Michael Carter-Williams: Philadelphia 76ers point guard of the future

Yesterday, the Philadelphia 76ers took an interesting direction towards the future of the franchise as they traded all star point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, who the Pelicans drafted with the sixth overall pick and a 2014 first round pick.

With Jrue Holiday gone, the Philadelphia 76ers with the 11th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft selected guard Michael Carter-Williams from Syracuse University. When many Sixers fans heard about this selection they couldn’t believe it because they were in disbelief still that Jrue Holiday was traded. Sixers new GM Sam Hinkie is rebuilding this team and starting from scratch as he was also trying to move Evan Turner and or Thaddeus Young.

The ball is now in the young point guard’s hands from Syracuse. If you don’t know about Michael Carter-Williams, let me tell you a little bit about the sophomore. He is 6-foot-6 and 185 pounds which is pretty big for a point guard but at that size can cause matchup problems for opposing point guards. According to NBADraft.net’s player profile of Carter-Williams, his lowest rating is a six and that’s on his jump shot, which has been criticized throughout the NBA Draft process.

His highest ratings are four nines and they are for his athleticism, size, potential, and passing. All of these qualities can make Michael Carter-Williams a great point guard in the NBA. Carter-Williams needs to work on his jump shot because as many Sixers fans have seen, former number two overall pick Evan Turner still does not have a consistent jump shot.

This past season for Syracuse, Carter-Williams averaged 11.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game. Those are good numbers because let’s not forget he played in the Big East conference and he goes against top notch competition and almost led his team to the national championship. During his sophomore season, even though he had a poor shooting performance he had great scoring games.

In the first game of the season versus no.20 San Diego State University, he would score 17 points and shoot 7 of 15 from the field in 32 minutes played. Another great game he had was in the Sweet 16 versus no.1 seed Indiana in which Syracuse would go onto win 61-50. In that game, Michael Carter-Williams scored 24 points and shot 9 of 19 from the field in 38 minutes played.

But in the biggest game of Carter-Williams’ college career, he would be nowhere to be found. The young point guard versus Michigan in the Final Four only had two points and shot 1 of 6 from the field in 35 minutes played. In that game, Carter-Williams went against Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. both of those players were drafted in the first round as well.

Just by looking at Carter-Williams college career he is a solid young point guard that will be able to grow into the position but not gradually because the Sixers are in the rebuilding process. He will be thrown into the fire but he won’t be alone as his long time friend Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel is going to join the Sixers in the next few weeks as the Jrue Holiday trade still has to go through.

With the combination of Carter-Williams and Noel, the Sixers have a nice young big man and point guard combo that can grow together for many years to come. It will make the transition easy for Carter-Williams because he and Noel played on the same AAU team together and they can grow to become a dominant 1-2 punch in the NBA.

The journey will not be easy for the Sixers or for Michael Carter-Williams. The only three players guaranteed to be on this team is him, Nerlens Noel, and Arsalan Kazemi. Other than that nobody knows what Sam Hinkie is going to do because the Sixers are still without a head coach. The only thing that is certain is that Michael Carter-Williams is the franchise point guard of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Be sure to check out other great articles at isportsweb.

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New York Knicks Sign Undrafted N.C. State’ Forward C.J. Leslie

Former N.C. State forward C.J. Leslie measured 6’8.5″ (in shoes), 198 lbs with a 7’1.5″ wingspan at the 2012 Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy. Now he’ll be calling Stoudemire a teammate. The New York Knicks reached a deal with the undrafted free agent. Now it will be up to New York to tap into the potential of an explosive athlete who was projected to be a first round draft pick coming into what would be his final season playing for the Wolfpack.

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Mason Plumlee and the NBA

The NBA draft is now complete and the Duke Blue Devils had three potential picks for this year’s draft.  The highest pick was Mason Plumlee, who went just outside the lottery.  His game looks like it will translate well in to the NBA so let’s see what he can bring to a NBA team.

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ACC in the NBA: 2013 Draft Recap

The 2013 NBA draft is complete.  There were some surprises.  There were some disappointments.  But what is done is done.  Representatives of the various ACC schools did quite well in the draft.

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NBA Draft & The ACC

The April 16, 2013, deadline has come and gone, meaning that anyone who decides to go pro between now and April 28, 2013, will make that decision as a point-of-no-return.  That will not stop folks from doing so, but the consequences will be a bit sharper.  At this point, those eligible for the NBA draft are what they are.  There are a number of ACC players that will be among the players drafted.  Who are they?

