Tenth Pick Tournament Round One: Jared Sullinger vs. Arnett Moultrie

Published: June 7, 2012

James Grayson & Ryan Schwan square off in this Hornets247 Tenth Pick Tournament matchup which pits PF/C prospects Jared Sullinger against Arnett Moultrie.

Jared Sullinger


by James Grayson

Every year an NBA Draft will bring experts and scouts together to assess how talented a player is and where he fits in the pool of talent on offer. A lot of times you’ll hear terms like, “He has a very high ceiling, but a low floor,” or “He’ll be solid in this league, but nothing special.”

With Jared Sullinger you often hear a lot of people complement his skills, but lament his limited room for growth.

This outrages me because I believe Jared Sullinger will be a very good NBA player.

There are two things we need to do before we break down why I believe Sullinger deserves to be selected with the 10th overall selection by the New Orleans Hornets.

  1. What are his skills and deficiencies?
  2. How does he fit in with the Hornets?

As well we shall touch on why he’s a better prospect than Arnett Moultrie.

First let’s address what Sullinger does well. For those that watch a little college basketball, you will know that Jared Sullinger is an extremely gifted player on the offensive end around the basket. He has excellent post up moves with good, sound foot work as well as the toughness needed to grab offensive rebounds.

Sullinger is the 10th best per minute scorer in DraftExpresses Top-100 prospects. This is no coincidence as Ohio State ran multiple low-post sets for Sullinger where he was routinely double-teamed. This also highlights another one of his skills, passing.

Because Jared has a refined post-game he often see’s opponents double team him on either the catch or the dribble. Sullinger’s quality feel for the game allows him to either make moves away from this double team to score, or make the pass to the open man.

One of the criticisms you’ll find of Sullinger is that he doesn’t possess any athleticism or length necessary to compete with the big boys in the NBA. This is true, but there are plenty of examples of Power-Forwards (which he will be) that are 6-9 and under succeeding the NBA *Cough* David West *Cough*.

And for those looking for the length of Moultrie (6-11), why does he have a worse Block Percentage (2.1%) than Jared Sullinger (4.0%)?

Aside from that, most of the skills that Sullinger is weak at is due to his physical attributes. The beautiful part about Jared is that he knows who he is and has a game that fits that. While he does have a jumpshot of sorts (hit 40% of his threes) he didn’t attempt as many as he will need to in the NBA. Developing the face-up aspect of his game will be tough, but one which he can achieve and has shown an ability to develop.

As for how he fits in with the Hornets it’s relatively simple. We’ve already heard that New Orleans is looking very seriously at him with the 10th pick. Sullinger’s skills paired with a shot-blocking Anthony Davis go very well together. Davis doesn’t really have the advanced isolation game which Jared has, nor does Sullinger have the shot-blocking and elite rebounding that Anthony has.

Mixing their games together would be like butter on bread. Not only that, but the Hornets lack a low-post scorer that they so desperately need. Looking around the draft boards it’s unlikely that there will be any more immediate low-post scorers in the entire draft.

In terms of roster depth I think Sullinger will fit in right above Gustavo Ayon and Jason Smith (who can rotate between the PF and C positions). Drafting Sullinger might be a risk when it comes to a point-guard prospect, but truth be told that position is quite weak this year in the draft.

In comparison to Moultrie, Sullinger stands out and is the much better player. While some will like Moultrie’s potential the fact remains that there are large parts of his game that are unknown and vastly inferior. For his size it would be apparent that Arnett might be a better shot blocker than he is. As well his defensive rotations are late and not always there which is similar to Sullinger. He relies a lot on living off the scraps on offense and cannot create his own shot, where in comparison Sullinger can.

Moultrie’s weaknesses also extend to several other areas such as:

  • Poor strength, will get pushed around in the NBA
  • Inconsistent motor
  • Called out team-mates — shows poor leadership

I’m sure my opponent will no doubt include a lot of statistics in his argument for Arnett Moultrie. This will be to convince you of his “hype,” and “potential.” I for one still can’t get over that train wreck that was Julian Wright to give the word potential another go.

