The importance of Michael Carter Williams (Sam Hinkie letter)

There have been rumors of a possible draft day trade for the current rookie of the year, as do all 76ers fans, I hope they stay as just that, a rumor. So I thought someone had to point out to the Mr. Hinkie, just what a gem of a player we have. As a long time basketball and 76ers fan, I like to think I know talent when I see it, and I see it in spades with the young Michael Carter Williams. Unfortunately the 76ers General Manager Mr. Sam Hinkie doesn’t appear to share this thought. I thought the best way of getting my point across would be as a letter, a letter he may not receive, but one I thought necessary for all Philly fans to see.

Dear Mr. Hinkie,

Not long ago I became mortified by a notification I received on my phone, one that sent chills down my spine and despair through my heart. It was a notification from the Bleacher Report app suggesting that you were in fact considering trading our very own rookie of the year. Now I know rumors aren’t all true, but as the days go on, the rumor only seems to gain more weight rather then fade away as I hoped that it would. If this is the case and you are planning on trading the best thing to happen to Philadelphia basketball since the arrival of Allen Iverson, let me try and persuade you otherwise.

Player A:

GP: 78, GS: 25, MPG: 23.5, FG%: .418, 3P%: .207, FT%: .647, RPG: 3.7 APG: 3.8, SPG: 1.6, BPG: .1, PPG: 6.4

Player B:

GP: 77, GS: 72, MPG: 36.3, FG%: .530, 3P%: .226, FT%: .810, RPG: 7.7, APG: 7.3, SPG: 2.4, BPG: .5, PPG: 18.0

Player C:

GP: 70, GS: 70, MPG: 34.5, FG%: .405, 3P%: .264, FT%: .703, RPG: 6.2, APG: 6.3, SPG: 1.9, BPG: .6, PPG: 16.7

Player D:

GP: 79, GS: 79, MPG: 33.8, FG%: .385, 3P%: .272, FT%: .698, RPG: 5.4, APG: 7.7, SPG: 1.9, BPG: .3, PPG: 11.7

The first thing you should know about all these player stats is that they are all point guards, and they just happen to be from there respective rookie years. The second point you should be made aware of, is all the players bar one, have got at least one championship ring. There wouldn’t be too much argument that Player B’s stats are the most favorable, after that point you could make your case for each of the other 3 players, but I believe in most circumstances Player C’s stats would be next in line.

Player B is of course Magic Johnson, Player A: Rajon Rondo, Player D: Jason Kidd and finally Player C is your very own point guard, Michael Carter Williams. These players where chosen as they all have a somewhat similar style of game, I’m not saying that Michael is as good as Magic, but there are comparisons that can be made. All these players are taller then your average point guard (except of course Rondo, but his crazy wingspan makes up for that and then some), they all share the ability to take the ball coast to coast after grabbing the rebound, they share the same desire of theft on the defensive end, at some point in there careers they have struggled with shooting in one way or another, and the most significant being their desire to facilitate and run an offense while making there team mates better. These similarities can be made without too much debate, but the initial point that I would like to get across is that all these players during their careers except Michael have WON CHAMPIONSHIPS! This is of course the ultimate goal for any competitive athlete and sporting team, and it would seem Michael is destined to fulfill that.

I understand the desire to not sit on what you have and always exploring to find newer and better things, but this is not one of those times.

You made a bold decision to trade Jrue Holiday last draft day and as a whole, 76ers nation stood behind you, we knew it was time to rebuild and we had to move on in search of young talent. We now have that young talent and see a bright future, but you plan on trading that away.

For what? The prospect of a slightly younger player, with most likely less talent? I implore you to stick with what we have and build around Williams, he has shown nothing but heart and hard work, with a passion for winning since day one. He came into the league with the hardest task you could ask from a rookie, he was given the challenge of the two time defending champions on his very first game, not only did he put on a performance for the ages, but he came out with a victory, a victory no one, but him thought possible.

Yes I agree, his shooting can be improved, but who’s to say that it hasn’t already? His FG% prior to all-star break, 39.6%, post 41.9%. His FG% in the paint was 47.18%, yes that is below league average, but also respectable for a rookie point guard, (compare that to 2014 All star Damian Lillard’s FG% of 46.86 and it becomes all the more impressive). Also shooting a very respectable 42.64% from the entire left side of mid range and the corner 3. Although the team only managed to combine for a 19 win season with a +/- average of -10.5, when Williams was on the court that number dropped to -6.4. Compare that to all-star guard Kyrie Irving’s +/- of -3.1 whilst his team was only slightly lower at -3.3.

You have the number 3 and number 10 pick, A core of Williams, Noel and Wiggins/Parker/Embiid would be a starting big 3 that any team would dream of, please don’t ruin that for us.


Every Philadelphia 76ers fan.

P.S. Whilst we are on the subject of trades, please do your best to not throw away Thaddeus Young like you did with Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner, a young team needs veteran leadership, someone to bring what David West brings to Indiana and what Andre Miller is now bringing to Washington. We won’t have that if your obsession with late second round picks continues.

*Please note, I wrote this two weeks before the draft, I did not get a chance to post it prior, but there are still some valid points.

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