NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Mississippi State PF/C Arnett Moultrie
|06.15.12 at 7:35 pm ET|
As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.
Position: Power forward/center
School: Mississippi State
Weight: 233 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-Big Ten honorable mention
Key 2011-12 stats: 16.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, 55 FG%, 78 FT%
What he brings: Moultrie’s most impressive feature is his jumping ability. After a recent pre-draft workout, ESPN’s Chad Ford wrote Moultrie “gets off the floor as fast as any big man I’ve seen this year, and during several drills he was getting his head above the rim.”
On the offensive end, Moultrie, who transferred to Mississippi State after his sophomore year at UTEP, is at his best working off the ball on cuts to the basket for alley oops and offensive rebounds. He is far less effective with his back to the basket but is an impressive perimeter shooter and has made tremendous strides in his free throw shooting, draining 78 percent from the line last season, compared to 65 percent as a sophomore and 54 percent as a freshman.
Moultrie is a capable defender both in the paint and on the perimeter but needs to get stronger and improve his shot-blocking to be effective at the next level.
His rebounding prowess probably remains Moultrie’s strongest selling point as he, not Anthony Davis, led the SEC in rebounds last season.
Where the Celtics could get him: Moultrie is projected to be a mid-first-round pick, so the C’s likely would need to move up to get in position to select him.
Notes: Moultrie recently told Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News he thinks the Pistons (who own the ninth overall pick) would be the best landing place for him. “I know they need a big, someone to play alongside Greg Monroe,” Moultrie said. “He had a pretty good year. I think it’s a perfect fit. He’s more of a skill guy. I can block shots, rebound, run the floor.”
Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Moultrie.
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