Minnesota Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams has begun the new season averaging career lows in nearly every stat except free throw percentage. The former No. 2 draft pick is now in his third NBA season, which is usually a make or break year for a young player. So far, it seems like a break year.
Whether Williams is in coach Rick Adelman’s doghouse or simply doesn’t fit well in his system isn’t known, but either way, Williams is playing just over 17 minutes per game so far. A decrease in minutes alone doesn’t give cause for his poor production, though. His minutes adjusted stats are way down as well, and he’s averaging just 12.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 0 assists per-36 minutes. That’s right, in six games this season, Williams has yet to record an assist.
Williams has never been a gifted passer, dishing out just 84 assists total over the 150 games he’s played in his career. That may be part of the reason behind his decrease in minutes, as the Wolves have been moving the ball very, very well recently.
The Timberwolves need Williams to produce, though. Their bench has been the worst in the league both points scored and points allowed this season. While a Chase Budinger’s eventual return will give the Wolves a bit more depth, they are still lacking a real impact player off the bench.
With the Timberwolves’ hot start, it seems likely that they will trade Williams or at least entertain offers for him. At this point, it seems safe to say he won’t break out with the Wolves. Whether he’ll break out on another team with more playing time and a different system remains to be seen, but there are likely general managers out there who are willing to take a chance on Williams’ potential.