Sixers’ rookie Michael Carter-Williams is putting up the best rookie numbers in Philadelphia since Allen Iverson. Which is a good comparison. A very good one. But there is one area where Carter-Williams is not following the pattern of Iverson (a notorious spender):
MCW has yet to touch a dime of his salary this season. That’s $2.2 million guaranteed this season (and $2.3 million next season) that he is just putting in the bank.
All of his money right now is going into a trust set up by his family, as reported at the Philadelphia Inquirer (via The 700 Level at CSNPhilly.com).
Nowadays, (his mother) Carter-Zegarowski and her best friend, Tracie Tracy, are running his management team. They are taking a proactive approach to make sure he doesn’t spend all his money in a couple of years.
His rookie contract guarantees him $4.5 million over his first two seasons. He could make a total of $10 million if the Sixers pick up the final two seasons of his contract.
But his salary is deposited into a trust he can’t touch for three years. Carter-Williams is living off endorsement deals with Nike and Panini trading cards.
Smart. You don’t want to go Iverson and just buy new clothes in every town so he didn’t have to carry luggage on the road.
He’s likely to have a few more endorsement deals rolling in soon the way he has played as a rookie averaging 17 points and 7.1 assists per game. He is fast becoming the face of the Sixers.
The perception of the casual fan follows what Patrick Ewing said back in the day — NBA players make a lot of money and spend a lot of money.
The reality is some do live beyond their means even though they make millions, some are smarter about their money. It’s the same with every pro sport. And before you get all preachy on that soapbox answer me this: What would you have done if you had millions at age 21? Bought treasury bonds?
Like everyone else, NBA players need some support around them to help them make good decisions. Carter-Williams has that and it shows in his play on the court, and that he will now be set up for life (and maybe generations).
Wednesday night in Boston Gordon Hayward underwent surgery to repair his dislocated ankle and fractured tibia suffered just five minutes into the season-opening game, a gruesome injury that put a pall over the rest of the night.
There had been hope from some Celtics fans that Hayward could return this season, likely for the playoffs, but now that the surgery is complete Hayward’s agent told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN not to expect him back until next season.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who saw the injury. Hayward is in the first year of a four-year deal with the Celtics, they were always going to choose a cautious path rather than rush him back. Under Danny Ainge Boston has always taken the long view, even with all their moves this summer — specifically bringing in Hayward and Kyrie Irving — the target was to be the team set up for next as LeBron James and the Cavaliers faded. That plan does not change now.
Earlier in the day, Hayward had sent a video message out to Celtics fans thanking them for their support in the past 24 hours.
Without Hayward, the Celtics now will focus more on smaller lineups, rookie Jayson Tatum will get more run, as will Marcus Smart in his contract year. Jaylen Brown will be thrust into a more significant role. Also, Kyrie Irving will be asked to do more as the team’s second-best playmaker is now out for the season.
The Celtics will take a step back this season without Hayward, who was going to be crucial for them on both ends of the floor. That’s evidenced by their 0-2 start, falling to the Cavaliers and Bucks on the first couple nights of the season. Boston should still be a team well above .500 and in the playoffs, but they will not be quite the same this season.
Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.
More than fine.
Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.
Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):
The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.
Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.
Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.