The I-76ers

Is Michael Carter-Williams Ready for a Big Time Role in Philly?


(image via AP Photo)

The Philadelphia 76ers have an obvious, deep-rooted belief in Michael Carter-Williams, the star point guard from Syracuse whom the team drafted at the No. 11 spot in the 2013 Draft.

Carter-Williams isn’t your average PG, as neither his physical frame nor his skill set can’t be easily found among today’s NBA guards. He stands at a lanky 6’6”, slides through the lane with ease, and was one of the NCAA’s elite distributors last season (he ranked third in Division I hoops with 7.7 assists per game).

Carter-Williams is still raw though. He turned the ball over almost five times per game and shot an abysmal 27% from the field in the NBA summer league. Two of his biggest knocks coming into the draft—an inconsistent jumper and occasional lack of judgment with the ball—were both on display this summer.

All of MCW’s summer league numbers can’t be cast off because of some inefficient shooting games and a high turnover total though. Carter-Williams finished with about 14 points, four rebounds and six assists per game, with an efficiency rating of +8.6.

Next season, the Sixers will be handing the reins as primary ball-handler and decision-maker to the rookie guard. After trading Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for Nerlens Noel and a 2014 draft pick, Philadelphia must get reliable production from Carter-Williams.

However, the best case scenario will be if the 76ers are horrendous, but the rookies (MCW and Noel)—and future of the franchise—learn how to produce in the league. That will mean that the Sixers are headed for the 2014 lottery and would consequently have a shot at a star like Andrew Wiggins. Put a potential superstar like Wiggins alongside an experienced duo of Carter-Williams and the high-topped Noel, and the Sixers could have a contender for years to come.

Carter-Williams will undoubtedly have major ups and some serious downs in 2014, but his primary goal should just be learning—how to lead, how to keep turnovers to a minimum, and how to knock down open jumpshots.

If MCW can do that, regardless of what his averages come out to and how Philly finishes in the win-loss column, next season will be a success.