After Rudy Gay decided to opt in to his contract for the 2014-15 season, the Sacramento Kings needed to figure who would back him up. There are a couple of choices though the most likely candidates are either Omri Casspi or Derrick Williams.
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Casspi was of course signed during free agency and has now given Williams plenty of competition for the backup small forward job, so much so that he could end up being used far more than Williams in the rotation.
Still, at just 23-years-old, the Kings are going to need to figure out what to do with Derrick Williams who is very possibly playing in the final year of his contract. The Kings hold an $8 million dollar team option for 2015-16.
Obviously Derrick Williams hasn’t proven himself to be worthy of such coin, though the former No. 2 overall pick has plenty of promise and at times can show flashes of All-Star ability. Of course, just as quickly Derrick Williams can make himself look like he belongs in the NBDL though he has put up a solid preseason.
Granted the opposing competition hasn’t exactly been the most elite though after sitting in Sacramento’s first game against the Toronto Raptors, Williams has hit 9 of 19 shots and played relatively solid defense (for the most part). Unfortunately for Williams, much of the same could be said for Omri Casspi who himself is just 26-years-old and comes at a much cheaper price, assuming he was to return next year. He also brings with him the ability to hit the outside shot at a far greater efficient clip which doesn’t exactly bode well for the former Arizona product.
Simply put, unless Derrick Williams takes a significant step in the early portion of the season or Omri Casspi falls on his face, it would appear that Casspi has the leg up on being more heavily involved in the rotation. His style of game simply fits the Kings better as they’re currently constructed and Williams has yet to instill enough confidence to suggest he can be a rotation player.
There will be chances for Williams to break out when head coach Mike Malone opts to run a smaller lineup with Derrick at the four spot, though those are likely to be few and far between.