The newest member of the Sacramento Kings speaks to News10's Bryan May.
SACRAMENTO, CA - Derrick Williams arrived in Sacramento late Tuesday evening, ready to leave behind the memories of the last two tumultuous seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and start fresh with his new Kings team.
Sacramento agreed to a deal with Minnesota on Monday night, and acquired Williams in exchange for forward Luc Mbah a Moute.
The 22-year-old Williams flew into San Francisco, before completing his physical and meeting Kings owner Vivek Ranadive during a private dinner. He then made his way over to the team's practice facility in Sacramento, where he spoke about the trade publicly for the first time as a King.
"It feels good, it's a new beginning," Williams said. "It's a new start for myself, and the team. I really feel like I can help this team out."
The 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward was unable to find a comfortable fit with the Timberwolves, after being selected out of Arizona with the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He was playing behind Kevin Love at power forward, before dropping weight in attempt to find a role at the small forward position.
Williams struggled to find a role with Rick Adelman's team despite his efforts to play a different position with the Wolves. Players like Dante Cunningham gained the trust of Adelman, playing behind Love. Then the former Kings coach felt more comfortable with Corey Brewer and Robbie Hummel at small forward ahead of Williams, leaving him the odd man out.
Known for his athleticism and scoring ability, Williams averaged a dismal 4.9 points and 2.4 rebounds through 11 games this season in Minnesota. He has career averages of 10.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Regardless of where Kings' coach Michael Malone plays his new forward, Williams says he'll be ready.
"I just tell people, just get me on the court, I'm going to do good things," said Williams. "Playing behind Kevin Love, it's tough. Not many people can out play him and he's one of the best players in the world."
Sacramento represents a fresh start for Williams, who was born in La Mirada in Southern California. He's happy to leave behind the freezing temperatures for a warmer, west coast climate and he said he's ready to reinvent himself, to show people why he was worthy of that high draft pick.
"That's how I got to the NBA, just proving people wrong," Williams said. "(Minnesota was) just a bad fit for myself with the situation I was in, but I'm here to prove people wrong.
"I've been at the bottom, everybody knows that, and there's only one way up."
By Sean Cunningham, SCunningham@News10.net