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NBA Draft Profile: Michael Carter-Williams

MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS

6-6, 185 lbs.

School: Syracuse

Class: Sophomore

Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports

Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports

STRENGTHS: Carter-Williams is long and athletic and has the potential to be an excellent defensive player in the NBA. He led the ‘Cuse with 2.8 steals per game, and showed an innate ability to anticipate passes on the perimeter. The Syracuse zone probably helped his defensive numbers a little, but Carter-Williams has the requisite athleticism and motor to defend successfully in any scheme. Carter-Williams shared time at the point and the 2-guard in college, but he still averaged a team-high 7.3 assists per game. That number was also 7th-best in the country. He has the potential to become an elite-level passer because of his vision. His speed and eye for the fast break also make him dangerous at the point.

WEAKNESSES: His jump shot needs a lot of work. Carter-Williams shot just 29% from three-point range last season and just 39% overall. It’s going to be tough for him to facilitate in the NBA if he isn’t a legitimate threat to score. He’s also slight in build and needs to bulk up in order to compete for a job at the next level. Though it would have been preferable that he stayed another year in college, you can understand his decision to come out early. 

BOTTOM LINE: Carter-Williams’ ceiling is high, and there’s no question that he could end up being one of the best players in this draft. He has a couple of clear strengths (stealing, passing ability) but also some clear weaknesses (strength, jump shot). In the end, it’s going to come down to how well he can run a team, and whether or not he fixes that busted jumper. There’s no question that he’s got the size (6-6) and athleticism to succeed in the NBA for many years.

 

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