At the time of this writing, there is a rumor that a trade is imminent to send Timberwolves small forward Michael Beasley to the Lakers in a three-way trade. While the Lakers will benefit from the upgrade in offensive production that Michael Beasley will provide, the biggest beneficiary of the trade may very well be Derrick Williams.
Williams, the 2nd overall pick in last year's NBA Draft, has not had nearly the impact of other high profile draft picks from this class (Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving and Detroit Pistons' Brandon Knight come to mind as consistent starters on their respective teams); he has also been overshadowed by his rookie teammate, Ricky Rubio.
While Rubio was a starter since the second week of the season until his season-ending injury, Williams has predominantly come off of the bench in his inaugural season.
He has averaged a respectable, if unspectacular, 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in just over 20 minutes per game, but the removal of Beasley will result in more minutes for Williams. Were he to average 28 minutes per game or more, Williams would become far more productive.
In eight games this season where Williams has played 28 minutes or more, he has averaged 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds.
Five years from now, which former lottery pick will Derrick Williams' game most resemble?
Williams has also shown increased production in less playing time of late, scoring 15 points or more in three March contests in which he logged between 21-25 minutes.
His latest was a 19 point, eight rebound effort that included two steals and two blocks in a victory over Phoenix on March 12. Teammates Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic scored 30 and 24, respectively, as WIlliams chipped in off the bench.
Minnesota Timberwolves fans have been waiting for lottery-worthy production out of Derrick Williams; if the Beasley trade is consummated, they may finally see the Williams they have been waiting for.