Michael Carter-Williams won the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year award in pretty decisive fashion. Part of this was the dearth of talent in the 2013 NBA Draft, and part of it was Williams’ stellar rookie campaign for a dreadful Sixers team. So it’s with mild shock, we read — per Grantland’s Zach Lowe — MCW’s was quietly shopped to teams during the draft this year.
Here’s Lowe with the news:
10. Philly will sniff out Michael Carter-Williams deals.
They tried hard during the draft, but they couldn’t draw the trove they envisioned or guarantee that the player they wanted with an acquired pick would be there, per several league sources. Expect Philly to repeat the exercise. It’s not a shot at Carter-Williams, or even a signal that the Sixers are dying to trade him. He may well end up a long-term cog in Philly.
The team knows point guard is the most replaceable position in the league today, and it will seek out any deal that adds to its stockpile of high-value draft picks.
While many might point to this as another example general manager Sam Hinkie is deliberately losing in an attempt to acquire even more first-round draft pics and possible future building blocks for the franchise, it depends on what Philly was looking for in exchange for their ROY.
Still, after drafting an injured Nerlens Noel with MCW’s in 2013 as part of the trade sending their only all-star, Jrue Holiday, to New Orleans, many fans just want to see Philly improve on the court. Then, Philly — stuck at the No. 3 spot in this summer’s loaded draft — selected injured center Joel Embiid, who could likely miss the entire season with a foot injury, similar to Noel’s year-long sabbatical in 2013-14.
The NBA’s draft lottery rules will be changing soon, a turn Philly has fought. Hinkie’s plan better start paying dividends on the court sooner, rather than later, since the odds for the top draft pick will be shorn down for the league’s worst teams in an attempt to discourage tanking.
Trading the 2013 Rookie of the Year might not be that big a deal in the long-term, since — as Lowe mentions — there are a lot of excellent point guards in the NBA these days. But for a team that’s expected to be in the bottom of the standings for a second consecutive season, a trade of Carter-Williams might have spiked the anger of fans to a boiling point. A city-wide mutiny calling for Hinkie’s firing wouldn’t be very good for his long-term plans, either.
Was this a dumb move by Philly?
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