Michael Carter-Williams, a 6-6 point guard from Syracuse, has been on the Knicks radar from day one. His stock has risen significantly over the past few weeks and he will be off the board at the Knicks current #24 pick, but with the Knicks in talks of acquiring the Dallas Mavericks #13 selection he may come back into play. The idea that the Knicks are looking to move up in the draft makes it clear they are eyeing a particular player or two at that spot, and MCW is definitely one of those guys.
This past season at ‘Cuse, Carter-Williams averaged 11.9 points, 7.3 assists, and 4.9 boards per game. While MCW only participated in strength, agility, and explosiveness tests at the combine, he was able to open the eyes of many NBA scouts and GMs with his athleticism. His length and overall point guard skills make him an intriguing player at the next level. Carter-Williams is considered a plus passer and defender coming out of ‘Cuse. He averaged just under 3 steals per game; but playing in Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone, he added many more deflections that led to steals. At the next level, with some development and added muscle, MCW could become a shut down defender from the point guard position. His length and versatility would also give him the ability to guard a shooting guard and possibly a small forward, if the opportunity presented itself.
The knock on Carter-Williams was his inability to knock down shots at Syracuse. This past season he struggled from the field and from behind the arc, shooting .393% from the field and .292% from 3 point range. This is something he will need to improve on. With his versatility he doesn’t need to become a lights out shooter; but he will need to prove he can step out and make the defense respect his jump shot. Where he makes up for his shooting struggles, is his ability to get into the paint and either finish or distribute the ball to a teammate for an open shot. MCW had 11 games at ‘Cuse this past season where he piled up 11 or more assists, so he definitely can distribute the ball.
The possibility of Michael Carter-Williams being on the board when the Knicks select is still a little far-fetched; but with Glen Grunwald’s creativity, anything is possible. I’m sure Carmelo Anthony would have no problem mentoring a fellow Syracuse guy. He could add youth and versatility to a Knicks team that is in desperate need of both. He could become a solid two-way player, and his ceiling in extremely high.