The ping pong balls fell their ways today, and that means former Arizona forward Derrick Williams had a blueprint of where he might land in the 2011 NBA Draft.
It's settled then, that the Cleveland Cavaliers will have the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks, the Minnesota Timberwolves will choose No. 2 and the Utah Jazz select third. The guess here is that Williams will hold as a Top 3 pick after workouts. He can impress in the strength and conditioning tests thanks to Sean Millers tough training regiments at Arizona, but admittedly, Williams isn't the best practice player (i.e. might not look the best in workouts against other players).
So assuming he's a Top 5 lock, where does Williams stand? Here's a look at how he'd fit in with the teams with the top draft picks in the 2011 NBA Draft.Cleveland Cavaliers
Whether it's first or fourth, Williams gives the Cavs something they need (and I don't mean a guy who won't screw them over like LeBron), though it's arguable that they need EVERYTHING. While Duke point guard Kyrie Irving is a more likely candidate for Cleveland, Williams would give the Cavs a frontcourt for the future, joining youngster J.J. Hickson with Williams.
On the other hand, the Cavs still have Antawn Jamison on the books, which puts Williams in a position of limited playing time. Still, if he impresses teams in pre-draft workouts, who knows what can happen? And the draft always has a way of surprise trades, so its possible Jamison might find himself elsewhere anyway.
Lots of the draft experts have D-Will going No. 2 overall and it's a solid pick in a diluted draft. Very few other players are in NBA-ready shape and have the experience of Williams, even though he's only a sophomore. Yes, all those Kentucky guys are still young.
But the coolest part of Williams potential with the T'Wolves is joining a frontcourt of Michael Beasley and Kevin Love, two other youngsters that could grow into a Western Conference power within a few years' time. Sure, there would be some period of growth, but Williams isn't a personal enigma that would screw chemistry up with two other guys that want the ball in their hands.
In the end, they'd have a lot of talent that could mesh together to become a challenger in the West.
If for some reason Williams doesn't impress either the Cavs (as the No. 1 pick) or the Timberwolves, the Jazz could get a steal at No. 3. Williams fits with their refusal to take on iffy-character guys, plus could land them a small forward to play with Paul Millsap at the power foward slot and Al Jefferson at center.
That itself would be a beastly frontcourt, one that could go deep in the playoffs assuming Ty Corbin can coach them up. Like the Cleveland situation, Utah has a small forward in Andrei Kirilenko, plus another young forward in Derrick Favors, but who knows what can happen on draft day.
Williams goes No. 2 to Minnesota.