Sixth Pick Tournament Round One: Michael Carter-Williams vs Trade Up

Published: May 31, 2013

The Case for Michael Carter-Williams (Ryan Schwan)

For this off-season, Dell Demps should have one overwhelming priority: improving on last year’s terrible perimeter defense.  The team already can rebound on both ends of the floor.  They can shoot.  They were decent at holding on to the ball.  They can pass.  They can block shots.  What they can’t do is put pressure on anyone on the perimeter.  In fact, they were damn near last at every defensive metric Synergy Stats tracks on the perimeter – pick and roll defense, spot-up shooting defense, Iso’s, all of it.  As a result the team got almost no steals, and applied  no pressure on anyone to force turnovers and get easy baskets.  They were simply unable to create any chaos.

So when Dell turns to the players in the top of this draft, there are only two players who can claim to have the energy, size, and numbers to project as elite perimeter stoppers.  And most likely, only one of those players will be available when the Hornets pick at 6:  Michael Carter-Williams, point guard out of Syracuse.  Hey look!  Point guard!  A position of need.

Carter-Williams is an athletic monster whose combine numbers compare favorably to the super-athletic guards that have come out of the draft recently.  In fact, he posts more impressive numbers than both Derrick Rose and John Wall when it comes to agility, leaping ability and size measurements.  Most impressive, standing 6’5” he is the tallest lottery-projected point guard since Shaun Livingston almost a decade ago.

Just on the basis of that size and agility scouts would drool over his defensive potential, but the numbers say that potential is already being realized.  Syracuse was a monster defensive squad this season, and Carter-Williams averaged 3.2 steals per 40 minutes. (pace adjusted)  That leads all of the top 100 draft prospects for this season, with only Victor Oladipo even coming close.  His block numbers – despite playing in a zone that kept him from tightly covering anyone – ranked right at the top of guards.

Combine his defensive potential with the best floor game this draft has to offer(easily the best assist numbers of any prospect), and you’ve got a player who could have the same sort of instant impact on a team’s success that Ricky Rubio did for the Wolves two seasons ago.

So the questions must be asked.  Michael Carter-Williams will help plug this team’s biggest hole – perimeter defense – without having to give up any additional assets.  Why move up in a draft to take players who will not address the problem?  Is there anyone in this draft that is a sure thing?  No.  So why spend assets like Vasquez, Lopez, or other draft picks to marginally improve the rookie we get?  If those are assets on the table, they should be spent on players who have proven they can play, not players in what scouts are calling the weakest draft in years.

Dell should stand pat, take Carter-Williams, and use those assets to plug the gaping hole on the wing this off-season.

Vote MCW.

The Case for Trade Up (Trew)

Let’s start off by saying,  I know the rumor was that Dell would have traded out of the top spot if we got so lucky. I know this draft is supposed to be w-e-a-k. You wanna know what else I know? Fortune favors the bold. What’s the boldest thing to do in the 2013 NBA Draft besides drafting Andrew Wiggins a year ahead of time and just seeing what happens? How about trading up with Cleveland.

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of NBA fans all over the world thinking, “oh man, New Orleans is serious. They don’t care about Andrew Wiggins. They are winning games next season.” Do you hear that other sound? That’s the sound of New Orleans Arena staff draping playoff t-shirts over the seats so we can all look the same. Oh and that sound? That’s a sold-out Dock giving a standing ovation to the Pelicans for their surprising deep playoff run in 2014.

How do we get there? I’ll tell you.

The New Orleans Pelicans trade this year’s #6 pick and 2014’s top-3 protected pick for Cleveland’s #1 overall pick.

Who do we draft with the pick? Well, we draft whoever Monty and Dell want to draft. In Demps we trust, right? Here’s a haiku I wrote exclusively for Dell Demps.

In Demps we Trust, right?
Yeah he’s good at trading stuff
Kentucky frontcourt?

Let’s say Demps falls in love with Otto Porter. Great, now we can spend that free agent bank on a starting center. Oh, Demps thinks Nawlin’ should nab Nerlins? Cool, now we can spend that free agent cheddar on a small forward. Hold up, you’re telling me that Demps and Oladipo already have a secret handshake and watch movies together? Nice, now we can shop Eric Gordon for whatever we damn want.

Options. Excitement. I’m voting for options and excitement. The Pels gunning for the #1 overall pick is like saying, “We’re looking at the playoffs next season and we want everyone to know it.” It’s like saying “Bold moves for bold teams.” It’s like saying, “we’re excited about the draft, but we’re more excited about this being the last time we’re excited for the draft for a long time.”

Most talking heads are chattering about this being the weakest draft in years and next year’s being one of the strongest. But if I know Tom Benson like I know Tom Benson (clarification: I don’t actually know Tom Benson) then I know he wants to put a playoff team on the court and he wants to do this now. Through the draft and a key free agent signing and a trade using one of our assets we could dramatically remake this team. I believe I heard on a certain Bourbon Street Shots podcast called “In the N.O.” that Ryan Schwan hopes that the only players currently on this team that are still on it two years from now is Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Jason Smith. In my scenario, Ryan, I am giving you that chance. So I know it’s awkward but you should probably vote for this scenario and not yours.

Michael Carter-Williams? I don’t have a serious problem with the guy but we already have Austin Rivers. Monty Williams is the president of the Austin Rivers Fan Club. Sure, there may be less than 25 people in that club currently but if Monty gets his way they’re gonna run out of membership cards by 2015. Do you know how time consuming getting more membership cards would be? Also, guys with hyphenated names. Be careful. Do you remember that Aminu guy who used to play for us? His instagram is weird.

In closing, I want you to imagine the billboards touting the future of Crescent City Basketball except this time next to Anthony Davis it’s the 2013 #1 overall pick instead of Austin Rivers. Picture the side of the Arena with #1 + #1 = 2day is our day (That’s a terrible idea but you get my point).

Vote for excitement. Vote for action. Vote for the most effectively used italics on this page. Vote for being bold. With the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Pelicans select…(wouldn’t that be fun?)


[polldaddy poll=7140428]

For previous Sixth Pick Tournament matchups, click here.


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