Tonight will be the biggest night of Wildcats forward Derrick Williams' life. That goes without saying. Yet, these are uneasy times for the Arizona superstar. Usually the destiny of a top-2 pick is settled by this point. But somehow, here we are, hours away from the 2011 NBA Draft, and Williams still has no idea where he is going to begin his basketball journey.
Despite being widely praised as the most talented, NBA-ready player in this year's draft, Williams finds himself trapped within a constant swirl of flippant skeptics and endless trade rumors. At this point, all anybody knows is he could be going anywhere from pick number one-to-five, and to any team, including the Phoenix Suns, via trade.
All reports indicate that the Minnesota Timberwolves have been furiously shopping the number two pick, despite the face that Kevin Love apparently told the organization that if Williams was available, they'd better take him. Meanwhile, the Suns continue to deny all Gortat/Nash trade allegations, though that means virtually nothing at this stage of the game. Anything appears to be on the table, so it should be interesting to see how things play out.
1500ESPN.com | Signs point to Wolves landing Enes Kanter, but not at No. 2
The Wolves think just as highly about Turkey center Enes Kanter as they do Williams. In other words, because Kanter fills a need, he's a target.
The Wolves also aren't foolish enough to take Kanter outright at No. 2 when Williams has a lot of value.
In spite of what Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby told a Phoenix radio station -- point guard Steve Nash and center Marcin Gortat aren't being shopped -- they are for the No. 2 pick. Make no mistake: the Suns want Williams.
Sporting News | Derrick Williams unconcerned with uncertainty at No. 2
He is doing his best to keep his head in the sand on all the Wolves discussion, though. "I try to ignore it," Williams told SN. "Hopefully whatever team picks me wants me to stay, that is how I look at it. I heard Kevin Love say, if I am available at 2, he wants them to take me. I worked out with a couple of the guys already so I think if the players already like me, that would be cool."
Esquire.com | Derrick Williams: "I'm Going to Have to Get Used to Suits"
"Didn't want too baggy or too flashy, but didn't want a slim European suit, either. I stuck to my style - classy - and picked my favorite colors: black, red, and grey."
Huffington Post | NBA Draft 2011: Interview with Derrick Williams
It was ironic that Williams compared himself to current NBA player Mike Beasley, because many people --myself included -- think GM David Kahn is trying to trade Beasley.
"Honestly, I think it's pretty hard to guard two people that play similar," Williams said of Beasley. "Not too many people have two of the same players that play the same spot or different spots."
AZ Central | Arizona Wildcats star Derrick Williams is set for the next big stage
"He's really explosive, athletic," Bilas said. "When it's five-on-five, he can really rise. ... He was not an attentive weak-side defender, not great on-ball defender, but with his ability to score, I don't see anyone else going Number 2."
SB Nation | Markieff Morris Explains Anti-Derrick Williams Comments In A Weird Way
"I didn't think he was as good as advertised," Morris said. "He got the benefit of the calls from the ref and we had to guard him different. He definitely had a good game against us, because we couldn't guard him how we wanted to guard him, and that's what happened."
"It's still surprises me [that he's a top-two pick]. What he did to Duke, he wouldn't do that to me or my brother [Marcus]. I'm dead serious. He wouldn't. At all. He's good. But if we was to work out, I would go at him and I would be able to stop him more than people would expect, you know what I mean."