So when the Charlotte Hornets signed 6’6”, 190lb Michael Carter-Williams, my first thought was that we got a younger version of Shaun Livingston. I mean Shaun Livingston is 6’7” and 192lbs. I know, I know; I shouldn’t just look at MCW’s size and compare him to another player. I had always enjoyed Livingston in Charlotte because I loved the idea of having a PG that was so tall. The chance to have another backup PG at that height that can play beside Kemba or be a backup for him would be really cool. I mean that’s what it’s all about right? It will be really cool having a tall backup PG.
Then I started thinking about it some more. People blasting MCW for his game-play, and the slump that he’s in just didn’t sit well with me. (MCW, as you’ll come to see, I defend our players like family…so like the title says…welcome). I decided to do some base data diving. There were fans that wanted Shaun Livingston back. That 31 year old guard that had a catastrophic knee injury back in 2007. Now, I love the guy and I would have loved to have had him here. His pre-game workout routine to get that knee “game-ready” is something else, but 7 years after the injury, it has held together and he’s had a good NBA career. I call it good because he is still producing at the NBA level. For his career, he averages 6.6 points per game; he shoots 48.3% from the floor, a 19.7% 3-point shooter, a 79.3% foul shooter, grabs 2.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.4 blocks, and 0.7 steals. While his shooting isn’t great, what he brings to the court is very unique. A 6’7” point guard can make for all sorts of matchup problems against other teams’ point guards.
This article isn’t about Shaun Livingston though. It’s about Michael Carter-Williams. He’s a Charlotte Hornet and most of all; his numbers are something that is worth looking at and to take notice of. At 25 years old, MCW has been in the league for 4 seasons. His shooting numbers are not stellar. We are talking about 13 points per game, shooting 40.7% from the floor, 25.2% from the 3-point line, and 69.6% from the foul line. We’re also talking about a point guard that is averaging 5.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 0.6 blocks, and 1.5 steals. The biggest thing he needs to work on is his shooting. He doesn’t have the pressure of having to be an NBA starter. He has the opportunity to work on his game. He has the chance to fix the weaknesses of his game. There are some great coaches with this organization that can help him get his shot more accurate. He has room to learn, room to grow, and time to do it without the pressure of being an NBA starter.
So basically, I’m saying that we got a cheaper, younger version of Shaun Livingston who has the time to sharpen his skills, hone his game into something really special, and hopefully, in return, as his game improves, he’s willing to remain a Charlotte Hornet for a few years past this current 1-year contract.
So for anyone that is still against MCW, keep in mind that we have a truly special player with us that could be something truly amazing. He’s willing to work hard to improve his game and that’s a special quality. He’s also in the best situation to do so with the Hornets franchise. Michael, you have my support and I got your back. Let’s make this year a great one!