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Derrick Williams: 'It's a big month for me'

Published on NewsOK Modified: October 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm •  Published: October 1, 2013

He showed up to camp this week looking slim and trim and ready to fight for minutes and fulfill some of the promise that he showed when he came out of Arizona.

"I know how good I am. I know how good I can be," he said. "Just got to keep working. That's why I took a few months to get my body in shape. I'm not tired. Last season I was exhausted. But the extra 15-20 pounds off, it really helps. I'm sure the coaches noticed it as well. I wasn't asking for any subs. It was good."

Adelman said he liked what he saw from Williams on the first day, but his praise came with a cautious optimism. Last year he raved about Williams early in camp, but didn't like what he saw as the days wore on.

"Frankly I thought last year in camp he made some adjustments playing the 3 and then he just kind of gradually got away from it," Adelman said. "He's got to really, really hone in on that. That's a chance for him to be very effective."

With small forward Chase Budinger out indefinitely because of an injured left knee, the opportunity is there for Williams and Corey Brewer to get even more playing time. It will also give the coaches and Saunders a long look at him in the next three weeks leading up to the deadline to make a decision on Williams' contract.

"It's a lot of money. That's why everyone's talking about it," Williams said. "But if I do what I have to do, stay healthy, it's going to happen. I'm not really worried about it."

Saunders, who took over as president of basketball operations this summer, has been noncommittal about his plans. But he also said he likes the potential Williams has shown to this point.

"I know what he's done this summer. We'll see how it translates," Saunders said. "I've said all along, I've always been a big fan of his. To say there's a decision there, that's just because there's a (deadline). I feel and I believe he's going to be here. We'll see what all transpires."


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