Michael Carter-Williams, No. 8 (Mock Draft)
The Pistons pick a versatile PG with terrific court vision.
by Michael Bradley
It would be great to sit here and tell you that the Pistons are going to find the perimeter scorer they need in this draft, but that would be a full-on lie. Ben McLemore will be gone by the number eight spot, and unless Detroit wants to take a big chance on Shabazz Muhammad and his one-dimensional game—not to mention his dicey personality—there will have to be a compromise.
Say hello to the compromise candidate.
With the eighth pick in the 2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Detroit Pistons select…
Michael Carter-Williams from Syracuse.
The 6-6 point man is a lot of things. But he is not a scorer. Or a shooter. He will make his teammates better by driving and kicking the ball. He’ll play some really good defense (2.8 spg last year), but the Syracuse product doesn’t come close to fitting the Pistons’ number one need. He simply cannot be counted on to score. (Carter-Williams shot 39.3 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from behind the arc.)
Sure, the Pistons spent a high draft choice two years ago on Brandon Knight, and he plays the point. But Knight is not a distributor and has averaged only 3.9 apg during his two years in Detroit. By contrast, Carter-Williams handed out 7.3 a game last year and would look pretty good setting up Knight on the perimeter, not to mention setting the table for Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond inside.
Since Detroit is about $23 million under the cap, the team should be able to find someone to handle the perimeter chores, even if it is on a stopgap basis. Anyone who comes to the team will benefit from Carter-Williams, because he was practically unstoppable off the dribble at Syracuse, and those teams who were able to prevent him from getting too deep by double teaming him paid with passes to those who were left alone.
Carter-Williams has good size and should be able to handle a variety of perimeter defensive assignments. He’ll struggle against quicker point men, but it’s unlikely the Pistons will use him in those situations too often. That’s where Knight comes in. Carter-Williams will also be able to handle defensive assignments against 3-men, allowing the Pistons to use him, Knight and Rodney Stuckey together.
One of the problems of choosing eighth in a Draft that includes precious few potential starters, much less legitimate stars, is that it’s unlikely you will find an answer to your biggest need. But this Draft does include a lot of players capable of helping teams, and Carter-Williams fits that bill. He is not expected to be a top-tier point man, thanks to his extremely suspect shooting.
Detroit has a long way to go to become a contender, so any pieces it can accumulate will help. Carter-Williams can run a team, distribute well and defend. He has good size and doesn’t turn the ball over too much. If he can somehow develop a jumper that keeps defenders from playing 10 feet off him, the Pistons will have added a valuable commodity.
|2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft|