NBA Draft 2012: Magic Select Andrew Nicholson, Heat Trade Out Of 1st Round

As many expected, the Orlando Magic drafted help along the front line with the No. 19 pick, selecting St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson.

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Orlando Magic Sign First Round Draft Pick Andrew Nicholson

The Orlando Magic wasted very little time in signing their first round draft pick to a contract. Former St. Bonaventure forward Andrew Nicholson officially signed with the team on Tuesday, according to a press release published by the team on their website.

The Magic announced that Nicholson will play in the 2012 AirTran Airways Summer Orlando Pro League at the Amway Center from July 9-13.

The physics graduate averaged 17.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.98 blocks per game in 123 career collegiate games, earning all Atlantic-10 honors in all four seasons at St. Bonaventure. He was named conference player of the year his senior year where he helped lead St. Bonaventure to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2000.

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2012 NBA Draft Grades: ESPN's Chad Ford Give Heat An F

The Miami Heat decided to trade out of the first round of this year's NBA Draft and received a future lottery protected pick from the Philadelphia 76ers -- most likely for the 2013 draft -- and in return received this year's No. 45 pick. With only the second round pick the Heat drafted center Justin Hamilton from LSU.

ESPN's Chad Ford is handing out grades for the 2012 NBA Draft, and he was not a fan of what the Heat did since they past over some great players who they could have taken at No. 27. Ford's grade to the Heat was an F:

I think the Heat blew this one. Arnett Moultrie, at No. 27, was a great fit for Miami. He's big, he led the SEC in rebounding, he's an elite athlete and he can even stretch the floor a bit. If they didn't like him, Draymond Green, Jeff Taylor and a bevy of shooters to replace Mike Miller were sitting there begging to be taken.

They did get a future lottery-protected pick from the Sixers that they'll like receive in 2013 (assuming the Sixers make the playoffs), but next year's draft is much weaker. Hamilton is a big guy, but he's a project and probably ends up overseas.

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2012 NBA Draft Grades: ESPN's Chad Ford Give Magic B-

The 2012 NBA Draft is in the books and all of the draft experts out there are handing out their grades. The Orlando Magic had the No. 19 and 49 picks in the draft and used them to select Andrew Nicholson out of St. Bonaventure with their first pick, and then took Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn in the second round.

These two picks were good enough for ESPN's Chad Ford to give the Magic a respectable B- grade:

In GM Rob Hennigan's first NBA draft, he decided to play it safe and ended up with two solid picks.

Nicholson has a little David West in him. He's a big who can get after it in the paint and step out and hit jumpers. In fact, I'd say Nicholson is an even better shooter. He really needs to get in an NBA weight room, but he's got a chance to outperform his draft slot. I'm not sure how he fits next to Ryan Anderson (they're very similar players) but thought he was a solid get here.

I could say the same about O'Quinn. There's nothing fancy about his game. Like Nicholson, he's not a great athlete. But he's long and he can get it done in the post. I wish the Magic had added more athleticism (I felt like Teague would've been a stronger, albeit riskier, selection here) but you can't blame a guy who's been on the job for only a week for being conservative.

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2012 NBA Draft: Bernard James, Former Seminoles Player, Drafted 33rd In NBA Draft

At 27-years old, Bernard James became the oldest player to be drafted in the NBA Draft in the last 20 years when the Cleveland Cavaliers selected him with the 33rd overall selection before trading his rights to the Dallas Mavericks.

James enters the NBA after six years of service with the United State Air Force and four years of basketball with Florida State University. During his time in the Air Force, James rose to the rank of staff sergeant after three tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar.

James talked to HOOPSWORLD about his experiences in the military and how they will help him during his NBA career:

"I know how to be a professional, I'm disciplined and I'm going to work hard," James added. "I know how to be part of a team. I fill my role for the greater good of the group. I see the big picture. A lot of guys don't really have a grasp on that. They're only thinking about themselves and their game, rather than thinking about the big picture and the team. A lot of people are bred and trained from childhood to make it to this level, but I've had an entire life before this. Basketball came later on for me."

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2012 NBA Draft Grades, Magic

Andrew Sharp of SB Nation's NBA page has posted his draft grades for the 2012 NBA Draft, including his thoughts on the draft of the Orlando Magic. Spoiler alert: he wasn't the biggest fan.

And the Magic turned down an opportunity to rebuild with three first round picks and possibly more from Houston--God knows what other offers they turned down--instead picking up a player who provides security in case Ryan Anderson leaves, even though they're probably going to overpay Anderson regardless this summer, all in hopes that they can somehow squeeze out another few years of first-round exits with Dwight Howard. GRADE: F.