First of all, who are the early entries from ACC schools so far?  CBS Sportsline has a nice list going.  Here are the players from the ACC schools on the list:

  • Steven Adams, Pitt
  • Lorenzo Brown, NC State
  • Reggie Bullock, North Carolina
  • Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse
  • Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
  • Alex Len, Maryland
  • CJ Leslie, NC State

Second, where will these kids go?  Well, here is where Chad Ford slots these guys, and other ACC draft-eligibles, in terms of overall NBA talent:

  • Len, #8
  • Carter-Williams, #10
  • Dieng, #17
  • Mason Plumlee, Duke, #18
  • Adams, #26
  • Brown, #42
  • Bullock, #45
  • Russ Smith, Louisville, #53
  • Leslie, #61
  • James Southerland, Syracuse, #81
  • Richard Howell, NC State, #82
  • Ryan Kelly, Duke, #88
  • Michael Snaer, Florida State, #92

A few other players to note.  These guys are all still undecided: Shane Larkin of Miami is at #30; Rasheed Sulaimon of Duke is at #48; and CJ Fair of Syracuse is at 71.  The decision should be tough for Larkin, but fairly easy for Fair.  You want to be pretty certain you get a first round contract if you are going to leave.

 

 

State of the Pack: The Pursuit of Gottfried

Yesterday it was reported by several outlets that Wolfpack Coach Mark Gottfried was THE choice among UCLA alumni for their head coaching vacancy.  Some also said he would take the job if offered.

IMHO the UCLA job is a step down.  Not to demean them, historically they have us beat, but the John Wooden era is long over.  Heck, moving from any ACC school to another conference is probably a step in the wrong direction, at least when it comes to basketball.

This correspondent was outraged that he might consider such a move. I was going to write a scathing post, but real life intervened and I didn’t have time yesterday.

By this afternoon, the news had changed somewhat.  Coach G tweeted last night that he is committed to State, and UCLA is apparently moving in a different direction, wooing Butler’s Brad Stevens.  So I took a deep breath and wadded up my mental notebook paper, missing the trash can as usual, even in my mind.  For now, this looks like a non-issue.

More basketball news:  Lorenzo Brown announced today his intent to skip his senior season and enter the NBA draft.  He and Gottfried feel that he will be a first-round pick; I think second round is more realistic.  While we will of course miss him, we thank him for his time at State and wish him the best.  He can probably learn more about the NBA and what it will take to succeed there by making the jump, even if it means riding the pine for a while.

That’s it for now.  Enjoy the tournament and I hope your team makes the Final Four, especially if it is one of the two remaining ACC or one of the “future” teams.  And have a great Easter weekend.

Good News/Bad News on Early Entries

One ACC team received good news with respect to the NBA Draft, while another ACC team received bad news.  The good news is that North Carolina’s James Michael McAdoo will be returning for his sophomore season.  The bad news is that Syracuse’s Fab Melo has declared his eligibility for the NBA Draft.  While both moves were expected, that does not lessen the impact.

For North Carolina, it is already looking at a season without Josh Henson, Harrison Barnes, Kendall Marshall, and ACC Player of the Year Tyler Zeller.  And there was talk that McAdoo would be a lottery pick.  That is somewhat surprising given that he averaged about 15 minutes a game, and only six points per game.  But the NBA is all about potential and McAdoo’s potential is clear.  Also, he played very well down the stretch.  This is a win-win, as North Carolina gets one more experienced player and McAdoo gets a chance to develop his game.

In Syracuse, the expectation that Fab Melo was finished does not lessen the impact.  Melo was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year.  However, he had eligibility troubles all year–making it unlikely that he would return to work on his improving, but subpar, offensive game.  Syracuse does have a few returning big men, plus incoming McDonald’s All-American DaJuan Coleman.  So all is not lost for the Orange.  Still, they would have preferred one more year of Melo.

 

 

The ACC Elite Lose Players to NBA

With the 300+ Division I basketball school field now reduced to just four, the time has come for underclassmen to announce that they are going to either test the NBA waters or plunge right in.  Duke and Syracuse have already have underclassmen announce that they are leaving.  Duke freshman Austin Rivers has announced that he will be signing with an agent and ending his Duke career.  And yesterday Syracuse sophomore Dion Waiters announced that he, too, was planning to sign with an agent and end his Syracuse career.

In both cases, the players have the support of their coaches.  Coach K had this to say about Austin:

“Austin had a terrific year as a freshman and has put himself in a position to pursue his dream of being a great player in the NBA,” said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “We are in total support of Austin, his family and his decision.”

Moreover, although Boeheim has not commented, Waiters sat down with his coach before making the decision.  Boeheim apparently gave Waiters his blessing.

These are not the only players that will be leaving the ACC early for the NBA.  The comprehensive NBA draft website, nbadraft.net, has an early entry page listing Syracuse’s Fab Melo as another player that will be heading to the NBA.  Other players likely to head to the NBA include Harrison Barnes (UNC), John Henson (UNC), Kendall Marshall (UNC), and Michael Snaer (FSU).