MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Derrick Williams walked off the bus and strolled into Target Center toward the entrance to the visiting locker room.
As he put his hand on the door knob and started to open it, he did a double-take to make sure he was headed to the right place. It's hard to blame Williams for his tentativeness since he had spent the first two years of his career walking into the home locker room in this building.
Williams made his return to Minnesota on Wednesday night, a month and a half after the Timberwolves traded the former No. 2 overall pick to the Sacramento Kings for Luc Mbah a Moute. In that short time, Williams said it has already become crystal clear that he is a much better fit with the Kings than he was with the Wolves.
"I think it fits my style of play a little bit more," Williams said before Sacramento faced Minnesota. "I just feel a little bit more free out there on the court, learning through mistakes. With a young player like myself, as well as a first-year head coach, you're going to have some ups and downs on both sides. We're all learning together."
Williams was the highest draft pick in franchise history when the Wolves chose him in 2011. But coach Rick Adelman determined that he was better at power forward than small forward, which means he spent most of his time here stuck behind All-Star Kevin Love.
Playing on a team that began this year with playoff expectations, Williams found consistent playing time hard to come by. Adelman gave the bulk of the minutes to Love and veteran Dante Cunningham, leaving Williams frustrated at the end of the bench on many nights. So, Timberwolves President Flip Saunders traded him to Sacramento for Mbah a Moute to add some defensive depth to a team full of scorers.
"Sometimes you're not in the right spot," Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio said. "There's nothing you can do. He was working hard. He put a lot of time. I think he's going to be good in this league."