Kingsfans 2013 Scouting Report: Michael Carter-Williams

Bricklayer

Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member
#1

Michael Carter-Williams
Position:
PG
Hgt: 6'6"
Wgt: 184
Age: 21
Projected Draft Number: #13 NBADraft.net/#13 Draftexpress.com
College: Syracuse
College Stats 2012-13: 35.2min 11.9pts (.393FG% .292TPt% .694FT%) 4.9reb 7.3ast 2.8stl 0.5blk 3.4TO

Baja's Review: MCW, as he is called by his teammates, is an interesting player that appears to have a lot of upside. He's also a player that comes with a lot of question marks as well. Can he develop enough offense to keep other teams honest, and just how good a defender is he? Syracuse playes in a zone 100% of the time. Thats not to say that a player doesn't get the opportunity from time to time to be isolated one on one. In those instances, Williams more than held his own. Its a small sample, but my impression is that he won't be a liability at worse, and could be a good defender at best. For those that put stock in the combine numbers as indicators, Williams turned in a 10:68 in the agility test, and a 3:22 in the sprint. For reference, Jimmer turned in a 10:42 in the agility test and a 3:21 in the sprint. You tell me! Anyway, for me, that part isn't an issue. However, his shooting is! He only shot 39.3% overall, which is down right terrible, and 29.2% from the three. He shot around 22% on pullups within the circle. All this would be easier to swallow if he had Tyreke Evans ability at getting to the basket and finishing, but he doesn't. Don't get me wrong, he's a very good ballhandler, and is capable of getting to the basket. But he's not a good finisher and misses point blank shots, or wild looking floaters far too often. On the good side, he's a gifted passer with great court vision. I'm sure his 6'5" height helps him see the floor over smaller players. He's capable of making the difficult pass in close quarters, and the long bounce pass, that will at times amaze you. He does turn the ball over more than he should, by trying to be too cute at times. He didn't help himself at the end of the season. In his last four games, games that were crucial, he had 3 assists against Cal, 1 assist against Indiana, 6 assists against Marquette, and in his final game against Michigan, he had 2 pts on 1 of 6 shooting, and 2 assists. Now 4 games does not a season make, but these were crunch time games, and scouts take notice how players play with everything on the line. I think Williams has the potential to be very good, and I think Williams has the potential to disappoint expectations. I think he's a bit of a gamble, but if it pays off, you could have yourself one hell of a player. Are you willing to gamble? Oh! One futher issue. Although Williams is a sophmore, he'll be 22 years old before playing his first NBA game.

Mass's Review: Unprecedented size for a point guard, MCW may be the best facilitator in the draft. His height and skill as a passer contribute to his excellent court vision. With that being said, he needs to work on ball security as turnovers are an issue. He has the ability, handle, and athleticism to break down his opponent 1 on 1, but he has major issues scoring off of the opportunities he creates for himself. The fact that he hasn't been able to consistently hit his jumper doesn't help, but I don't think he is a lost cause here. His form looks ok for the most part. Has the tools to be a very effective and annoying defender, but wasn't given the opportunity to play man-to-man defense in college. Would be a high risk / high reward pick, particularly at #7, but he would bring a skill set unlike anything on the current Kings roster.

Gilles's Review: Redshirt Sophomore. Is 6'6" with 6'7" wingspan. Elite athlete. Very good passing and court vision. High handle and have trouble with pressure. Shooting and scoring from everywhere on the floor seem to be an issue despite good shooting form. Has very small hands that might be a source of his troubles with handle and shooting. Spent all his career playing zone, so is used to gambling for steals, but has excellent mobility and shouldn't have problem staying in front of the people with a little work. Is looking like playmaking SG, but will have to really improve his shooting to be effective.

Capt's Review: Carter-Williams is a pure point who has great size but a ton of question marks on his game. One question mark is his defense, which is nearly impossible to gauge given that Syracuse played almost exclusively zone. He's got the size to be a solid defender on the perimeter (in fact with his height he might sometimes match up with the SG better than with the PG) but there's not much to go on. I will say that his transition defense was good and he made a spectacular defensive play here and there, so that's encouraging. Another question mark (black mark?) is his shot, which is downright terrible and will encourage defenses to double off of him. He did rack up a ridiculous number of assists this season, though the totals are somewhat inflated by the Syracuse team tendency to jack up perimeter shots off of swing passes - it's not like he was niftily finding cutters on each of his 7.3 assists per game. Overall I'm a bit wary of MCW - I'm not sure how great of a passer he is, I'm not sure how good of a defender he is, and I know he's a bad shooter. Because of that I see him as a high-risk, medium-reward player, which drops him down my draft board a decent bit.

