Derrick Williams: Why the Former Arizona Star Will Shine in Minnesota

Josh VanKlompenburgContributor IAugust 6, 2011

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats dunks the over Kyle Singler #12 of the Duke Blue Devils during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With the second pick in the 2011 NBA draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected forward Derrick Williams out of the University of Arizona.

Confident, but not cocky, Williams went into the draft process believing he was the best prospect in the draft. "Yes, sir, I definitely am," Williams told reporters in an interview at this year's NBA Draft Combine.

Williams backs up his talk with a strong skill set that should easily translate to the NBA game. Measuring at 6'9", 248 pounds, he has the body of a power forward but has the ability to play small forward as well.

That positional flexibility will be a great asset for him in Minnesota, where he will be able to share the floor with the different types of forwards already on the Timberwolves' roster. These include Kevin Love, Anthony Randolph and Michael Beasley.

I have heard many people say that these four players are redundant, but I believe that their skill sets will work well together, and not overlap. Any three of them could play on the court at the same time. With Ricky Rubio at point guard and the right coach with the right system, Williams and the other forwards could flourish.

There has been a lot of discussion about whether Williams is a power forward or small forward. Even though many draft experts pinned him as a PF going into the draft, Williams believes he's "a small forward that can play the four."

Regardless of position, one aspect of his game that should translate immediately at the next level is his ability to create his own offense. Last year, the only player who could do that consistently was Michael Beasley. When he was on the bench or injured, the offense became stagnant. Hopefully, Williams' arrival will help the team in that area.

Williams is coming into the NBA with confidence. That confidence, combined with a skill set that complements others on the roster, should allow for the former University of Arizona star to brightly shine in his rookie season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.