Well...at least it wasn't an F-.

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NBA Draft 2012 Grades, Heat

Andrew Sharp of SB Nation's NBA page has posted his draft grades for the 2012 NBA Draft, including his thoughts on the draft of the Miami Heat:

They acquired a future first round pick and still added a big man to play behind Chris Bosh. Considering they still have LeBron James, they really they could have drafted pretty much anyone and they'd be totally, totally fine -- but adding another first round pick for the future definitely doesn't hurt. GRADE: A.

When you're the NBA Champions you have a certain luxury afforded to yourself to set yourself up for the future instead of immediately address needs for now. The Heat took advantage of that luxury.

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NBA Draft 2012, Heat: 'Curious Move' In Draft For Champions

Draft night wasn't a particularly exciting one for the Heat as they traded out of their first round selection and were left with only the 45th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and an extra pick in a future draft. In the second round, the new NBA champions selected Justin Hamilton, a 7-footer from LSU.

One writer at Peninsula is Mightier, the SB Nation blog for the Miami Heat, provided commentary on the selection:

"It's a curious draft-night move. Hamilton isn't known as a particularly good athlete, so he may not fit with the rest of the team's current roster. Some players who were available at No. 27 -- like Jeff Taylor or Draymond Green -- could have definitely played in the just-concluded NBA Finals replete with solid athletes. Could one say the same about Hamilton? On the other hand, he is known as a solid shot-blocker, can run the floor well and does stand 7 feet tall. Perhaps Pat Riley simply wanted to find a big man who could relieve Chris Bosh of playing some of the five and play defense when the Heat faced one of the few formidable centers in the NBA -- Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum or Marc Gasol."

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NBA Draft 2012, Magic: Hennigan 'Whiffs' In First Draft

The 2012 NBA Draft was the first in Rob Hennigan's career as general manager of the Orlando Magic and it was not the best of starts, according to Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstripe Post:

"It's certainly possible the Magic will retain point guard Jameer Nelson, who has until Friday to decide on his player option for the 2012/13 season, and shooting guard J.J. Redick, who has a non-guaranteed contract. But at present, the Magic have glaring deficiencies on the wing and at point guard, and Hennigan failed to address them.

To be clear, Nicholson and O'Quinn are fine players, and both should have decent NBA careers. I don't question that they can play. The way in which Nicholson closed out his season to lift St. Bonaventure to the NCAA Tournament attests to his skill, while O'Quinn was the centerpiece of a 15th-seeded Norfolk State squad that upset second-seeded Missouri. I merely question where they fit with Orlando."

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NBA Draft Results 2012: Magic Select Kyle O'Quinn With No. 49 Pick

At the bottom of the second round, the Orlando Magic added another big body by selecting Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn with the No. 49 pick. O'Quinn was rated as one of the better big men in the second round and was projected to have his name called in the 2012 NBA Draft. He's a massive 6'10 241 pound power forward who definitely has a chance to make an NBA roster, even if it's on a non-guaranteed contract.

O'Quinn, of course, was the darling of the NCAA Tournament's first weekend this past March. He was the best player for Norfolk State and the face of their first round upset of Missouri as a No. 15 seed against the vaunted Tigers. He's an ebullient and enthusiastic big man who's likely to make an impact in summer league.

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NBA Draft Results 2012: Heat Select Justin Hamilton, Via Sixers No. 45 Pick

The Philadelphia 76ers selected LSU center Justin Hamilton with the No. 45 pick overall and the 15th pick in the second round. According to reports, the Sixers made the pick for the Miami Heat after the two clubs orchestrated a trade in the first round. Philadelphia will received the rights to Arnett Moultire, who Miami selected No. 27 in the first round.

Hamilton is a massive seven-footer who will have a shot to make the roster. Second round picks are not guaranteed contracts but he'll have a shot to make some noise in summer league to see if he can be a back-up at the next level.

In addition to Hamilton, the Heat will also reportedly receive a future first round draft pick from the Sixers. Miami is not scheduled to make another pick in the second round.

