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Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  57 responses

Derrick Williams Thinks He Can Replace LeBron in Cleveland


Unlike Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams has no problem declaring himself as the potential savior for the Cleveland Cavaliers. From Arizona Sports: “Arizona Wildcat forward Derrick Williams isn’t lacking confidence. As a matter of fact, it appears he has an overabundance of it. In a statement after finding out Tuesday night that the Cleveland Cavaliers would have the first pick in the NBA Draft, Williams shared why he’d be the best option with the first pick. ‘I think I’m the No. 1 pick because I have more star quality I would think,’ the small forward said. ‘I’m just a bigger person. Just trying to fill in for a big star like LeBron like they’re missing. That missing piece. I think that’s me.’ Living in Arizona we all got a chance to see Williams play at the University of Arizona but no one once thought ‘that guy is the next LeBron James’ (that is anyone that wasn’t a complete UA homer). No one can deny his athleticism and his basketball ability but to say he can fill the void left in Cleveland by LeBron’s departure seems like a bit of a stretch. Should he be considered as the No. 1 pick in the draft? Certainly. Should he be viewed as a replacement for LeBron James? Definitely not.”

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  • dsleepy

    uh oh

  • The Conductor

    LeBron James spoils us with his play. Will you spoil us? Because that’s what we really need. We need you to fake an elbow injury and then spoil us by talking about yourself in the 3rd person.

    Where do we sign up for that?

  • Hursty

    *tumbleweed*
    *crickets*

  • Donte

    Hey sky’s the limit lol..if Cleveland can get derrick Williams and Kyrie Irving or Kyrie Iring and Enes Kanter that would be big but i dont see either making it past 3

  • Jer dawg

    God bless his youthful exuberance. Plus, Cleveland would welcome his personality. But, I’m not even sure he’ll go #1. unless he can really show he’s got Lebron-esque versatility to play point forward. Irving is a humble guy that has good demeanor about him, but superstar? No.

  • Mat

    Haha at best he’s a bench player horrible draft!

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    “Derrick Williams makes T-money and Jtaylor mad”.

  • tomtom

    …lol

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    I think the last thing Cleveland needs is another point-forward as their go-to guy, Cavs offense was predictable because the ball was always in Lebron’s hands, no reason why they would want that again. I do like his confidence, but he is probably just overplaying it because he doesn’t want to end up in Minnesota playing behind Beasley. I would have no problem with Williams going first overall.

  • http://slamonline.com JJAkroyd

    Didn’t someone already call this on the Kyrie Irving piece?

  • robb

    @omphalos Byron Scott is no Mike Brown

  • EtheKnickFan

    Cleveland still gonna suck. Draft might not have outright bonafide studs but its full of good team fillers. Makes for a lot of good trades.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Granted, but Cavs would be better pairing Williams with a traditional PG, I’m hoping they manage to get Brandon Knight and Derrick Williams, I have a feeling Knight will be better than Irving in the long run regardless.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZKZ-KmR5Qw Max

    Please Cleveland and Twolves don’t pick any player and add them to your sh*tty teams..

  • iCARNACKi

    Cleveland shouldn’t even want another Lebron. Teams built around one player are rarely successful and they shouldn’t be looking to build their team around a point forward.

    Derrick Williams is clearly not another Lebron, Lebron is a once in a lifetime phenom, Williams looks like he can be an all star SF if things work out and that is fine.

    I agree that coming out of this draft with Williams/Knight looks a lot better than Irving/Someone else.

    To be honest I won’t be mad at Cleveland whoever they pick… as long as they don’t pick one of the 3 European bigs.

  • Fat Lever

    Good thing he didn’t mean Labron.

  • Jackie M.

    Hey Derrick,Cleveland has to draft you first.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    I’d be okay with Valanciunas at the 4, he could be groomed behind Varejao until he’s ready to start, and has the potential to be a big difference maker. Does anyone else think it would be hilarious if Lebron opted out of the Heat in 2013 and returned to win in Cleveland after they acquired all that young talent?

  • T-Money

    I’m actually a big Derrick Williams fan. I just hope that his team will let him play the 3 full time and none of that tweener BS. Mike Beasley wasted 2 years trying to be something he’s not at the pro level.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    Considering they’re vying for potential millions, I’d probably say that too, if anyone would believe it. Media: Hey, you good enough to lead a crappy team? “Yes of course, where do I sign?”

