With NBA draft night now upon us, last year’s No.2 pick, Derrick Williams, is still being mentioned as a possible trade option for the Minnesota Timberwolves. President of basketball operations David Kahn has said he considers Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio to be the franchise’s two untouchables, and with Williams playing essentially the same position (power forward) as Love he may be the player most likely to be dealt that would also get the most in return in a trade.
Williams had an inconsistent rookie season in 2011-12, highlighted by four 20-plus point games, but his minutes were also inconsistent on his way to averaging 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 66 games played. He is reported to be focused on slimming down from his listed weight of 241 pounds in an effort to make the transition to small forward next season, and is working with the same trainer Love did when he lost 25 pounds during the NBA lockout prior to last season. Reports also suggest the team is happy with his progress so far this offseason, though Kahn seemed to emphasize “so far” when talking about it.
I feel like Williams deserves the chance to prove he can transform his body, and maybe to some degree his game, to better fit with the rest of the Timberwolves’ roster, while also filling the team’s need for a competent small forward. A normal off-season in terms of working with his teammates prior to next season should help him make a significant leap in his second NBA season. It would be a shame to see that happen in another uniform.