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 Holiday gone, the 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 still in disbelief that 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 hands of the young point guard from Syracuse. If you don’t know about 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 he can cause matchup problems for opposing point guards. According to NBADraft.net’s player profile of Carter-Williams, his lowest rating is a six out of ten 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 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. He also 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 seeded Indiana in which Syracuse would go onto win 61-50. In that game, Carter-Williams scored 24 points and shot 9 of 19 from the field in 38 minutes.
But in the biggest game of Carter-Williams’ college career, he would be nowhere to be found. The young point guard had only had two points and shot 1 of 6 from the field in against Michigan in the National Semifinals. In that game, Carter-Williams went against Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., both of whom 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. The Sixers are in the rebuilding process, so he will be thrown into the fire. He won’t be alone, however, as his long time friend Nerlens Noel is going to join the Sixers in the next few weeks when the Jrue Holiday trade goes 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 Carter-Williams. The only three players guaranteed to be on this team are him, 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.