The way I and many others see it, Jared Sullinger can be the low-post option next to an elite defensive center. If Anthony Davis is such a center it seems very appropriate to place a power-forward with the skills needed down low to make a good team that much better.

Arnett Moultrie


by Ryan Schwan

Every year draft evaluations are littered with words and phrases like “undersized”, “tweener”, “doesn’t have a position in the NBA”, and “Who will he defend?”.

You will hear all of those applied to Jared Sullinger.  Sullinger has been dinged for his slow-footed defense.  He’s been called too short.  He’s been called fat.  You will have people point out that he struggled mightily in the last few games of the NCAA tournament when going up against big men who were actually big and could jump.

You will not hear any of that applied to Arnett Moultrie.  Moultrie stands 6-11.  He weighs a neat 230 lbs.  He is tall, long, and has the athletic gifts you’d expect in an NBA big man prospect.   Moultrie is one man who will not start every game at a disadvantage against the players facing him.  Oh, and he put up 34 points on 23 shots in his last game this season.

Moultrie’s abilities in college, however, are not all due to his size advantage.  He has skills.   He averaged 16.4 points on a mere 10.9 shots in college, drilling a great 78% of his free throws – which is a solid predictor for a player’s shooting talent going into the NBA.  Even from deep – where he took barely more than one three pointer every other game, he hit a nice 44.4% of them.   What’s more, in his interview at the Hornets practice facility, unlike players like Zeller and Henson, who talked about their jumpshots, Moultrie talked about rebounding and defense.  You know, the important stuff for NBA big men.

Moultrie has skills, averaging a nice 16 and 10 for Mississipi state this year.  He can rebound.  He can shoot.  He can finish on the pick and roll.  He was in the top 25 in the nation in offensive rebounding by any measure you look at.  Sullinger?  He wasn’t in the top 25 at all.  In any category.

You may have heard of Sullinger.  It’s time to hear about Moultrie.


  1. David

    June 7, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Sullinger vs. Perkins/Ibaka? Marshall vs. Westbrook? We may as well be bringing a nail file to a gun fight 🙁

  2. Tim

    June 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm


  3. Taquito

    June 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Sullinger + Davis with Ayon and Smitty off the bench? SIGN ME UP

    • JP

      June 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm

      too crowded and we need ayon to play big minutes

    • NOLA Hustle

      June 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      too small. don’t want to make ad play the 5 until he’s given a chance to fill out and bulk up

      if you want someone with sullinger’s skill set, take zeller. low post moves and 4 inches taller, able to bang a little bit and p;ay the 5

      • NOH Domination

        June 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm

        Zeller sucks

  4. Uptown Sammy

    June 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    • SP

      June 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      6″9′ for Sullinger will make him a serviceable power forward in the NBA – he could easily be our 3rd banana of the future.

      Side note: I’m loving how quick Monty & Dell are to remind reporters that Eric Gordon is our best player. Not sure if anyone has read Bill Simmons’ book, but he makes an interesting observation about shooting guards having breakthrough seasons at age 24, all of the great ones did it.

      Check these numbers out from our most recent superstar shooting guards:

      Kobe: 23 Years Old – 22.5PPG
      Kobe: 24 Years Old – 28.5PPG

      TMac: 23 Years Old – 25.6PPG
      TMac: 24 Years Old – 32.1PPG

      Wade: 23 Years Old – 24.1PPG
      Wade: 24 Years Old – 27.2PPG

      MJ: 23 Years Old – 22.7PPG
      MJ: 24 Years Old – 37.1PPG

      Eric Gordon turns 24 in december. If history repeats itself once again he’s primed for a breakout season. One thing we have to remember is that regardless of who we take at 1 or 10, Eric Gordon is our cornerstone. I’m pretty happy with it being that way.

  5. nikkoewan

    June 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Hold on, Schwan voted against Sully?! OMG O_O

    • Michael McNamara

      June 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      Are assignments were random. Schwan drew the short straw! Give him some pity votes 🙂

      • alex

        June 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm

        And you randomly got rivers? lol No but i really love this site and this tourny was a great idea. I think Sully is a offensive player that hornet fans so despertly want. ESPN U had Sully highschool game against Tristan Thompson and all i can say is Sully dominated. i think he would be a great addition to the team. Keep up the good work this has become one of my favorite sites if only the saints had a site like this. Geaux Hornets!!!

