Sixers demote Moultrie to Delaware

Posted: March 18, 2014

BRETT BROWN insisted after Saturday night's 103-77 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies that this is not "slit-your-wrist time."

But following the Sixers' 20th consecutive loss, 16 straight at home and 30th in the past 33 games, it sort of has to be hair-pulling-out time a little bit, no?

Before becoming a coach, Brown was in the sales business. He has been doing a lot of that this season, insisting that wins no longer matter and that the important thing is to develop the young players and find some unknown ones who may be worthy of keeping around as the organization moves forward next season.

A bunch of players have been shuffled in and out this season, the latest moves being the 10-day signing of guard Darius Johnson-Odom and the assignment of Arnett Moultrie to Delaware of the NBA Development League. The latter move is one that has to be a little concerning to the organization.

Acquired in a draft-day trade from the Miami Heat after being selected 27th overall in 2012, Moultrie has been limited by injuries throughout, but more so has been dogged by an inability to show a desire to be on the court when he is healthy.

Just recently healthy enough to go full bore after preseason ankle surgery, Moultrie didn't satisfy Brown with his fitness to warrant playing time. After a brief stint in Delaware with the 87ers, Moultrie came back and did get some playing time, but seemed slow, a bit out of shape and disinterested when not playing.

Brown did his best selling job on Saturday, saying that Moultrie is without a position playing behind Thaddeus Young. But the reality is if Moultrie would just adhere to one of Brown's favorite sayings - "Tail up, head down" - he probably would be getting ample playing time. When you consider that Henry Sims, Jarvis Varnado and Daniel Orton have all been able to come in and get court time by putting their heads down and playing hard, it says all you need to know about why Moultrie is in the proverbial doghouse.

"I was not giving him minutes here and he needs to go play extended minutes," Brown said. "It's not really a fitness issue, entirely. It's a tiny bit that, but I'd say that about anybody. He's a young player. He was a first-round draft pick. He needs to play, and if it's not happening here it's got to happen somewhere else, and that's why we're so lucky to have our D-League team 40 minutes down the road."

Moultrie is under contract again next season for a little more than $1.1 million. But bringing him back with the current attitude just doesn't seem like something Brown or general manager Sam Hinkie would be likely to do.

Six shots

After tonight's game in Indiana, the Sixers will host the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, the red-hot New York Knicks on Friday and be at Chicago on Saturday . . . The 77 points scored by the Sixers were the fewest they have put up this season . . . In Friday's 101-94 win, former Sixer Evan Turner had two points in 21 minutes for the Indiana Pacers. A night later he scored 20 in 30 minutes in a win over Detroit. Also in that game, Andrew Bynum had 15 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.

On Twitter: @BobCooney76


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