Following in the footsteps of fellow Syracuse product Dion Waiters, Michael Carter-Williams made an enormous leap from relative obscurity to a projected lottery pick in near-record time. Like Waiters, who was Cleveland’s first-round choice in 2012, Carter-Williams parlayed extensive playing time with the Orange into a rapid rise on draft boards. The point guard only averaged 2.8 points and 10.8 minutes as a freshman in 2011-12, but bumped those figures up to 11.8 and 35.2, respectively, as a sophomore (along with an assist average that ballooned from 2.2 to 7.3). Draft mavens are also excited about the floor general’s towering 6-6 stature.
Things the Draft Experts Like:
ESPN.com: “Big point guard with elite size. Can score from anywhere. Great ball handler. Excellent court vision.”
NBADraft.net: “High level passing ability … Tremendous length and height for his position combined with a high basketball IQ. Carter-Williams is a gifted athlete … He has the ability to handle the ball well for his size … Possesses the skill to burst through a first line of defenders, with a deceptive first step.”
DraftExpress.com: “An extremely smooth guard with strong ball-handling skills, a solid first step, the ability to change speeds, and an array of hesitation moves, Carter-Williams can create his own shot driving left or right and gets into the lane with incredibly long strides that most college defenders simply couldn't stay in front of.”
Draft Expert Concerns:
DraftExpress.com: “Ceiling is considerable, but so is his basement, has star potential but also appears to be a guy that could end up playing the majority of his career overseas ... Already the age of a senior, so there is concern about his upside and how much his body and offense will improve.”
ESPN.com: “Needs to add strength. Needs to improve consistency from beyond the arc. Can be turnover prone when playing physical players.”