It was reported earlier Monday afternoon that the Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings were nearing a deal to send Derrick Williams for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (who will now be known as Prince Luc since it is a pain to spell that name out every time), and Marc J Spears of Yahoo confirms that much on Twitter. Derrick Williams’ days as a Timberwolf appear as good as done. While it’s not the sexiest trade ever, it certainly serves a function for what will possibly be the most important season in Wolves history.
The Wolves need to win-now and developing Williams’ game has never been a favorite aspect of head coach Rick Adelman’s tenure with the Wolves. They always seemed at odds with what they wanted to do: Williams wanted to be a ball-dominant scorer who had the freedom to float within an offense (once referring to himself as a “Caged Lion”) while Rick Adelman wants a small forward who is willing to move the ball and move without the ball, something Williams has never been very good at.
This all goes back to process though. The process the Wolves used to draft Derrick Williams didn’t seem to make a ton of sense. I was as blown away as anyone when Derrick Williams seemingly single-handled destroyed the Duke Blue Devils in his NCAA tournament coming out party, but I’m also a fan and not someone who is paid to make big draft decisions. The Wolves made that draft pick as an organization that was star-crossed like a fan, when they could have had a guy like Jonas Valanciuns, a prospect center and a defensive presence they really need off the bench. Instead they took Williams, a project stretch four on a team with the best stretch four in the NBA.
I loved D. Will in college and thought he had a chance to be an impact player in the pros. While his first two seasons don’t really give any evidence to support that idea, I wish him all the best in his attempt to turn his career around in Sacramento.
For the Wolves, getting Prince Luc will significantly help their defense improve off the bench. It will allow them to play better rotations and mix and match their players better. I expect Prince Luc to be an instant contributor and make the team better this season, which, in any Derrick Williams deal, was ultimately the goal. It is just a shame to lose such a valuable asset after a hard lived 15-win season for the Wolves in 2010-11.
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