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NBA Draft 2012: Heat Trade No. 27 Pick To 76ers

Fresh off an NBA Championship clinched just one week ago, the Miami Heat reportedly traded the No. 27 pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the No. 45 pick and a future first rounder. The Heat selected Mississippi State's Arnett Moultrie with the 27th pick. Moulrie will be sent to Philly. Marc Spears of Yahoo! first reported the trade:

If everything holds as is, the Heat will now pick at No. 45 (15th in the second round) and hope to add a contributor on a non-guaranteed contract

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NBA Draft Results 2012: Magic Select Andrew Nicholson With No. 19 Pick

New Orlando Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan has made his first big move, selecting St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson with the No. 19 pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft. In the lead-up to the Draft, many projected the Magic to look for help along the front line. Nicholson was an extremely productive player for the Bonnies last season, playing as a dominant force in the Atlantic 10. Nicholson is just under 6'10 and can play both inside and out.

Orlando will now have plenty of time before their second selection of the night. They have the 49th pick overall (No. 19 in the second round) and have another chance to add a player on a non-guaranteed contract.

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2012 NBA Mock Draft: Heat Select Big Man At 27

The Miami Heat are fresh off an NBA Championship victory, the first in the careers of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and several other Heat players. Outside of the big three players (James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade) though, there is certainly room to add playmakers and in Sam Amick's final mock draft he adds another big man to the team. With the 27th selection, the Sports Illustrated writer selected Duke center Miles Plumlee:

"The Heat could always use another big man, and Plumlee certainly qualifies. Add in the athleticism and the untapped potential from being a role player at Duke, and Miami could stumble onto a nice player. Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli would also come in handy for the Heat."

Plumlee, a seven foot senior for the Blue Devils, averaged just over 20 minutes and seven rebounds per game in his final year with 6.6 points per game.

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2012 NBA Mock Draft: Magic Take Iowa State Shooting Forward

On the eve of the 2012 NBA Draft, Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated published his final mock draft as he attempted to predict all 30 of the first round selections. Despite Ohio State's Jared Sullinger still on the board at the 19th selection, Amick instead decided to select a different sophomore forward, Iowa State's Royce White:

"It would have seemed inconceivable just days ago that White would be taken before Ohio State power forward Jared Sullinger, but it is a possibility now. While Sullinger's back and hamstring issues have been scaring teams away, White seems to have done a nice job of addressing concerns about him. He has been candid about his anxiety disorder, which sometimes causes a severe fear of flying, and many teams are now homing in on how effective he could be as a point-forward type."

White averaged 13.4 points per game in his sophomore season with the Cyclones before deciding to forego his remaining two years of college to enter the NBA Draft.

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NBA Mock Draft 2012: Heat Could Add Big Man Festus Ezeli

Pat Riley and the Miami Heat front office have little time to transition from celebrating their 2012 NBA Championship to the NBA Draft. It will be a busy week for the Heat, starting with the parade and celebration on Monday and the Draft on Thursday.

Miami will obviously be picking at the bottom of the first round. The No. 27 pick will almost certainly not yield an impact player, or at least someone who can impact games right away. But Miami did get a solid contributor in Norris Cole at the bottom of the first round in 2011. DraftExpress, one of the best scouting sites in the business, thinks Riley may look inside for help and take one of the true center prospects in this draft. Jonathan Givony tabs Festus Ezeli as the pick:

The Heat have had a hard time surrounding Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James with complementary rotation pieces, but have a chance to add another talented young player to the mix with this pick. Pat Riley has reportedly been looking hard at all of the big men in the draft, trying to see if he can add a center who can develop into a serviceable role player. Ezeli has the size, length and athleticism to warrant being picked here.

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2012 NBA Mock Draft: Magic Go With Moe Harkless, Heat Take Jenkins

While the rest of the league fixates on the 2012 NBA Draft, the offseason's biggest event has mostly been a secondary concern for the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic. The Heat just won the championship, and dysfunction has engulfed the Magic. Nevertheless, the draft is Thursday. Both Florida teams have a pick in the first round. So who might the Heat and the Magic draft? CBSSports.com ventures a guess in a new mock draft.

With the 19th pick, Jeff Goodman has the Magic selecting Moe Harkless, SF, St. John's.

The Magic can't pass on Harkless, the long and athletic wing who needs to work on his perimeter shot.

Miami gets a shooter with the 27th pick, John Jenkins, SG, Vanderbilt.

Doesn't do a ton else, but Jenkins can shoot the ball. I mean, really shoot the ball. Could be an ideal replacement for Mike Miller if his body doesn't hold up.

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NBA Mock Draft 2012: Jared Sullinger The Choice For Magic At No. 19?

One of the most talked about prospects this week in the run-up to the 2012 NBA Draft has been Jared Sullinger. The Ohio State power forward was reportedly red-flagged for a balky back, and his stock has plummeted. He was once thought to be a lock for the top 10 but he's potentially fallen out of the lottery and did not even receive an invite to sit in the green room backstage on Thursday night.

