Michael Carter-Williams still limited after shoulder surgery, could miss start of regular season

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Michael Carter-Williams had surgery in May to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, which has limited him since the beginning of Philadelphia 76ers training camp. Now, it appears that the 2014 NBA Rookie of the Year might not be ready to return when the regular season kicks off, according to CSN Philly:

“I see a stronger body including his shoulder,” Brett Brown said Thursday after practice. “I see a more fit player including his wind and cardio stuff. I think that he is going on the path that we anticipated. What does that translate into him playing physical, five-on-five basketball? I still think he is a few weeks away.”

Missing regular-season games is bad news for Carter-Williams, who is one of the league’s rising stars and is now losing some valuable development time in his young NBA career. It’s also bad news for the Sixers’ season-ticket holders, for whom literally lighting money on fire would have been a better investment even before this news.

But the Sixers are probably fine with MCW sitting out for a little while. They’ve made it clear that their goal this season is to be as bad as humanly possible, just as it was last season. They just allowed 2013 No. 6 pick Nerlens Noel to sit out his entire rookie season recovering from a torn ACL and will probably do the same with this year’s No. 3 pick, Joel Embiid, who broke his foot before the draft. If Carter-Williams, by some distance the best player on a roster that’s mostly D-Leaguers, is also out at the start of the season, that gets them closer to their goal.

There’s a very real possibility that the Sixers’ opening-night starting backcourt will be Tony Wroten and Alexey Shved. Think about that for a second.