Derrick Williams

Rumor: Kings interested in possible Derrick Williams trade


This is not something likely go down in the near future if it goes down at all, so just put this in your “things that could happen after Christmas or close to the deadline” file.

We’ve told you before that the Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to trade Derrick Williams. Flip Saunders and the rest of the front office wants to win now — part of the “keep Kevin Love happy and in Minnesota” campaign — and they know a veteran will help them more in that regard than the inefficient Williams.

So who makes a viable trading partner that would role the dice on an athletic tweener forward who struggles to create his own shot or defend well? Maybe the Sacramento Kings, as thrown out there by Chad Ford in a chat at ESPN (credit to Tom Ziller at Sactown Royalty for finding this):

From everything I can gather, he’s available. It’s just about finding the right deal. Head coach Rick Adelman would prefer another veteran big to fill out the rotation. I think GM Flip Saunders wants a little more value. I know the Kings have a lot interest in Williams and might have the right combination of veterans to make a deal (Jason Thompson? Chuck Hayes?).

It’s going to take more than Chuck Hayes. Thompson is interesting but that’s a steep price for Sacramento to pay, there would have to be other pieces in there to make that work.

Still, just something to watch. There are teams still sold on the potential of Williams and think in a better system he could be a good rotation player. One will eventually bite and make an offer the Timberwolves like, and the Kings may well be that team.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.