 
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#2
I'm just not a fan of MCW. I watched a few Syracuse games during the season and he didn't wow me and when I went back and watched the two games against Pitt (the regular season loss and the tourney win) to look at Adams it was easy to follow Carter-Williams as well.

He's the same size as Shaun Livingston (actually I think Livingston was an inch or more taller with a bigger wingspan) but Livingston really had somewhat better ballhandling and much better court vision. MCW makes the right play most of the time, but he doesn't amaze with his looks. His assists come from making the pass in transition, swinging the ball to open shooters on the wings and driving and dishing. Some pick and roll as well, but he's honestly not great in that area as he often isn't patient enough to let the play develop to make the right read. To borrow a football analogy he's like the quarterback who can make the right read and hit the open man vs the guy that passes a receiver open. He just doesn't have the Rubio, Kidd, Magic, Nash or even early JWill type court vision.

On the plus side he has a sturdier frame than Livingston did and has played 2 years of college so I don't worry as much about potential injury risk. What I do worry about is his lack of offense. He shoots poorly and rarely finishes in traffic. Despite his size I don't think he'll be a great defender on the NBA level though he should be above average in time. His wingspan is not great for his size (he's nearly an inch taller than Tyreke but Evans has 4" greater wingspan) and he'll have an adjustment period like all Orangemen but I think he'll get there. Whether he has the lateral quickness to guard waterbug PGs I don't know.

I'm just not seeing anything special here other than his height. Certainly nothing that points to Carter-Williams being a star.
 
#3
My main hope is that the more open NBA game will suit him well. The extra spacing might be a huge benefit for his skills. It doesn't happen a great deal, but blue-chippers like MCW sometimes are better pro's than in a college system.

He reminds me a lot of Doug Christie coming out of college - not a great shooter but with a lot of intangibles. Doug's shooting improved considerably over his career, mostly spot-ups, and I think MCW has a little more off the dribble abilities than Doug. And, the defense, of course.

Personally, even in zone, I really like the way MCW moves his feet and positions himself. He seems pretty quick and obviously he has pretty good ball hawking skills. I'd love to hear what Malone thinks of him because he fits well in his system.
 
#6
I think (if available) Trey Burke is obviously the much "safer" choice. Chad Ford currently has Burke dropping to the 7th pick, which I think it would be crazy to pass on him at that point. However I think MCW's potential upside may be worth the risk, but a risk it is at 7th pick. A 6'6" PG for a team that characteristically and historically drafts undersized PGs might turn out to be a much welcomed change. I do agree with FunkyKingston's points as well, however getting a long, lanky, athletic floor general reminds me of the days of Anfernee Hardaway, and that I like.
 
#8
MCW moving up on boards?


"Why? Sources say a number of teams that rely heavily on analytics have Carter-Williams rated higher than Burke. While both players look good in the various analytical approaches teams employ, Carter-Williams is coming up at No. 1 and No. 2 overall on several teams' reports. For teams that value analytics, that's a big deal," Ford wrote.

"Second, the more old-school scouts and GMs are looking at Carter-Williams' performance against Indiana. Carter-Williams sliced through the Indiana defense -- anchored by Victor Oladipo -- in that game like it was warm butter. Carter-Williams' ability to get to the basket and finish (31 percent of his shots were at the rim, and he shot 62 percent from the field) is impressive."
http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/nba/rumors/
 

Bricklayer

Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member
#9
"Old school" = actually watching the games rather than a spreadsheet apparently. Amazing.

You never know with Ford. He is prone to wild enthusiasms and what can kindly be called intentional misinterpretations. IN a draft this wide open you have to figure there will be multiple surprise risers and sinkers though.
 
#10
"Old school" = actually watching the games rather than a spreadsheet apparently. Amazing.

You never know with Ford. He is prone to wild enthusiasms and what can kindly be called intentional misinterpretations. IN a draft this wide open you have to figure there will be multiple surprise risers and sinkers though.
His absolute gushing over Darko from the workout he watched will always be my lasting memory of Ford.
 
