Sacramento Kings: How Derrick Williams Transforms Sacramento Kings

Joshua J VannucciniSenior Analyst IIIMarch 20, 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 4:  Derrick Williams #7 of the Minnesota Timberwolves shoots against the Cleveland Cavaliers at The Quicken Loans Arena on November 4, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

In what will likely be one of many this season, the Sacramento Kings and the Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement to swap forwards Derrick Williams and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears, the deal is only held up by Mbah a Moute passing the physical. It's a bold move for both teams, but the Kings will undoubtedly end up on top. 

Williams has never lived up to his potential since being taken second overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Some of today's best young players came in the same draft, but Williams is rarely considered alongside them. His 6'8", 240-pound frame saw him as a combo-forward, and in turn, not necessarily fitting in Minnesota's frontcourt with the duo of Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic.


It would seem the Timberwolves have given up hope of Williams developing into the player they need, now swapping the former lottery pick for a veteran forward coming off knee surgery.

Sacramento wins big in this deal, not only ridding themselves of Mbah a Moute's overpriced contract but taking on another young player in the process.

Williams strengthens the small forward spot for the Kings and will most likely take over the starting spot in the rotation.

His age and versatility gives him an edge over the likes of John Salmons (will turn 34 in December), whose limited production of five points on 31.6 percent shooting per game doesn't leave much to be desired.

Williams' 4.9 points and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 35.2 percent aren't much better, but keeping in mind that he's playing 14.7 minutes per game to Salmons' 24.4 says a lot about his production on the court.

He's overly-criticized for his play due to his high draft selection, and it isn't necessarily warranted. 

He adds foundation to Sacramento's rotation with a solid, dependable player at the small forward spot.

The Kings have gone through Tyreke Evans, Travis Outlaw, Salmons and Mbah a Moute in hope of finding someone to put there. Williams is ultimately a slashing forward, and the Timberwolves never used him correctly.

Minnesota ran Williams as a spot-up shooter 19.4 percent of the time this season, where he shot just 25 percent (courtesy of SynergySports). As with any player, Williams can't contribute effectively unless he's given the opportunities to do so. 

"Coach" Nick Hauselman of BballBreakdown was spot on last year when calling out Minnesota's lack of using Williams consistently:


If last season's campaign is any indication, Williams can be a solid forward the Kings can rely on.

He received more playing time last year, getting 27.8 minutes in 56 starts. Williams contributed 13.4 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Timberwolves, shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 32.2 percent from long range as a starter. 

Anything close to that will be perfect for Sacramento, as they need another player who can score.

The team currently ranks as a bottom-10 offensive team in all three major categories of points, field-goal percentage and three-point percentage. While Williams' shooting isn't great, it's his slashing ability that will create space for the team offensively in addition to opening up the mid-range area for other players to operate.

The Kings have recycled many young players over the past few seasons (namely Tyreke Evans and Thomas Robinson), but have locked up a solid one in Williams.

Bleacher Report's own D.J. Foster said it best when he described the move as "simply a talent grab by Sacramento's front office." The two parties might not click immediately, but he fits in well with the young stars of Sacramento. He's still just 22 years old and will be a catalyst for the Kings as the season goes on. 

Sacramento's 4-9 record thus far isn't great, but the team is already making moves to improve. It's not a sure thing this deal works out for the Kings, but Williams' potential could land them another prized, youthful star in time.