Let us not forget that Derrick Williams is still only 21 years old.
It is a foregone conclusion that big men take longer to develop in the NBA than guards do.
This season, Derrick Williams came into camp considerably lighter and ready to take over the reigns as the team's small forward. The Kirilenko signing threw a wrench in that plan, but Kevin Love's broken hands left the door wide open for him to strut his stuff.
D-Will improved his numbers across the board this season, including 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. When given roughly 30 minutes a night as a starter throughout February and March, he truly exhibited what made him such a highly touted prospect.
Last season, Williams appeared tentative. He never really knew his place on the floor, and aside from the occasional outburst, he would largely rely on Rubio's alley-oops and wide open threes to get his points.
This year, he showed a boatload of confidence. D-Will was more decisive with the ball in his hands, attacking the rim when necessary and showing no hesitation in nailing mid-range jumpers that he never took last season.
Of course, he never forgot his bread-and-butter as Rubio's favorite lob partner.
As D-Will continues to round into form, having Rubio and Love around to divert attention and help him out will only speed up his development. He has that killer instinct that will only push him to get better and better.
If Kirilenko does in fact leave, Williams must seize the opportunity and earn that starting small forward spot. Teaming with Pekovic and Love on the front line will put this team in a position to punish teams on the boards like no other.
We saw much more of this during the season than in the previous year. Fans should be salivating over the possibility of Derrick Williams continuing to improve and eventually dominating like he did at Arizona.