#12
"Old school" = actually watching the games rather than a spreadsheet apparently. Amazing.
You've given the impression that you're not too keen on a lot of the analytic stuff that many teams and some analysts are using lately. If that's the case I get the feeling you haven't given the analytics enough of a look. Try looking at Zach Lowe's work at Grantland. He's a big analytics guy, but if you read his stuff and think he looks at the spreadsheets instead of the games you're probably not actually reading it.
 

Bricklayer

Don't Make Me Use The Bat
Staff member
#13
You've given the impression that you're not too keen on a lot of the analytic stuff that many teams and some analysts are using lately. If that's the case I get the feeling you haven't given the analytics enough of a look. Try looking at Zach Lowe's work at Grantland. He's a big analytics guy, but if you read his stuff and think he looks at the spreadsheets instead of the games you're probably not actually reading it.
Zach Lowe is an old school scout who uses new school "analytics" to illustrate what he already knows.

Analytics guys on the other hand lead with the stats, which is to say are basically ignorant of the sport behind them. And no, I have absolutely zero respect for that animal. Hubris without knowledge.
 
#14
Zach Lowe is an old school scout who uses new school "analytics" to illustrate what he already knows.

Analytics guys on the other hand lead with the stats, which is to say are basically ignorant of the sport behind them. And no, I have absolutely zero respect for that animal. Hubris without knowledge.
Yeah, that kind of confirms my suspicions. You're taking your impression of a couple of analytics guys and applying it to the entire wave of people working in basketball, many of whom don't fit the stereotype you're hung up on.

It's too bad, too. I think you especially would appreciate a lot of the information and knowledge the analytics people are providing. It doesn't mean you have to like them all, but you probably shouldn't just dismiss them all either (and then claim no true scotsman when people pointed out the ones that don't fit your impression).
 
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#15
His absolute gushing over Darko from the workout he watched will always be my lasting memory of Ford.
To be fair, one thing Darko did not lack is the pure talent. He had it in spades and potentially would have been a 20/10/3/3 player BUT what Darko lacked was the grey matter between the ears. He was an immature prick who landed his contract and decided he won't give a ****! Darko had the talent and the skill but lacked the drive. One of many very talented kids who were not prepared to put in the hard work!
 
#16
MCW WILL be a star in the NBA. Whether he's the right "fit" for the Kings org is the question. He has the skills and the IQ to be very, very good. Remember, he's a 6'6" POINT GUARD. You can't "teach" that. ;)
 
#17
Yeah, that kind of confirms my suspicions. You're taking your impression of a couple of analytics guys and applying it to the entire wave of people working in basketball, many of whom don't fit the stereotype you're hung up on.

It's too bad, too. I think you especially would appreciate a lot of the information and knowledge the analytics people are providing. It doesn't mean you have to like them all, but you probably shouldn't just dismiss them all either (and then claim no true scotsman when people pointed out the ones that don't fit your impression).
I think there are a lot of guys out there that look primarily at stats and not enough at the game. The good scouts watch the games and use analytics as a tool to go with what they saw in the games.
 
#18
He has the skills and the IQ to be very, very good.
MCW never showed great decision making; at times he looked a lot like J-Will. And I mean bad J-Will. Making stupid turnovers in an attempt to make a highlight pass. I drank the MCW kool-aid a while ago, but I'm spitting it out.
 
#20
This guy is just so mixed with me. I'm not sure we need him, really, because I'm not sure what we need is another high ceiling-high basement sort of player.

Actually, I tend to like guys of his prototype. He's a legitimate PG--he kind of slipped with the passing at the end of the season, with greater competition, but still, in the aggregate he's definitely legit--and he couples this with legitimate 6'6" height and good length and athleticism. Too often we see attempted big "PGs" entering the league with various "defects"--Reece Gaines wasn't a PG at 6'6", Darius Morris at 6'5" didn't really have "ups", etc. but I think Carter-Williams has those down. I also think he at least attempts to spread the floor with his offense, as he's willing to shoot from deep and slash, even though the shooting from deep is obviously at Josh Smith chucking territory at this stage.

But there's a ton of big questions here. He's on the older side, with the typical age of a player who would normally have spent four years in college already (he's only spent two), so that might hinder his upside a bit. Also, he's playing big minutes, and only scoring a point per three minutes. That coupled with his age, I'd say his offensive upside in the league is very minimal, although we'll see if the spread-out NBA court and faster pace could work to his favor. But in the aggregate, I'm not expecting much on his own personal offense at all. Thirdly--Syracuse. There's a laundry list of supposedly highly touted picks from this school that ended up busting out, and they have a lot of players (more than other schools), so this is no fluke. Carter-Williams displays enough weaknesses, such that when coupled with the "Syracuse factor", will really, really make you wonder.

