NBA Draft Grade 2020: Bulls select Patrick Williams with 4th overall pick


The Chicago Bulls selected Patrick Williams with the No. 4 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Williams has been one of the biggest risers in the NBA Draft process. Originally ranked as Florida State’s second-best prospect behind teammate Devin Vassell, Williams has been gaining ground on the draft tables for months. This selection is proof of how much he has impressed the league since the end of the college season.

Williams, a 6-foot-8 forward with a 6-11 wingspan, is one of the top athletes in this draft. He has all the tools needed to become a top defenseman, especially in an NBA increasingly reliant on versatility and change. This size and athleticism should serve him very well in transition and as a pilot. Most of his early points should come to the basket, but he has the advantage as a ball manager and creator.

What held Williams back at the start was his college production. Williams didn’t start at Florida State and averaged just 9.2 points per game. His efficiency was somewhat pedestrian, and at least for now, he doesn’t project himself as a particularly strong shooter. Its turnover ratio of 29 to 50 is a blatant red flag. Williams is a draft, and many bench players who have been highly selected, like Marvin Williams and Dion Waiters, never realized their potential. This pick is based on the hope that Williams will be an exception, and his raw talent suggests it’s a serious possibility.

Williams was a surprising choice for the Bulls, but one that makes sense in the context of their roster. In Coby White and Zach LaVine, they have two young guards that they would presumably like to keep. In Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., the same is true up front. They needed a two-way wing, someone to fill the role they initially envisioned for Otto Porter Jr. Their hope is that Williams would grow up in that role. It will take time, but the advantage is there for a Bulls team trying to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

NBA Draft Grade: C-

I understand the plot, but it’s way more than I would have taken Patrick Williams. He is 6-8, 225. He is tall and strong with broad shoulders. He’s planning to be a 3D guy, but he’s not a great shooter yet. And he wasn’t even Florida State’s best 3-and-D player last season – although he probably had more advantages than Devin Vassell. Williams helped himself with the pre-draft process more than anyone, and it wowed people. – Gary Parrish


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