The Confident Derrick Williams

CHICAGO – The impressive one-season jump from a player projected to be drafted late in the first round to a college star likely to go second overall on June 23 reached new, and interesting, heights Thursday when Derrick Williams called himself the most NBA-ready player available and made himself a leading candidate for Rookie of the Year.

“That’s the plan,” Williams told a group of reporters in a media session as part of the annual pre-draft combine here. “That’s the first step. I’m not cocky or anything. But that’s why I picked the agency I chose and that’s the main focus right now – Rookie of the Year.”

Among the other apparent plans: Having people regard him as a small forward who can play power forward, not a combo forward in a designation that some would could consider a sign of versatility but Williams may read as the term of a front-court tweener. That it would be more than semantics is understandable as some teams wonder if he is heading to the pros as a player without a position, not strong enough to muscle around at power forward and not quick enough to keep up at small forward.

None of that stopped executives and scouts from raving about his climb up the draft board as an Arizona sophomore, impressed by the way he sharpened his game and re-shaped his body with improved conditioning. By the time the largest gathering of NBA teams and draft prospects descended here for meetings, physicals and limited basketball drills, Williams was the consensus second-best player available, after Duke point guard Kyrie Irving.

“I think that I am the most NBA-ready guy that can step in and be an immediate impact,” Williams said.

And as to whether he should go No. 1 to the Cavaliers or, if Cleveland selects Irving, No. 2 to the Timberwolves?

“It really doesn’t matter too much to me,” Williams said. “Whoever does choose me is making the right choice. Whoever doesn’t choose me, I’m just going to try and get back at them and just going to (try to) know why they didn’t choose me.”

Shy he is not.


  1. CARTER71185 says:

    LMAO!!! at the guy comparing derrick williams to even tuner smh williams is way better than evens and he will be better than him when he gets drafted turner was a bust everybody was to hype up about turner and he didnt nothing but become a bench plaers derrick williams will shine plus if u give tham brandon knight the cavs wil be ready in 3 years im not even a cavs fans ima laker fans just keeping it real

  2. anthony says:

    Derrick Williams is amazing he has great Dunks ,good speed and great effeciency.however if minnesota get him he wont get alot of minutes because of Beasley whos a better player

  3. Lmed says:

    Wow the first couple comments got me thinking how good Cleveland could actually be! Baron David had multiple highlights with Blake and I see Williams getting that ROY just as easily. If Cleveland can pick Williams first and then take Kanter at 4, this could be a Championship caliber team in 5-,6-,7 years! Think about it.

  4. The NBA draft is not about making a better basketball team, it is about agents getting the best deals for their clients. Sometimes it works out for the team, and sometimes it doesn’t, Durant vs. Oden. If a Draftee is listening to his agent and not showing what he has to the prospective teams, I am inclined to believe the Draftee will listen to the agent during the regular season, and not the coaches of the prospective team. The teams that do better are not always the most talented, but instead they are the teams that play with a concept given them by their coaches for a team. Players working on their game are worth having, player working on their portfolio, might be nice sometimes if they are extremely talented, but in the long run, when the chips are down, thier play lacks the commitment. One of the best players out of the 2009 draft did not even get drafted, Wesley Mathews. Look for commitment, not media flash. The Williams egg may look like a good egg, but do I detect a little crack.

  5. Joe buck says:

    Cavs need to take Irving with the first pick, a point guard is the most important position to have a good player, a great point guard instantly makes the team better, williams is great and might have a better rookie season but over the next 3-5 years Irving will prove to be the better pick. They can pick up an overseas big man with the fourth pick let him play in europe for a couple years then come to help the team later.

  6. cavsfan says:

    i think that the cavs will pick irving first, but i would also like them to attempt to trade their number 4 pick up to the second pick to get derrick williams. How awesome of a combo would that be if the cavs got irving and williams.

  7. Willie says:

    Ironically? If the being NBA ready is about athleticism, why is Irving in the mix for top honors? If it’s about skill, why is Williams in the mix for top honors?

    Back to Knight now! How is it that a guy who goes 1-11 against a very much non athletic team such as Princeton and luckily hits the winning shot NBA worthy? The defenses will only be better in the league. He’s a straight bumb!

  8. Willie says:

    You guys are all really forcing it along with over-hyped athlete. First of all his hops are just okay for being 6’8″ and as far as league standards go . His shot is a ball rotation set shot which means he’ll struggle shoot off the dribble if he can handle the ball at all. His highlights are just dunks and around the block garbage baskets with no face up stuff taking top guys off the dribble. He has no idea what he’s in for? That whole Blake Griffin dunk all day stuff isn’t ball. Not to mention this kid doesn’t even jump like Blake.

