I don’t think Derrick Williams would be a better four than JJ Hickson

I don’t think Derrick Williams thinks he would be either, and that’s probably why he’s going around telling people he’s a three.  As in a Small Forward.  As in the same position that guys like Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Carmelo Anthony all play.  Each of whom were drafted 2nd, 1st, and 3rd respectively; both as early and as late as Williams figures to go later this month.

I do like Williams as a basketball player though, and if he falls to #4 I’ll take a chance on him there.  But I don’t understand why Cavs fans are still debating Williams v. Irving at #1.  If he really was a Small Forward, this would be different, but Derrick Williams appears to be the only person who is actually in this “Derrick Williams is a three” camp at this moment.  Which is kinda concerning I’d imagine for GM’s looking to draft him.  He wants to be a three, plays the four, and is the definition of a tweener.  

I realize SF is a position of need for this Cavs team picking first overall, and maybe Williams does too.  Maybe he remembers seeing Jamario Moon make that opening day start for the Cavs at said position, I know I do.  As much as anybody I wish there was a SF out there to be had at #1, but there isn’t.  Pretending that Williams could turn into that maybe/hopefully/one day is a mistake.

Similarly, this “drafting a package of two players” line of thinking is a mistake as well.  I’m hearing people say it’s not about who you pick #1, it’s about what two players you end up with at #1 and #4.  I don’t understand this exactly, but it goes something like this from what I’ve heard: 

Would you rather have Derrick Williams and Brandon Knight or Kyrie Irving and a lesser player?  

I would be extremely worried if the Cavs approached it this way, and perplexed if they passed up on the best player overall with the first pick overall.  You don’t penalize yourself by passing on the best overall player because the fourth best player (Knight) just happens to play that same position.

But they won’t do that, and they will take Irving, and I think it’s time we stop debating the first pick around here in Cleveland.  And for all those draft package-ologists out there, riddle me this:

What’s a better package – Kyrie Irving and JJ Hickson or Brandon Knight and Derrick Williams? 

Before you say, wait, Hickson is a four and Williams would be moved to three, unfair comparison – here’s a couple stats to at least consider on why it’s questionable that Williams’ game translates out to the perimeter in the NBA.  

Ball handling, for example, is critical for SF’s and your assist to turnover ratio gives some indication of your ability to handle the basketball.  In 38 games last season, Derrick Williams totaled 43 assists and 100 turnovers.  That was in college, and that’s not good.  In fact it’s real bad. 

He does have the ability to step out and shoot it some though for a big man, and we all know he made 5 of 6 three-pointers with everybody in the nation watching against Duke.  He was brilliant that night to be sure, and he did also shoot a great percentage last season from three on the year (56%).  But he only did take 74 on the season, and that equates out to not quite (2) three-pointers attempted per game (1.9 per).

He’s a beast on the boards though, can finish strong inside, and I do like him as much as anybody in this draft not named Kyrie Irivng.  I just like Kyrie Irving more.  Even better than anybody else you want to package Williams with too.


How about Beasley, he appears available?

I’m not sure how I feel about this yet as far as the Cavs are concerned, but Mike Beasley appears to be available if indeed the T-Wolves grab Williams at number two.  This according to Yahoo! on Sunday:

“It’s likely that Williams will be the one taken since he is the consensus second-best talent in this draft, according to NBA decision makers. If Minnesota keeps the pick and indeed selects Williams, sources say the Timberwolves will look to move Michael Beasley as they try to improve the “culture of the team.” 

That culture of the team thing is tough, but Beasley is a tremendous young talent.  I may have some thoughts on this later in the week, gotta think about that one for a minute.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.