Charlotte Hornets: Is Michael Carter-Williams an upgrade over Ramon Sessions?

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 27: Michael Carter-Williams
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 27: Michael Carter-Williams /

The Charlotte Hornets’ backup point guard situation was a mess last season, MCW will be looking to sure things up this year.

The Charlotte Hornets recently declined to keep Ramon Sessions and added Michael Carter-Williams to the team. After rotating between three backup point guards (Sessions, Briante Weber, Brian Roberts) during the 2017 campaign, Steve Clifford’s side could use some consistency behind Kemba Walker. MCW can’t be much worse than Ramon was but how much of an upgrade is the former Rookie of the Year?

Bench Depth was a Problem

It is no secret that the Hornets suffered from a weak bench last year. Ramon Sessions, the primary backup point guard, posted a -1.6 plus-minus rating (The Hornets were outscored by 1.6 points when he was on the court) last year.

To make matters worse, the Hornets bench unit ranked nineteenth out of thirtieth in the NBA according to Hoops Stats. The key to the playoff run two season’s ago was a deep bench that had the playmaking ability of Jeremy Lin and Courtney Lee in the backcourt. For comparison sake, that bench unit ranked ninth in the NBA that season by the same metric.

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What was wrong with Ramon Sessions?

No one expects a backup point guard to be flawless. Coaches take advantage of their skill to be used as a weapon situationally. For Ramon Sessions, his skill is…or should I say was…his ability to attack the paint and cause defenses to collapse. His impact on the game is similar to that of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. His tenacity forces defensive schemes to adjust when he is on the court.

If he is so good at getting into the lane then what happened last year?

Well, unfortunately, Father Time remains undefeated in the realm of sports. Just take a look at Session’s stats from his first stint with the Hornets to the stats that he posted last year. Ramon saw a decrease in his assist percentage as well as his true shooting percentage. Not only was he becoming too one-dimensional, but his efficiency on two pointers dropped as well.

What can Michael Carter-Williams bring to the Charlotte Hornets?

This is where Michael Carter-Williams can help the Charlotte Hornets. Ironically, you can think of MCW as a poor man’s Rajon Rondo. He is a terrible shooter, however, his defensive versatility and playmaking ability far outweigh the cost of his contract. Standing at 6’6″ with a wingspan of 6’7″, he will be able to disrupt passing lanes. He can use his length to help hide Malik Monk on the defensive end.

In a post covered by Hardwood Paroxysm, they go more in depth about what Carter-Williams can bring to the table. In summation, his size allows for him to see over the defense and allows him to be a good defender as well. Concerns about his shooting will always exist.  However, he will only be needed as a playmaker on a bench unit consisting of Frank Kaminsky, Malik Monk, Jeremy Lamb, and Dwayne Bacon

The difference between Ramon Sessions and Michael Carter-Williams is that Williams will still be able to contribute when his shot is not falling. He has the perfect mixture of length, basketball IQ and athleticism to rebound from his poor season last year.

Next: Hornets can take advantage of declining East

I don’t know what it is about Syracuse and making players look exceptional (Wes Johnson, Jonny Flynn, Donte Green), but MCW will hope to do something similar to what Dion Waiters did last season and shake the initial bust label given to him this past season.