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On paper, Derrick Williams has all the necessary skills to be a matchup nightmare in the NBA. He's a freak athlete for his size, he's got good range, and he's developing some nice moves both in the low post and on the perimeter.
The problem is translating those skills into production.
If you haven't watched Williams play, you'd probably think he's simply adjusting to the NBA, and struggling as a result of his unorthodox role in Minnesota. However, if you look deeper, it's more complex than it seems.
Being a "combo guard" or "combo forward" can be a good thing in the NBA. Being able to play two positions can be useful. The problem occurs when the term "combo forward" is used to describe someone that is too small to play one position and not quick enough to play the other.
It is my firm belief that in order to succeed in the NBA, Derrick Williams has to commit to playing power forward. However, since the Wolves already have Kevin Love, he dropped a bunch of weight this off-season and is trying to play small forward.
It's clear that he's just not cut out for the position. He's too big, and his ball handling and shooting skills just aren't where they need to be for him to be effective. I have a feeling he'll never be able to adjust to the position.
While Kevin Love was out with an injury and Williams really had a chance to shine at the power forward position, he seemed all too comfortable sitting out on the perimeter shooting jump shots.
Derrick Williams is an athletic specimen with all the tools to be a very effective interior player, yet he never catches the ball within 20 feet of the basket and can't really create his own shot. Even when he goes inside he gets blocked almost 20 percent of the time (82games.com), and really struggles to finish around the rim, shooting better on jumpers than on inside shots.
Then, on the other side of the ball, he's consistently getting driven on and out-rebounded. I was really hoping Williams would come back this season a new player, but it seems like he may be dangerously close to bust territory.
There's no one that wants DWill to succeed more than I do, considering his trade value would skyrocket if he showed anything at all, but to this point, I just haven't seen it.