5 Trade Targets for Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Williams
Derrick Williams is off to a rather mediocre start to his second NBA season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite his high draft selection in the 2012 NBA draft, Williams has had to struggle to remain in the rotation with the Timberwolves, who have kept him on the bench in favor of more experienced alternatives, namely Kevin Love and Andrei Kirilenko.
Though Williams’ potential is tantalizing, it has become increasingly clear that Minnesota is not the right fit for him to start his career. As such, it seems likely that the Timberwolves will continue to explore trade options for the young forward.
Five such trade options, all verified through the ESPN NBA Trade Machine, can be found here.
All stats accurate as of December 23, 2012.
MarShon Brooks, Brooklyn Nets
Timberwolves get: MarShon Brooks, Mirza Teletovic
Nets get: Derrick Williams
MarShon Brooks, like Williams, is another player whose talents have been stifled by his current playing situation. Despite a strong rookie season in 2011-12, Brooks is barely holding onto a rotation spot in Brooklyn, and with Joe Johnson locked in as the Nets’ shooting guard for the foreseeable future, Brooks could use a change of scenery just as much as Williams.
Fortunately, both players could offer a great deal to each other’s teams. Brooks can play all three perimeter positions and is a capable scorer who could add a lot to Minnesota’s second unit. Williams, meanwhile, would provide additional depth for the Nets at both forward positions, and potentially even start alongside Brook Lopez down the road.
Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets
Timberwolves get: Wilson Chandler
Nuggets get: Derrick Williams
This particular trade scenario would be a major risk for the Timberwolves, as Wilson Chandler has been sidelined most of the season with a hip injury and has played poorly in his limited action on the court. However, it could ultimately pay major dividends, provided Chandler can return to the level of play he showcased during the 2010-11 season.
Chandler is one of the most versatile wing players in the league, and his ability to play three positions would come in handy for the Timberwolves, as he could potentially start at shooting guard if needed while also playing backup minutes at the forward spots.
Derrick Williams would step into a more featured backup role with the Nuggets, where he would likely join JaVale McGee to form a deadly frontcourt duo off the bench.
Though unlikely, this scenario could help two fringe playoff contenders in the West move closer toward a secure seeding.
Jordan Crawford, Washington Wizards
Timberwolves get: Jordan Crawford, Jan Vesely
Wizards get: Derrick Williams
With John Wall out of the lineup, the Washington Wizards have won just three games this season, and currently hold the dubious distinction of being the undisputed worst team in the league. The Wizards don’t seem to have anything going for them, and their roster seems to be comprised entirely of overpaid veterans and inexperienced youngsters.
One such relatively inexperienced player is Jordan Crawford, who has been forced to put the team on his back this season as the only player on the roster capable of consistently creating his own offense.
Though Crawford has been useful in keeping the Wizards afloat early this season, his usefulness will likely decrease once Wall returns, as the explosive point guard is sure to have the ball in his hands most of the time and will likely fit better next to rookie Bradley Beal than alongside Crawford.
Therefore, Crawford could ultimately become useful to the Wizards as trade bait, specifically in order to snag Williams from the Timberwolves.
Williams would fit perfectly next to Wall, and would start immediately on the desperate Wizards. Crawford, meanwhile, would have little trouble finding minutes in Minnesota, where he could either start at shooting guard or contribute off the pine.
Alonzo Gee, Cleveland Cavaliers
Timberwolves get: Alonzo Gee
Nets get: Derrick Williams
This straight-up swap works mainly to address a minor need for both sides. The Timberwolves are in need of a new backup small forward following Josh Howard’s injury and release, and Alonzo Gee is an excellent option who could also step into the starting shooting guard role if necessary.
The Cavaliers, on the other hand, gain another key young player with substantial upside to place alongside Kyrie Irving. Williams would have plenty of opportunity to experiment at both forward positions in Cleveland, and could find himself either alongside or in place of Tristan Thompson in the starting lineup.
This trade would also give the Cavaliers three out of the top four picks of the 2011 NBA draft, which would be a remarkable occurrence.
Gerald Henderson, Charlotte Bobcats
Timberwolves get: Gerald Henderson, Reggie Williams
Bobcats get: Derrick Williams, Malcolm Lee, 2013 first round pick
In this trade scenario, the T’Wolves find a suitable replacement for Brandon Roy, and Derrick Williams lands a starting gig.
With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist now in town, Gerald Henderson’s importance to the Bobcats organization has diminished greatly. But not only has Charlotte found its small forward of the future; it also suddenly has a surplus of talented scoring guards and not enough minutes to accommodate all of them. Henderson could find immediate minutes on the Timberwolves, who remain rather shallow at the wing positions despite the emergence of Alexey Shved.
Williams, meanwhile, would have little trouble breaking into a starting role on the Bobcats, where his athleticism would give him a major advantage over incumbent power forward Byron Mullens. Williams could undoubtedly thrive on a young and explosive team like the Bobcats, and his confidence would easily be restored in Charlotte, where the team would have no choice but to offer him significant playing time.