Derrick Williams: One Lucky NBA Team Will Be Transformed by Arizona Star

Chris O'Brien@@Chris0BrienCorrespondent IMarch 27, 2011

Derrick Williams: One Lucky NBA Team Will Be Transformed by Arizona Star

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats reacts after defeating the Duke Blue Devils during the west regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 24, 2011 in Anaheim, California.
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Derrick Williams has the most NBA potential of anyone in college basketball. Now that his NCAA Tournament run with the Arizona Wildcats is over, he can place his focus on what should be a very long and successful professional basketball career. 

    The question is, where will he go? 

    Fourteen teams will hold their breath and pray for the ball to drop in their favor at the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery. Landing Derrick Williams is like landing John Wall or Blake Griffin, his presence alone will fill the stands and eventually, he will put his team in the playoff conversation.

Why Derrick Williams Is Such a High Prospect

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    ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 26:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats looks on from the bench against the Connecticut Huskies during the west regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 26, 2011 in Anaheim, Cal
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    First of all, Derrick Williams is 6'8'' and weighs 240 pounds. This was LeBron James's weight when he came into the league and is right around the same size of Carmelo Anthony.

    When wondering if college stars can take their success to the NBA, the biggest question is their size. With Kemba Walker or Jimmer Fredette, there are rightful concerns about them being too small. Teams already know, from previous star examples, that a 6'8'' small forward translates perfectly well into the NBA.

    Second of all, his three-point shooting ability. On the season, Williams shot an impressive 57 percent from long range. Compare this to Kevin Durant's freshman year at Texas and you'll see that Williams shot the ball nearly 17 percent better from behind the arc than the Longhorns star. 

    Lastly, Williams is very skilled around the basket and is not afraid to post up his defender. He can finish with either hand and had some of the best dunks the NCAA Tournament has ever seen.

    Package all this together, and you can see that Williams has the size of LeBron James, post up abilities of a Carmelo Anthony, better three- point shooting ability than Kevin Durant and is able to throw down like Blake Griffin. This type of player can transform a franchise.

NBA Draft Order

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    CLEVELAND - FEBRUARY 25:  Head coach Byron Scott of the Cleveland Cavaliers watches his team play against the New York Knicks during the game on February 25, 2011 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agr
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    The lottery rarely works out the way the odds intend it to. For the sake of this slideshow, here's the order, as of today, if records truly determined the placement. 

    1. Cleveland Cavaliers

    2. Minnesota Timberwolves

    3. Washington Wizards

    4. Sacramento Kings

    5. Toronto Raptors

    6. Cleveland Cavaliers (Los Angeles Clippers traded their 2011 First Round Pick in the Baron Davis Trade)

    7. Utah Jazz (New Jersey Nets traded their 2011 First Round Pick in the Deron Williams trade)

    8. Golden State Warriors

    9. Detroit Pistons

    10. Utah Jazz

    11. Milwaukee Bucks

    12. Phoenix Suns

    13. Charlotte Bobcats

    14. Houston Rockets

Houston Rockets

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 01:  Luis Scola #4 of the Houston Rockets is defended by Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at Staples Center on February 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Rockets 114-106. NOTE
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The Houston Rockets are quietly making a late playoff push. They have won five gives in a row and seven of their last 10. This is the type of team who has no business landing the No. 1 pick in the draft. However, because of the percentage based system, the Rockets could technically win the lottery. 

    Derrick Williams would put the Houston Rockets into the playoffs.

    With Kyle Lowry running the point, Kevin Martin and Derrick Williams on the wings and Luis Scola down low, the Rockets would have the No. 6 or No. 7 seed in their hands.

Charlotte Bobcats

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    CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 12: Former player Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls addresses the crowd during a 20th anniversary recognition ceremony of the Bulls 1st NBA Championship in 1991 during half-time of a game bewteen the Bulls and the Utah Jazz at the Un
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Here is the problem with the bottom of the Eastern Conference. The Charlotte Bobcats are only one game behind the Indiana Pacers for the No. 8 seed, but yet they do not have a single player in their starting five who would start for the Pacers.

    If the Bobcats somehow land Derrick Williams, they can fill in the gap left after Gerald Wallace, and finally part ways with Stephen Jackson. With a young core of D.J. Augustin, Gerald Henderson and Derrick Williams, Michael Jordan would only have to find some quality big men to solidify his Bobcats as a playoff team. 

Phoenix Suns

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    BOSTON, MA - MARCH 02:  Steve Nash #13 of the Phoenix Suns drives around Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics on March 2, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Celtics defeated the Suns 115-103. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges a
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Arizona would love to keep their Wildcats star in the same state.

    With Derrick Williams running alongside Steve Nash, the Suns could transition perfectly from Grant Hill to a younger, higher scoring, small forward. 

Milwaukee Bucks

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    ATLANTA - MAY 2:  Guard Brandon Jennings #3 of the Milwaukee Bucks gets set to shoot a free throw during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on
    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    The pairing of Brandon Jennings with Derrick Williams would be one of the great young tandems in the league. 

    They do already have Carlos Delfino and Corey Maggette at the small forward position, but when you can land a guy like Williams, the answer is to keep one of your guys for depth and trade the other away. 

Detroit Pistons

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    DENVER, CO - MARCH 12:  Head coach John Kuester of the Detroit Pistons reacts during a time out against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on March 12, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Pistons 131-101.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly a
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Derrick Williams could bring some instant sanity to a Detroit Pistons roster that is a complete mess. 

    Joe Dumars had an incredible playing career and deserved credit for building the 2004 championship team, but he has not made a smart move in years. 

