By Matt Jenkins
---- — Philadelphia was the last stop on Michael Carter-Williams’ pre-draft tour. Now, it’s also his first stop as a player in the National Basketball Association.
The Philadelphia 76ers selected Hamilton’s Carter-Williams with the 11th overall pick last night in the 2013 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The Sixers showed huge faith in Carter-Williams’ ability with this pick. In addition to drafting the 6-foot-6 point guard out of Syracuse University, Philly also is involved in a proposed trade that would send Jrue Holiday, its 2012-13 starting point guard, to the New Orleans Pelicans for sixth overall pick Nerlens Noel.
Carter-Williams is familiar with Noel’s game. Noel is an Everett resident and the two played together for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club during high school.
Noel, a 6-foot-11, shot-blocking center, and Carter-Williams could be the cornerstones for a quick rebuilding process for the Sixers.
“They’re getting a kid who will bring a positive attitude to the team,” Carter-Williams told NBA player and ESPN analyst Shane Battier last night after he was selected. “I will work hard every single day, for the practices and the games. I’m just happy right now, to be honest.”
Philly was obviously happy about getting the opportunity to draft Carter-Williams.
The 21-year-old Carter-Williams must have impressed Philadelphia during his workout and interview earlier this week. Carter-Williams came from Phoenix and arrived in Philadelphia late Monday night for a Tuesday workout.
The Sixers targeting Carter-Williams opened the door for them to ship Holiday to New Orleans.
Holiday played in and started 78 games for the Sixers last year, leading them in scoring with 17.7 points per game and 8.0 assists.
Carter-Williams enters the league as an offensive play-maker who faces questions about his jump shot and whether or not he can defend smaller, quicker point guards at the next level. He averaged 11.9 points, 7.3 assists, and 4.9 rebounds as a sophomore at Syracuse.
Battier, who just won his second straight NBA Championship with the Miami Heat, asked Carter-Williams which player he was looking forward to playing against the most.
“Everyone I’ve looked up to — there’s no one specific,” Carter-Williams said. “It’s all the great point guards in the league. I want to challenge myself against the best ... it’s something I’ve always wanted.”
Carter-Williams became just the fourth North Shore basketball player drafted in the NBA, joining Salem’s Scoonie Penn (Atlanta Hawks, 57th pick in 2000), Danvers’ Dana Skinner (Boston Celtics, 50th pick in 1978), and St.John’s Prep’s Dave Winey (Boston Celtics, 116th pick in 1978).
Salem’s Rick Brunson, a 1995 Temple University graduate in 1995, was not drafted in the NBA, but ended up have a long career. Brunson worked his way into the league after playing in Australia and in the CBA before getting a shot with the Portland Trailblazers in the 1997-98 season. He ended up playing for eight different teams, finishing with the Houston Rockets in 2006.