Arnett Moultrie played two seasons at UTEP, transferred to Mississippi State and sat out a year, then turned in a stellar 2011-12 campaign. But that nomadic trip through college ball may have kept Moultrie off the radar a bit, despite his 15.8 points per game and SEC-best 10.6 rebounds last year.
Everything’s speculation right now — especially this close to the 2012 NBA Draft — but all indications are that the Detroit Pistons are very, very intrigued by the skill-set that Moultrie brings to the table.
The latest nugget of note comes from MLive’s David Mayo, who speculates that the Pistons and Moultrie might have an agreement in place for Detroit take the Mississippi State forward at No. 9 overall.
The Detroit Pistons have admitted to hosting an individual workout for just one player projected to go in the first round of the NBA Draft, and when Arnett Moultrie confounded some at the NBA Draft Combine by declining to participate in drills which seemed tailored to his athleticism, it came with some attendant suspicion of a tacit promise from a team with a good draft position to take him.
Moultrie spoke earlier during the pre-draft process about being a “perfect fit” for Detroit, citing the need for a big man next to Greg Monroe — a pressing problem that will become an even bigger issue for the Pistons should Jason Maxiell decline his player option for 2012-13 and head to free agency.
At the NBA scouting combine, Moultrie measured in at about 6-foot-11 and 232.8 pounds. He also showed off a wingspan of more than 7-2. Moultrie averaged just under one block per game during his three collegiate seasons, but his ability to pound the glass could come in handy for Detroit.
DraftExpress.com compares Moultrie in a best-case scenario to Kris Humphries and, worst-case, to Jason Thompson. Considering the Pistons might gladly take either of those guys for their starting lineup, that’s a decent ceiling — Thompson has averaged 10.5 points and 7.2 rebounds in four seasons with the Kings, while Humphries put up 10 points and 10.4 boards in 2011 and 13.8/11 averages in 2012.
With Ben Wallace likely retiring and Maxiell’s future in limbo, the Pistons could be looking at a choice between Charlie Villanueva or Jonas Jerebko at power forward next season, with Vernon Macklin working in; Maxiell would hold down the starting job, in all likelihood should he return. Regardless, there’s room for another productive big man, and a Moultrie-Monroe combination could give Detroit a solid frontcourt for years to come.