Even though he wouldn’t tell anyone, Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie had a plan all along. He was going to blow his new team up and start over. What fans presumed is that the centerpiece would be All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday.
But instead, he was part of the makeover himself, getting traded on draft night. The team will now be built around their two draft picks from this season; Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams.
With Noel being out until at least January while recovering from a torn ACL, Carter-Williams will likely be handed the keys right away as the starting point guard.
Some of the numbers for MCW will dazzle you and make a Sixers fan very excited for the future. He is a 6-foot-6 true point guard. This height gives him the opportunity to be a superb defender as well as give him the court vision to see over the top of defenders and excel as a passer. This was evident by his 7.3 assists per game last season at Syracuse.
Carter-Williams also has some deficiencies that make you wonder if he was worth the lottery pick at all. He struggled with his shot in college (39.3 percent) and in Summer League action (27.1 percent). He won’t be able to get into the lane as easily in the pros, and he won’t get the calls to get to the foul line as frequently. So at worst, he has to develop a mid-range game like Rajon Rondo has done throughout his career.
The other alarming stat for MCW was turnovers. He averaged 4.8 per game in Summer League action. Fans are already used to a high-turnover player as they watched Holiday last season, but hopefully this is something MCW can work out of as he gets more game experience.
One thing is for certain; the Sixers will know for a fact by the end of the year if they have their future point guard, because he is going to get plenty of playing time.
Carter-Williams may make his share of mistakes, but he will not be on a short leash. He will get every opportunity to work his way out of it because the Sixers are playing for the future. Look for MCW to log heavy minutes in his rookie season and be a solid contributor on both ends of the floor.