If anything reveals how this year is panning out for former No. 2 overall draft pick Derrick Williams it’s his three-point percentage. At 13.3 percent, it’s low enough to qualify for a Congressional approval rating. What little growth he showed with Kevin Love missing most of last year has been lost as K-Love is playing at an MVP clip. Because of this, and because under no circumstances should Williams play at small forward, Minnesota parted ways with the 22-year-old.
In a trade that was essentially a player-for-player swap, the Wolves dealt Williams to the Sacramento Kings for Luc Mbah a Moute. Neither is a parade-throwing acquisition for either team but rather caulk to fill in cracks with.
In Mbah a Moute, the Timberwolves get a wing defender with size (6-foot-8, 230 lbs) who is essentially a kitchen sink to throw at the Western Conference’s crop of elite wing players. Sometimes, he can even shoot the three-ball. The Kings get out of the deal a little better off as they desperately need a power forward ever since Carl Landry went down for the count. Mbah a Moute won’t be of any fantasy basketball value to anyone. Williams might be.
This season’s numbers for him are atrocious:
4.9 Points Per Game (PPG). 0.1 Assists Per Game (APG). 2.3 Rebounds (RPG). 0.4 Steals (STLPG). 0.4 Blocks (BLKPG). Is shooting only 35.2 percent from the floor. And, as mentioned earlier, is shooting threes with medicine balls apparently.
But last year showed that he can function astutely under the right circumstances. He’ll never be a good passer, defender, or even a fringe-fringe All-Star but the fantasy value might be there for owners in deep leagues. Though we should really stress the words might be.
In the 2012-13 season, when Love was out, he even had close to a league-average Player Efficiency Rating (PER). Michael Jordan eat your heart out. During that time, Williams posted 12.0 PPG, 5.5 PPG, 0.6 APG, 0.6 STLPG, 0.5 BLKPG, on 43 percent field-goal, 33.2 percent three-point, and 70.6 percent free-throw shooting. Not newsworthy but not bad especially since he did it in only 24.6 minutes of playing time. It should be noted that such little playing time, during a time where seemingly everyone was hurt on the Timberwolves, is not comforting. But still, his per-36 numbers of 17.5 PPG, 0.9 APG, 8.1 RPG, 0.8 STLPG, and 0.7 BLKPG would not be turned away on any squad.
But will he get anything near 33-36 minutes in Sacramento? That remains to be determined. There’s also the prospect that if he gets plugged in at the 4, playing along DeMarcus Cousins at the 5 will cause all kinds of defensive hemorrhaging for the Kings. Not that the Kings are against hemorrhaging.
But at 22, with a chance to play at his natural position, Williams might turn into fantasy copper for the right squad. Keep your eyes peeled.