Sixers former head coach Doug Collins, you know, the guy that wanted to sign Kwame Brown to a four-year deal but was overruled, is notoriously meager with the minutes he gives to rookies and young, developing players.
(Remember scratching your head for the bulk of the 2011-12 season wondering why Jodie Meeks was consistently starting over Evan Turner?)
Collins relied upon proven players, and never necessarily prided himself on developing talent.
So it was no big surprise that rookie Arnett Moultrie did not see too many minutes for the Sixers last season. He was buried on the bench for much of the first half of the season, and only began to see some semblance of consistent time from February forward as it became increasingly clear that the Sixers would not be competing for playoff contention.
The lack of minutes was not condemnation of his skill, but rather Collins’ coaching style.
Moultrie saw action in 47 games last season, and while he did not set the world on fire during his increased action in the second half of the season, he did develop some on-court confidence and showed signs of potential and promise.
Though he needs to improve his defense and continue to expand his overall basketball IQ, Moultrie displayed an ability to finish around the rim, and also demonstrated that he could be an above-average rebounder, especially on the offensive end, where he capitalized on 13% of available opportunities.
Due to his lack of exposure last season, most of the NBA does not know quite what to make of Moultrie.
Leave it to Sam Hinkie and his newly-hired head coach, whoever that may turn out to be, to eliminate the uncertainty.
While all the talk about analytics when it comes to Hinkie as a general manager may be overblown, Hinkie’s view of player value and asset assessment is not.
Unlike Coach Collins and last year’s regime, Hinkie is not just going to let a talented young forward (read: asset) languish at the bottom of a lineup.
Hinkie did not make the move that landed Moultrie in Philadelphia. Thus there is always the likelihood that Hinkie will want to move Moultrie if he does not see him fitting into the future of the franchise. The new GM has already proven his willingness to move players by trading away the team's best player, Jrue Holiday, on draft night.
But before he makes any move regarding Moultrie, Hinkie would be wise to see what he is working with. If he is inclined to keep him on the roster for the foreseeable future, he will surely want to see the second-year player consistently perform first. On the other hand, if he is going to move Moultrie, he will want to drum up market value in order to receive a decent return, which can only be accomplished through on-court production.
Moultrie’s market value across the league is low at this point, and the upcoming Sixers’ season will be a wash anyway as they look toward the 2014 lottery. Hinkie may well milk what he can out of Moultrie in order to determine if he has a real future with the franchise, or if he would be better-suited as a bargaining chip in the organization’s ongoing pursuit of success.
However the future unfolds, expect to see more from Moultrie in 2013-14.