Florida State’s Patrick Williams is an intriguing young forward with upside who should be available around the 18th overall pick when the Milwaukee Bucks are on the clock in the 2020 NBA Draft. Let’s take a deep dive into his game and what he has to offer.
Weight: 225 pounds
Per Game Stats
A forward out of Florida State, Patrick Williams has the upside to turn into a multi-positional player on both ends of the court. He’s raw right now, and certainly a project, but whoever drafts him could be rewarded with a player who impacts the game in many facets. Williams has the size, athleticism and budding skills to become a valuable role player in the NBA.
Versatility: Although Williams is labeled as a forward entering the draft, that doesn’t mean he’ll have to stay there throughout his entire career. If he’s able to improve his quickness, lateral shuffling ability and outside stroke, he’ll be able to play wing as well. Even as it stands, he can defend three positions and play two on offense. The ability to fit into multiple roles keeps him from being pigeonholed at one position and allows him to be a chameleon for any team that drafts him.
Team Defense: He’s not a great individual defender (yet), but he sure as hell understands the team principles and works his ass off to help his teammates. He’s a great rotational defender, always helping the helper, and loves to play the role of weak-side shot-blocker. He uses his above-average wingspan (6’11”) and good vertical leaping ability to deter shots around the basket and cover up for other’s mistakes. Coaches will enjoy his intuitiveness at this end.
Can Do A Little Bit Of Everything: A lot of Williams’ allure is that he can do a little bit of everything. On both ends of the court. During his one and only season in college, he averaged 9.2 points, 4 rebounds 1 assist, 1 steal AND 1 block per game. Although those numbers don’t scream first round pick, he had his moments in each of the areas. He’ll likely never lead the league in any category, but can certainly turn into someone who does a little bit of everything throughout his career. He was an adequate three-point shooter (32 percent), loves to pull-up in the mid-range off the bounce, is a relentless offensive-rebounder and even showed off some nifty passing last year.
Shooting: In an NBA world where S.R.E.A.M. (Shooting Rules Everything Around Me), Williams doesn’t move the meter in this category. He made just 32 percent of his downtown attempts last year and has a lot of work to do with his form. He’s stiff on his shot, takes way too long and is easily thrown off guard by rushing defenders. It results in a lot of ugly misses, some that fly right past the rim entirely. The good news is he made nearly 84 percent of his free throw attempts so there’s a world where he turns into an adequate spot-up shooter.
Stiffness: Similar to his stroke, he’s very stiff and upright when it comes to his defensive stance. He’s fine when guarding players his size, but when he’s matched up against anybody quicker, he’s exposed on sight. His hips don’t open up as you’d like and it sometimes looks like he’s trying to slide with concrete blocks as shoes. It’s his biggest defensive limitation.
- Amazing second jump; great offensive rebounder
- Comfortable using his left on passes
- Beautiful mid-range game
- Questionable decision-maker on drives
- Will be only a corner 3 shooter
- Struggles to change directions on slides
- Can run the pick-and-roll as ball-handler or screener
A little Jeff Green, Markieff Morris and P.J. Tucker.
If you can get past the part where Williams will likely take a couple years to turn into an impactful NBA player, he’s a great fit for the Bucks in many ways.
For starters, he fits the dribble-pass-shoot model head coach Mike Budenholzer loves. Even if he’s not a proficient three-point shooter quite yet, he has the potential to turn into a 36 percent (average) outside shooter thanks to sound mechanics and a high free throw percentage.
He showed some ability at Florida State to find the open man and hit him on target, an encouraging sign. At his worst, he keeps the ball moving and isn’t a sticking point on rotations. He can also handle the rock, even if it isn’t spectacular. He sometimes struggled with his decision-making when it came to passing to an open man or taking a shot, particularly on drives. However, he was often used as a ball-handler in pick-and-rolls, something that would be an intriguing development in the NBA.
He’ll enter the league immediately able to defend three positions (2-4), with the potential to guard all five depending on if he can build lateral quickness and/or strength. He’s already a smart team defender (think Donte DiVincenzo) even if he’s a minor liability in one-on-one situations. He understands rotations and is ready, able and willing to help his guys when the occasion arises. That’s good because he’ll need them to return the favor when he’s isolated as well.
He’s won’t be quite the impact player in year one championship teams want, but patience is a virtue when it comes to Williams. In a best-case scenario, he’ll become a high-end bench player or starter who makes the little plays and understands his role. On a team with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, that’s exactly what the Bucks need.