Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
Derrick Williams made his debut tonight as the newest member of the Sacramento Kings.
Williams was traded to the Kings on Wednesday (11/26) night in exchange for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
Williams spent Thursday getting acclimated to his new teammates and his new surroundings. Derrick went through that single day of practice before being thrown into the fire tonight.
Williams started at the small forward along with Greivis Vasquez, Ben McLemore, Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins.
Derrick played just over 32 minutes in his debut and finished with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover and 3 fouls. He shot 6-for-13 from the field, 0-for-2 from deep and 0-for-1 from the line.
The game went into overtime, but the Kings lost to the Clippers (who were playing without Chris Paul and after the second quarter, J.J. Redick, as well).
In 11 games with the Timberwolves this season, Derrick had 1 assist. I watched tonight's game and he looked like a different player--one willing to make the extra pass. A number of his assists came on the fast break to rookie Ben McLemore. During his tenure with the Wolves, he'd often catch the ball and instead of swinging it, he stand there with it dribbling trying to make something happen--after five or six seconds of nothing, he'd either pass it away or take an ill-advised 17-footer.
Williams had a couple of nice alley-oop slams--something we hadn't seen much since his first couple seasons in the League. He did miss a couple mid & long range shots including a three-pointer he airballed in the 1:20 of overtime with the Kings down by four.
Derrick also looked like a guy who was playing with a purpose. In his debut with his new team, it comes as no surprise that he played with a lot of energy. His problem in Minnesota was not always playing with such fire/conviction. It'll be interesting to see if in another month if Sacramento continues to lose, if he'll play with the same conviction. Had Derrick played with the same energy and tenacity during his time in Minnesota...he might still be there--getting significant & meaningful minutes.
After Derrick was traded, he had this to say about playing in Minnesota: "There were times where I was like 'I'm definitely not going to play tonight,' and K-Love would have 25 & 15. Sometimes you have to come to grips with yourself and realize that. That's the reason why you never really heard any bad things or talks about me being bad in the locker room or being vocal about it. Sometimes you just have to come to grips with yourself and admit that the other person is better than you and you can learn from that guy."
Williams says he didn't gripe about the playing time, however after the first game of the season where he didn't play because of a DNP-CD, he told Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune when asked about how long he'll be patient: that he had been patient his first three years in the League and had no interest in being patient anymore. He also sent out a tweet before Minnesota's win over Boston a few weeks ago that read, "Bad Company corrupts good character". He may not have been referring to the Wolves organiztion, but when you write something like that, that's how people are going to take it. If Williams was a better player, these kinds of things would've gotten a lot of attention and been spun into the fact that he didn't want to be in Minnesota anymore (like the Dwight-mare).
I also hate the fact that people say he never got a shot in Minnesota. He started at power forward for the majority of the season with K-Love injured and only playing 18 games! He had A LOT of chances, but could never do anything to convince Adelman that he deserved consistent minutes--and that was because of his wildly inconsistent play!
To me, his quote about playing behind Kevin Love basically says that he accepted that Love was better and just didn't really try anymore. Not only does it sound like that to me, the way he played this season justified that.
I may sound bitter, but it's upsetting that he just seemed to give up early this season and didn't try and put in the work to earn more playing time. I'd like to say I wish him well in Sacramento, but if he continues to play well, it would be more upsetting than anything (because why couldn't he play well with passion & energy here).
That's all for now, I won't be writing anything more on Derrick until the Wolves meet the Kings for the first time this season: that will be on January 15th--the first of four meetings.
There were reports this summer that new President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders refused to trade Derrick Williams. However, just over 15 games into the season and the DNP-CDs and only garbage time minutes piling up for Derrick Williams, it was clear his time in Minnesota wasn't going to last much longer.
Rumors of a D-Will trade surfaced this afternoon when Dan B. released a statement on Twitter that said Derrick Williams' time in Minnesota is 99.9% done. At the time no transaction was imminent, however the Timberwolves found themselves in advanced discussions with the Sacramento Kings.
