It’s safe to say the Philadelphia 76ers will not be a playoff contender this year, so their younger players should get significant minutes with little regard for the results in terms of wins and losses. One of the primary parts of that youth movement is 2013 lottery pick (11th overall) Michael Carter-Williams, who is slated to be Philadelphia’s starting point guard with little or no competition for minutes.
Carter-Williams declared for the NBA Draft after his sophomore season at Syracuse, and he averaged 11.9 points, 7.3 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game last season to help lead the Orange to a Final Four appearance. His shooting has to improve for him to reach his full potential as a pro, as he shot just 39.3 percent from the floor and 29.4 percent from three-point range last year, but otherwise Carter-Williams seems to have the skills to succeed and perhaps make an immediate impact.
The 76ers opened up a starting spot at point guard by trading Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans on draft night in June that yielded them the sixth overall pick (Nerlens Noel), and Carter-Williams became the top candidate for the job when the team selected him a few picks later. Backup Tony Wroten is unlikely to make a case for significant playing time, so new 76ers’ coach Brett Brown is virtually certain to give Carter-Williams a long leash.
Carter-Williams is fairly turnover-prone, as he averaged 3.5 turnovers per game last season at Syracuse and struggled with turnovers at times during summer league and the preseason. That is unlikely to go away during his rookie season with how much the ball will be in his hands, so fantasy owners that draft him will have to accept that as part of the equation.
Carter-Williams averaged just over 35 minutes per game last season, and it would not be surprising to see him push toward 40 minutes per game this year as long as he is healthy. He should be a solid contributor across the stat sheet (points, assists, rebounds and steals), but fantasy owners that have to use him a lot need to be ready to take some lumps in both field goal percentage and free-throw percentage (69.4 percent last year).
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.