NBA Draft 2011 Scouting Report Profile: Derrick Williams

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IIMay 16, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats goes up for a rebound in front of Alex Stepheson #1 of the USC Trojans in the second half in the semifinals of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Derrick Williams

University of Arizona




240 lb.s


La Mirada High School

La Mirada, CA


College Highlights

Prep Highlights

Long Story Short: Crafty forward with a superb inside-out game, consisting of refined post moves and the ability to step out on the perimeter to knock down the three. 

Williams needs to keep refining his perimeter game and moves off the dribble to play some SF in the NBA, but has a mature game and is an impact player right now.

Best Case Scenario: David West

Worst Case Scenario: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

Does Well:

  • Tough and physical, hard to stop at the rim; finishes after contact for easy ‘And 1,′ strong rebounder(8.3 reb. as soph.)
  • Movement off ball and getting open, always in good position around the basket for an easy finish off a teammate’s pass.
  • Smart player with great basketball IQ; understands his role and plays within the team, consistent scorer and contributor.
  • Post moves look solid thanks in part to excellent footwork; excellent inside-out game on the face up.
  • Good looking shot, much improved jumper from freshman to sophomore year, threat from three (56.8 percent as soph.)
  • Explosive forward who runs the floor very well and has great bounce, dunks with power and authority.
  • Clutch, go to player down the stretch of games; made numerous game saving blocks in the final seconds.

Must Improve:

  • Undersized at 6’8” to play in the post at his natural position of PF.
  • Ball security issues in the post, can get into spurts where he turns the ball over too much in the paint (2.6 TO as sophomore).
  • Much improved jumper, but needs to hold his follow through after release on shooting stroke-very apparent during free throw misses.
  • Will have to get slightly stronger if he wants to get time in the post with great frequency at the next level.

Translation To Next Level:

Williams was a breakout player as the Pac-10 Freshman of the year, and had an even better follow up the next becoming Pac-10 Player of the year as a sophomore.  

Perhaps the most impressive part of his game over the past season was his greatly improved perimeter jumper to step out of the post and extend the defense. Williams shot the ball very well from 3, where he became a weapon and match up problem for NCAA PFs.

The Wildcat forward moves like one too thanks to some explosive athleticism, including exceptional bounce and mobility like a guard. He will likely need to convert to playing some SF in the NBA, but can easily play in the post if a team goes small. Watching him the paint is always fun because he’s a crafty post player that strings some nice moves together. 

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Williams is great at using the pump fake in the paint to go up and under for a step through easy basket. He always finishes strong at the rim and is a ferocious dunker as well that can finish after contact. He has a great basketball IQ and is a playmaker in the closing minutes of a game (two game saving blocks in the closing seconds of 2011). Has got some nice ball handling skills as well with the ability to break down the D and get to the basket, which makes his transition to playing on the perimeter at SF all the easier.  

Although slightly undersized at 6’8″, Williams is a banger in the post who will be able to get in the lane and finish with his great strength and athleticism. His versatility and inside-out game are one of his biggest assets, and it should translate very well to the league. Despite being a thin draft, Williams is a prized forward that is about as NBA ready as they come this year.  

He’s a player who "gets it" and understand how to play.  

He has demonstrated that he can expand his horizons in terms of playing and become a multi-dimensional, leaving little doubt to being adjust to the NBA. While he may not have the upside of a few other players in this year, he certainly is an impact player that presents little risk to a team and will make them much more competitive. Should start right away for a rebuilding team and be very productive.

Williams truly is about as NBA ready a player there is this year and has played his way into the top three pick in the 2011 Draft.

Final Thoughts:

Williams is an extremely talented player who came out nowhere his freshman year at Arizona.  

Although averaging 25 points and 12 reb. as a high school senior at Mirada HS, he went largely under the radar and wasn’t even rated among the 150 top prospects of 2009.

Answered a lot of questions about his NBA talent in his sophomore season at Arizona. Exceeded expectations from the perimeter, making 42 3-pointers this season this year after attempting just six last season. Plays with great mobility in the paint with some crafty post moves and excellent timing to finish. Disciplined and fairly mature game, should be able to be an impact player as a rookie and see big minutes for a team as well, an indefinite contender for NBA rookie of the year.  

Upside isn’t as great as some in this class, but has a much more polished game to help a team in need right now, whether they are rebuilding or looking to add talent to a solid roster.

Should get some consideration for being the potential No. 1 overall pick.

Scouting Report provided courtesy of SwishScout.com


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.