UPDATED 9:56 a.m. 11/26/2013
The Sacramento Kings have acquired former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for forward Luc Mbah a Moute.
The trade was announced by the Kings’ official website Tuesday morning, once Mbah a Moute passed a physical. Talk began Monday afternoon that a deal was about to go down.
Williams had fallen out of Rick Adelman’s rotation in Minnesota, having played in only 11 of the Timberwolves’ 16 games this season and averaging just 14.7 minutes a game. With the trade talk pending, Williams was held out of Monday’s game at Indiana.
Williams is averaging 4.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in his limited action this season, shooting 35.2 percent from the floor.
Last year, the former Arizona star started 56 games in place of injured Kevin Love and averaged 12 points and 5.5 boards per game in 24.6 minutes a night. He had a strong finish, averaging 15.1 points and 6.3 rebounds over the last 30 games last season.
But with Love healthy this season, Williams became a forgotten man in the Twin Cities as he entered his third season in the NBA. A classic tweener at 6-foot-8 and 241 pounds, Williams lacks some of the size many basketball people would like from a power forward and doesn’t have the necessary quickness to function as a small forward.
Defense has been a struggle for Williams in his career, as he has a 106 defensive rating (per 100 possessions) in his career. He was an All-America selection as a sophomore at Arizona, scoring 19.5 points and averaging 8.3 rebounds a game while shooting 56.8 percent from 3-point range, leading the Wildcats to a 30-8 record and a berth in the Elite Eight in 2011.
The 27-year-old Mbah a Moute, a native of Cameroon, came out of UCLA as a second-round pick of the Milwaukee Bucks in 2008 and he was traded to the Kings last summer for a pair of future second-round choices.
Mbah a Moute started Sacramento’s last five games after not playing in four of the Kings’ first nine contests. He is averaging 4.4 points and three rebounds per game in 21.8 minutes, shooting 46.9 percent. After he joined the starting lineup, those marks were 5.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28.2 minutes, while shooting 45.8 percent. He was a part-time starter in five seasons in Milwaukee, averaging 6.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in 25.1 minutes a game.
He was a teammate of Love’s at UCLA and averaged 8.8 points and six rebounds a game as the Bruins advanced to the Final Four in Love’s lone season in Westwood.