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Michael Carter-Williams to work out for Orlando

2013 June 7
by Brian Serra
Two potential Orlando Magic draft picks in Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo

Two potential Orlando Magic draft picks in Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo 

With news that the Magic are looking at as many as nine players to select with their first round pick, it’s no surprise that the team is looking at more than just the early on favorites for the top pick. The latest prospect to make travel plans to Orlando is Syracuse’s Michael Carter-Williams. The Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins tweeted that MCW announced while in Phoenix that he will visit Orlando soon for an interview and a workout.

Carter-Williams worked out on Thursday in Phoenix with Trey Burke, CJ McCollum and Shane Larkin – although Burke only competed in individual drills. Larkin has specifically been trying to workout alongside the bigger point guards to prove that he can compete.

“That’s the question mark: Can he guard bigger guys?” Larkin said of himself. “So wherever the bigger point guards are at, that’s where I’m going to go try work out at.” – via AZcentral.com

The 6’6″ Carter-Williams was generally considered the 2nd or 3rd highest rated point guard coming into the draft, but has recently been making big strides amongst teams that highly value analytics. Chad Ford wrote on ESPN Insider today that MCW could be challenging Burke as the top point guard to come off the board:

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.

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.

Finally, teams are always looking for upside in the lottery. Carter-Williams has extraordinary size for his position. He is a terrific athlete. He sees the floor as well as any point guard in the draft. His weaknesses — primarily his shaky jumper — are the only thing holding him back from being a top-5 pick right now.

Rob Hennigan and his staff would certainly fall into the “valuing analytics” category. The team could also opt to trade down into the mid-late lottery or acquire a second lottery pick which it could use on a point guard.

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