      • nikkoewan

        June 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm

        Agree with Alex, you just randomly got Rivers? Hmmm, I THINK NOT! :)))

        Kidding aside, Sully all the way 🙂

      • NOH Domination

        June 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm

        Is there not a saints247?

      • Jason Calmes

        June 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm


        There is some overlap. You may or may not find it comparable, depending on what you enjoy here.

        I, for instance, care WAAAY too much about the boys to do this sort of thing but focused on them.

      • SP

        June 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm

        Check out saints247.net man, it’s Joe Gerrity’s saints blog…

  6. mazonmafia

    June 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I didnt watch too much college basketball but the few times I saw moultrie he kinda just camped out by the 3pt line on offense. Seemed to lack a motor, granted I am going off of a small sample size…

  7. Michael McNamara

    June 7, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    On the podcast where I talk about the future of sports- and flying basketball players- I specifically call out Moultrie. I watched two of his games that week and he was so underwhelming. He put up good numbers but he was so incredibly lazy getting back on D and he refused to bang down low, despite the fact that he was the biggest guy on the court.

    I have noticed that the people who like Moultrie are the ones who don’t watch much college basketball, they just read scouting reports and look at numbers. If you watch Moultrie play, you are disgusted by how much talent he wastes.

    • nikkoewan

      June 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      out of curiousity, when will the next podcast be? Excited to hear more NOLA news 🙂

  8. Josh

    June 7, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I would take Sullinger. He has post moves that are becoming rare in the NBA. He has a great motor and works hard. He lost 20 pounds last offseason and is committed to working hard. Moultrie is just like a lot of big men nowadays; he plays on the perimeter. Sullinger would be a luxury and a great complement to Anthony Davis. Just last year Sullinger was a projected top-5 pick. I like Moultrie, and he had a great workout (on Slam Online), but I like Sullinger more.

  9. okithor

    June 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I admit I don’t watch college ball simply because I don’t get the chance. However, I am extremely excited to see Davis and another big from this draft in a Hornet’s uniform next season. And why not Sullinger?

    Then next off season you make a play at CP3 who I think has a secret desire to play in the Big Easy again.*

    *Do this—>
    Go to Footlocker.
    Ask sales rep for new pair of CP3’s.
    Proceed to rip out the black insole cover on the inside the shoe.
    Scream “Yes, baby!” at the top of your lungs.**

    ** Double footnote -> What is there is none other then a Creole Blue insole that matches the Hornet’s uniform exactly! Do you need any more evidence? I didn’t think so.

  10. Ron

    June 7, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Already having Caveman, JSmith, Unibrow and Goose The Nose, do we actually draft another PF/C?

    What we needs in an accurate 3-pt shooting wingman who sits in the corner waiting for kickouts who also hustles on defense.

    • NOH Domination

      June 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      I feel like everyone in Hornetland either wants a point guard or big man with #10.. What you just described sounds like Trevor Ariza with the addition of ‘accurate’. Obviously not ideal, but who actually possesses those two things in the draft? How about the NBA? There really aren’t a whole lot of players that shoot well and play great defense. Nicolas Batum is the only attainable player I can think of, but I have a feeling Portland will match offers up to a pretty large amount, which means that even if you want to pay him that much you’d have to say bye to Gordon or amnesty Emeka or Ariza

    • NOH Domination

      June 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      Also I doubt Kaman is re-signed

  11. da ThRONe

    June 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Once again if we are assuming we are drafting Davis 1st. I have to go with Sullinger. We’ll need low post scoring and Jared is probably the most proficient at that skill in this draft.

    • Zombian

      June 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      da ThRONe(I never got that the caps spell out “Tron” until just now) ,
      A- You just stated what I was trying to get to but far more concise.
      B- I love that you are willing to be objective about your opinions on AD. Everyone is so excited about him and its good to see someone have an opinion in direct opposition of the discourse and you present your argument logically without wavering even though every post of yours is accompanied by 8 downvotes and a slew of poor grammar and base arguments.
      C- Please keep posting here. I love reading the comments and its good to hear a dissenting opinion from another Hornets fan.

