Derrick LeRon Williams (born May 25, 1991) is an American professional basketball player who is currently a free agent. He was considered one of the top prospects for the 2011 NBA draft before being selected with the second overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Early life

Williams was born in La Mirada, California and graduated from La Mirada High School. [2]

College career

Williams originally committed to play at the University of Southern California. [3] He was quickly recruited by first-year head coach Sean Miller at the University of Arizona.

Freshman year

As a freshman Williams averaged 15.7 points per game and was named a freshman All-American and the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. [4] [5]

Freshman year honors:

  • Fred Enke Most Outstanding Player (Team co-MVP)
  • All-Pac-10 first team

Sophomore year

Williams rose to national prominence in his sophomore year. He averaged 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. During the 2011 season, Williams led the NCAA in True Shooting percentage (.690) and Effective Field Goal percentage (.650), helping lead the Arizona Wildcats basketball team to a regular season PAC-10 championship. Williams was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year. [6]

Williams also contributed to the Wildcats' run in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. He made a critical block with less than 2 seconds against Memphis. [7] He had a 3-point play against the Texas Longhorns, which advanced the Wildcats to the Sweet 16 of the 2011 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. [14] Williams then had a career high 32 points along with 13 rebounds to lead Arizona in an upset victory over the #1-seeded Duke by a 16-point margin to advance into the Elite Eight, where they fell 65–63 to the future NCAA tournament champion, Connecticut. At the end of the season he was projected to be one of the top picks for the upcoming NBA draft. [2]

Sophomore year honors:

  • Pac-10 Player of the Year
  • All-Pac-10 first team [2]
  • Three time Pac-10 Player of the Week [2]
  • USBWA District IX Player of the Year [2]
  • Wooden Award's 10-player All-America team in 2011 [2]
  • First-team All-American by Sports Illustrated [2]
  • Second-team by the Associated Press in 2011. [2]
  • Second-team by Sporting News [2]
  • Second-team by the United States Basketball Writers Association [2]
  • Second-team by the National Association of Basketball Coaches [2]
  • Second-team by Fox Sports. [3]

College statistics

College Year GP GS MIN SPG BPG RPG APG PPG FG% FT% 3P%
Arizona Wildcats 2009–10 31 31 28.2 0.6 0.6 7.1 0.7 15.7 .574 .681 .250
Arizona Wildcats 2010–11 38 38 30.0 1.0 0.7 8.3 1.1 19.5 .595 .746 .568
Career [3] 69 69 29.2 0.8 0.7 7.8 0.9 17.8 .586 .717 .425

Professional career

Minnesota Timberwolves (2011–2013)

Williams announced that he would declare for the NBA draft on April 13, 2011. [3] He was selected with the second overall pick by the Timberwolves in the 2011 NBA draft. During the NBA lockout of 2011, he spent the summer at the University of Arizona taking summer classes to finish his degree. [3] Shortly after the draft, Under Armour signed an endorsement deal with Williams. [3] Williams joined several other NBA players for an exhibition game in the Philippines during the summer of 2011. [3]

Williams participated in the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge along with teammate Ricky Rubio. However, Williams played for Team Chuck, while Rubio played for Team Shaq. Williams also participated in the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest. [3]

Williams scored a season high 27 points on February 28, 2012 in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers. He made 9 of 10 shots from the field and 4 of 4 from three-point range. [3] He led the Timberwolves to victory over the New Orleans Hornets with what was then a career-high 28 points on March 17, 2013. [3]

Sacramento Kings (2013–2015)

On November 26, 2013, Williams was traded to the Sacramento Kings for forward Luc Mbah a Moute. [3] He made his debut on November 29, 2013, finishing with 12 points (on 6-for-13 shooting), six rebounds and four assists in a 104-96 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. On December 9, 2013, Williams scored a career-high 31 points in a victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

In the Kings' 2014–15 season finale on April 15, Williams scored a season-high 22 points in a 122-109 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. [4]

New York Knicks (2015–2016)

On July 9, 2015, Williams signed with the New York Knicks. [4] He made his debut for the Knicks in the team's season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks on October 28, scoring a game-high 24 points in a 122–97 win. [4] On January 12, 2016, he recorded his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds in a 120–114 win over the Boston Celtics. [4] The next day, he tied his career-high of 31 points in a loss to the Brooklyn Nets. [4]

Miami Heat (2016–2017)

On July 10, 2016, Williams signed with the Miami Heat. [4] On February 6, 2017, he was waived by the Heat after appearing in 25 games. [4]

Cleveland Cavaliers (2017)

Image
Williams (#7) with the Minnesota Timberwolves in January 2012

On February 9, 2017, Williams signed a 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. [4] That night, Williams played 22 minutes in his debut in Cleveland's 118–109 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder and scored 12 points, going 3-for-3 from the field and 6-for-8 from the free throw line. [4] He went on to sign a second 10-day contract on February 22, [4] and then a rest-of-season contract on March 4. [5] Despite Williams not playing much for the rest of the season and playoffs, the Cavaliers made it back the NBA Finals for the third straight season and Williams first Finals. The Cavaliers were matched up with the Golden State Warriors in the 2017 NBA Finals went on to lose the series in five games. [5] [5]

NBA career statistics

Legend
GP Games played GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
FG% Field goal percentage 3P% 3-point field goal percentage FT% Free throw percentage
RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2011–12 Minnesota 66 15 21.5 .412 .268 .697 4.7 .6 .5 .5 8.8
2012–13 Minnesota 78 56 24.6 .430 .332 .706 5.5 .6 .6 .5 12.0
2013–14 Minnesota 11 0 14.7 .352 .133 .875 2.4 .1 .4 .4 4.9
2013–14 Sacramento 67 15 24.7 .437 .286 .708 4.4 .8 .7 .2 8.5
2014–15 Sacramento 74 6 19.8 .447 .314 .684 2.7 .7 .5 .1 8.3
2015–16 New York 80 9 17.9 .450 .293 .758 3.7 .9 .4 .1 9.3
2016–17 Miami 25 11 15.1 .394 .200 .620 2.9 .6 .4 .2 5.9
2016–17 Cleveland 25 0 17.1 .505 .404 .692 2.3 .6 .2 .1 6.2
Career 426 112 20.8 .434 .300 .710 4.0 .7 .5 .3 8.9

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2016–17 Cleveland 8 0 4.8 .533 .600 1.000 .4 .5 .0 .1 2.6
Career 8 0 4.8 .533 .600 1.000 .4 .5 .0 .1 2.6