    One of these poor decisions was not trading Tayshaun Prince at the deadline this year. Unless Prince has deep sentimental ties to Detroit, I can almost guarantee he will sign with a contender this summer. Dumars could have gotten something for his small forward, but for reasons I will never understand, he is willing to risk losing Prince for nothing. 

    Derrick Williams could speed up Detroit's roster decisions. With Williams, they would have a legitimate star to build around, and could focus the remaking of their roster to compliment his game. 

Golden State Warriors

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors and the Sophomore Team looks on during the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam at Staples Center on February 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezi
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    I think this would be a very interesting fit for the Warriors. 

    With Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis, the Warriors play two small, but effective guards. If they added Derrick Williams, I would suggest they run a type of hybrid line-up that has Dorell Wright and Williams on the floor at the same time with David Lee playing center. Their athleticism would be a nightmare for nearly every team in the league. 

    Here's how a team like the Los Angeles Lakers would match up against the Warriors: 

    Derek Fisher guarding a much faster Stephen Curry. 

    Kobe Bryant guarding a smaller, quicker, Monta Ellis

    Ron Artest guarding a bigger Dorell Wright 

    Pau Gasol having a match up nightmare against Derrick Williams

    Andrew Bynum boxing out the pesky David Lee

    I'm not saying the Warriors would become better than the Lakers, but on the second game of a back-to-back, the Lakers would never be able to keep up with this much speed and athleticism. 

Utah Jazz

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    CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 12: Al Jefferson #25 of the Utah Jazz looks to against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Jazz 118-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by do
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Utah Jazz are the type of team that may be rewarded by the basketball Gods and grab the improbable No. 1 pick. After the Deron Williams fiasco, the Brandon Davies inspired jokes on Mormons and the fact that Jerry Sloan never won a title, the Jazz deserve a little bit of good luck.

    If this happens, Derrick Williams would make this starting five very interesting. 

    The positive for the Jazz, is they have their big man situation determined. Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson are a formidable duo and can bang with any set of bigs in the league. Devin Harris is a solid point guard and C.J. Miles is improving. Derrick Williams would give this team a much needed go to guy on the perimeter that they haven't had in years. With Williams, the Jazz would have offensive strength at every position.

Toronto Raptors

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    OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 25: Andrea Bargnani #7 of the Toronto Raptors drives on David Lee #10 of the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on March 25, 2011 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    I don't want to lose Derrick Williams to Toronto.

    Moving on...

Sacramento Kings

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 25:  DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings reacts to a call against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 25, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowle
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    This would be a tremendous fit on many levels. 

    If the Kings end up moving to Anaheim, what better player to grab than the La Marida native, Derrick Williams? Look at Derrick Rose in Chicago as a prime example of how a fan base rallies behind one of their own.

    I can see the NBA commercial now with some little kid talking to a 16-year-old version of Williams with the end quote, "They're gonna love you in Anaheim." 

    Also, the Kings are building their team well under the current salary cap. Even under a reduced one that will most likely happen for next year's season, the Kings are in perfect shape.

    DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans are both still under their rookie contracts and they have plenty of money to re-sign Marcus Thornton (they are not going to be able to get away with paying their leading scorer $762,000 again next season). 

    Williams would be an exciting, in-state addition to a young Kings team.

Washington Wizards

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    WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the first half at the Verizon Center on March 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    The Washington Wizards will have a high percentage chance of landing Derrick Williams. 

    This would make for a really exciting, young and long line-up. 

    At point guard, they would have the 6'4'' John Wall. At shooting guard, 6'7'' Nick Young. Derrick Williams would give them a 6'8'' small forward and down low they have two seven-footers in Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee.

    One thing that almost guarantees success in the NBA is length. The Wizards would have plenty of it with this starting five. 

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 03:  Michael Beasley #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts after he is called for an offensive foul in the first half against the Boston Celtics on January 3, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expres
    Elsa/Getty Images

    This would be an interesting situation for the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

    On one end, it would be crazy to pass up on a talent like Derrick Williams. However, they already have a small forward in the 22-year-old Michael Beasley who is giving them around 15 ppg. 

    For me, the decision is simple, always draft the best player available. Too much talent on a roster is never a problem. If Michael Beasley can not effectively shift down to the power forward position, then find a trade for him and address the gaping hole at the point guard position.

    Unless you are the Miami Heat or Oklahoma City Thunder, you have to draft Derrick Williams regardless of who you already have as a small forward.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 02: A Fan holds up sign during a game between the Cleveland Cavaliers playing the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavliers at Quicken Loans Arena on December 2, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agree
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The Cleveland Cavaliers need Derrick Williams. 

    After LeBron James uttered the words, "I'm taking my talents to South Beach," a gaping hole was created at the small forward position that may never fully be filled. 

    Derrick Williams could at least slow the bleeding. 

    I do not see Williams becoming as dominant of a player as LeBron James, but I do think he is destined for 25 ppg seasons. Cleveland will have two draft picks that could both fall in the top five, but neither will matter if they cannot land Williams. 

    Look at it this way, with the exception of Dan Gilbert, everyone in Cleveland knows they are in a rebuilding process. Moving forward, they should keep Anderson Varejao, J.J. Hickson and Semih Erden. Besides those three, everyone else is expendable. If they can add a future All-Star like Derrick Williams and maybe land Kyrie Irving with their other top pick, the Cavaliers will have taken two massive steps in their rebuilding process. 

    The Cavaliers need the lottery to go their way and they have the highest percentage chance of landing the No. 1 pick. Having said that, expect a team like the Utah Jazz to sneak in leaving Cleveland with no other choice than to waste their draft pick on Jan Vesely of the Czech Republic.