      • da ThRONe

        June 7, 2012 at 7:38 pm

        Yeah Tron is my name. That’s why I go by da ThRONe. Just thought it was cool it fit my name like that.

        Thanks. I just call it like I see it. Trust me once it’s all said and done if/when Davis suits up as a Hornet(or whatever we will be called) I’ll root from him like a mad person.

      • nikkoewan

        June 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm

        I agree with Zombian. Just wanted to comment so that you know that although we’ve had heated debates in the past, those debates we’re in the spirit of fun (if that even makes sense).

        I’m never one who wants anybody to change just because they are different from me 🙂 I celebrate diversity 🙂 keep on posting (and I’ll keep on arguing wherever I see fit)


  12. Zombian

    June 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    When asked how the Spurs always seem to acquire players that slipped under the radar or who played poorly for that player’s prior team Popavich stated (I’m paraphrasing) that he prefers players with a go-to skill.
    Both players are young but Moultrie sounds like more of an athletic gamble. According to draft reports He was working on a perimeter game trying to be a small forward and decided to dedicate himself to power forward with range. He doesn’t have a post game and will not bang for rebounds.
    At this point I think we look at Davis Monty and Gordon and build around them. Having not seen Davis on the floor its hard to know just how he plays out but from what we can surmise I think the best thing we could pair with him is strong rebounding post player. Although Sullinger doesn’t have the size I’d like at least he has the right style to his game.

  13. NOLA_Fredo

    June 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Out of these two, Sullinger. Moultrie may be the better player 3-4 years from now if he lands in the right spot. Sullinger though will be steady wherever he goes.

    That said, if the choice on Draft Night is either Sullinger or Moultrie, can we assume that Rivers, Lillard and Marshall are all gone?

    • nikkoewan

      June 7, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      I think they made this tournament by assuming that all of this was in a vacuum

      • Jason Calmes

        June 8, 2012 at 12:15 am

        I also think that is correct.

  14. mojart

    June 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    i wil go moultrie here…he is FARIED 2.0….hornets don’t have energy guy off the bench…..so my vote is moultrie…lillard, rivers or moultrie for the 10th pick

    • Mr. West

      June 8, 2012 at 8:42 am

      Jsmith isn’t an energy guy? What???

  15. mojart

    June 7, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    i just read dis in a article…..how about trade EG for HIBBERT….sign and trade…den deal ariza,10th pick,future 1st rd pick maybe 2013 and 2nd rd pick 2013 and 2014 for the number 2 pick and get MKG….i just read it in other post…wats ur thoughts

    • Zombian

      June 8, 2012 at 11:35 am

      I really like Hibbert and I would do that trade but if Indiana gets Gordon you gotta include Granger in the trade (The idea is they want to move George to his more natural position at SF). That said Hibbert is the kind of player I’d love to pair with AD but why the rush? Hibbert is an All-star now and who knows how long it will be before Davis begins to show that level of talent?
      Trading 5 future picks and unloading Ariza for MKG is risky. I doubt any of those picks will be high enough to get someone of his talent back but that goes against the new NBA paradigm of valuing picks and building through the draft. Also with Aminu and Kidd on the wing that leaves us with two players who are and will be developing for years. Their play will likely fluctuate and will often infuriate Monty. If both are benched who does that leave us with? Oh, and as much as I like MKG his game (outside of his great D) may not be a great fit for our team.

  16. Mike P

    June 7, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    I think Sullinger is the ideal fit with Davis, and I think people forget that Sullinger showed a lot of promise as a floor-spacer. Everyone already knows he likes the post, but he also shot 40% from 3 this year on a decent number of attempts. Anthony Davis will likely serve the role as a floor-spacer for now, but Sullinger’s ability to knock down shots could serve him well in the future. He is a very versatile offensive option already. I’ve said this before: how many college bigs are as advanced on the low block as Sully is? It’s a skill.

