Here's the question I'm wondering why we're not talking about more:
"Why aren't we drafting Derrick Williams?"
I personally have not been on the DWill bandwagon as I've thought about him as Mike Beasley Lite. But then this thought has been bouncing around my head lately that's been unnerving my assumptions about DWill, and that thought is this - what does Mike Beasley's career have anything to do with Derrick Williams?
OK, let's look at that for a minute. Both are similarly sized, were similarly productive in college (although Beasley's college career was better), and both are tweener sized in the NBA. Beasley, coming out of college, was very nearly the #1 overall pick, meaning holy sh!t are college players like that valuable! Are we being, perhaps, overly cynical about Derrick Williams because Beasley ended up playing second fiddle on a veteran team who didn't, couldn't, or wouldn't put up with his goofiness and unique individuality?
Despite his flaws, Beasley last year still ranked as a top 6% scorer in the NBA on a per game basis. Notably he posted the lowest WS (by far) comparatively to this peer group, but I don't think that diminishes his talent or ability level. It's part of the story that is Michael Beasley, but I think we are doing Derrick Williams a disservice if we choose to view through the lens of Beasley in our analysis and opinions of him.
For the Timberwolves in particular, Derrick Williams makes a lot of sense at SF (which, for the purposes of this post, I am taking DWill at his word that he's an NBA three). What is he good at? Iso scoring and posterizing people. What is he not good at? Defensive rebounding, maybe defense (and that's every young player). In other words, how is this guy not at the top of the Wolves' wish list?
The Wolves got killed at PG, SG, and SF last year. A collective PER of something like 12 for those three positions - seriously? I mean seriously? How did we win 17 games? It's like watching the Twins lately with half the roster being AAA call-ups. Obviously adding Rubio is intended to be the PG fix. Outside of Burks, the SG fix is most likely being targeted through FA or through trades which leaves SF.
THE CASE FOR DWILL
I'll admit, I've been in the Wes Johnson camp for awhile. I think the guy has the chance to be quite good, like James Harden good. I'm not convinced that'll happen, though, if Rambis continues as the coach here or if Rubio chooses not to come over or (and this is the most important one) if Wes is continued to be used as a SG next to a guy like Beasley. Wes, to reach his best, needs to be the starting SF in the offense. So....
According to Warren Buffett, whenever you're contemplating adding a new stock you need to compare it to whatever already exists in your portfolio and ask this question, 'Is what I'm adding a better prospect or performer than what I already have?' In Buffett's view asking this question gets at the heart of the matter - if you think what you have now will is the better performer, then why add something that's worse? Or is what you have now in a little bit of a down period - are you thus being a little overly short sighted in wanting to choose the new, flashy stock, or do you really believe the new stock will be better over the long haul compared to what you already own?
The analogy is apt for the Wolves and their 'stocks' of Beasley, Wes, and Derrick Williams. To me, looking at them this way, Beasley and Wes are about equal value, dependent on what the rest of your 'portfolio' looks like. Put Beasley on a Nellie Ball team and he might dominate. Put Wes on an Adelman (or George Karl) team and he might look awesome. Compared to both, however, the more I learn about Derrick Williams the more I am convinced that he will have the better SF career than either best case Beasley or Wes. Couple that with our 'portfolio' (which is sorely lacking the exact kind of scorer and A1 game changer that defenses need to key against), and I am seriously wondering why we aren't simply going to draft him?
Consider a core of Rubio, Derrick Williams, and Love. That's pretty good, but there are still massive holes at SG and C, especially defensively. Playing Wes at SG for defensive purposes could work for another year, or maybe even Martell (why do I always forget about him?), but prying Paul George away (or Eric Gordon) would be oh so much better. Actually, I just looked at Wes' 82games numbers - how was he that 'good' at SG last year? Those are numbers like Love's defensive numbers, in that you see them and you're like, 'Wait, I didn't think he was that good...what gives?' How can a guy, if you look at the individual stats, be so bad but if you look at the overall stats be relatively good (only -2.1 pts/48?!). I digress...
Depending on how the draft plays out, I'd be willing to trade just about anybody except our core three guys to Cleveland, Toronto, Washington, Sacto, and Detroit in order to nab Biyombo. I'd even take back a bad contract. Moving forward with Rubio, Wes/Martell/Wayne, Derrick Williams, Love, and Biyombo is a mix I'd love to roll with (given a new coach). AR, Ridnour, Darko/Pek (whoever's left), and Tolliver as backups. Sign a vet or two for leadership. I dig, I dig.