Low risk, big reward.
Derrick Williams, who did not impress to the Minnesota Timberwolves satisfaction while he filled in for Kevin Love, has fallen out of favor in Minnesota in only his second season. Incredibly, the "bust" moniker is already being bandied about.
But Williams, a tremendous talent out of college, has never been treated like a No. 2 overall pick. I sense that if this kid is flat-out given a position and told it's his to lose, he might yet emerge as one of the best in the game.
The kid reminds me of the journey Chauncey Billups once took: third overall pick, never properly groomed in the Boston Celtics offense, traded to several teams, bounced around and then was declared a career backup—without any team ever really giving Billups a serious shot at starting.
After a solid stint filling in for Terrell Brandon, Joe Dumars took a chance and handed Billups the keys to the car, telling him the point guard position for the Detroit Pistons was his.
The rest is Finals MVP history.
If the T-Wolves do declare bust, it might well behoove the Rockets to swoop in and steal Williams away for a fresh start that might lead to the same happy ending.
Minnesota coach Rick Adelman would value Patterson's big body, work ethic, and recent scoring prowess. But Minnesota general manager David Kahn will want to save face as much as he can, because of Williams' high draft position. For both those reasons, Minnesota will probably want a draft pick too.
Houston should gladly throw one in, or offer Royce White (see next slide) as a deal incentive.
And if Williams disappoints for Houston, Marcus Morris can always step into the starting lineup, leaving Williams as a capable backup.
So for Houston, this would seem like a sure thing.