Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams improved pretty significantly last season from his rookie campaign.
Williams upped his scoring and rebounding to 12 points and 5.5 rebounds per game even though his minutes were barely increased. He also got his three-point percentage to a respectable 33 percent. With Kevin Love out, D-Will started 56 games and got in a groove after the All-Star break, averaging 15 points and 6.3 boards.
The main issue with Williams has been that he has yet to shake the role of being a "tweener". He looks to be adept at playing small forward on offense, but on defense is better suited guarding fours. With Andrei Kirilenko in town last season, Adelman could mask any defensive deficiencies Williams had.
Corey Brewer is now back and will fill a similar role to Kirilenko's, but Williams needs to get better regardless. Adelman gained more confidence in him throughout the season, a far cry from his rookie year.
Lest not forget D-Will just turned 22. Forwards typically take longer to develop in the NBA as it is, and he is no exception. The more comfortable he becomes, the more we will see this D-Will.
If Adelman loosens the shackles a little bit more this year, he would be diving into an untapped resource. Williams is the most dynamic athlete on the team. If he can come into his own a bit more on defense, he will earn himself more playing time, especially in the fourth quarter.
This man was not drafted second overall to be a role player. He still has superstar potential. For now, developing into somewhat of a sixth man would be the best case scenario for this team.
It is likely that Brewer or Chase Budinger will seize the starting small forward spot, but this is the time for Derrick Williams to step up and become a big scoring threat off the bench for this group of young Timberwolves.