This much is clear: Williams is on his way

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 24, 2011 - 12:53 PM

The Wolves spent Thursday night making one move after another, after they did the obvious move in taking Derrick Williams at No. 2.

The Timberwolves selected Arizona forward Derrick Williams with the second pick in Thursday night's NBA draft and vowed to keep him.

It was the most obvious, simple, sensible decision they could have made.

After that?

Hang on to your flying hat.

Outfitted with the 20th pick as well Thursday, the Wolves traded down repeatedly; dealt away point guard Jonny Flynn; raised cash by selling two second-round picks they acquired; and completed a total of six trades that left their fans exhausted by all the maneuvering and left them with Williams, UCLA guard Malcolm Lee, veteran center Brad Miller, an obscure prospect from Congo named Targuy Ngombo, Memphis' protected 2013 first-round pick and three future second-rounder.

All the trades are contingent upon league approval as the Wolves worked on the specifics far into the night.

When it was all over, somebody suggested to team President David Kahn that it sure looked like he made all those moves -- including four cash transactions -- to raise money to pay $4 million owed to not-yet-fired coach Kurt Rambis, an expected move that Kahn refused to talk about.

"I'll talk about it when there's news to share," Kahn said, "and there's simply not news to share at this time."

Now, about that perception ...

"No, c'mon, that's ..." Kahn said. "First of all, we're adding two 20-year-old players this week [Williams and Ricky Rubio]. We have a painfully young team. So I had great reticence to add rookie after rookie after rookie to a team that frankly needs a few veterans. If you keep adding young players, you run out of roster space."

So the Wolves took Williams after Cleveland chose Duke guard Kyrie Irving first, and then they went to work, trading away Flynn to Houston and making deal after deal with the Rockets, Chicago, Miami, New Jersey and Portland.

When it was all done, the Wolves possessed Williams with the second overall pick, Lee with the 43rd and Ngombo with the 57th.

Kahn vowed that Williams will remain as a significant piece of the team's future, after it had explored every which way to parlay that pick into a veteran presence or two later first-round picks.

"We have no plans to trade Derrick Williams," Kahn said.

The Wolves explored countless options -- they were linked in Internet reports to discussions for everybody from Pau Gasol and Andre Bynum to Josh Smith, Monta Ellis and Andre Iguodala -- and ultimately added two rookies and a veteran center recovering from microfracture knee surgery.

Now, about adding some more veterans ...

"We now have to be aggressive enough in the free-agency market to sprinkle in some veteran players," Kahn said. "We have to. We absolutely have to get some veterans on this team. We're just too young and we know that."

But rather than opt to do that now, they chose to add Williams, who turned 20 last month and is a combo forward not all that different in size or position to Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph. Plus, Wes Johnson can also play small forward and Kevin Love is anchored at power forward, making for a very crowded frontcourt. Williams has impressed both Beasley and Johnson during workouts recently in Los Angeles.

"He's a good player, big body," said Johnson, last year's No. 4 overall pick, who shares the same agent with Williams. "A lot of people don't know he can put the ball on the ground. That's really what's going to separate him from a lot of players in the NBA."

Kahn traveled to Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago to meet with Beasley and Love and discuss how all the pieces might fit in they drafted Williams.

So ... how will those pieces fit?

"It will be interesting and will require some creativity," Kahn said. "The kids wanted to make this work, and they thought they all could play together. We could put some pretty interesting, creative lineups out there next year. I think we will be very fun to watch.

"They all have enough versatility in their games to fit, but I acknowledge it may not fit perfectly. In fact, I can assure you it won't. I think it will require some creativity in how we play."

That learning process already has begun.

When the second-newest Timberwolves player went searching for information about the newest one, Rubio went looking where any 20-year-old might go.

"I went to YouTube to see highlights so I can say something about him," Rubio said. "He can run. He can jump."

Williams sounded happy about being part of the Wolves' long-term plans.

"I heard David Kahn say they were drafting me to keep me," he said. "Hopefully, they are. I already get along with a lot of the players there. I want to be a part of the team and turn it around.

"The first text message I got was from Wes. He was like, 'What's up, teammate?' That right there gives me confidence the team is in place to take me in as one of their brothers."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 10 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: M. Gonzalez 2
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 1
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Danks 10 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: N. Karns 5
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: A. Swarzak 2
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 5
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 8
Los Angeles - WP: C. Perez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5
Texas - WP: S. Tolleson 2 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Street 1
Philadelphia - LP: M. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Doolittle 8
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 8
Arizona - LP: W. Miley 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: C. Bergman 8
Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: L. Lynn 2
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
Arizona 23
Denver 20 FINAL
Seattle 26
Kansas City 34 FINAL
Miami 15
Pittsburgh 37 FINAL
Carolina 19
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Columbus 4 FINAL
Carolina 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Washington 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Calgary 1 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Edmonton 0 FINAL
Calgary 1
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Toronto FC 3
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question