    I compared Davis/Sully to Tim/Diaw and Garnett/Perkins before, not in the sense that Sully is a similar player to a Diaw/Perkins, but in the sense that undersized, strong bigs can do very well when paired with longer, athletic 4s like Davis. Another combo that I think we can look at is Love/Pekovic. Pekovic emerged this year because with Love spacing the floor, he could just eat out space on the low block, rarely facing double-teams, and score easy buckets. I think Sullinger can do a similar thing if Davis develops that jumper.

    The only thing that worries me is that leg that’s one inch longer than the other.. I think if Sully is healthy, he will have a very, very good NBA career.

  17. NOS-3RD GEN

    June 7, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    I’ve been saying Sullinger is our 2nd pick this isn’t new to me. I’ve seen two of his NCAA tournament games and notice that he be great as a Hornet. But I also see that in Harrison Barnes and Rondo as well

  18. Mike P

    June 7, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    I think Barnes is a perfect fit for us as well. We’d have to trade up for him though. Not sure what kind of package we could put together for Rondo. His value is too high right now. We’d give up too much to make it worthwhile

  19. kempleton

    June 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Sullinger really looks overweight at that combine to me.

  20. Hollis21

    June 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I’ve mentioned before I’m the Ohio guy and I am indeed a diehard Ohio State fan. In his two years at Ohio State, I may have missed just 3 or 4 games. I’m no paid expert or anything like that, but I’ve watched Sullinger as much as anybody.

    People say he is overweight, but actually between when he was a high school senior, to a freshman, to a sophomore, the guy has dropped weight. I believe it was between 15 and 25 pounds. That screams dedication to me. He saw a problem and worked to fix it. In his second year he expanded his offense by adding distance to his shot. If he got space the guy could hit the three. You won’t run an offensive play for him to get a 3. However, on a broken play with the clock ticking down, he can hit that shot.

    The only gripe I had with Sullinger in his two years is what me and my fellow Buckeye friends would just call a “kids issue”. We often felt like Sullinger was basically pouting. You could often predict how Jared would play for the next 5-10 minutes based on his facial expression. If calls were not going his way he would grow way too frustrated and show some immaturity and lose focus. If some friends were together for a game, we could call when someone else was going to have to step up because Jared was “pouting” and was gonna struggle for a stretch.

    The big difference however between Ohio State and the Hornets and other teams in the NBA is his role. He was the top guy at Ohio State so when he got upset it was often detrimental to the team. On a squad where he is not the #1 guy it won’t be as much of an issue. I would love to see Sully drafted at #10. The kid will work his tail off for whatever team he plays for. His “pouting” is him just not fully understanding how to deal when things aren’t going his way. He’ll mature and learn to keep pushing. And if he does lose focus, he’s not the face of the franchise.

    The offensive talent is there and will continue to grow. His defense is frustrating at times, but the guy has shown he will work just as hard, if not harder than anyone else on the roster to improve. He wants to be a success. His father is a legendary high school coach in Ohio. Jared will work. And work hard.

    And that’s why I take him over Moultrie. Moultrie may have more length but in the games I watched him, I was never wow’d. He camped at the 3 point line and was lazy on offense. Overly critical of teammates. And just lacked the drive. Sully is better now and has more fire to improve. If we had pick #20 and took Moultrie, I’d be happy. Picking him at #10? I’d be pretty disappointed.

    • Zombian

      June 8, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      Great writeup. I think motor is incredibly valuable and I trust a person watching a player game in and game out.

  21. da ThRONe

    June 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I think what people forget about the two sports are that the paint is much more congested in college. There’s no defensive 3seconds in college and most guys aren’t knock down shooters from nba 3pt range. Sullinger will have a lot more space to operate in the pros than in college and passing out of double teams will be easier with better floor spacing.

  22. gardenhound

    June 9, 2012 at 11:04 am

    I would take moultrie. I think everyone needs to watch his NBA workout video to see that this guy can be developed into a long term NBA asset. He played for a very up and down team that seemed poorly coached. This guy can also shoot the 3 very well!

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