Michael Carter-Williams knows where he can find the bright future of the Philadelphia 76ers.
It’s not at NBA games, where he’s the last significant positive contributor standing from last year’s tank job. It’s at places like the draft and the World Cup.
Carter-Williams went to Brooklyn for the draft and had a mixed experience. He looked shocked when Philadelphia drafted point guard Elfrid Payton at No. 12, unsure of his own future during an interview and then relieved when Payton was traded for forward Dario Saric.
In fact, Carter-Williams is so excited about Saric, he travelled to Spain – with teammates Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid – to watch Saric in the World Cup.
A trio of the biggest future stars for the Philadelphia 76ers – Michael-Carter Williams, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid – flew across the Atlantic Ocean to come to the Croatia-Puerto Rico game at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup to support a fourth future cornerstone of the organisation – Croatia’s Dario Saric.
“We came out here to support Dario. He’s a great player. It’s my first time seeing him and I’m very impressed and excited about the future and having him be a part of what we’re building in Philadelphia,” said Noel
76ers general manager Sam Hinkie and coach Brett Brown (who’s also impressed with Saric) are at the World Cup, too. Philadelphia’s talent is more concentrated in Spain now than it will be on the court during the NBA season.
I really like the 76ers’ upside, but it will take time to get everyone healthy (Embiid) and signed (Saric). Then, it will take longer for the core to develop chemistry. This nice gesture by Carter-Williams, Noel and Embiid will only accelerate the process. Slowly, but also as quickly as possible, everyone is getting on the same page.
Now, it might take three – rather than four – more years for Philadelphia’s tanking to really pay off.