But Sullinger's tumble could create an opportunity for the Orlando Magic at No. 19. Rob Hennigan will hit the ground running this week, with Dwight Howard trade rumors still red-hot and the Draft just one day away. Hennigan could get a highly-motivated Sullinger at No. 19 to help along the front line. Draft Express released their latest mock draft, and Jonathan Givony projects Sully to Orlando:

Sullinger was likely to be selected in the top 10 until red flags uncovered in his NBA combine physical put a serious damper on his draft stock. Rumors are flying that Sullinger could require surgery that could sideline him for the entire year, which makes it virtually impossible to peg where he'll end up on draft night.

At this late stage in the draft, new GM Rob Hennigan can afford to take a flyer on a player who would be a huge steal if the concerns over his back end up being overblown, like most red-flagged prospects in the past.

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NBA Mock Draft 2012: Magic Have New GM In Place, But Who Will They Add Thursday?

With Rob Hennigan now calling the shots as the new General Manager, there will at least be some stability at the top making the Magic's draft choices on Thursday night. Orlando could go in a number of directions, with Dwight Howard trade rumors continuing to run rampant. ESPN's Chad Ford released his latest mock draft on Monday after another weekend of smokescreens and rumors. Ford thinks Orlando could end up with one of the most-talked about prospects this week, but for all the wrong reasons:

I'm not sure when the bleeding will end for Sullinger, whose stock is falling now that concerns about his back have every GM in the league a bit skittish. However, sources say the Suns and Sixers are still considering him in the middle of the first round.

The Magic also could use a real low-post scorer. Sullinger is the top talent left on the board and a player who could come in and contribute immediately.

Sullinger was red-flagged last week by some NBA doctors. The Ohio State big man reportedly has back problems. The disappointing news then continued on Monday when it was revealed that the one-time top-ten pick did not get an invite to the green room backstage on Thursday.

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2012 NBA Mock Draft: Heat Look To Add A Role Player At End Of 1st Round

The Heat are still riding the high from their second franchise championship last week and with the confetti still being swept up from the parade, the front office already has its sights set on the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday. Miami holds the No. 27 pick in the first round, where they have an opportunity to add a nice role player to a championship team.

ESPN's Chad Ford released another iteration of his mock draft on Monday. There's bound to be plenty of shuffling at the bottom of the draft, which is so dependent on how the lottery plays out. Ford's latest mock predicts Miami will select Jeff Taylor, a veteran from Vanderbilt:

The Heat could use Taylor's elite athletic ability, lockdown defense and spot-up shooting. He can't create his own shot, but no one will ask him to in Miami, making this the perfect spot for him to land.

This would be a comparable approach to what Miami did last year, when they added a veteran college player in Cleveland State's Norris Cole. The rookie point guard went on to be a valuable contributor in spots this season and in the Playoffs, something that Pat Riley and the front office can only hope for at the bottom of the first round.

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NBA Mock Draft 2012: Kyle O'Quinn Projected To Be Picked By Miami Heat At No. 27

While the Miami Heat are now one win away from their second NBA championship, the NBA Draft is fast approaching next Thursday. The Heat, while looking like the best team in NBA at times, could always use a little more help in the front court.

Tom Ziller of SB Nation released his most recent mock draft on Wednesday. In that mock he said that the Miami Heat would select Norfolk St. Spartans center Kyle O'Quinn with the No. 27 overall draft pick.

27. MIAMI HEAT: KYLE O'QUINN

Miami is clearly trolling Boston here.

O'Quinn was a four year player for the Spartans, averaging 15.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game his senior year. The 6'10", 240 pound center scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in Norfolk State's upset of the Missouri Tigers in the NCAA Tournament last March. He also averaged 57.3 percent from the field his senior season and shot almost 70 percent from the foul line.

If the Heat draft him, they should be getting a player that will work hard every day to show that he can be a great player in the NBA.

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NBA Mock Draft 2012: Terrence Ross Projected To Be Picked By Orlando Magic At No. 19

With the NBA draft a little more than a week away, the speculation as to who will go where is starting to heat up. The Orlando Magic own the No. 19 pick in the first round and have many directions they could go with the pick.

SB Nation's Tom Ziller thinks that they will select Washington Huskies guard Terrence Ross with that pick.

19. ORLANDO MAGIC: TERRENCE ROSS

Ross could be a fine fit in Orlando, but frankly, I'd say that about just about anyone, because I have no idea what the Magic are doing.