  • http://theurbangriot.com The NUPE

    I like Williams and wouldn’t have a problem with either him or Irving as the first pick overall. Also after the toe injury and now Irving not participating in the agility drills – seems like something may be up. So, makes me lean even more towards Williams. However, they still need a PG for the future and Irving/Knight would likely go 2 and 3 leaving Cleveland to pair Williams with Kanter or one of the other eurpean bigs.

  • Carlos Mosley

    The Cav’s don’t have a small forward on their roster, every team needs a scoring small forward, thats also tough on the inside, he should be picked first, they have Barron Davis and Sessions at the point, so if they want to win now, take Williams. If they still think they need a point of the future Brandon Kinght would be there at 4. Taking Irvin first will not payoff right away, he is no Derrick Rose. However I think Dan Gilbert wants to win now, so Williams would be a no-brainer.

  • matt

    The best thing cleveland can do is get dwill at the number one spot an take a pg at the 4 with knight or walker..Dwill will be a star in the nba as soon as he steps on the court he was hands down the best college basketball player last year he will somewhat step into lebrons shoes an help the team out in a big way.. irving is showing signs already that he hurt or somethings up by not being in the combine i think if dwill falls to the timberwolfs or the jazz they will luck out big time..

    DWILL all day everyday!!!!
    (an im a huge lebron fan)

  • http://slamonline.com Yknot

    He should have held an hour long press conference at the boys and girls club to make a bold statement like this!

  • http://countdownnba.blogspot.com/ Clay

    Rich mans JJ Hickson anybody?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    He’s essentially a less athletic Jeff Green. And he will be playing a stretch 4 if he wants or his team wants, him to be the focal point of the offense.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    I don’t get it. He said he’d “try” to fill in for a big star like LeBron.
    If anything, dude is dissing Kyrie cause he said he thinks he has more star quality.

  • Wizlondon

    nbk… You mean more athletic version of jeff green right?
    Either that or I’m assuming you’ve never seen either of them play.

  • JTaylor21

    I actually believe DWill 2 is Lebron-lite. He doesn’t have the passing ability, the ballhandling, or the ability to guard multiple positions like Bron does but he does have similar athleticsm and the same kind of confidence as Bron. Even though I believe Irving’s the better player, Williams has the ability to be a star someday.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Williams athleticism is not in the same stratosphere as LeBron James, you must not have watched him much. Literally like I said 15 minutes ago, he is a less athletic version of Jeff Green. He has a better jumper and is a little more physical but doesn’t run or jump nearly as well.

  • JTaylor21

    “a less athletic version of Jeff Freaking Green? Oh lawd!!!!

  • feez22

    Derrick williams=undersized 4. He isn’t a good enough dribbler or triple threat player to play the 3 yet. he’s not as versatile as lebron but his shot is better. Dwill is no lebron. i would take kyrie with the #1 pick. He has all star potential (yes he’s from duke but lets be real that dookie curse applies to guys that actually played long stretches at duke. Kyrie played what 14 games?) and the effect a PG like kyrie can have on the team will be much more than what dwill can be. Not to mention byron scott gets the best out of his PG’s… look @ the hornets. im not saying that kyrie is chris paul but a PG that can pass and get the scrubs involved>>>a undersized 4 whom can’t dribble well.

  • T-Money

    nbk: are you high? derrick williams is much more athletic than jeff green!! his handle and bag of tricks will surprise a lot of folks. he’s got that paul pierce dribble-drive game.

  • Mo Williams

    Derrick williams = Marvin Williams

  • Bye bye

    They should take Williams then trade down and get one if the big men

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    T-Money and JTaylor beat me to it, but yeah, Williams is a STUD athletically.

  • Darth

    just hope the team that drafts him doesnt put him at the 4. He isnt Lebron but he does have the same kind of build and athleticism. If he works on his ball handling he could be a force to deal with

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I’m sorry but I watched a lot of Derrick Williams, a lot. he’s oober smart, and long. But no he is not a stud athletically, he isn’t the even most athletic wildcat.

  • @Deknowz

    They still have an NBA franchise in Cleveland?

  • yes.we.did.

    Ed 0′Bannon anybody?

