Reclamation Project For The Dallas Mavericks: Arnett Moultrie
By Marvin Jerome Hanke
Free agency is less than three weeks away and the Dallas Mavericks are preparing a free agent-mini camp for late June. With their success in reviving fading careers in the past, should the Mavs look to add a reclamation project for the upcoming season?
Al-Faruoq Aminu turned his success in Dallas into a nice 8-million per year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers. The Mavs did not even have a chance to match. Aminu was too highly regarded in Portland after his great showing in the playoffs against the Houston Rockets in 2015. Before him, coach Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks revived Tyson Chandler’s career, this season, Dallas was able to rely heavily on Raymond Felton and that was certainly unexpected.
The Mavs have clearly proven in past seasons that they have the ability to revive the careers of players better than most franchises. With Salah Mejri also panning out, Marc Cuban would probably be willing to take a flyer on a few players who have been toiling away in the D-League or overseas.
As Alex Kennedy from Basketball Insiders reports, Dallas is holding a free agent camp on the 22nd and 23rd of June and at least some of these players will probably get a summer league invite.
A look at Arnett Moultrie as a reclamation project for the Mavericks:
Arnett Moultrie was in the same draft class as former Maverick Jared Cunningham (the 24th pick in 2012) and picked at the 27th spot in the first round. Much like Cunningham, Moultrie failed to make a place for himself in the NBA.
He played just two seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers from 2012 to 2014 and had to serve a five-game suspension for a drug violation towards the end of his second season with the Sixers.
That was one but not the only reason Moultrie was traded to and subsequently waived by the New York Knicks in the 2014 offseason.
Out of shape following an ankle surgery in his second season his performance on the court left much to be desired. Over two seasons Moultrie appeared in only 59 games and averaged 3.6 points (on 54-percent shooting) and 3.1 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per outing.
After being waived, Moultrie played in China, Lebanon and Puerto Rico while also appearing for the Portland Trail Blazers during summer league in 2015. With a journey that is reminiscent of Hassan Whiteside’s trip around the basketball world before he found a home with the Miami Heat, could Dallas be the spot where Moultrie finally leaves his mark?
At 6-foot-10 and 249 pounds, Moultrie is a physical forward that can also man the center spot. While he experimented with stretching out his shot towards the three-point-line during the 2014-15 season in China (26-percent on 2.4 attempts), Moultrie’s strength is clearly finishing around the basket. During his time with the 76ers he shot over 60 percent close (0 to 3 feet) to the basket.
With the league drifting towards small-ball as a whole, Moultrie’s best position in the NBA is probably the five. Although he is not a great shot blocker, Moultrie does have good hands as evidenced by his steal rate during his time with Philadelphia.
With the rotation in the Mavs frontcourt far from set – basically only Mejri is sure to return next season – Dallas should take a hard look at Moultrie during the camp. After toiling away overseas, the former first round pick has a new appreciation for the NBA and is apparently working hard. That bodes well for his chances to re-enter the league, potentially with the Dallas Mavericks.
Next: A Dallas Mavericks Draft Preview on Point Guards
Stay tuned in with The Smoking Cuban for other potential reclamation projects that the Mavericks could target in free agency, but also for more draft coverage, projections, previews, and revisits over the next few weeks.