guy who was drafted second overall just

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guy who was drafted second overall just

PostPostao/la lw789 » 10 stu 2018, 04:20

MINNEAPOLIS -- For a guy who was drafted second overall just three years ago, Derrick Williams has enjoyed precious little security in his short time with the Minnesota Timberwolves. His name has been the subject of trade rumours almost from the moment he was drafted, and he has spent his first two seasons in the league trying to get on the same page with Wolves coach Rick Adelman while grasping the complexities of learning two positions. So when he finally gets a little something to hold on to, its no surprise that Williams is appreciative. Timberwolves president Flip Saunders informed Williams on Tuesday morning that the team will pick up his contract option for next season, guaranteeing the $6.3 million on the deal. "I think everybody knows that if they didnt pick up my option I would have been unrestricted (free agent) and, basically, could have done whatever," Williams said after practice. "So it helps, the security. Youre guaranteed at least one more year in the NBA, you know? And, as long as you have that, I think everything is good." The decision by the Timberwolves doesnt mean Williams wont continue to see his name in the trade rumour mill. Hes still adjusting to playing two positions -- small forward in addition to his more natural power forward -- and he admits he still has a lot to learn on both ends of the court. "Its tough. Especially when, ever since Ive been here, Ive heard trade rumours," Williams said. "Really since I was picked. So it seems like every other day there is something new." But hes also just 22 years old, and Saunders sees him as a young asset that deserves the chance to continue to develop. Williams is the second-leading scorer for the Wolves in the preseason and has a chance to be the teams starting small forward while Chase Budinger recovers from a knee injury. Adelman said he has been pleased with how hard Williams has been working, which appears to be progress for a coach who hasnt always been happy with the youngsters effort. "I think hes played very hard," Adelman said. "He rebounded the ball very well the other night (against Boston) and its a process for him. Its kind of a disadvantage when he has to play two spots because youre jumping back and forth. Right now thats what we have to do." Williams averaged 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and shot 34 per cent from 3-point range over the final 33 games of the season while filling in at power forward for the injured Kevin Love. But with Love back this season, Williams will have to be able to play small forward to get significant minutes. He feels more confident this year than he ever has, so much so that he thinks he should be starting on opening night against Orlando on Oct. 30. "I think I deserve to be," Williams said. "Thats why they drafted me here. They didnt draft me to come off the bench, things like that. Ultimately, its up to Coach. Im just here to play basketball." Sony Michel Jersey . Six years of waiting are finally over for the Dallas defenceman. 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In what manager Joe Girardi said would be a season-long lovefest for Jeter, the shortstop was cheered every step of the way by an adoring crowd of 48, 142 -- even when his double-play grounder back to Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2) scored Solarte in the third inning for the first run.Melbourne, Australia - Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will resume their rivalry in the Australian Open semifinals after each posted four- set quarterfinal victories on Wednesday. The world No. 1 Nadal was the first to advance, claiming a 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 triumph over 22nd-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, before Federer reached his 11th straight Aussie Open semi with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 victory over fourth-seeded Andy Murray at Rod Laver Arena. The former No. 1 great Federer, seeded sixth at this fortnight, reached the final four of a Grand Slam for the first time since falling to the reigning Wimbledon champion Murray in the Melbourne semis last year. He was a quarterfinal loser at the French Open last spring, then suffered a stunning second-round loss at Wimbledon and a fourth-round exit at the U.S. Open. The 17-time Grand Slam champ is seeking his first Aussie crown since 2010, when he beat Murray in the final. The 26-year-old Murray is a three-time Aussie runner-up, including last year here against Novak Djokovic. After Federer took the first two sets from Murray, including a brisk 31-minute opening stanza, the Brit fought back in the third, saving two match points in the tiebreak. Federer served for the match, leading 5-4 in the third, but Murray notched his first break, on only his first break-point of the match, against the Swiss icon, who had not been broken in 50 consecutive service games. The four-time Aussie Open champion Federer opened up 5-2 and 6-4 leads in the tiebreak, but had the match points thwarted. First a forehand error and then a backhand error as Murray stayed alive. The Scot would then paint a line with a forehand winner to earn a set point and converted to force a fourth set. A resilient Murray kept the match tight in the fourth, but he gave Federer too many open chances. Finally, on his 10th break point of the set, the Swiss stepped in with a big backhand return to set up a winning point and then served things out. Federer broke Murray four times, while the Brit settled for only one break in only two break-point opportunities all night. "Andy playedd well and put the pressure on me so Im happy to get the win," a relieved Federer said in a courtside interview.dddddddddddd"I probably miss more break points than other guys but I keep my composure and keep the poker face and tonight it worked." The 32-year-old Federer is now 10-11 lifetime against Murray, including 2-1 at the Aussie. A rusty Murray returned to action just a few weeks ago after being sidelined for 3 1/2 months following minor back surgery. Meanwhile, the 2009 Aussie Open champ and 2012 runner-up Nadal dropped the first set to Dimitrov on Day 10, but the 13-time major titlist gritted through a pair of tough tiebreaks over the next two sets before running away with the final set at Melbourne Park. The bout ended in 3 hours, 37 minutes. "I was so lucky," Nadal said. "It gives me the opportunity to be in semifinals of a tournament I love so much." It will be the fourth semifinal appearance at the Aussie Open for the reigning U.S. and French Open champ. The rising star Dimitrov, who became the first Bulgarian to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam singles event, dropped to 0-4 in his career against Nadal. He smacked 16 aces in a losing effort. The left-handed Nadal improved to 4-0 lifetime against the 22-year-old Dimitrov. Nadal and Federer will meet for a 33rd time on Friday, with the Spaniard leading the all-time series, 22-10, including 8-2 in Grand Slam action. 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