shown signs that he can be a dominant big man if he’s given the chance. Subsequently, whoever this new coach is needs to give Moultrie that chance.