With the NBA Draft still more than a month away, many of the mock draft boards have either Arizona’s Derrick Williams or Duke’s Kyrie Irving going as the top overall pick. A lot may depend on who ends up with the No. 1 pick. According to mynbadraft.com, the Minnesota Timberwolves have the highest percentage (25%) of getting this pick based on the fact they finished with the NBA’s worst record this season, followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers (19.9%), Toronto Raptors (15.6%) and Washington Wizards (11.9%).
ESPN's Jay Bilas breaks down the NBA draft prospects with Victor and Matt (Photo by Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)
Williams is a 6-8 forward with great athleticism and exceptional quickness. While he proved to be a nightmare match up in college, the problem will not be the same in the pros. However, during his sophomore campaign with the Wildcats, Williams extended his range and shot close to 60 percent from behind the arc. Irving is a 6-2 point guard with a solid all around game. He is lightning quick to get to the basket, has the vision to set up teammates and can cause havoc on the defense end. With him playing in less than a dozen games this season, scouts did not have as many opportunities to watch him as they did Williams which could play a part in a team’s decision making.
There’s no question that both players have the potential to make it big in the NBA, it’s just who can claim the right of being named the draft’s top pick. ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas recently gave his thoughts on Williams and Irving to the Victor and Matt podcast show, “I think both will translate really well. I think if you have the number one pick you just have to decide what’s important to you. Williams is a guy who doesn’t really have a position, but is a tremendous athlete and scorer. He is very productive and efficient. But Irving is a point guard. He is 6-1, 6-2 with good speed who can score. He is a good passer who guards pretty well. He’s kind of like a Chris Paul type player, not sure if he’s going to be that good. In the NBA point guards are doing quiet well with the way the game is called and played. I think having an elite point guard will be hard to pass up.”
Assuming the Timberwolves end up with the top pick, they already have a roster of point guards in Luke Ridnour, Jonny Flynn and Sebastian Telfair and with the possibility that Ricky Rubio, a player drafted last year by Minnesota but chose to return to Spain, still belonging to the team, drafting another point guard does not make much sense. Williams would compliment a front court featuring Kevin Love and Michael Beasley. With Love and Beasley banging down, Williams could give them a versatile player who could rebound down low when needed but also step away to create space. While having a solid point guard is important, having a player who can play multiple positions and be a difficult match up is not something every team has. With that said, looks like Williams may be moving to Minnesota.
To hear the full interview with Jay Bilas listen to our latest (4.27.11) podcast show. Also, please follow our show (@victorandmatt) on Twitter.