The big goal for the Wizards’ front office between now and the end of the season will be to find a way to add some more depth to supplement the team’s very effective starting unit. One of the options that could be on the table is Derrick Williams, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:
An NBA official in touch with Miami’s front office said the Heat has explored trading Derrick Williams to create a roster spot for [Okaro] White, the 6-9 forward who has regularly been receiving late-game minutes since joining the Heat on Jan. 17.
If the Heat is unable to trade Williams, releasing him is among the other options under consideration.
Washington is among the teams believed to have interest if Williams is released, according to a Williams associate. It’s also possible that he could be claimed or acquired via trade by a team that hasn’t reached the league-required cap floor: Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Denver, Utah, Phoenix or Minnesota.
The Wizards’ situation at the backup power forward position has been a mess this season. Andrew Nicholson hasn’t played well enough offensively to compensate for his defensive issues, and as a result, Scott Brooks has resorted to a patchwork solution utilizing Otto Porter at the 4 in small lineups and using Markieff Morris with bench units to plug the holes.
While the solution has worked, it relies a lot on Porter and Morris staying healthy and logging big minutes. Adding another 4 to the mix who could step in and handle some of those minutes would make things easier for everyone.
That said, Derrick Williams shouldn’t be the Wizards’ first option or one worth acquiring in a trade. Let’s quickly review some of the issues:
- He’s struggling to find playing time on the Heat, who are 20-30 and are giving minutes to Luke Babbitt and Okaro White.
- He’s shooting 39 percent from the field this season, a career-low.
- He’s never been known as a plus defender.
Would he perform better in Washington than he has in Miami? Probably. Could he still be an upgrade over Nicholson at this point? Maybe. Even if he can’t find his shot in Washington, he at least has a little more mobility which would at least give him a better shot of making an impact on the defensive end.
Williams is always going to be an intriguing player in these discussions because he was a high draft pick and he has some unique skills, but there’s a reason he hasn’t caught on with the Timberwolves, Kings, Knicks, or Heat. He might be worth a flyer if he’s bought out, but only if there aren’t any other proven options available.