Ziller's comments notwithstanding, Ross had a pretty good shooting touch his sophomore year for the Huskies, shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from three point range. He averaged 16.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, helping the Huskies reach the NIT Semifinals.

Another shooter for the Magic could be needed if more injury problems fell other shooters that are on the roster.

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NBA Draft 2012: Latest Mock Has Miami Heat Taking Fab Melo

Although the Miami Heat may be preoccupied with the NBA FInals, the 2012 NBA Draft is quickly approaching. The mock drafts continue to be released in anticipation of the big day.

The latest mock draft, coming from Joe Kotoch of Sheridan Hoops, has the Heat addressing one of their biggest concerns in the first round, by taking Syracuse center Fab Melo with the 27th pick in the draft. Kotoch says that Melo's length and defensive abilities make him a good fit for a team that is desperate at times for post play.

"Miami struggles with length and doesn't have a true shot blocker to protect the rim. Melo would fit well with the Heat as his best skills are on the defensive end and rebounding. While he may have inflated stats due to the zone, Melo is an intriguing specimen who if he develops any offensive game would be a very good starter."

Kotoch said that some other names to keep an eye on include Vanderbilt's Festus Ezeil and Michigan State's Draymond Green.

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NBA Draft 2012: Latest Mock Has Orlando Magic Taking Arnett Moultrie And Darrion Pellum

The NBA Draft is nearing, and the speculative mock drafts continue to come in. The latest mock comes from Sheridan Hoops where staff writer Joe Kotoch compiled a two-round draft prediction.

As for who he feels will fall to the Orlando Magic with the 19th overall selection, he feels that the team will go for some insurance for Dwight Howard by taking Mississippi State power forward Arnett Moultrie. Kotoch is impressed with what the prospect brings to the table.

"Moultrie could crack the lottery, but falling this far would benefit the Magic, giving them a young, viable big that is physically ready for the NBA and polished enough to help on both ends of the court."

In the second round, Kotoch predicts that the Magic will get one of the draft's best value picks in Hampton shooting guard Darrion Pellum. The 6-foot-7 shooting guard has turned heads with his playing abilities.

"Pellum may be the biggest sleeper in the draft. 6'7" and a very talented scorer, this small-school product has captured the eyes of several executives."

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2012 NBA Mock Draft: Heat Add Draymond Green In SI Prediction

The Miami Heat are undoubtedly have bigger fish to fry before this month's NBA Draft. But while most of the organization is focused on winning the franchise's second NBA title, scouts are out there going through their due diligence in preparation for a Draft which is just over two weeks away.

The Heat obviously have their cornerstone pieces in place already, but Pat Riley and his front office can definitely improve the complimentary parts around LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. At the bottom of the first round, it's hard to find an NBA-caliber starter but you can certainly find polished players who are ready to contribute in one way or another. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated projects that the Heat will add just they type of guy, and select Draymond Green from Michigan State:

Miami is desperate for players beyond its Big Three who can be versatile and provide some offense. Green, who performed well at the combine, would be a good addition in that regard. He averaged 16.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists as a senior, including 17.7 points, 13.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists in three NCAA tournament games.

While he plays a different position, drafting Green would be using a comparable approach to last year's selection of Norris Cole -- another four-year Senior who was incredibly productive at the college level with a well-rounded game.

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NBA Mock Draft 2012: Magic Select Arnett Moultrie In Latest Sports Illustrated Projection

The Orlando Magic continue their tumultuous offseason in just over two weeks when they add a new prospect in the 2012 NBA Draft. With a new General Manager and Coach yet to be named, it's hard pegging which direction the Magic will go with the No. 19 pick in the first round.

Orlando could use help along the front line and add another rebounder on the interior. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated released the second version of his mock draft, and he projects the Magic selecting Arnett Moultrie out of Mississippi State:

Moultrie told reporters in Chicago that he expected to be taken anywhere from No. 7 to No. 17, but he'd be a terrific match with the Magic. The possibility that Dwight Howard could be traded is back in play and Orlando has room for improvement anyway in a frontcourt that includes Ryan Anderson and Glen Davis. Moultrie averaged 16.4 points (on 54.9 percent shooting) and 10.5 rebounds last season.

Moultrie transferred to MSU from UTEP but he was productive everywhere he played during his college career. Most scouts project him as a mid-to-late first rounder. Amick has John Henson going one pick ahead at No. 18 and Syracuse's Fab Melo going two picks after -- two other interior prospects who could be on the board.

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