NBA Draft 2011: 10 Reasons Why the Timberwolves Should Draft Derrick Williams

Tyler PurcellContributor IIIJune 18, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: 10 Reasons Why the Timberwolves Should Draft Derrick Williams

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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

    With the NBA draft now just days away, it seems everyone wants Derrick Williams.

    That is, everyone but the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    Since the Wolves already are stocked with young talent at the forward position, many mock drafts now have Minnesota doing something else with their pick. Here are 10 reasons why Minnesota should take Williams with the second pick overall (assuming he doesn't go first to Cleveland.)

10. Beasley Can Shift to Point

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    PHOENIX - DECEMBER 15:  Michael Beasley #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves drives the ball agianst Grant Hill #33 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on December 15, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Timberwolves 128-
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Even with Ricky Rubio coming in (finally), Michael Beasley is keeping busy this offseason by working on his ball-handling skills. Beasley has shown interest in taking the ball up as a point-forward.

    I think this would be a great benefit, as he could take over for Rubio similar to the way Lamar Odom did in Los Angeles. With that shift, the Timberwolves could draft Williams and have a strong rotation of players. 

9. He Fills Seats

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 28: Damien Wilkins #3 of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates with teammates and fans after scoring the game-winning shot at the buzzer against the New Jersey Nets at the Target Center on October 28, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minneso
    Genevieve Ross/Getty Images

    If you've ever seen Derrick Williams play, you know how much fun he is to watch. Williams not only brings excitement to the game, but his name alone will get people in the seats.

    Until the Wolves start winning like they used to, Minnesota needs to do everything it can to get people in the Target Center. 

8. Trading Away Picks Hasn't Always Worked

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    AUBURN HILLS, MI - MAY 30:  Kevin Garnett #5 and  Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics celebrate after defeating the Detroit Pistons to advance to the NBA Finals in Game Six of the Eastern Conference finals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs at the Palace of Aub
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    I was unsure at first, but I now believe the O.J. Mayo trade turned out really well. We got Kevin Love, and it helped pave the way for the draft pick that got us Rubio.

    Besides that, I feel there have been a few traded draft picks we wish we could take back. A prime example is Mario Chalmers, who played outstanding for the Heat in these past finals.

    I would easily take back the draft-day trade of Brandon Roy for Randy Foye, and if we hadn't traded Ray Allen for Stephon Marbury, we may have gotten the championship those two got in Boston so many years later. Trading down this pick is not necessarily the wrong thing to do in this situation, but it's a trend I wouldn't like to continue.  

7. Beasley Only Has One Year Left on Contract

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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

    Okay, I want to start by saying I do not want to get rid of Michael Beasley, so hear me out. Beasley will be a free agent after next season, and there is always the chance we might lose him.

    It is not worth it to trade Beasley because many teams are hesitant about his issues that go back to when he was in Miami. They are not willing to take the risk on a guy who would just leave them the next year.

    Drafting Derrick Williams can still be a good option because he can share the role with Beasley and possibly replace him if he leaves for free agency (or if the Wolves let him go because Williams plays better.)

6. He Is Impossible to Guard

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    TULSA, OK - MARCH 18:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats looks to move the ball as Wesley Witherspoon #11 of the Memphis Tigers defends during the second round game of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 18, 2011 in
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Derrick Williams is one of those rare players who has few physical comparisons. He reminds me most of Corliss Williamson, when he came out of Arkansas.

    In college, he was a headache for anyone attempting to guard him. He was too quick for the power forwards and centers and could pound it in against the small forwards or guards.

    At the NBA level, he would be one of the largest small forwards in the league and would add even more size to the already-large Timberwolves' lineup. 

5. He Is the Best Available Pick

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    NEW YORK - JUNE 26:  NBA Commissioner David Stern shakes hands with number one draft pick for the Chicago Bulls, Derrick Rose during the 2008 NBA Draft at the Wamu Theatre at Madison Square Garden June 26, 2008 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User express
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    When a team is well developed and only missing a couple pieces, it is better to focus on just filling a position with the draft. This is what the Atlanta Falcons did by drafting Julio Jones this year.

    When it is a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves, you just need to draft the best player available.

    In 2008, the Chicago Bulls took Derrick Rose because he was the best available—even though they already had Kirk Hinrich, Chris Duhon and Ben Gordon. Look how that turned out for them.

    If Kyrie Irving does go first, Derrick Williams is clearly the best talent available. Kevin Love and Michael Beasley are both great talents, but they are not elite enough to turn away a guy with great potential.   

4. Kanter Is Too Big of a Risk

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    If the Timberwolves do not draft Derrick Williams, they most likely will draft center Enes Kanter out of Turkey. While Kanter has the potential to be a dominant big man, he also is less proven than possibly anyone to have ever entered the draft.

    He did not play a single game in 2010-2011 because Kentucky ruled him ineligible.The year before, Kanter hopped around high schools but never really played against any strong competition. His junior year of high school didn't show much of anything either, as he played less than 100 total minutes.

    At 6'11" and 260 pounds, he has great size and strength that has helped him dominate opponents during high school. Unfortunately the NBA is a different game, and players who overpowered in high school and college often don't make it.

    An example is Kosta Koufos (a guy Kanter has been compared with,) who has only scored 3.3 ppg in the NBA. Minnesota already has Darko Milicic, who was also a highly touted European player who was drafted early.  

3. He Wants to Play for Minnesota

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 11:  Derrick Williams #23 of the Arizona Wildcats reacts in the second half while taking on the USC Trojans in the semifinals of the 2011 Pacific Life Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Staples Center on March 11, 2011 in Los An
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    In a recent interview, Williams told the Timberwolves he wanted to play here and he would play small forward. After what Rubio has said, and what the rest of the media says, about nobody wanting to play here—Williams definitely gets my support.

    A top pick that wants to play for your team? Draft him!

2. He Would Have High Trade Value

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    PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 27:  Andre Iguodala #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers in action during the game against the Miami Heat at the Wells Fargo Center on October 27, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that
    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Maybe this is cheating, but technically the article is titled "Why The Timberwolves Should Draft Derrick Williams." It doesn't say they have to hang on to him.

    As much as I like Williams as a player, he may not be the right fit. I don't believe in simply trading down because Minnesota has never had this high of a pick. His value is as high as anyone's. By drafting him second, they have many different options for trades.

    Some of the best offers rumored around are for Danny Granger (which I'm not in favor of because he is simply another small forward) of the Pacers, Andre Iguodala of the Sixers or expert blocker JaVale McGee of the Wizards.

    All of those trades would include a support player from the Wolves, like Jonny Flynn, and a lower draft pick from the other team involved. 

1. Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

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    Statistically, it is hard to argue against Derrick Williams. Many consider him the most productive player in college basketball.

    He was one of the best scorers in the country, with 19.5 points per game, and stepped it up in the NCAA tournament.

    He also was among the best shooters both inside and outside. His three-point percentage was outstanding, at nearly 57 percent, and he had an overall field goal percentage of 59.5 percent.

    Last year, Williams was in the 92nd percentile in points per possession when in post situations scoring 1.065 PPP. In isolation situations, he scored 1.130 PPP and was in the 96th percentile.

    Williams was also third in the country in free throw attempts per possession, taking 8.7 free throws a game.

    His biggest weaknesses are his turnovers, which I assume will get better as he ages and has a team that doesn't need to rely on him as much, and his defensive rebounding, which is odd to hear about a guy who got 8.3 per game.

    Luckily, the Timberwolves have Kevin Love and are the best rebounding team in the league.