Derrick Williams has figured out a niche in the NBA — he can score the rock. He shot 39.4 percent on corner threes last season. As word spread around the league that defenders had to close on him from the corners, he showed the ability to put the ball on the floor, drive to the rim and put up dunks that got him on SportsCenter. Kings fans loved him for it.
Now it will be Knicks fans turn.
The Kings decided not to make Williams a restricted free agent, and he has chosen to bolt to Madison Square Garden, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.
Williams averaged 8.3 points a game last season in Sacramento.
Williams ability to score had him looking pretty good in George Karl’s system in Sacramento, but his game is fairly one-dimensional. The former No. 2 pick isn’t much of a passer — once he decides to shoot he seems to get blinders on, and open cutters are ignored.
His style isn’t exactly triangle friendly, but he is a talent upgrade at the three and can fit next to Carmelo Anthony if New York plays ‘Melo at the four. At this price, it’s a fair pickup for New York, giving them another role player.
It seems the Knicks are convinced DeAndre Jordan won’t sign with them.
After a report Robin Lopez would choose the Knicks if Jordan didn’t, Lopez and the Knicks are apparently advancing.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
This isn’t a done deal, and it can’t become official until July 9, anyway. But it never seemed likely Jordan would sign with the Knicks in the first place. This just makes it more certain.
Lopez – a screen-setting, offensive rebounding, paint-protecting center – is a decent fit next to Carmelo Anthony. He makes the Knicks better, and at 27, he should remain a solid player for most, if not all, of this contract.
This isn’t the big splash most Knicks fans wanted, but at least they’re going in the right direction. Considering the Knicks lose their first-round pick next year, the only potential harm is the long-term salary commitment.
DeAndre Jordan will reportedly choose between the Clippers and Mavericks.
So, barring a surprise New York decision, Robin Lopez will join the Knicks.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Lopez and the Knicks were reportedly talking about a deal that pays $12 million-$13 million annually. Presumably, that’s what Lopez agreed to accept. The length is unclear, but Lopez is 27. Four years wouldn’t be awful.
On the bright side, Lopez is the type of player the Knicks need to complement Carmelo Anthony. Lopez defends well near the rim, sets good screens and crashes the offensive glass. Building around Melo – who’s expensive, defensively deficient and a poor passer – is difficult. Lopez helps.
The big questions: Would the Knicks have enough money left to add more support after paying Lopez that much? This is still a very incomplete roster. How much growth does Lopez have left in him? He looks near his peak. That’s not a bad position, but doesn’t bring the type of upside that excites fans.
This would be a fine signing, but with Phil Jackson raising expectations so high, it would also feel underwhelming.