Under The Radar- Derrick Williams

Derrick Williams has been logging some serious minutes as of late for the injured Rudy Gay.

Analysis: Williams will always be a three/four tweener in the NBA but he can still be a productive player. Over his last four games Williams is averaging 11.2 rebounds, 14.5 points and 1 three. Williams is averaging 28.6 minutes in the month of January which is a great sign considering Rudy Gay has played in eleven games this month. Williams is taking about eight shots per game in January and he’s shooting a solid 49% from the field. The former second overall pick may never live up to the hype but he sure is contributing.

Derrick Williams isn’t great in any one particular fantasy area. Yes, the rebounds have been there over the last week of action filling in for Gay but he only averaged 3.6 boards per game in the month of December in 24.5 minutes per contest. Despite his lack of an elite fantasy skill set it is always going to be difficult to ignore an athlete getting thirty plus minutes per night. With Rudy Gay coming back soon it will be time to monitor those minutes. Currently, Williams is available in 50-70% of fantasy leagues.

Derrick Williams Is Surging

After an extremely disappointing start to the 2011-12 NBA season, Derrick Williams is finally putting together some fantasy relevant numbers.

Analysis: Derrick Williams is averaging 14.3 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game and 1.8 three pointers made per game over his last six games. This is a vast improvement over his season averages and it just may be the start of some consistency from the young rookie. With Williams finally pulling down an adequate amount of boards that you need from a fantasy power forward, all those threes he’s hitting is skyrocketing his value. Keep in mind that the second overall pick is still available in well over sixty percent of fantasy leagues.

The crazy thing about Williams’ six game hot streak is that he’s putting up these solid numbers despite playing about twenty minutes per night. With the NBA trade deadline approaching, Williams may find himself in a situation where more minutes become available whether it be dictated by the roster or his improved play. Williams is a hot commodity on the wire right now and if you are in need of threes with a solid amount of points and rebounds then Derrick Williams just may be a fit for you at the power forward position.

Derrick Williams’ Fantasy Value

Derrick Williams may have been the number two pick in the 2011 NBA Draft but he just isn’t getting it done in Minnesota right now.

Analysis: The fantasy problem with Derrick Williams really comes down to minutes. Williams is only getting twenty minutes per game and as a rookie he just isn’t ready to put up solid numbers yet. At 8.6 PPG and only 4.5 RPG, Williams is not putting up the fantasy numbers you need from a power forward.

There are plenty of positives when it comes to Derrick Williams. He’s hitting one three pointer per game and is averaging nearly one steal per as well. Williams’ field goal percentage is fine but he does have to improve at the stripe. If given nearly thirty minutes per game he is a must own but until then he’s just a fringe fantasy player in deep leagues. You really need some boards from your fantasy power forwards and he has yet to register an eight rebound game in his eight games this year. It really will come down to minutes and by mid season expect a respectable fantasy player.

NBA Draft: Early Entrants, Combine and Lottery


Sunday night was the deadline for college basketball stars to submit their names to be considered for the NBA draft. Some have already withdrawn, opting to  return to school, others may as well by the June 13th deadline. With uncertainty due to potential NBA labor strife, a surprising number of top players decided to forgo the draft. At the same time, others that will go undrafted, opted to hire agents, giving up their college eligibility.

In advance of the draft, a combine will be held in Chicago next week. 54 players will undergo physicals and interviews with prospective teams. Players will also have the option to participate in drills if they so choose. Historically, those invited to the combine are drafted, so the list is a fairly good peak.

Notable players withdrawing from draft (over weekend):

Ashton Gibbs- Pittsburgh

Reggie Johnson- Miami

Terrence Jones- Kentucky

Here are the top early entrants: (in no particular order)


Enes Kanter- Kentucky


Tobias Harris- Tennessee

Jordan Williams- Maryland

Derrick Williams- Arizona

Trey Thompkins- Georgia

Tyler Honeycutt- UCLA

Scotty Hopson- Tennessee

Kawhi Leonard- San Diego State

Tristan Thompson- Texas

Markieff Morris- Kansas

Marcus Morris- Kansas

Chris Singleton- Florida State


Kyrie Irving- Duke

Brandon Knight- Kentucky

Alec Burks- Colorado

Kemba Walker- Connecticut

Josh Shelby- Kansas

Travis Leslie- Georgia

Shelvin Mack- Butler

Jordan Hamilton- Texas

Klay Thompson- Washington State

Darius Morris- Michigan

Note: 20 international players have also filed eligibility paperwork

With no natural centers leaving early, expect international bigs to get attention early.

7’0″ Donatas Motiejunas (Italy)

6’11” Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania)

6’11” Jan Vesely (Serbia)

The NBA Draft Lottery will be held on Tuesday night at halftime of the Western Conference finals. In order, Minnesota, Cleveland, Toronto, Washington, Sacramento and Utah (from New Jersey) have the greatest chance of picking first. Seven teams will have two selections in the first round. Cleveland, Utah, Washington, Charlotte, Minnesota, Houston and Chicago have an extra pick due to trades.

The 2011 NBA draft will be held on Tuesday, June 23rd at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.