Since they each made their respective Turkish Airlines EuroLeague debuts in October 2018, the careers of forwards Danilo Barthel and Derrick Williams have been somewhat intertwined. Barthel, who had been with FC Bayern Munich already two years at that point, made his competition debut in Round 1 of the 2018-19 campaign against Anadolu Efes Istanbul. Williams waited until the following week before he first wore the Bayern uniform against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. The two were frontcourt mates for one season before Williams moved to Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul last summer. Now, Williams has a new destination in Valencia Basket, while Barthel has left Bayern to join Fenerbahce and take over the role Williams featured in last season.
In their season together, Barthel was the starter while Williams came off the bench as a game-changing sixth man. However, more often than not the two shared the floor. Williams was second on the team with 26 minutes per game, more than 2 minutes more than what Barthel spent on the floor. Williams also led the team in scoring (13.4 ppg.), compared to Barthel’s 8.1 average. The two were Bayern’s top two rebounders, with Williams grabbing just 1 more total rebound with one fewer game played. On the other hand, Barthel shot the ball more efficiently, especially from behind the three-point arc, although with lesser volume than Williams.
With Fenerbahce last season, Williams continued to display his game-changing explosiveness. While still playing the same 26 minutes per game, Williams’s numbers in Coach Zeljko Obradovic’s system, where he was not the first offensive option in a star-studded lineup, declined; he averaged 11.3 points and 3.9 rebounds. In Germany, Barthel remained a reliable inside presence for Bayern in over 24 minutes per game, and playing alongside a dominant center in Greg Monroe, he continued his steady production with 7.9 points and 3.9 rebounds. What also remained the same is that Williams shot the ball more often than Barthel. What did change last season, however, was that Williams also shot the ball better than Barthel. Williams’s role with Fenerbahce led to him shooting more shots from the outside than inside. Barthel remained a better passer, although Williams was more involved in that segment in his second season in the competition, too.
Going into their third EuroLeague season, the two players have very similar numbers with the exact same number of EuroLeague appearances: 57. Williams has averaged 26 minutes per game, with 12.4 points and 4.0 rebounds for an average 13.4 PIR, compared to 24 minutes, 8.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 9.4 PIR by Barthel. They have matching offensive rebound totals, very close rebounding totals and their accuracy on two-point and three-point shots is as close as it gets. Barthel does make more of a difference as a passer, while Williams uses his athleticism to often be on the receiving end of a pass. Now Barthel and Williams, who were born five months apart in 1991, look for success at new EuroLeague destinations.