NBA Draft 2011: 10 Reasons Why the Timberwolves Should Draft Derrick Williams
With the NBA draft now just days away, it seems everyone wants Derrick Williams.
That is, everyone but the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Since the Wolves already are stocked with young talent at the forward position, many mock drafts now have Minnesota doing something else with their pick. Here are 10 reasons why Minnesota should take Williams with the second pick overall (assuming he doesn't go first to Cleveland.)
10. Beasley Can Shift to Point
Even with Ricky Rubio coming in (finally), Michael Beasley is keeping busy this offseason by working on his ball-handling skills. Beasley has shown interest in taking the ball up as a point-forward.
I think this would be a great benefit, as he could take over for Rubio similar to the way Lamar Odom did in Los Angeles. With that shift, the Timberwolves could draft Williams and have a strong rotation of players.
9. He Fills Seats
If you've ever seen Derrick Williams play, you know how much fun he is to watch. Williams not only brings excitement to the game, but his name alone will get people in the seats.
Until the Wolves start winning like they used to, Minnesota needs to do everything it can to get people in the Target Center.
8. Trading Away Picks Hasn't Always Worked
I was unsure at first, but I now believe the O.J. Mayo trade turned out really well. We got Kevin Love, and it helped pave the way for the draft pick that got us Rubio.
Besides that, I feel there have been a few traded draft picks we wish we could take back. A prime example is Mario Chalmers, who played outstanding for the Heat in these past finals.
I would easily take back the draft-day trade of Brandon Roy for Randy Foye, and if we hadn't traded Ray Allen for Stephon Marbury, we may have gotten the championship those two got in Boston so many years later. Trading down this pick is not necessarily the wrong thing to do in this situation, but it's a trend I wouldn't like to continue.
7. Beasley Only Has One Year Left on Contract
Okay, I want to start by saying I do not want to get rid of Michael Beasley, so hear me out. Beasley will be a free agent after next season, and there is always the chance we might lose him.
It is not worth it to trade Beasley because many teams are hesitant about his issues that go back to when he was in Miami. They are not willing to take the risk on a guy who would just leave them the next year.
Drafting Derrick Williams can still be a good option because he can share the role with Beasley and possibly replace him if he leaves for free agency (or if the Wolves let him go because Williams plays better.)
6. He Is Impossible to Guard
Derrick Williams is one of those rare players who has few physical comparisons. He reminds me most of Corliss Williamson, when he came out of Arkansas.
In college, he was a headache for anyone attempting to guard him. He was too quick for the power forwards and centers and could pound it in against the small forwards or guards.
At the NBA level, he would be one of the largest small forwards in the league and would add even more size to the already-large Timberwolves' lineup.
5. He Is the Best Available Pick
When a team is well developed and only missing a couple pieces, it is better to focus on just filling a position with the draft. This is what the Atlanta Falcons did by drafting Julio Jones this year.
When it is a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves, you just need to draft the best player available.
If Kyrie Irving does go first, Derrick Williams is clearly the best talent available. Kevin Love and Michael Beasley are both great talents, but they are not elite enough to turn away a guy with great potential.
4. Kanter Is Too Big of a Risk
If the Timberwolves do not draft Derrick Williams, they most likely will draft center Enes Kanter out of Turkey. While Kanter has the potential to be a dominant big man, he also is less proven than possibly anyone to have ever entered the draft.
He did not play a single game in 2010-2011 because Kentucky ruled him ineligible.The year before, Kanter hopped around high schools but never really played against any strong competition. His junior year of high school didn't show much of anything either, as he played less than 100 total minutes.
At 6'11" and 260 pounds, he has great size and strength that has helped him dominate opponents during high school. Unfortunately the NBA is a different game, and players who overpowered in high school and college often don't make it.
An example is Kosta Koufos (a guy Kanter has been compared with,) who has only scored 3.3 ppg in the NBA. Minnesota already has Darko Milicic, who was also a highly touted European player who was drafted early.
3. He Wants to Play for Minnesota
In a recent interview, Williams told the Timberwolves he wanted to play here and he would play small forward. After what Rubio has said, and what the rest of the media says, about nobody wanting to play here—Williams definitely gets my support.
A top pick that wants to play for your team? Draft him!
2. He Would Have High Trade Value
Maybe this is cheating, but technically the article is titled "Why The Timberwolves Should Draft Derrick Williams." It doesn't say they have to hang on to him.
As much as I like Williams as a player, he may not be the right fit. I don't believe in simply trading down because Minnesota has never had this high of a pick. His value is as high as anyone's. By drafting him second, they have many different options for trades.
Some of the best offers rumored around are for Danny Granger (which I'm not in favor of because he is simply another small forward) of the Pacers, Andre Iguodala of the Sixers or expert blocker JaVale McGee of the Wizards.
All of those trades would include a support player from the Wolves, like Jonny Flynn, and a lower draft pick from the other team involved.
1. Numbers, Numbers, Numbers
Statistically, it is hard to argue against Derrick Williams. Many consider him the most productive player in college basketball.
He was one of the best scorers in the country, with 19.5 points per game, and stepped it up in the NCAA tournament.
He also was among the best shooters both inside and outside. His three-point percentage was outstanding, at nearly 57 percent, and he had an overall field goal percentage of 59.5 percent.
Last year, Williams was in the 92nd percentile in points per possession when in post situations scoring 1.065 PPP. In isolation situations, he scored 1.130 PPP and was in the 96th percentile.
Williams was also third in the country in free throw attempts per possession, taking 8.7 free throws a game.
His biggest weaknesses are his turnovers, which I assume will get better as he ages and has a team that doesn't need to rely on him as much, and his defensive rebounding, which is odd to hear about a guy who got 8.3 per game.
Luckily, the Timberwolves have Kevin Love and are the best rebounding team in the league.