On Saturday Charlotte filled their biggest need on the roster when they signed backup point guard Michael Carter-Williams. Michael Carter-Williams (MCW), 25, is a three year veteran and the 2014 NBA Rookie of the Year. Since that initial success, Carter-Williams has struggled to find a long term fit in the NBA. He was in and out of the lineup last year for Chicago, averaging career lows in points (6.6), assists (2.5), and shooting percentage (.366).
So happy to be joining the hornets this year! Thank you to Chicago for having me I appreciate. Time to move to the next chapter! BUZZZZCITY
— Michael Carter-Willi (@MCW1) July 1, 2017
The signing looks to be mutually beneficial for both teams. For MCW, it is an attempt to rehab his image around the league in order to sign a big contract next summer. Backup point guards were getting big money offers this year but it does not appear he was receiving such offers. The Charlotte coaching staff can sell Carter-Williams on giving him a platform to show off his skills to boast his career going forward, much in the way the team did for Jeremy Lin.
For Charlotte, their options were very limited. With the luxury tax threshold so close, Charlotte needed to get a backup point guard on the cheap. While there are concerns about MCW’s game (most notably his shooting percentage), he does bring something extremely important for this team: size. Charlotte is high on draft pick Malik Monk, but he is a tad undersized for the shooting guard position. Playing him and 6’6″ MCW together allows them to switch assignments on defense. Carter-Williams should also be able to play in the post, hopefully contributing to more option shots for Monk. MCW also has the size to handle play some with Kemba Walker.
Charlotte has done a great job setting up their roster. Right now, if Charlotte keeps non guaranteed contracts Briante Weber, Treveon Graham, and Johnny O’Bryant, we are looking at something like this
Point Guard: Walker, Carter-Williams, Weber
Shooting Guard: Batum, Monk, Bacon
Small Forward: MKG, Lamb, Graham
Power Forward: Williams, Kaminsky,
Center: Howard, Zeller, O’Bryant
That’s not a bad lineup. Charlotte stays out of the luxury tax and improves the roster from a year ago. The only change that I could see would be Charlotte acquiring another backup wing player, but it would have to be another bargain buy. Some wing options can be found here http://queencityhoops.com/blog/hornets-2017-free-agency-primer/
All in all, Charlotte is much improved and I look forward to a playoff run!