Derrick Williams and Kyrie Irving both entered the NBA draft at the same time. While Irving may go on to be an All-Star, Williams could be out of the league entirely.
Although the Sacramento Kings and Williams seemed to be a good fit thanks to the team's shaky offense, Williams' professional career continues to be stuck in second gear. Despite the fact that he is considered a good teammate on the Kings roster, Rui Thomas of Cowbell Kingdom noted that his time may soon be up on that team.
"It's no secret that Williams' time is coming to an end in Sacramento," Thomas wrote. "He is regarded around the league as a reclamation project at best, and at worst, a bust. The Kings can sell him to other clubs as an expiring deal, or let him walk when free agency begins."
Thomas cited the history and circumstances surrounding Kings forward Luc Mbah a Moute, who took a similar path compared to what Williams is doing now. In fact, Mbah a Moute was traded in exchange for Williams, a cruel irony not lost on Thomas.
"At the time of the trade, Mbah a Moute had two years left on an overpriced deal he signed in 2011," Thomas wrote. "Today, the 23-year-old Williams is making $6.3 million in the last year of his rookie-scale contract."
Thomas added that Sacramento thought of Williams as a liability in terms of flexibility, especially if he was allowed to stay on the roster. As long as he stays on the team, though, the Kings plan to get the most out of him before he is put up on the trading block.
"Middling and bottom-tier clubs would love to trade for Williams' contract to shed long-term salaries, but what Sacramento is currently doing is reminding NBA scouts and general managers that the 6-foot-8, 240-pounder retains his tantalizing potential," Williams wrote. "He is a hyper-athletic combo forward who's still developing a go-to move."
According to Thomas, the career of Williams could be "salvageable" if he is placed in the right situation.
In his four-year career, Williams has stacked 9.4 points and 4.6 rebounds while playing less than 20 minutes. According to Marcus Bass of Fansided, the Kings consider him as expendable from the team.
"Simply put, he has no home in the NBA due to his inability to serve as a true fit at any position," Bass wrote. "He's too weak of a rebounder and post defender to be set as a power forward, and as a 29.6 percent career shooter from deep, he's no threat on the wing either."
Bass added that the trade could be carried out before the deadline, noting that "the writing has been on the wall for some time."