NBA Draft: Did Pistons make a promise to Arnett Moultrie?

Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE

It is well known that the Detroit Pistons are looking for a big man but have they made a promise to a player already? And is that a player slotted to fall considerably lower than the Pistons' projected draft position at No. 9?

Some speculation from Brendan Savage at mLive implies that the fact that of the myriad players the Pistons have worked out so far only one of them was a potential first rounder -- Moultrie.

And to add fuel to that particular fire the big man from Mississippi State pulled himself out of some of the athletic drills at the recent NBA Draft Combine -- drills that many expected would raise the player's draft stock as athleticism is one of his biggest selling points.

Withdrawing from the drills and Savage puts two and two together. And Moultrie certainly doesn't lack for confidence:

"I'm a top-10 talent, for sure," he said, when asked where he should be drafted. "Anywhere from six to 10."

He insists is a power forward, not a center, and views teams which think otherwise as suspiciously as some teams view him, though he says he can play some center "if needed."

"I'm a good defender," Moultrie said. "I'm a smart defender. I can guard three positions, three through five."

And when he projects himself on an NBA roster, the ideal spot would be with the Miami Heat, "but they have the 27th pick," Moultrie said.

"Detroit is a perfect fit," he said. "I know that they need a big. They're looking for an athletic big to play above the rim, to play alongside Greg Monroe. He's more of a skilled four and I bring my energy when I'm on the floor, blocking shots and rebounding the basketball.

"I'd fit in very really well, just come in as a role player, because he's already established himself with that team. They have a lot of good guards that can score the ball, so I wouldn't come in and worry about scoring. I'd come in as a role player and do all the dirty work."

Moultrie said the Pistons talk regularly with his agent, Derek Lafayette, and said he thinks he's "in the mix at the No. 9 spot for them."

Does Moultrie deserve consideration that high in the draft? Well he doesn't block shots and while he averaged more than 10 rebounds per game it was in more than 35 minutes of action. I'm not familiar with his defensive prowess so maybe he is a good on-the-ball defender who could also help the Pistons with the crucial task of improving their pick-and-roll defense.

Offensively, he shoots well from the free-throw line (78 percent) and seems to have pick-and-pop ability. I think it's important to pair Greg Monroe with somebody who can do more than just stand in the paint and wait for put backs. I'm just not sure it's as important as someone who can instantly help this team's dreadful defense.

What do you think about Moultrie as a possible Pistons draft choice?

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