NBA Rumors: 76ers Have Considered Trading Michael Carter-Williams

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Michael Carter Williams

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers have “bounced around” the idea of trading Michael Carter-Williams, according to ESPN.com. In a story about the potential landing spots for NBA Draft prospect Dante Exum, ESPN NBA insider Chad Ford reported the Sixers are fans of the Australian point guard, but would likely only draft him if they first dealt Carter-Williams. Per Ford:

The Philadelphia 76ers are Exum fans as well, and if Wiggins is off the board, Exum will be in the mix. They think Exum and Carter-Williams could play together in the backcourt, although it would not be a very good shooting tandem. I think the more obvious fit comes if they trade Carter-Williams, an idea I’m told they have bounced around.

Carter-Williams, 22, is the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, coming off a season in which he averaged 16.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game for the lowly 76ers. Philadelphia general manager Sam Hinkie showed during last year’s draft he isn’t afraid of trading away talent to rebuild the roster. During the 2013 draft, he sent All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans when most believed Holiday was a major piece of the puzzle. Whether the Sixers decide to move Carter-Williams remains to be seen, but it likely will impact which direction the team goes in during next month’s draft. Carter-Williams will likely be worth a top-10 pick on the open market. Earlier this month, the Philadelphia Inquired weighed the pros and cons of dealing the Rookie of the Year. Here’s what columnist Bob Ford said about the upside of making a trade.

To start, there is no less reliable indicator of future success than the rookie of the year award. In the last 30 years, only three ROYs have won championships with the teams that drafted them. David Robinson and Tim Duncan were two of them, both with the Spurs, and the other was Michael Jordan, who can’t be used as a comparison point for anyone. The two questions about Carter-Williams’ offensive game as he became a professional were his ability to shoot and his ability to take care of the ball. There was also the unknown matter of his ability to defend one-on-one, because he came out of a Syracuse system that plays zone as if it were a religion. Well, Carter-Williams shot very poorly and didn’t take care of the ball. His defense is harder to quantify because he was on the court with such a collection of losers, but he wasn’t any great shakes there, either, going under screens instead of fighting over them against good shooters and struggling to stay on the ball against his man.

The Inquirer made it sound like Carter-Williams was the benefactor of a poor rookie class, and that the Sixers should consider making a deal.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.