So I have noticed that DW largely has Wolves fans completely split on whether we should draft him or not. Outside of the occasional poster who claims that "Derrick Williams will bust" (which is insane to suggest, because that largely suggests that regardless of the team, coach, situation he goes to he can't play in the NBA) it seems that the big question is, does this guy fit on the Wolves roster?
It is a fair question to ask for two reason: 1) Our 1st best player plays the 4, our 2nd best player is a 3, and our draft pick from last year is also a 3 meaning that in theory we should be pretty set at the 2 positions DW is best suited to play. 2.) In a draft so questioned with how good the talent actual is, do we go for a need-based pick like Enes Kanter or trade the pick for a veteran that fits better.
I am going to argue that Williams is an excellent fit in Minnesota, and should be the player selected with the 2nd pick (however I way down with Enes Kanter).
I think a bigger question is how does he fit defensively but let's first look at how he fits offensively.
Derrick Williams can score from anywhere on the floor: DW was an extremely efficient player in college, scoring from the post, from the wing, from three pointers. I believe his usage rate was around 20, suggest there is a decent chance it could translate to the pro's how efficiently he scored.
Playing alongside Kevin Love: I think we forget quite a bit how Kevin Love actually plays basketball, he got the majority of his points off of pick and pop plays, three pointers and foul shots. He is developing a post game but still plays much more comfortably offensively on the perimeter. More than anything we really need someone to score in the paint. Derrick Williams can both drive by slower defenders, and post up smaller ones. He is athletic and strong enough to become a big time finisher. And when Love does want to go down low Williams can hit that pretty little 57% three point shot he has. Wesley Johnson and Beasley (who theoretically should take advantage of defenses the same way Williams does) largely stand on the perimeter leaving our offense basically with 4 players floating on the perimeter.
Now I am going to make the case for him defensively:
He is not going to every win DPOY. I don't believe he will ever be a great man to man defender, but how do all the best defense work? Team defense. This requires players who are willing to work hard, work as a team, and be coachable. Williams has demonstrated over his two years at Arizona that he possess all of those intangibles, is he going to have to go through lumps early in his career defensively? Absolutely, but all rookies do, very few come into the NBA a confident perimeter defensive player. I will always use Paul Pierce as an example of a player who was borderline bad defensively for the first 5 years of his career and had the work ethic to become pretty darn good.
Derrick Williams is a very athletic guy, he will be able to keep up with the more athletic 3's if he can wrap his head around how to play NBA defense. He might never be a man-to-man lock, but a competent defensive player shouldn't be too far out of reach (and if the guy can score an efficient 20 ppg, what more do you need).
I love Derrick Williams, I love that he has a chip on his shoulder, I love that he is out to prove people wrong, I think he has an excellent chance to be the Aaron Rodgers of the NBA and really take that chip and work ethic and turn some big time heads in the NBA. I'm not predicting superstar, but I do think an all-star game or two is very likely in the cards for this young man.
I am also cool with Enes Kanter, but I think Williams is indeed a fit, and actually a perfect counter part to Love and Rubio offensively.