The Sacramento Kings have acquired the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft, Derrick Williams, from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Derrick Williams is a bit of a tweener between the 3 and 4 positions, meaning he is a bit undersized for the power forward spot, but he really isn’t quick nor have the shooting ability to be a small forward. The Kings weakest position on their roster is at the small forward spot and coach Michael Malone has been quoted in saying that Williams will be getting most of his playing time from that position, which brings up the question.
Can Derrick Williams play small forward for Sacramento?
Derrick Williams has the athleticism to do so and the potential is there for him, but the real problem is the ability to be a defender and outside threat. For the matchups coming up defensively, the game has changed so much that there are plenty of small forwards that are not really quick and or just play as purely outside threats. From that aspect Derrick Williams could actually be OK; his athleticism and length could really help on the defensive end. I’m not saying he won’t have his issues, but the way the 3 spot is played now, he shouldn’t really be too far out of place.
Offensively Derrick Williams has plenty of tools to get the ball in the basket. The problem is the skills he has are all still very raw. He showed a his talent with the Timberwolves last season when both Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love went down with injuries. Late in the year D-Will had a 15-game stretch where he nearly averaged 15 points and five rebounds while playing 25-plus minutes a game.
The problem with him playing the 3 spot is he does not spread the floor and he is not really the most efficient scorer. Whether he can play the 3 spot is still up in the air, but coach Malone is going to give him plenty of run to showcase his skill and potential, whether it is at the 3 or the 4. What was great is what Williams said in his first appearance to the media in Sacramento: “ Just put me on the court, I think of myself as a game changer.”
Williams still has a ton of confidence and now with him knowing he will get tons of minutes with a change of scenery; hopefully that is all he needed.
This trade for Sacramento can be summed up as a low-risk, high-reward situation. Will Derrick fit and be able to slide to the 3 spot? No one really knows, but he is going to get plenty of opportunities to try. The only thing the organization and the fans of Sacramento can do is watch this play out. Williams has a lot of skills and is still very young, which means he still has a chance to prove himself and make a name for himself in the NBA. The ball is really in his hands to find a way to produce and take his game to the next level.
Friday will be the first time the fans will see Williams in a Kings uniform, only then can we start judging whether or not Williams–at the small forward position–will work.
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