The Minnesota Timberwolves are automatically going to be a much better team at the start of the 2013-2014 NBA season than they were last year simply because they are going to have all of their players healthy. The Wolves were almost cruelly affected by injuries last season, including hand injuries that caused their star power forward, Kevin Love, to miss almost the entire season.
What Love’s absence did allow for is a bit more opportunity for the number two overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Derrick Williams. With Love on the floor, Williams was often overshadowed in his rookie season. With Love injured, though, that put more focus on Williams and gave him slightly more opportunity.
However, Williams failed to really capitalize on his chances last season. In 78 games he averaged 12 points and 5.5 rebounds and 24.6 minutes per game while shooting only 43 percent from the floor and 33.2 percent from three.
Coming out of college, many people raved about Williams’ ability to stretch the floor with his shooting ability, but he has yet to really show that. In fact, he has really failed to show much of anything that warrants where he was drafted. Last year he averaged only 0.92 points per possession, just 192nd in the league. Moreover, he didn’t really excel in any area of the offense, just being mediocre across the board.
Even worse is the fact that Williams was pretty awful defensively last season, as is often the case with young players in the NBA. Williams allowed 0.91 points per game last season, good for only 307th in the league.
Williams has the athleticism and versatility to succeed in the league, he just has never put it together. Many people believe part of the reason is because of lack of opportunities. You know what gets you more opportunities, though? Succeeding in the opportunities that you do get. Williams needs to work on his game on both ends of the floor coming into the season and show drastic improvement this year. If he does so, the Wolves will essentially be forced to find minutes for him or trade him, which is really what people want for him at this point.