Michael Carter-Williams, the 2013-14 NBA Rookie of the Year, told a suburban Philadelphia newspaper he is ready to lead the Philadelphia 76ers if a rumored trade winds up sending veteran Thaddeus Young to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“I think regardless who is on the team, I have to be a leader out there, give direction to the new guys and really bring the team together,” Carter-Williams told the Doylestown Intelligencer.
Carter-Williams is recovering from surgery in May to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder and said he hasn’t scrimmaged yet, saying the shoulder is “probably 80, 85 percent.”
The second-year point guard from Syracuse is already speaking of Young as if he is a former teammate, even though he said he’s not sure if Young will still be with the Sixers this season.
“Thad was very important,” Carter-Williams said. “He taught me a lot.”
Carter-Williams was taken 11th overall by the 76ers in the 2013 draft and in 70 games, averaged 16.7 points, 6.3 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 34.5 minutes per game.
Shooting is still an adventure, however, as he posted a shooting slash of .405/.264/.703.
He was seventh in the NBA with his average of 1.9 steals per game. But he was also ninth in the NBA with 247 turnovers, despite missing 12 games.
Still, Carter-Williams was a runaway winner for Rookie of the Year, receiving 104 of 124 first-place votes cast.
Carter-Williams led NBA rookies in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals while laboring for a 76ers team that finished with the second-worst record in the NBA at 19-63.
Young, meanwhile, has played in Philadelphia for seven seasons and put up the best numbers of his career in 2013-14—17.9 points, six rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals in 34.4 minutes per game while shooting .454/.308/.712.