    Irving is highly overrated and Knight should be back in school too! Irving wouldn’t workout because he has nothing to prove? Wow? What type of competitor is this. Play when you feel like it? Where’s the love for the game. Even if advised by some idiot agent!

    If I were the the Cavaliers ownership, I’d take Marshon Brooks of Providence to lead my team. He’s a mature and just short of complete player. He’ll give you all the offense you need in Cleveland. Also Mack from Butler is better than all these points guards with the exception maybe being Walker. Mack and Walker have proven a lot! not like these overly hyped players you all are getting all up for?

    Some stupid ESPN analyst said yesterday during the combine: Why has it taken Marshon 4 years to get to this point? What a naive and stupid question! Is that not what college is for; to develop one’s game to as close to completeness as possible. Please kill the hype and go with the proven guys. Basketball is suffering from the foolish mock drafts and incompetent GMs.

    • lm09 says:

      Did you watch Derrick Williams play last season? When the competition became more difficult, he didn’t wither away, he stepped up to the competion and played better. He outplayed the entire Duke roster in the sweet sixteen. He had 2 dunks in that game. The rest he created on his own. He creates off the dribble and hits the spot up three. Watch this game film. He outplayed Kansas early in the year, playing better than both Morris brothers. He outplayed Texas. He outplayed Duke. Brooks is good, and comes from a good conference, but why couldn’t he do what Kemba did for his team? Why couldn’t Brooks do what Williams did for his team? The thing that separates Irving (when he played), Williams, Walker, Knight from the players like Brooks, Burks, Thompson, etc is that they have the intangibles- they have the mental desire and extreme competitiveness to carry a team and deliver when it matters. Compare the track records of each group, and I guarentee that that desire combined with talent is why they’ll be drafted much earlier than Brooks or Burks or whoever else.

    • Jake says:

      Did you actually watch him play? He might be the most versatile player in the entire draft. He CAN shoot from range. He CAN take people off the dribble, he CAN post up, he CAN rebound, he CAN finish in transition, and he CAN block shots and move his feet on defense.

      You said, “If I were the the Cavaliers ownership, I’d take Marshon Brooks of Providence to lead my team.” That good sir, is why you aren’t part of the Cavaliers ownership.

  9. GEEYOOW says:

    let’s just hope that he will be a great player. =))) but for all the fans who’s out there. don’t make a player great who hasn’t prove anything in the NBA. who knows he might be alike evan turner who has great highlight reel, but in the nba, he has done nothing…. and let’s not forget about the REAL stars who has proven themselves(WHO’S GREAT!).

  10. swishbaby says:

    Derrick Williams should be the number 1 pick and play for Cleveland. He is a monster. He is a natural scorer and can perform an amazing highlight reel in just 1 game! This guy is gonna be the next LeBron James and will be an amazing help for the Cleveland team with Baron Davis. As for the number 4 pick for Cleveland…… they should try and get Kemba Walker. He reminds me of Kobe, but smaller and has terrific vision

  11. lebronfan says:

    I think Williams could be a great compliment to JJ in cleveland with BD running the point it gives the cavaliers a chance to bring in a point guard to backup a seasoned vet and shortened Davis’ minutes and extend his career. But knowing cleveland sports like I do theyll probably put all of thier eggs in one basket because they cant get over thier disdain for lebron and end up putting a world of pressure on a kid to fill his shoes while shooting themselves in the foot…GO CAVS

  12. GEEYOOW says:

    Are you you guys thinking? Those highlight dunks won’t happen all the time in nba! The games he played were college basketball! Do you guys think he can dunk on dwight, javale mcgee, andrew bogut, joel anthony and other defensive player that easy. we even don’t know if he can attak the paint when Lebron james, D-wade, D-rose, paul pierce, blake G, and many other Guards andn Forward are defending him. =)))) you guys are way too simple-minded!!!

    • oli says:

      Totally agree, i hate it when people make players stars before they even played a game… we’ll see when he’s facing lebron…. i think he’ll have a same kind of performance as Evan Turner, some good things but also a lot of bad…

    • Jake says:

      What would lead you to think that Kyrie Irving, or any other player in the draft for that matter, would be any better than Williams. Athleticism is a skill that translates very well to the NBA.

      • mo says:

        kyrie irving is more athletic than williams . that being said i think cleveland should take williams first just because they might end up wasting their 4th pick. if they take willims they can get brandon knight (kentucky-we all know about piont guards from kentucky) or walker both are good.

