In a move that seemed long overdue, forward Derrick Williams was traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Sacramento Kings this week in exchange for forward Luc Mbah a Moute. Williams, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, attempted to transition from power forward to small forward during his time in Minnesota, but he just never seemed to fit into the plans of Timberwolves’ coach Rick Adelman.
Kings’ coach Mike Malone immediately put Williams into the starting lineup at small forward for his first game with the team Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, and he wound up with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes. Malone has suggested he’ll use Williams primarily at small forward but also a bit at power forward, so he is in line for plenty of playing time if Friday night is any indication.
Williams averaged less than 15 minutes per game with the Timberwolves this season, so from a pure opportunity standpoint the move to Sacramento is good news for his fantasy value. He started 56 games last season for Minnesota when Kevin Love was sidelined, averaging 13.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in those contests, and solid finish (14.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game over the final 38 games of the season; all starts) seemed to put Williams in line for a bigger role this year.
It’s not too surprising that Williams is only owned in 13 percent of Yahoo! leagues right now, and that’s with a significant recent bump since he was traded as fantasy owners start to speculate on him. His ultimate impact as a member of the Kings is still to be determined, but Williams is now at least worthy of a roster spot in deep leagues with the chance he gets consistent playing time and can start to tap into his potential.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.