Hello basketball fans, are you ready? The NBA season is due to tip off in less than 20 days. Just a few short days ago the NBA draft was completed and the top of the draft went as projected but then at number four things start to get haywire as no one is really sure what the Bulls are going to do (for once). I also plan on dropping a video breaking down this young man as well so let’s stop wasting time and jump into it.
Patrick Williams 2020-21 NBA Profile
The Bulls Get Their Man
Patrick Williams was the Chicago Bulls guy with the fourth-overall pick in the draft. This year’s pick is the highest pick the Bulls have had since they drafted a young man by the name of Derrick Rose all the way back in 2008. This year is also the first time the Bulls were drafting without either Jerry Krause or John Paxson making the big decision. Question for the reader? Do you know who the last player the Bulls drafted with their top pick before Kraus took over in the mid-80s?
Now let’s talk about Williams. There were definitely some other big named prospects on the board that may have helped your heart rest at ease. The Bulls could have nabbed big man Obi Toppin, Deni Avdija. If you are fond listener of the Around the Clockers podcast you will frequently hear this writer adamently push for Avdija. That tune has changed to all in on this young man. Now before you fall in love, let’s set reasonable expectations. Because the only way you become dissappointed is by setting ridiculous expectations.
What Not to Expect
When people see the number Four pick they tend to add a bunch of unnecessary expectations around them like they need to be the team’s superstar or need to immediately impact the team. Well, I do not expect Patrick Williams to impact this team at least on the offensive end. He is a 19-year-old that is still learning about his body and how it works. He truly has not scratched the surface of his physical gifts yet. I expect Williams to make an impact defensively because no one on this Bulls team plays a lick of defense.
Williams can immediately step in and start guarding the best wings and forwards this league has to offer. Not many people come into the league at 6-foot-8 and 225 lbs. That is an NBA-ready body. Williams has all of the physical tools to become an immediate impact defender on this team. When I watched his college tape, he reminded me of those Bulls teams from earlier this decade. You know, when we actually hustled and played defense? You miss those days? Because I do.
Williams also comes in with the potential to develop his offensive game as well. Even though he was the 6th man on his college team he shot 32 percent from the three-point range and averaged 1 Block and 1 Steal a game. Now I know the three-point percentage is not where we want it to be but if you take a look at his free throw percentage that is a much more telling sign of learning to be able to shoot. Remember both Lonzo Ball and Markelle Fultz shot over 40 percent from deep in college but both of them shot in the mid 60 percentile from the free throw.
Williams is a passive style of player. He wants to help you win at all costs, which was his case at Florida State. Williams was passive towards his senior-led teammates at Florida State even his draft counterpart Devin Vassell a sophomore who went to San Antonio. Now remember those expectations I set, I understand there are some alarming red flags, but most prospects not named LeBron James have some form of a flaw, but let’s dive right into all of the positives about this young player.
Like I stated before, he is 6-foot-8 and 225 lbs. That is something you do not teach. You also cannot teach his very good team defensive instincts and on-ball defensive ability. He can switch and guard pretty much any position with his explosive athleticism. What I also forgot to mention was that he has a 7-foot wingspan allowing him to blow up passing lanes and quick reflex blocks with ease, which the Bulls so desperately need. Another thing I really enjoy about him is that he is ready to work. Do you remember the humble kid from Chicago that went number One overall and stole the hearts of many Bulls fans? Well, Williams carries himself with that exact same demeanor. He is humble, quiet and all he wants to do is play basketball and get better every day.
The thing with Williams is before you sell all of your stock on him because you never heard of him. Let him grow. I think his floor is just below a Luol Deng type of player and his ceiling is that of a Kawhi Leonard. By the way, Leonard is the greatest development story this league has ever seen. Frustration over picking a guy you have never heard of is understandable. But the rumor was the Spurs wanted to draft him. Do we remember what happened last time they got their hands on a dynamic two-way forward? Alright then.
What Not To Like
The unknown can always be construed as a negative thought because it could be good or bad, but let’s look elsewhere. Most of the general public are not enjoying this pick because of the numbers. He barely averaged Nine points per game coming off of the bench. He was fourth on the team in points and is one of the only few players that average more turnovers than assist during the season.
Another negative thing that people take into account is his aggression as a player. I have heard the term he is “too nice” on the court. Now that would be a problem if he was the future of this team. And future means the leading scorer and the reason the Bulls win a title. If that is a concern of yours then your expectations are too high. This was the first pick by the new regime and it will set the tone for the decade to come.
Williams Outlook Going Forward
This is a good pick. The Bulls are desperate for a wing defender; something Williams can make his name in right away. We will have to wait and see about his offense. This all comes down to expectations. When the Bulls are competing for titles, Williams will be a very good role player for us. Like a Trevor Ariza on the ’09 Lakers or Harrison Barnes on those Warriors teams. He will be an excellent role player for us and if he can develop even more than that, it’s just icing on the cake.