Michael Carter-Williams could be in play if OKC passes on a big man
Thunder general manager Sam Presti has a history of surprises on draft night. And so while most everyone assumes the Thunder will be drafting a big man, it's not out of the realm of possibilities that OKC actually will go small.
Much of the rave about Michael Carter-Williams is his size.
But at 6-foot-6, surely he's at least four inches shorter than any player the Thunder might want.
But what if he's not?
What if the Thunder takes a pass on a big man in the upcoming NBA Draft?
If that's the route Oklahoma City chooses, Carter-Williams, the point guard from Syracuse, could be in play with the 12th overall pick.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti has a history of surprises on draft night. From selecting Russell Westbrook fourth overall in 2008, to the mystery surrounding the eventual selection of James Harden with the third overall pick in 2009, to trading up for Cole Aldrich in 2010, to the head-scratching selection of Reggie Jackson in 2011.
And so while most everyone assumes the Thunder will be drafting a big man, it's not out of the realm of possibilities that OKC actually will go small.
Because nothing about Carter-Williams' stature is small.
He measured at 6-foot-5 and three-quarter inches at the draft combine, and the skills he possesses within his considerable frame hasn't been seen at the point guard position since Shaun Livingston.
Scouts and front office executives seem to be mesmerized by Carter-Williams' size and potential, which is why he's projected to be taken as early as eighth. Best of all, Carter-Williams combines savvy with his size. He proved to be extremely effective setting up teammates this season, either by breaking down his defender and drawing help defense before dumping off passes or driving and kicking out to shooters.
“He understands the game,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told The New York Times late in the season. “He sees the game, and he's got a great feel for the game.”
While his height allows him to see over defenses and read and react to coverages with ease, it also equips Carter-Williams with the tools to someday be successful as a post-up player against certain matchups. The idea is he'll be too big for small guards on the inside while being too quick for big guards on the perimeter.
Carter-Williams doesn't score much. He averaged just 11.9 points in 35.2 minutes per game this season. And his shot needs some work. He shot just 39.3 percent from the field and connected on only 29.2 percent of his 3-point attempts.
But none of that would be an issue for the Thunder. Oklahoma City wouldn't nab Carter-Williams with scoring in mind. Instead, the 21-year-old floor general could fill a need as the third point guard for now and, in time, possibly develop into the primary backup to Westbrook.
Remember, we've seen this before.
Back in 2011, when Presti surprised by selecting Jackson, most wondered why the Thunder would bring in another point guard. Westbrook and Eric Maynor at the time were one of the best starter-sub tandems in the league. But Maynor got injured, and the Thunder would have been hard-pressed to keep him even if he didn't.
Jackson is now entering that same situation. He's eligible for a contract extension next summer, and if his rapid development continues he could price himself out of the Thunder's budget.
That's why it wouldn't be a shock to hear Carter-Williams' name called with the 12th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
A point guard at 12 in OKC is not happening. That's the only position where the Thunder need absolutely no help at. Look what happened to Eric Maynor, skilled high IQ point guard that just never got his because he wasn't needed, it was a waste of talent as will MCW be at OKC. Neither Westbrook nor Jackson are typical point guards, but that doesn't matter it's how the Thunder is set up. Jackson is a lot like Westbrook so that he doesn't disrupt the flow of the game when he goes in. When Maynor used to go in it seemed odd, things didn't flow as well, it was like a different team.
What the Thunder need is a big man, both their starting center, and backup centers suck. So even if they plan to still start Perkins they need a big to back him up because Thabeet isn't the answer.
The only position I could see the Thunder picking over a Center in the lottery would be a small forward. They currently have no legit backup to Durant, Perry Jones is currently his only backup. Well Perry Jones may never reach the potential he was supposed to, so it wouldn't be crazy to pick up another small forward in the draft in case Perry slacks. The same could be said for a shooting guard, if they don't resign Martin(probably won't) then Jeremy Lamb steps up as the SG off the bench. He will probably be fine but he may not work out either, so having another SG just in case may not be bad either.
So no, they won't pick MCW, or any other point guard at 12. Would be an absolute waste of a pick and a waste of a talent because that guy would not get many minutes.
With that being said, the only small chance they pick a PG at 12 would be to turn right around and trade him for an actual need.
OKC needs a legit big man. Perkins isn't doing sh*t for them
I cant see it happening, OKC needs a big man desperately
And this draft is full of them..
I think MCW is going to be a draft day riser. I think he comes into play as high as #6 to the Pelicans ( who've worked him out ) #7 to the Kings ( also worked him out ) but could also be considered as an option for Detroit ( at 6'5'' he could defend shooting guards in a Knight/MCW backcourt ). I think he could very well be off the board by 10. If he's not, then I think he's not back in play until 13,14,15. 6-15 is a pretty big range, but I think there's a better chance he goes top then, than 13 or later.
If OKC wants a big PG, take him at the end of the first round with Lorenzo Brown or even Ricky Ledo (who is an underrated passer)
as far as him not being a good scorer, he had a great year @ cuse but he had a horrible year scoring the ball....missed a lot of makeable floaters,runners,even layups and free throws but he is actually a phenomenal scorer. In HS he would dismantle teams by scoring NOT passing. He scored about 30 on top-10 Dematha who had jerami grant in HS. Although that was HS and this is NOW dont get it twisted the dude can score...he just had an awful year scoring the ball. If he made a quarter of the shots he SHOULD have made then he woulda averaged like 16ppg and everyone would be like 'o ishh this kid is a scoring machine' I believe that MCW will score at a higher rate in the nba especially with there being a ton of games during the season
Dajuan Wagner once scored 100 points in a high school game...where is he at now?
No seriously where is he.....he owes me 50 bucks.
I don't think they will for PG at 12, but I don't understand why everyone thinks OKC is set at PG. Reggie Jackson is a really nice player that will be in the league for a long time but he does not make plays for the other guys on the court. OKC struggled against Memphis because KD and Reggie Jackson were the only two players that could create their own shots. Well, part of a PG's job is to create for teammates who otherwise couldn't create for themselves and he doesn't do that.
It's a bad fit. Not only do they not need another PG ( who can't shoot), but I think MCW will have a hard time succeeding unless he has paired with an established front court. MCW is coveted because of his facilitating abilities. There are a lot of 6-6 players with handle, but very few have the court vision MCW has.
MCW was good at find shooters in Syracuse, but he was even better at finding CJ Fair. Bigs will help him consistently facilitate points.
I would take Plumlee with the pick.