With only his team’s futility and a small cluster of Victor Oladipo proponents working against him, Michael Carter-Williams officially capture the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award for the 2013-2014 season. Carter-Williams joins Allen Iverson as the only member of the 76ers organization to receive the prestigious honor. Since his first game as a professional, MCW exploded out of the gate in the race for the annual award and worked through a couple of in-season swoons to round out a campaign that, statistically, is among the best ever for his stature in the league.
“Carter-Williams led all rookies in scoring (16.7 points), assists (6.3), rebounds (6.2), and steals (1.86). He, Robertson (1960-61), and Alvan Adams (1975-76) are the only players to lead all rookies in scoring, assists, and rebounds in a season, dating back to the 1950-51. Carter-Williams also joined Robertson and Johnson (1979-80) as the only rookies to average at least 16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists.”
The previous notes were provided by an article penned by the Inquirer’s Keith Pompey. Carter-Williams first-year journey was an interesting one. As the 11th pick in what was generally considered to be a weak NBA draft, the sort of leadership role that Carter-Williams was presented with might have been considered unreasonable. However, after the team traded away Jrue Holiday on draft night, they needed a new floor general and the lanky sophomore out of Syracuse fit the bill.
Even with various injuries preventing him from playing an entire season, there was little doubt the 76ers were a more fluid team with the rookie on the floor. He shined in the season opener against the Heat, stuffing the statsheet with: 22 points, 12 assists, 9 steals, and seven rebounds. Along his first-year journey, Carter-Williams was also named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month a staggering four times. His late-season surge after a few so-so weeks all but locked up the award, or maybe it was coach Brett Brown essentially anointing his point guard in his late-season postgame press conferences.
For all intents and purposes, Carter-Williams was the only reason worth watching this 76ers team. While most had their eyes on the pick collected by the team in the upcoming 2014 Draft as a potential franchise changer, Philadelphia lucked out with Carter-Williams, securing a fixture at the point for the future. All of the sudden, with a Rookie of the Year, Nerlens Noel, likely two lottery picks, and nearly $30 million in cap room; the 76ers are in as enviable a situation as any team not currently participating in the postseason.