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A mom’s NBA draft diary: Michael Carter-Williams visits Dallas, New Orleans, OKC as draft approaches 06.21.13 at 12:46 pm ET
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Hamilton resident Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, the mother of Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams and the girls basketball coach at Ipswich High School, is chronicling the days leading up to the June 28 NBA draft through blog entries for WEEI.com. Carter-Williams, who prepped at Hamilton-Wenham High School and Rhode Island’€™s St. Andrews School before spending two seasons at Syracuse, is projected to be a lottery pick.

When I started to write this, there were 10 days until the draft. Between my twins’ last week of school and all the eighth-grade events that go with it and dealing with our insurance company for the fire, my week got a little crazy!

Michael went from Sacramento to Dallas. He arrived in Dallas on the 12th. Jeff [Schwartz], his agent, sends him a full itinerary for each trip via email. Michael just has to follow the instructions and be on time. I had a feeling Michael was going to like Dallas, and he did. He liked everything about it. The people, the coach, the GM, the facility and his stay. It felt good. He played well. He was very happy with his workout and enjoyed dinner after with the coach and GM. I think Dallas would be a great fit. The Mavericks need a point guard, it is a terrific marketing venue and they have won there. Joining a franchise that has won presents different opportunities than a team that is building.

It is tough to spend your first years on a team that has lost a lot. The fans are edgy waiting for wins and the team attitude can be overcome with frustration. Losing over 50 percent of your games when you play 82 games makes for a long season.

The Orlando Magic lost 62 games this year. It has to be very hard for a rookie to manage proving himself to a team, moving to a new city and learning to live as a young adult on your own. Then add losing a lot of games and the stress that comes with that, and life in the NBA can quickly become overwhelming. Many players are asked if they would rather go later in the draft to a team with a winning record or go high in the lottery to a team that has lost a lot. If you go high in the lottery, you make a lot more money your first two to three years and you play on a team that has lost a lot of games and needs to win. Playing on a losing team, unless you are the type of player who really does not care about winning, takes the fun out of your job.

I spoke to a player who played on a team that was in the lottery last year and is in the lottery again this year. For those of you who don’t know, that means that this team’s record finished in the bottom 14 of all NBA teams. That is a lot of losing in two years. He was a rookie last year. I asked him if he was enjoying himself. Without hesitation he said he would prefer to be back in college and the only thing he enjoys are Thursdays. Thursdays are payday. Now, to be fair, I asked him at the end of the season. After that conversation, reality hit that the NBA is a job whether you are winning or losing. You can’t pick the team that you go to, but we can hope that Michael lands on a team that is a good fit.

What makes a good fit? I really can’t completely answer that. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out where he should go. Some teams have a new coach, new GM and even new owners. I think it may be tough for a rookie to walk into a new system, but it could also turn out great if everyone meshes right away. Michael is great in the open court, so it would be nice if he was with a team that likes to run. Coaches all have a style of play, and a coach that likes to push the ball would be good for Michael.

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Read More: Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, Michael Carter-Williams, Trey Burke,
A mom’s NBA draft diary: Strong workouts a boost for Michael Carter-Williams 06.07.13 at 11:45 am ET
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Hamilton resident Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, the mother of Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams and the girls basketball coach at Ipswich High School, is chronicling the days leading up to the June 28 NBA draft through blog entries for WEEI.com. Carter-Williams, who prepped at Hamilton-Wenham High School and Rhode Island’€™s St. Andrews School before spending two seasons at Syracuse, is projected to be a lottery pick.

On May 24th Chad Ford, ESPN Insider writer, came to Glen Cove [N.Y.] to watch Michael and a few other players from Excel [Sports Management] play. He covers the draft extensively and wanted to see Michael, C.J. [McCollum] and Mike [Muscala] work out.

Michael’s shooting has been the talk of his downside, so Chad wanted to come out and see what was going on. Michael did a workout with [trainer] Jay [Fernandez] while Chad filmed it. Having to shoot under pressure in front of a well-respected sports journalist had to make him nervous, but we saw no signs of nerves. The workout was at a local Boys & Girls Club. Michael shot very well. He hit 3-pointers, NBA threes, mid-range jumpers, and was explosive off the dribble getting to the basket.

I had never met Chad before, and both [Carter-Williams' stepfather] Zach [Zegarowski] and I enjoyed talking hoop with him after the workout. We talked about what he was hearing from GMs. He explained how his draft rankings focus more on matching a player with a team need. Because there isn’t a LeBron James in this year’s draft, teams are looking for a player who will fit in with their current roster of players. Some teams say they are going to pick the best player available, but the best player in the top 10 isn’t obvious, it will be more the opinion of the NBA team. Nerlens [Noel], who has been on the top of most draft boards, is injured, and that leaves some questions, but he will definitely go 1 or 2. Nerlens Noel is a close friend of Michael’s and spends a lot of time at our house. It is pretty amazing to have both of them and Ricky Ledo in the draft. Ricky went to St. Andrews [in Rhode Island] with Michael for a year and they have stayed friends since sophomore year.

For Michael, Chad coming to watch him and then write about him was positive. If Michael shot poorly and did not have a good workout I don’t think Chad would have written anything negative but he would have let his readers know through his draft board that Michael has work to do. He said to us that Michael looks way more athletic and explosive in person and that if he performs like he did for him at his NBA workouts, he will be in a great position.

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Read More: Chad Ford, Mandy Carter-Zegarowski, Michael Carter-Williams, Trey Burke
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