The Philadelphia 76ers are going to be the worst team in the NBA. That’s not a prediction, it’s something by design as the Sixers have blown everything up, starting with the Jrue Holiday trade the night of the draft, and are tanking to try and get a high pick in what is projected to be a loaded 2014 NBA Draft.
However, now the Sixers are going to be even worse as they have lost one of their key big men for the upcoming season. According to a report from CSNPhilly, Moultrie was diagnosed with an ankle injury this week and underwent surgery to repair it. The projected timetable for his recovery has him not being able to return until around January.
Moultrie didn’t see the floor all that much last season, but was productive when he did. He played in 47 games and averaged 3.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.4 steals in only 11.5 minutes per game while also shooting 58.2 percent from the floor. When he got more run at the end of last season, as many people were calling for him to see more minutes, he looked solid. In nine games in April, Moultrie averaged 6.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 0.4 steals in 18 minutes per game on ridiculous 71.1 percent shooting.
Just looking at this season, the injury will help the tanking efforts of the Sixers. With Moultrie out, that actually means that the much-maligned and unproven Royce White will likely see consistent minutes for Philly. That’s a good way to lose basketball games in the NBA.
For their future, though, this is also somewhat of a blow. At just 22 years old, Moultrie is an interesting player for the team’s future. He has a great motor, solid offensive and rebounding ability, and a good deal of potential. He wouldn’t have made them into a contender this season, but it would have been interesting to see how he would grow this season and if he could be a guy to keep around for the long-term. Now, the Sixers won’t get a look at him until the new year, at the earliest. Things were going to be ugly with this team already, but now they’re just getting grotesque.
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