NBA Draft 2011: Michael Beasley's Ceiling Is Far Higher Than Derrick Williams'

Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IJune 27, 2011

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 03:  Michael Beasley #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates his three point shot in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics on January 3, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Timberwolves 96-93. 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.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

If you are a staunch Minnesota Timberwolves supporter, you know that these last few days have been hectic.

Being one myself, I've finally come to the cold reality that general manager David Kahn intends on keeping both Derrick Williams, whom they selected at No. 2 overall on Thursday, and Michael Beasley, the incumbent starting small forward.

I've also come to the cold reality that some people believe the former should take the reins at the 3.

That joke ranks up with the absolute best in the book. In fact, I'm fairly certain that it is on the same page that says O.J. Simpson did not kill Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman and in the same chapter that says Rajon Rondo is a top-three point guard in this league.

The fact of the matter is that Michael Beasley has a far higher ceiling than Derrick Williams does, and it's not even up for debate when you look at it closely.

Let's start with their respective collegiate careers.

Over the 2007-08 season, Beasley's only campaign at Kansas State, he put up an astounding 26.2 points, grabbed 12.4 rebounds and garnered well over a block and a steal apiece per game. Additionally, he played in the ultra-competitive Big 12 conference

On the other hand, Williams' numbers were inferior in every statistical asset, and I didn't even mention the numbers, but you can imagine who tops those (other than three-point percentage, it's Beas). D-Will's Arizona Wildcats were one of four teams out of the Pac-10 to make the NCAA tournament last season. That in and of itself is a matter that shouldn't be kept quiet.

Obviously Beasley was the better college player. It shouldn't matter that they were both the second pick in their respective drafts. It's not like this year's No. 1, Kyrie Irving, is going to top '08's top gun, Derrick Rose, anytime soon.

Haters point to Beasley's rebounding numbers this past season (he snagged 5.2 per contest) and laugh at him. What they don't understand is that Kevin Love, the league's leading rebounder, pulled down a clip (15.1 per) that would even impress Bill Russell.

I'll be the first to admit that Beasley needs to capitalize on more possessions next season, but he wasn't necessarily dishing the rock to an able plethora of shooters.

Derrick Williams knows that, as a pro, he must improve upon his defense. Beasley, on the other hand, quietly put together a decent defensive season. He was second on the team in defensive efficiency and ultimately will get better as the years go on. It should be noted, however, that there were glimpses of him seemingly giving up at different points of the season. If he wants to be taken seriously as a mainstay, he should fix that.

On top of all that, the B-Easy is a better ball-handler and long-range shooter than D-Will. A 6'10" Maryland native, Beasley drained nearly 37 percent from beyond the arc, a number that Williams likely will not surpass with the Timberwolves.

There really isn't anything Williams can do that Beasley is unable to.

I'm not ripping Williams in any way—I'm sure he'll be an excellent professional basketball player—but the point is that Beasley's ceiling is much higher. He's already proven he's a legitimate starter by draining game-winners and playing to a high level. Williams has to do that before he's anointed by anyone.

When late October comes around, there is no way that even David Kahn, the dumbest of the dumb, would start No. 7 over No. 8.

So before you say Derrick Williams will be a better pro than Michael Beasley, please educate yourself with the facts.


Be sure to follow Joseph on Twitter @JosephFafinski.

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