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling chiqo

    i think i can beat mike tyson

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    NBK clearly has an even higher opinion of Jeff Green than me.

  • iCARNACKi

    LMAO he went from number 1 draft pick to complete and utter bust in the space of 10 comments… ridiculous.

    If comments on the internet were anything to go by, no one would ever get drafted.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    who called him a bust? we are comparing him to LeBron James, and people in here are crazy enough to put him in the same athletic category? There is what 4 players in the whole league in that athletic class? and y’all gonna put Derrick Williams up there? I have every wildcat game televised where I live, and never once ever did I sit and say, wow that kid is one amazing athlete. I never even thought to myself, man that kid is gonna be the best player on an NBA contender. I did however see him and think “man that kid is gonna be a good NBA player, a great complimentary piece on a good team” – this draft is HORRIBLE, the first pick this year would likely fall to 6-10 next year, but we are gonna have this argument because we are talking about the #1 pick. Williams is gonna be a good player, he’ll have a long career, might even make an all star team or two. But if you think he is gonna be more then that, it won’t come from athleticism. Infact this is straight from NBADraftInsider (. com) Williams is a very good and versatile forward who came on strong as a freshman last season. He is a combo forward with more perimeter oriented skills, but can bang in the paint as well. If Williams can show he is a better athlete than advertised, he can really be a dominate player. Williams should be a lottery pick and his performance this season will determine if he goes any higher.

  • Mack

    Draft Irving then Kanter and you’re all set, Cleveland.

  • connor

    nah williams then knight knight is a solid player with heaps of potential can score form where ever an play d okay he’s not a pure point but who really would irving be passing to this is the second worst team in the league remember

  • blakos

    NBK. I think the argguement we are having has morphed into Jeff Green vs Derrick Williams with regards to athleticism. Allen P, J Taylor, T money and Rigo suggest Williams is more athletic than Green. I agree with them.

    I dont care anymore about Williams now that he isn’t going to Washington….

  • blakos

    Chiqo…At Pidgeon racing?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    If the Raptors somehow land Enes Kanter… Oh my. Imagine a front court of Enes Kanter and Ed Davis.

  • T-Money

    nbk: no one said he was as athletic as lebron, i don’t know why you’re debating that. and i don’t know what you’re saying about his athletic abilities. look at the dunks vs duke in the tournament. or when he caught the ball on the fast break and did a 360 without dribbling. you’re tripping.

  • spursnation

    Something’s fishy with Kyrie not participating in the Combine drills. Either shows arrogance or lingering injuries to me. Cavs need a big. Enough with this PG fad.

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    Yeah, I mean, I don’t think Derrick Williams is super athletic, but a less athletic version of Jeff Green is a very bad comparison

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Fair enoug my fault then. I don’t see him as that great of an athlete because of a few dunks and blocks, he’s enormously long. Once the combine numbers come out I’ll show a comparison of him to green, then I will gladly admit if I’m wrong.

  • iCARNACKi

    Okay well if the knock on Williams is that he doesn’t have elite athleticism (which I agree with, but very few players have elite anything) then surely this lack of elite athleticism has to be a knock on Irving too… right?

    I just think the Cavs have holes everywhere and getting Williams and either Knight or Walker is a lot better value than getting Irving and Kawhi Leonard or God forbid Enes Kanter.

    I think Irving is a safer pick but I think Brandon Knight has far more upside as an NBA point guard.

    I pray to God either the Timberwolves or Jazz are stupid enough to take Kanter so Cleveland can’t.

  • jamie

    Williams probably wont be able to fill the spot of Lebron, but he is defiantly a better pick than Eriving.
    with help from other guys the cavs might pick this draft with there nice set of picks they can fill the hole of the missing lebron

  • http://slamonline.com Waylonakolipse

    Williams will be lucky if he can score 15ppg.

  • JTank

    I watched the guy all season – he was not effective when physical defense was employed. He disappeared against UW all year – he can only shoot well when he is wide open and the shot requires toooo long of a set up. He is all about himself and obviously will be a negative in the locker room – what kind of head case says he is the best replacement for James? He is just lobbying for the #1 pick – he can’t dribble and has only 2 moves to the basket, but the ego is a huge problem he is a 10 – 5 guy at best! BAD ATTITUDE!!!

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