I guess I see him rather highly because largely of the 6'6" PG appeal. Without that attribute, he's somewhere around 24th for me if I were to mock this up. But if he doesn't hold up that end of the bargain, because say, his shooting is really limiting him from being an adept passer (a la Shaun Livingston), then he'll definitely be much closer to 24th.

But we'll see. At the end I think he's somewhere around 10th...because he's interesting, to say the least. Sometimes you just have to take risks to get a bigger reward.
 
#21
I think there are a lot of guys out there that look primarily at stats and not enough at the game. The good scouts watch the games and use analytics as a tool to go with what they saw in the games.
Yeah... those are the new school guys. Some will be good and some will be less useful, but if they're using analytics they're "new" school.

The implication is that if you're using data and analytics you're probably not paying attention to what's happening in the game itself, but I don't think that's terribly accurate.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#22
Yeah, that kind of confirms my suspicions. You're taking your impression of a couple of analytics guys and applying it to the entire wave of people working in basketball, many of whom don't fit the stereotype you're hung up on.

It's too bad, too. I think you especially would appreciate a lot of the information and knowledge the analytics people are providing. It doesn't mean you have to like them all, but you probably shouldn't just dismiss them all either (and then claim no true scotsman when people pointed out the ones that don't fit your impression).
Sometimes I think people just hear what they want to hear, or they lack reader comprehension. Bricky didn't dismiss analytics, he dismissed those scouts that only rely on analytics. In other words, he has no problem with scouts that use analytics in conjunction with watching games.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#23
MCW WILL be a star in the NBA. Whether he's the right "fit" for the Kings org is the question. He has the skills and the IQ to be very, very good. Remember, he's a 6'6" POINT GUARD. You can't "teach" that. ;)
I've watched Williams play 15/20 times and I can't guarantee a damm thing about him. Syracuse is one of the best schools in the nation at hiding the flaws of a player. If your gut tells you to beware of a Syracuse player, then listen to your gut. I've bitten out of that apple too many times in the past. He may well turnout to be a very good player, but he scares me, and personally I wouldn't gamble on him. Plus, he's a terrible shooter, and thats something they couldn't hide there.

The fact that he's 6'6" is fine, but Nate Wolters is a very good PG and he's 6'5". Lorenzo Brown is a PG and he's 6'5". Matthew Dellavedova is a very good PG and he's 6'4". So what? Height doesn't mean a thing if you don't have the skill level to go with it. Not saying he doesn't in some areas, but he's skinny as a rail, I'm not convinced he play defense in the NBA, and he can't shoot. So I have my doubts!
 
#24
Sometimes I think people just hear what they want to hear, or they lack reader comprehension. Bricky didn't dismiss analytics, he dismissed those scouts that only rely on analytics. In other words, he has no problem with scouts that use analytics in conjunction with watching games.
Actually I wasn't sure how he stood on the issue, which is why I asked him. In response, he specifically dismissed "analytics guys":
Analytics guys on the other hand lead with the stats, which is to say are basically ignorant of the sport behind them. And no, I have absolutely zero respect for that animal. Hubris without knowledge.
I don't think that's a problem with my reading comprehension, I think that's how he really feels. Which is fine, to each their own. I just think it's shortsighted and and I think he would be able to appreciate a lot of the stuff that analytics guys are learning about the game.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#25
Actually I wasn't sure how he stood on the issue, which is why I asked him. In response, he specifically dismissed "analytics guys":

I don't think that's a problem with my reading comprehension, I think that's how he really feels. Which is fine, to each their own. I just think it's shortsighted and and I think he would be able to appreciate a lot of the stuff that analytics guys are learning about the game.
He also said Zach Lowe is an old school guy that uses analytic's to confirm what he already knows. So he didn't dismiss Lowe. I think what he's saying is pretty clear, especially if you know Bricky. Bricky is the first one to use analytic's to prove his point in a discussion, but its usually after he's given his opinion on a player based on what he's seen. If you want to believe otherwise, have at it!
 
#26
He also said Zach Lowe is an old school guy that uses analytic's to confirm what he already knows. So he didn't dismiss Lowe. I think what he's saying is pretty clear, especially if you know Bricky. Bricky is the first one to use analytic's to prove his point in a discussion, but its usually after he's given his opinion on a player based on what he's seen. If you want to believe otherwise, have at it!
Thanks... I know him fairly well. I have been around for awhile, too. ;)

I would like to make a general point, though, that using analytics to prove a point in a discussion after you've given your opinion based on what you've seen is not necessarily a good thing. (And to Bricklayer specifically, I don't think he does this, he reconsiders his opinion if he sees something in the stats that is persuasive).

