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AP sources: Wolves trading Williams to Kings

November 26, 2013
Associated Press


AP Basketball Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves are trading former No. 2 overall draft pick Derrick Williams to the Sacramento Kings for Luc Mbah a Moute.

Two person with knowledge of the deal say the agreement was reached on Monday night. The people requested anonymity because neither team has officially announced the deal.

Williams with the No. 2 overall draft choice in 2011. But he never was able to carve a niche in Rick Adelman's rotation and it became increasingly clear early this season that he had no role on the Timberwolves. Williams is averaging 4.9 points in under 15 minutes per game this season.

Mbah a Moute is averaging 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in nine games for the Kings this season.

The deal finally brings to an end Williams' tenure in Minnesota, which had been filled with trade rumors practically from the minute the Wolves drafted him out of Arizona.

He entered the league as a power forward, but found himself in Adelman's dog house early in his first season while he tried to digest a new system and a new league.

Stuck behind Kevin Love at power forward, Williams dropped weight and tried to make a move to small forward in both his second season and this year.

The Wolves bounced him between both positions depending on who else was on the floor with him.

Through it all, Williams always seemed a more natural fit at big forward, and he filled in admirably at the position last season when Love went down with a hand injury.

Starting for Love, Williams averaged 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and shot 34 percent from 3-point range over the final 33 games of the season and headed into the summer with some momentum.

New Wolves President Flip Saunders elected to exercise the $6.3 million option on Williams' contract for 2014-15 despite Adelman's reluctance to play him big minutes.

But with Love back in the mix and playing at a high level early this season, the playing time has been hard to come by for Williams. With a starting five clearly established, Adelman has preferred to use Robbie Hummel at small forward and Dante Cunningham at power forward with the second unit.

Williams missed one game with back spasms and did not play in three others while Adelman elected to go with other players. The coach wanted to see more consistent effort on both ends of the court while Williams said he was unable to get into the flow of the game with such sporadic playing time.

In Sacramento, Williams will come to a young team that still appears to be a year away from challenging for a playoff spot in the powerful Western Conference. That should mean he will come to a coaching staff that can afford to be a little more patient with him and give him more playing time to learn and grow.

Mbah a Moute is a defensive specialist that will help the Timberwolves, who are trying to end a nine-year playoff drought this season, beef up their ability to defend the pick and roll, which has been a problem for them this season.

It also should give Adelman another option on the bench that he is willing to play significant minutes, which he made clear he was unwilling to do with Williams. The Wolves' starters have collectively played more than any other starting five in the league this season, and there was concern that they would wear down as the season went on.



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