NBA draft, Player Analysis

Derrick Williams drops science

Photo by Kevin Trotman

You should check out this hugely dorky but also kind of cool video about Derrick Williams’ three-point shooting. Under laboratory conditions and using a “high-tech basketball” we find that Williams catches and shoots in .8 of a second, which puts him in the company of deadeyes like Kevins Durant and Martin. We also find that his shot rotates at 2.3 revolutions per second, which is, we are told, very good. Science!

Also check out Stop-n-Pop’s exhaustive side-by-side analysis of Williams and college-aged Michael Beasley. Remembering that B-Eazy was an utter stat-producing colossus in his one year at Kansas State and was the consensus second pick in a strong draft, we should not be surprised that he outperformed Williams in most offensive categories (offensive efficiency, PER, winshare).

SnP does point out, however, that while Beasley was hugely superior from midrange, Williams is the much better three-point shooter (46-90 for his career compared to Beasley’s freshman year total of 36-95) and is much better at getting to the line (.58 ft’s/poss. for Williams vs. .4 for Beasley) than was Beasley in college. This is significant, of course, because shooting threes and getting to the line are hugely important to NBA success while the 16-23 foot jumper, Beasley’s specialty, is the least efficient way to score points.

The rub here is that much of Williams’ college success depended on him playing the four, where he has a quickness advantage on opposing defenders (whether he can defend NBA fours like Bosh, Dirk and Pau Gasol is another question). You may be aware that the Wolves already have a guy locked in at that spot. SnP boils the problem down to its pith and reveals why the Wolves have seemed so willing to trade the highest draft pick they’ve ever stumbled into:

Despite all of the virtual ink spilled here with Williams and Beasley, the big issue facing the Wolves should they draft the guy really has nothing to do with Senor Skittles. Instead, the “problem” is Kevin Love… If the Wolves draft Williams, they would a) have to gamble that he could play better than Beasley at the SF (and quickly, as Love isn’t going to wait around much longer) and b) that enough of his 3 point shooting and ability to get to the line will transfer to the NBA so that his overall performance eclipses that of B-Easy. The only other option is to move Love, either to the 5 or off the team.


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