  13. will288 says:

    Kemba Walker is going third if the Cavs get Irvin first. They need to get rid of some of these players that don’t run the uptempo anyways. Trade someone for Number 2. Its a must this draft is not deep at all and they need help now. They owe it to Byron Scott. Make some moves Cavs NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Bryson says:

    He went 2 my high school… i got 2 practice with him! lol he is a beast! man coach charlie taught him well xP
    Good Luck 2 u D. And dont for get where u came from! XD

  15. shayn says:

    i agree, i think that derrick williams is a better pick at number one they could always get another talented point guard at number four. kyrie irving is awsome but derrick williams fills a bigger void they have. kemba walker or brandon knight will be just as effective as irving. williams is the best player in the draft and will win rookie of the year

  16. MeloGood says:

    So… this was what Dan Gilbert was talking about when he said the Cavs will get better… Now I’m thinking, there might be some conspiracy there with Cleveland getting the number 1 pick. Think about what that Wolves guy mentioned, it really would make such a good storyline if Cleveland gets to have the number 1 pick! And somehow maybe if they get another good guy in their 4th pick, they could be the most-improved team for next season… hmm….. something fishy going on?

    • Jake says:

      Nope, nothing fishy going on Cleveland had the 2nd best chances of getting the 1st pick, so it’s not shocking that they did. You’re very confused if you think the draft lottery is rigged. David Kahn (Pres. of the Timberwolves) even said that he was just joking when he hinted at the lottery being rigged.

      • brandon says:

        Kahn said that to avoid a fine. And Cleveland’s own pick earned the 4th overall spot. The pick that got number 1 was the Clippers’ pick which they traded to the Cavs. That pick had only a 2% chance. Seems like a pretty good “storyline” to me. Learn your facts before you speak.

  17. john says:

    i think he should go firs he is a greatplayer and is great defensively kyrie irvin is a point gaurd and there is lots of good point gaurds in the draft so they should take williams first and kemba walker fourth and his number happens to be 23

  18. Jrok says:

    I think Derrick williams should go first .. Cavs can sort out point guard at pick 4 with brandon knight or kemba walker .. If they take irving at one theyl get a crappy pick at 4 and waste an oppurtunity to have 2 great players .. Kauz watching derrick williams this year was exciting ! His shooting , iq and not to mention those dunks .. Those are grown man dunks !! .. That said i think the cavs will choose kyrie and waste an oppurtunity to get TWO great players instead of one.

    • Mark R says:

      @Jrok. Have to agree with you in the idea of getting two young stars rather than one sure thing. The city of Cleveland really needs a pick-me-up after LeBron left town and taking Williams with someone like Knight would do that. Guys like Williams and Knight are not going to run riot in the NBA, but this would signal an attitude to rebuilding quicker than taking Irving, who is the best player, but would signal be more of a long term development for the team.

    • Jake says:

      Exactly, Jalen Rose proposed this idea yesterday on Sports Nation and I think it would be the best move for Cleveland. If (and that’s a big if) Baron Davis comes to camp in shape and ready to play, then he can still be a good point guard. Derrick Williams probably is the most NBA ready player in the draft and I would be totally unsurprised if he ends up becoming better than Irving anyway. Take Williams at 1, Brandon Knight at 4, and you’d have some solid building blocks for your team.

  19. Nisha- Let's Talk says:

    Well at least the kid already has his mind set.. I wonder what team he’ll go to.. Right now I’d hate to be the number 1 draft because I WOULDN’T wanna go to the Cavs and try to fill in Lebron’s shoes.. That’s what the Cavs want.. and they AREN’T gonna get it!

  20. FAIR-BUT-TOUGH says:

    He’ll go at number 2. But i to saw the highlights and this kid is something special! So special that i think Cleveland should trade a player and no4 pick to the Timberwolves for Derrick at no2, considering Wolves are loaded with small forwards. Imagine having Dwilliams and Irving as rookies now that would be really exciting!!!

  21. terrence says:

    yeah i played with him a few times a arizona rj gym tyhis guy is a monster his foot work is nice plus he can shoot the mid range jumper with ease he is the most nba ready look at his body the kid is ready also he reminds me of blake g with his bouncy dunks and put back he is more of a pf the sf at this point but has skills to move out to the wing

  22. Lmed says:

    This guy is awesome. Great footwork, can shoot the 3-ball, lives in the paint-what more do you want? His highlights are amazing! If he goes to Cleveland, he would be great with B. David. Then again, if he went to Minnesota he would compliment Love. Hopefully this guy gets drafted by a team with a good PG. That’s the only thing he needs, a PG to facilitate him the ball. Prediction: Williams to Cleveland. He’s the next LeBron.

    • jranj24 says:

      dude are u on crack or what??? i dont particularly care for LeBron but dude lets be serious……….Dude really……