Derrick Williams comes back to Target Center tonight for the first time since that late November trade that sent him to Sacramento and brought back veteran forward Luc Mbah a Moute in return.
He's getting more opportunity there -- averaging 25 minutes a game off the bench -- but has been up and down there, just like he was with the Wolves. He's averaging 9.5 points a game in 23 games and that includes scoring 31 points one night.
His chance to play more small forward there didn't last long, not after the Kings made a deal for Rudy Gay shortly after they traded for Williams.
"Derrick's getting his opportunity there," Kevin Love said. "He definitely needed a fresh start. Considering that him and Rudy Gay split a lot of minutes (at small forward) that was a tough trade for him but (Gay) is another guy he can learn from at his position."
Love said his only contact with Williams since the trade was a goodbye text.
"I loved having him here," Love said. "It was always fun having him around, being in the locker room. I wish him the best."
When asked what Williams needs to do to make it big in the league, Love said, "Any indications of a good pro is just being consistent. If he's in consistent in his work, in his play, he's going to be good as he has all the tools and talent to do so."
Ricky Rubio said he's talked with his former teammate a couple times since then.
"He's a great guy," Rubio said. "He didn't fit here but he can do great things in this league. Sometimes you're not in the right spot, nothing you can do. He was working hard, put in a lot of time. I think he'll be good in this league."
Mbah a Moute played just nine games with the Kings after being acquired in a trade with Milwaukee last summer. But he said that was enough time to form attachments.
"I've still got some good friends there that I know," he said. "I had a good time in Sacramento. Business is the business, Trades happen. I had a good time there. People were good to me there so it's always good to see that with people you work with."
Mbah a Moute will be fighting to be included in Rick Adelman's rotation now that Chase Budinger is back healthy.
"Yeah, that's a tough question," Mbah a Moute said. "It's tough. I don't know, especially me coming into a new team, new system...obviously not everybody is going to play. You just have to trust that Coach is going to put the best team out there to win games and that's it."