By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Mississippi State’s Arnett Moultrie will begin his professional career with the Philadelphia 76ers. He was selected by the Miami Heat with the 27th overall pick of the NBA Draft on Thursday night, and then the NBA champs dealt him to Philly for the 45th overall pick and a future first-round selection.
Moultrie is part of an impressive year for Mississippi State in professional sports drafts. Mississippi State is the only college team with first-round draft picks in MLB, NBA and NFL drafts this season.
The 6-foot-11 forward is the first Bulldog taken in the first round of the NBA Draft since 1996, when Erick Dampier (10th, Indiana) and Dontae’ Jones (21st, New York) both were selected. Moultrie is the seventh MSU player in history to go in Round 1, although he went a good bit lower than a lot of people expected; several mock drafts had him going in the top 15 or 18 picks.
As the 27th pick, Moultrie’s salary slot for his rookie year is $868,600, and he can make between 80 and 120 percent of that number. Philadelphia went 35-31 in a lockout-shortened season and lost to Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The last MSU player to be drafted was Jarvis Varnado, who was selected by Miami in the second round in 2010.