The next prospect up is Moses Moody out of the University of Arkansas. he’s a shooting guard/wing who is projected to be selected anywhere from eighth to tenth during this year’s draft. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer lists him because the 16th best prospect within the draft. He doled NBA comparisons of Mikal Bridges and OG Anunoby. Most major outlets list Moody at 6’6”, but O’Connor has him listed at 6’8”. Regardless, the wing is well-known for its length and absurd wingspan (around 7’0”).
Moody spent his first two years of high school at various colleges in Arkansas, where he grew up. He reached the state championship game in both years, winning it in his sophomore season. He transferred to Montverde Academy before his junior season, where he was a neighborhood of what some consider the simplest high school team ever assembled. Moody shared the ground with Cade Cunningham, Scottie Barnes, and two top-ten prospects from the category of 2022.
After his senior year, Moody committed to Arkansas. He became the very best ranked prospect to plan to the varsity since Bobby Portis in 2013. Moody played 32 games with the Razorbacks last season, starting each of them. He averaged 16.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 1.6 APG in 33.8 MPG. He shot 42.7% from the sector and 35.8% from the three-point range. Defensively, he averaged 1.0 SPG and 0.7 BPG. The freshman led Arkansas to a 25-7 record, earning them a third-seed within the 2021 March Madness tournament. Moody led the thanks to a Final Four birth, where they were eventually eliminated by Baylor.
He decided to enter the 2021 NBA Draft following his first and only year at Arkansas. Overall, Moody had a reasonably traditional one-and-done experience leading up to the draft. Defense is way and away Moody’s best trait. His long arms and frame give him an instantaneous advantage on the perimeter against all kinds of offensive players, and his overall defensive intelligence allows him to be effective within the post also . Moody is great at finding the shooter, even when he’s defending off the ball. He features a nose for blocking shots that might otherwise go uncontested.
Whether it’s rotating on a drive to contest a player within the paint, or rapidly closing out on a shooter, he has the power to dam some ridiculous shots. His great energy and intensity thereon end contribute to the present skill also. He also does an excellent job of sticking to players on the perimeter. whether or not they prefer to drive or pull up he remains glued to them on the defensive end. As mentioned, his long arms help him contest almost any shot the defender tries to require. it’s also an enormous reason why he’s ready to block shots from crazy angles.
His off-ball awareness is another huge strength of his. having the ability to play with such great energy on the ball, combined with solid off-ball defense makes him a particularly versatile defender. Offensively, Moody thrives behind the three-point line. He’s never been an excellent shot creator, but he’s lethal when spotting up from deep catch-and-shoot situations is definitely his greatest strength on the offensive end. he’s quite literally the definition of an excellent three-and-D wing, with solid upside. Defensively, there aren’t many holes in Moody’s game. The one area where he could stand to enhance is his aggressiveness.
For the foremost part, his aggressive defense is that the better part of his game. However, it can sometimes cause unnecessary fouls when he’s going for a hustle block or contest. Most of the lackluster parts of Moody’s game are on the offensive end of the ground. Although he’s an excellent three-point shooter off the catch, there isn’t much else in his offensive arsenal. According to O’Connor, Moody has some struggles in nearly every other offensive category. He’s not great at finishing inside, struggles to get his own shots, and takes too many mid-range shots rather than threes.
O’Connor also details how Moody must improve how quickly he shoots the ball. He has somewhat of a slow-release on his jump shot, a flaw that NBA defenders will knock. While this doesn’t necessarily hinder him within the role of a three-and-D specialist, if he ever wishes to propel himself into stardom, Moody will likely need to become a far better isolation player. This is the type of skillset most multi-year college players inherit the league with – three-and-D capabilities with less upside. The comparison of Mikal Bridges may be a perfect example of this, though Bridges has elevated his game to new heights this season.
The real worry for Moody is that his potential will only reach as high as a top-quality starter. If a team is trying to find someone to blossom into somebody, that concept could be a stretch. The comparison made to OG Anunoby makes plenty of sense, but the Mikal Bridges one stands proud as spot-on. From the crazy wingspan to the three-and-D skillset, the similarities are all there. As previously mentioned, Bridges evolved his game even further this season, improving his driving abilities and expanding his skill set. However, when he came into the league he possessed an identical raw skillset to Moody. Moody, however, is going to be entering the NBA much before Bridges did. Bridges spent three years playing in college after being a redshirt freshman in his first year.
As a result, Bridges was 22-years-old when he entered the league, while Moody is going to be 19 turnings 20. thanks to this, Moody could progress faster than Bridges, or it could lead to crazy mistakes as a result of inexperience. Only time will tell. On his floor, Moody could play similarly to the likes of Royce O’Neale and Justin Holiday. Both are really solid, scrappy defenders who can knock down three-pointers. Outside of that, however, they’re fairly limited. Moody would slot in perfectly with the Hornets. Although the team’s primary need is at center, adding depth at the wing position is going to be crucial this offseason.
After Gordon Hayward and Miles Bridges, the simplest options Charlotte has at the wing are Cody Martin, Caleb Martin, and Jalen McDaniels. All three are decent players, but an infusion of more talent would definitely help that rotation. It would also allow the team to feature talent without having to spend an excessive amount of representation. Selecting the proper players on draft night makes all the difference for young teams. On top of that, Moody brings one thing to the table that the Hornets desperately need – defense. Although they weren’t the worst team therein regard, they still finished within the bottom half of the league in terms of defensive rating (112.0).
Adding a young player who focuses on defense would help finalize Charlotte’s young core for the longer term. Plus, having Moody on the wing for LaMelo Ball to pass to would be a gorgeous connection. The only downside to the present selection for the Hornets is that Moody won’t have superstar potential. If the thought is to seek out a second star to place next to Ball, the team could prefer to enter a special direction. However, if Charlotte wishes to prioritize team-fit and solid young pieces rather than overall potential, Moody would be a solid choice.