The Philadelphia 76ers will have a former first round draft pick making is 2013-14 NBA debut sometime in the next week or so. Sadly, it is not Nerlens Noel, the team’s prized lottery pick, but it is last year’s first rounder Arnett Moultrie.
Moultrie has missed the entire season thus far while recovering from ankle surgery, but once he gets into game shape he should be a major boost for a young and thin Sixers front court.
In only 11.5 minutes per game last season, Moultrie averaged 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game and shot a solid 58.2 percent from the field. But when he started to get playing time the last six games of the season he averaged nearly eight points and seven rebounds in about 20 minutes per game. For some reason, he didn’t show enough for Doug Collins to play him more frequently, but current head coach Brett Brown is excited to see what Moultrie can do out on the court.
In anticipation of Moultrie returning, the Sixers waived seldom used big man Daniel Orton. It still shocks me that they prefer Brandon Davies over Orton, but nonetheless, the return of Moultrie should spell the end for Davies’ time in the rotation.
Brown has big plans for Moultrie and those plans should excite Sixers fans. He wants to develop Moultrie’s motor and make him a Kenneth Faried type player. He was already very active last year when it came to crashing the boards and finishing at and above the rim. It will take time to get into game shape, but just in terms of being active, he should be an upgrade over Lavoy Allen and Davies.
Look for Moultrie to hopefully make his debut this Wednesday, but don’t expect him to make an impact for another few weeks.