Dec 27 2013

Aquille Carr: The 5-foot-6 87er

Meet Aquille Carr. He’s on the Delaware 87ers and his short stature alone should him one of the most intriguing players in the D-League.

But there’s more to Carr than his 5-foot-6, 148-pound frame, as the Baltimore Sun‘s Childs Walker reports in his profile of the 20-year-old.

A quick summary:

Once a “prince of the Baltimore prep scene,” Carr would thrill crowds while playing for Patterson High School in Baltimore. He had had some off-the-court issues, too. As a senior, he was arrested for assaulting the mother of his daughter. “His prospect rankings slipped as whispers spread that he lacked maturity and emphasized style over substance as a player,” Walker writes.

After committing to Seton Hall, Carr decided follow in Brandon Jennings’ footsteps and play internationally in China. There, he played on a touring team that included Tracy McGrady, Gary Payton, and Bonzi Wells. He returned to the United States following a five-month tenure in China and in November he was selected by the Delaware 87ers in the third round of the D-League draft.

Carr has red flags both on and off the court — his height, his decision-making, his maturity. That’s why he’s on the 87ers, and not the 76ers or another NBA team. But the upside is certainly there.

Ten games in, Carr is averaging 10.7 points in 14 minutes. That’s 27.6 points per 36 minutes, good for second in the league. Granted, his averages are aided by the 87ers’ box score-friendly offense, which has the fourth-fastest pace in the D-League. Not to mention, he’s shooting shooting under 40 percent from the field and averaging two turnovers. But he’s making up for it by getting to the line four times a game — again, in 14 minutes — and averaging one 3-pointer.

Brandon Williams, the 87ers GM, paints a cautiously optimistic picture of Carr.

From the Baltimore Sun:

“Aquille fits a profile that’s really interesting to us,” Williams says. “The 76ers are looking to use our development team to find out about high-level, high-potential candidates, and Aquille is just that. … He has exceptional quickness and athleticism, instincts you can’t teach. But in order for him to play at the professional level, we need to know: Is he a playmaker? Can he make plays for others? Will his body withstand the kind of pounding he takes from bigger, more physical players?”

There are so many things Carr must learn. Before he came to the 87ers, he never had paid much mind to nutrition or stretching. He rarely had been asked to play a conscientious role in team defenses. He generally had shot when he pleased rather than thinking about the best scoring opportunities for his teammates.”

And that, in a nutshell, is what makes him a perfect fit in Delaware. He’s a low-risk player who may or may not amount to anything in the NBA. For the lowly cost of one D-League roster spot, the Sixers organization is trying to find out what exactly the 5-6 guard is capable of accomplishing.

  • robbybonfire23

    The team has much better potential upside players right on its bench in Philadelphia, who are not getting much playing time, starting with Orton. If the team really wants to tank, this season is the opportunity to work the end of the bench into the playing time mix and find out who deserves to return, next year.

    As regards all players, under-sized or not, “athleticism” is always confused with ability, but the translation of athleticism, in far too many cases, into the possession of basic or high-level skills is not automatic.