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Derrick Williams thought he should have been No. 1 pick

Nov 1, 2011, 5:21 PM EDT

Derrick Williams AP

The quote below can be taken out of context, as ego run amok. And it shouldn’t. Derrick Williams — the Arizona star who No. 2 overall to Minnesota in the last NBA draft — said what I would want any No. 2 pick to say.

He said he thought he should be No. 1.

You want that fire. Even if it’s Michael Beasley picked behind Derrick Rose, you want the No. 2 guy to feel he could have been No. 1. Here is exactly what Williams said to Grantland.

I thought I should’ve (gone No. 1). I always have faith in myself. But you know, one or two, there’s not much of a difference right there. I’m happy with no. 2. I feel like Minnesota was a better spot for me anyways. Sometimes going one step lower can be a great thing, it could be a better fit, and I think for me it was.

Williams has a nice outside shot, can score in transition at the NBA level and is athletic. He’s going to put up points in Minny. He looked good in the free-flowing pro-am games of summer because it fits his style. But there are a lot of questions about how well he can defend at the next level, his ability to make smart plays within the half-court offense (especially when doubled) and his rebounding.

There are questions about No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving, too. But in today’s no-touch-on-the-perimeter NBA, a very good point guard is incredibly valuable. That gives Irving a potentially higher ceiling, a building block for a Cavaliers team that is starting from almost the ground up. So the pick made sense.

But if Williams is truly motivated and improves his game, in a few years we could be wondering why he wasn’t No. 1 overall.

  1. btwicey - Nov 1, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    I’m happy you weren’t brother, minny needs you :)

  2. abasketballthing - Nov 1, 2011 at 11:50 PM

    It’s always been clear that he believe’s he should have been number 1, but I’m not so sure he’ll work hard to get better. He’s always talking about how good he is, instead of how good he wants to become. Having such a high opinion of himself at this point might make him feel satisfied and not work hard to improve. Also, a questionable defensive output from a guy with his athleticism suggests a lack of effort.

  3. abasketballthing - Nov 2, 2011 at 12:13 AM


  4. robertjamis - Nov 2, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    There is nothing to suggest that Williams can’t be an explosive scorer at the next level, but he’s not athletic enough to guarantee he can defend 3’s at the next level or big enough to suggest he won’t be overpowered at the 4. Until he proves that, it’s hard to say he’ll be more than a very competent scorer.

    That said, the Cavs needed a player and personality like Kyrie Irving if they were ever going to convince anyone to go to Cleveland. At worst, Irving is an efficient distributor who might be challenged defensively by bigger guards. At best he’s an elite point guard.

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