Moses Moody is a 6’6” 19-year-old with a very cool name and a 7’ 0.5” wingspan (the longest of any backcourt draftee hopeful). In his one-and-done year as an Arkansas Razorback he led his team in scoring with 16.8 points per game and was second in rebounds at 5.8 per game. Second! As a 6’6” guard! Woah! This fact is obviously less surprising if you know about his 7 foot long appendages, but is an impressive stat regardless. For a little perspective on Moody and his length, look at the picture at the beginning of this article. That is Moody shooting over 6’7” Francis Lacis from Oral Roberts University. Look at his arms. They’re almost Kevin Durant-esque. Incredible.
Setting aside wingspan and cool name for just a moment, Moses Moody’s best attribute is his shooting. He finished the year third in scoring in the SEC after shooting a respectable 35.8 percent from behind the arc and 81.2 percent from the free throw line. Moody was fifth in the entire NCAA in total free throws made and had a free throw rate (free throw attempts per field goal attempt) of .482. This would be good for sixth best in the NBA for non-centers after Jimmy Butler, Giannis, Zion Williamson, Ben Simmons, and Trae Young.
Long story short: Moody loves to shoot and I love watching him shoot. Aided partially by his 7 foot wingspan, he has one of the smoothest and prettiest shooting forms in the ’21 draft. Moody’s length makes it hard for guards to close out on him effectively, often making it look like their presence didn’t affect his shot at all. Watch this next clip and try to find a difference in his form between the open threes and the ones with *cough* *cough* Cade Cunningham in his face.
His shooting motions are almost indistinguishable regardless of if a defender has a hand in his face or if he’s taking a wide open three. This length helps him create space shooting off the dribble too. Moody uses deceptive jab steps and pump fakes to draw defenders closer before dribbling into a Tatum-like side step three or finding empty space ahead of him and taking a pull up two.
While his catch and shoot game is arguably his best offensive quality, his abilities to create space and shoot off the dribble are surprisingly good for a player who rarely takes the ball up the court. In the next clip you can see how he uses jabs, pumps, and quick steps to create space from defenders and move to where he feels more comfortable.
Even though Moody’s shooting skills are tailored for the NBA, his defense is really what sets him apart from other prospects. On ball, Moody is great at cutting off driving angles and forcing players in the direction that he wants them to go. He has a very high level of defensive IQ and positions himself to almost take control of the other team’s offense and force them towards the corner or into a trap. He doesn’t rack up a ton of steals or blocks, but opponents shot just 32% when guarded by him. Watch how he uses his length to force ball handlers into uncomfortable positions and either take low percentage shots or turn the ball over.
As much as I wish it were true, Moody isn’t perfect. His offense is fairly one-dimensional and his passing needs a lot of improvement. Moody averaged just 1.6 assists per game, assisting on just 8.2 percent of his teammates’ buckets while on the court. Passing was not Moody’s main job in Arkansas’s offense and he was able to maintain a neutral assist to turnover ratio at 1.0, but he will need to improve his passing if he ever wants to increase his usage rate and not fall into a simple ‘3 and D’ role.
In terms of his shooting, Moody struggled on shots from inside the paint. He held a 42.7% shooting percentage from the field, the worst of any Razorback starter and third worst for all Arkansas players averaging at least 10 minutes per game. He also shot just 52.9% for shots at the rim, equivalent in the NBA to Tyus Jones. Moody’s finishing package is limited and he often makes shots harder for himself, awkwardly contorting to avoid contact in mid-air instead of drawing contact or passing the ball to an open teammate under the rim. His decision making near the hoop could use some work and he’d benefit greatly by adding a quality floater in his arsenal.
But, there is a silver lining (maybe gold? If that’s better). Moody’s issues with scoring on the inside aren’t about getting to the rim. While he’s not incredibly explosive off the first step, he knows how to create space from primary defenders who want to take away the three. He’s long and strong enough to get to the rim, just cannot always convert when confronted by the help defense. As he grows in the NBA, he’ll be able to enhance these finishing moves and what’s even more promising is that since he already shoots free throws and draws fouls well, he will be able to make up for some of the mediocre finishing at the line. Watch the way Moody finds openings and drives to the hoop. In the first clip he spins through two defenders and is able to draw the foul. In the other three clips he is able to burst past his defenders and find a lane to the hoop, but ultimately throws up bad shots instead of passing out of the jam or creating contact.
Moses Moody is by no means a top five pick nor is he a lock to hear Adam Silver call his name during the lottery, but that does not mean that he is not the type of player that can immediately make a sizable impact wherever he goes. His three point scoring, high defensive IQ, and unspeakably long arms are all assets that any team looking for depth wants. Moody could already be a solid 3 and D NBA player, but his potential to become a more versatile scorer is what draws me to him. His problems with driving and scoring inside are certainly concerning, but his solid space creation and free throw shooting could make him a reliable offensive weapon as he grows to incorporate more complex finishing moves. Additionally, it is highly unlikely that his flaws with passing will matter since he’s not going to be asked to run an offense or ball handle on day one. When it comes down to it, Moses Moody is a relatively safe draft pick with high potential upside and a wingspan longer than Jordan’s.
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