SH Blog: Is Derrick Williams Safe In Minnesota? Could Durant Leave OKC? Hakeem Pays Tribute to Kobe

Derrick WilliamsAs glamorous as it may seem, the NBA can be a tough place to make it for certain players.

Being in the league alone justifies your level of talent. But it takes more than talent to survive.

Just ask J.R. Smith and Lamar Odom, two of the more talented players in the league who cannot seem to get out of their own way.

While it may not be drugs that are bringing Minnesota’s Derrick Williams down, the former No. 2 overall draft pick faces an uncertain future in Minnesota. 

More from Darren Wolfson: “Even after spending $117 million in free agency in July and August, Minnesota Timberwolves president of operations Flip Saunders will have another sizable monetary decision to make. Before his third year begins — Oct. 31 is the deadline — the Wolves need to figure out if they will pay forward Derrick Williams $6.3 million for the 2014-15 season. In a phone conversation earlier this week spanning a few topics, Wolves owner Glen Taylor acknowledged the team isn’t quite sure what to do…”

“We’ll evaluate his summer program, and how he looks coming into camp (which starts Oct. 1),” Taylor said. “I heard he is looking good.”

On the other side, who would have thought for Butler guard/forward Gordon Hayward, the small scrawny kid that almost hit a miracle shot to beat Duke in the National Championship game would be looking at a contract extension with the Utah Jazz heading into this season. More from Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star:

He’s enjoyed a gradual climb in the league since being selected ninth overall by Utah in the 2010 Draft — two months after his half-court heave at Lucas Oil Stadiumjust missed delivering Butler a storybook national championship. Turning pro after his sophomore season at Butler appears today a very wise choice: Hayward will earn $3.4 million this season and is considered among the NBA’s brightest young stars.

He has increased his points per game in each successive season (from 5.4 to 11.8 to 14.1 this past year) and appears to be among the key components, along with power forward Derrick Favors and rookie point guard Trey Burke, the Jazz hope to build around for the foreseeable future.

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