During the first quarter of Minnesota's game vs. the Pacers (I'm writing this at halftime), there were reports from both local media members and national media members saying that the Timberwolves had agreed to a deal in principle to send Williams to the Kings in exchange for forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. The deal could be finalized as early as tomorrow (Tuesday) morning assuming Mbah a Moute passes a physical (there are some concerns about his knees). However it's reported that it would have to be something major for the Timberwolves not to accept this trade.
The trade is a straight-up swap of players with no other picks or cash involved, either.
Williams gets a fresh start in Sacramento--with the assumption that he'll get some more playing time--however the Kings are one team that are loaded at the power forward (Jason Thompson, Patrick Patterson and Carl Landry) so I'm not sure that he'll actually find more playing time.
Nonetheless, this is still most definitely a 'sell low' for the Timberwolves. The reason being is simple: Derrick is a former #2 overall pick. He was selected immediately after the Cavs took Kyrie Irving (now, a superstar in this League).
I wish (or feel) like we could have gotten more, but this trade really isn't lopsided considering how terrible Williams has been this season and how inconsistent his first couple years have been. He was given a golden opportunity last season with Love playing just 18 games, but he never really good take full advantage--mind you he did have the occasional 25+ point outing--but that was routinely followed by a string of games where he looked just lost on the court.
In Mbah a Moute the Wolves get another Dante Cunningham-like player. A combo forward who can play both small and power forward. Though Dante's natural position is the four and Luc's is the three. It certainly doesn't add any offensive firepower to the bench--that's why I was hoping the trade included someone like Jimmer Fredette to add some scoring to an offensive inept second unit.
However, Rick Adelman is reportedly a fan of Mbah a Moute's game and he'll most certainly be a part of the rotation going forward (the same couldn't have been said for Derrick). Luc paired with Corey Brewer make for a versatile defensive duo and could come in handy against teams like the Miami Heat or San Antonio Spurs that boast multiple superstar offensive talents.
I definitely feel as though Derrick had to go and I do with him the best in Sacramento. However, deep down I (along with most Wolves fans) would cringe if he suddenly finds himself in Sac-Town and finally lives up the billing of a high lottery selection.
That's all for now, we'll have more tomorrow morning when there's word on the physical. Stay tuned for that and enjoy the second half of Minnesota in Indiana.
Kevin Love has earned player of the week honors for Oct. 29-Nov. 3. This is Kevin's first player of the week honors and just the sixth player in franchise history to win the award.
The Wolves played three games over that time. Love had 31 points & 17 rebounds vs. Orlando, 24 points & 12 rebounds vs. Oklahoma City and 34 points & 15 rebounds @New York.
That gave the Kevin Love averages of 29.7 points, 14.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists and the Timberwolves a 3-0 record.
The last time a "Timberwolf" won this award was last season (2012-13) in April when Nikola Peković took home those honors. The other four TWolves to win the award: Stephon Marbury (once), Sam Cassell (once), Al Jefferson (twice) and Kevin Garnett (15 times).
There's no doubt that Kevin Love has been a strong MVP candidate early in the season. If he continues his strong play this shouldn't be his last Player of the Week award this season.
Ronny Turiaf hit the deck hard after colliding mid-air with OKC's Nick Collison as they both went for a rebound. Turiaf landed HARD on his side with his elbow tucked underneath the weight of his body. You could hear the impact clearly on the TV and those in attendance at the Target Center said you could hear him hit the floor clear across the court.
Ronny was helped to his feet by his teammates and he slowly wobbled to the bench, not moving that right arm at all. He sat on the bench for only a short period of time before being escorted by one of the trainers to the locker room. He didn't return to the court or the bench.
Turiaf had X-rays taken during the game that came back negative. However, the next day he underwent an MRI and they found that he had fractured the radial head of his right elbow.
When he talked with the media on Saturday, his arm was in a sling and he reportedly didn't look like his usual, jovial self.
Ronny will be re-evaluated sometime next week. Most minor elbow fractures can heal within a couple weeks by splinting. However, more severe elbow fractures can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks to heal and may even require surgery.
While Turiaf is out, Gorgui Dieng could get more minutes, but Adelman also said he wouldn't hesitate to play Kevin Love at the center or more minutes for Nikola Peković.
That's all for now, we should know more about Ronny this coming weekend, until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
A TWolves fan, bringing you the daily updates.