What people in baseball have found out, and what folks in football and basketball are in the process of figuring out, is that the guys who crunch the numbers often provide valuable insight that illuminates things that aren't easily seen by just watching the games. The Spurs were thinking of trading Tony Parker a couple years ago, but then with the help of data collected via SportsVu cameras realized that he was doing more for them than it appeared just from watching the games, so they kept him and tweaked his role and now he's helped lead them to the finals again. Also, why do you think the corner three has become so popular in today's NBA? Analytics guys looked at the stats and pointed out how clearly better that shot is than a mid-range jumper from the wing (among others), and teams used that information to adjust their offensive schemes to take advantage. Could they have figured that out without the data? Sure, a couple might have, but it's telling how much offenses have changed when information like that has become more readily available.

I don't know who Bricklayer is thinking about with the "hubris without knowledge" comment, but I don't think that's an accurate portrayal of what analytics guys are doing in sports (and elsewhere). Zach Lowe is an analytics guy. The fact that he also uses "old-school" scouting is evidence of my point, not an exception to it.
 
#27
Latest from Chad Fords mock.

#7
Burke is in a similar position to McLemore. After riding an NCAA tournament run into the championship game, he's struggling right now to retain his momentum. He worked out for the Suns on Thursday and the Kings on Friday, but only did a solo workout -- refusing to go against Michael Carter-Williams and C.J. McCollum, the two other top-rated point guards. From what I can gather, the Kings' ownership is higher right now on Carter-Williams. If Burke gets past the Magic and Pelicans, he could be in for an unexpected slide on draft night.
 
#28
The picture of the draft is extremely muddy right now with basically everyone having at least 5 places range. There will be a lot of smokescreens. Plus Kings have a lot of owners. :) I think Ford can claim just as easy that from what he can gather, the Kings' ownership is very high on Ellis.
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#29
Thanks... I know him fairly well. I have been around for awhile, too. ;)

I would like to make a general point, though, that using analytics to prove a point in a discussion after you've given your opinion based on what you've seen is not necessarily a good thing. (And to Bricklayer specifically, I don't think he does this, he reconsiders his opinion if he sees something in the stats that is persuasive).

What people in baseball have found out, and what folks in football and basketball are in the process of figuring out, is that the guys who crunch the numbers often provide valuable insight that illuminates things that aren't easily seen by just watching the games. The Spurs were thinking of trading Tony Parker a couple years ago, but then with the help of data collected via SportsVu cameras realized that he was doing more for them than it appeared just from watching the games, so they kept him and tweaked his role and now he's helped lead them to the finals again. Also, why do you think the corner three has become so popular in today's NBA? Analytics guys looked at the stats and pointed out how clearly better that shot is than a mid-range jumper from the wing (among others), and teams used that information to adjust their offensive schemes to take advantage. Could they have figured that out without the data? Sure, a couple might have, but it's telling how much offenses have changed when information like that has become more readily available.

I don't know who Bricklayer is thinking about with the "hubris without knowledge" comment, but I don't think that's an accurate portrayal of what analytics guys are doing in sports (and elsewhere). Zach Lowe is an analytics guy. The fact that he also uses "old-school" scouting is evidence of my point, not an exception to it.
At the moment, your arguing with yourself. I have nothing against Analytics. I admit to being old school, and I believe that nothing can replace actually watching a player play. But I don't disregard analytics. I think their an important tool. From this point on, I'll let Bricky do his own defending. By the way, I'm not a fan of Billy Ball. Maybe because I'm an ex-player. You let me watch a player bat in two of three games, and I can tell you everything he's doing wrong, and how pitchers are going to attack him. I think on base percentage is an important factor, but I'm also interested in how that player obtains a high on base percentage. Anyway, thats a discussion for another day..
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
#30
Latest from Chad Fords mock.

#7
It wouldn't surprise me if the Kings passed on Burke. But it would surprise me if they passed on Burke and drafted Williams. But then thats just my opinion. I'm not a big fan of Williams, so if they do draft him, I certainly hope I'm wrong about him. I also take everything Ford says with a grain of salt. There's a lot of BS being thrown around by all the teams at the top right now.