2014 NBA Draft Prospects Who Will Complement 76ers' Michael Carter-Williams

Zachary ArthurCorrespondent IIMay 15, 2014

Either of these guys could be Philly's next big thing.
Either of these guys could be Philly's next big thing.Sam Forencich/Getty Images

Michael Carter-Williams went above and beyond any rookie expectations as a No. 11 pick, and the Philadelphia 76ers need to find prospects in the 2014 NBA draft to complement the point guard.

Carter-Williams became the lowest-drafted player to win Rookie of the Year since Mark Jackson won in 1987 as the No. 18 pick. Averaging 16.7 points, 6.3 assists, 6.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game, he ended the season leading all rookies in those four statistical categories.

He flat out went to work.

Pairing him with a number of guys in the 2014 draft pool would be an instant benefit and a leap in the right direction. He did a great job scoring, passing and playing defense, but having a partner in crime would take a lot of pressure off Carter-Williams' shoulders.

The Sixers currently have the potential to have two lottery picks—the New Orleans Pelicans keep the pick if it falls between Nos. 1 and 5—and five second-round selections. They have an incredible amount of flexibility in what they can do with those picks, so it'll be interesting to see how they handle the potential of adding seven new players.

With that said, here's a look at a number of top draft prospects who could complement Carter-Williams.


Andrew Wiggins

You're probably not too surprised to see this guy on the list.

Andrew Wiggins is almost everything you'd want out of a 19-year-old prospect. His athleticism gives him the ability to put himself anywhere on the court or in the air. Being able to do whatever his mind can think of is easily his biggest strength.

The fact that he can't quite do it with a ball in his hands is his biggest weakness. Wiggins lacks some of the fundamental offensive attributes necessary to be an elite player. He isn't a great ball-handler, and he'll definitely need to clean up his jumper.

It's rare that a player without a number of crucial skills is even being talked about as the No. 1 pick, but it's overlooked because he'll come into the league and immediately be one of the five best athletes.

That's how freakish his physical abilities are.

Wiggins could play shooting guard or small forward next to Carter-Williams. He'd be an instant threat to slash to the hoop and would immediately come into the league and handcuff opponents on defense. Those are two of Philadelphia's most necessary areas of improvement.

Expected Draft Spot: Top Three


Jabari Parker

Wiggins might have the highest upside because of his athletic ability, but Jabari Parker is the most NBA-ready prospect in this year's draft class. He can come in and start at small forward, and he has the body to create matchup problems at power forward when necessary.

Parker can do it all. He has one of the smoothest jumpers, is incredibly strong in the low post and showed people that he's more athletic than anybody gave him credit for. It wouldn't be surprising to see him average 18 to 22 points per game in his rookie season.

Carter-Williams put up fantastic numbers without anyone next to him who can score like Parker can. Adding him into the mix has the chance to increase everybody's production.

Parker's major struggle will come on the defensive end of the floor. Working on his lateral quickness will be his main priority and could determine whether or not he remains one-sided or turns into a perennial All-Star.

Either way, he would be a great pick if Wiggins is off the board.

Expected Draft Spot: Top Three


Julius Randle

Julius Randle is one of the more unpredictable prospects in the 2014 draft class.

He's a 6'9", 250-pound power forward who moves like a player 50 pounds lighter. He also handles and passes the ball similarly to a point guard. He might not be much of a shooter, but his style of play doesn't come close to matching his size.

We don't know what else he can really do, though. Randle can only turn over his right shoulder in the post and can't do much else besides dunk with authority. He always plays as hard as possible but sometimes looks lost because of how limited he can be.

He'll either turn into a player like Zach Randolph, or develop into someone like Eddy Curry. His ceiling and floor are really that wild.

Carter-Williams and Randle wouldn't be too special as a duo during the 2014-15 season but could be great combined with Nerlens Noel in the future. The only issue with adding him to the squad is that it presents an issue with Thaddeus Young at power forward.

If Philadelphia falls outside of the top three picks, then Randle has to be looked at as a potential selection. He's not in the same category as Parker and Wiggins, but he could still have a very high ceiling.

Expected Draft Spot: Nos. 4-7


Dante Exum

There's no doubt about it: Dante Exum is one of the riskiest picks in the draft.

Barely anybody knows anything about the Australian point guard. We know he has almost the exact same size and body at 6'6" and around 185 pounds as Carter-Williams. After his physical info, Exum becomes one of the most mysterious draft prospects in quite some time.

Philly.com's Michael Kaskey-Blomain wrote a great article on why Philadelphia should look into picking Exum. Here were some of his reasons:

Think about it. Defensively they could be dynamic. Two long, lanky guards to pressure the perimeter and make things difficult for the opposing point. They both have the size to cover an off-guard, and thus they could seamlessly switch on ball screens and not miss a beat. This size would allow for them to make other switches as well, and would fuel a whole lot of defensive flexibility.

Kaskey-Blomain went on to discuss how Exum and Carter-Williams would operate on offense:

The duo could be incredible in the open court as well. Brett Brown’s affinity for pushing the ball and getting out on the break is no secret, as his team played at the league’s fastest pace last season. Carter-Williams demonstrated his capability to operate on the break this past season (he was 27th in the NBA in total distance traveled), while pushing the action and finishing around the rim are credited as some of Exum’s best abilities. Together, they could tear down the court before the defense gets slightly settled, as the ball could be outleted to either, or quickly, and the break could be ignited by either of them.

There are some great points made in regard to the serious length and athleticism that each would bring to the game. The Sixers would have the ability to push the ball even more effectively because they'd essentially have two point guards on the court at the same time. The most necessary area of improvement would be for both to develop a jump shot.

Exum is the most unknown elite prospect in the 2014 draft class, but he could very well end up being the best when it's all said and done.

Expected Draft Spot: Nos. 2-6