Derrick Williams should help Michael Beasley move closer toward reaching his potential as an NBA player, according to Tony Ronzone, the Timberwolves assistant general manager.
The Wolves used the No. 2 pick in the first round of last night’s NBA draft to select Williams, a sophomore forward from the University of Arizona. He’s expected to put pressure on Beasley to retain his starting small forward position for the Timberwolves.
“No question. Competition is great,” Ronzone told Sports Headliners earlier in the week. “We’ll see. We’re in a good spot there.”
Beasley, in his first year with the Wolves last season, played a career high 32.3 minutes per game. He averaged 19.2 points and made 45 percent of his shots. He was occasionally brilliant offensively and almost consistently inconsistent in his performance. “He’s one of the best offensive scorers in the NBA when he’s tuned in,” Ronzone said.
The 22-year-old Beasley was the second pick by Miami in the first round of the 2008 draft. His reputation for inconsistency is stamped on his resume but Ronzone believes the young forward’s experience last season will help him play better.
If not, Williams could have Beasley’s job and play the opposite forward to Kevin Love. Williams averaged 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds last season, and was the Pac-10 Player of the Year. He was the consensus second best player available in the draft after Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, selected No. 1 by Cleveland.