Why FSU's Williams could fit what Kings need in NBA draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
- This is the fourth installment of a series breaking down the potential selections for the Sacramento Kings with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
The Kings have a new front man in general manager Monte McNair. His first order of business, after building out his staff, is to make his first selection running his own team in the 2020 NBA Draft on Nov. 18.
There are plenty of different directions McNair could go with the No. 12 overall selection. The top 11 picks are pretty wide open, and he’ll have his choice of a handful of quality prospects.
Since this is McNair’s first go around making his own selection, it’s difficult to guess what player type he might chase, although his Houston Rockets roster highly valued versatility. We’ve already focused on potential targets like Precious Achiuwa, Saddiq Bey and Aaron Nesmith.
Another name to add to the list is Florida State forward Patrick Williams, one of the youngest players in the draft. Here is a look at some of the positives and negatives, as well as a look at how Williams might fit with the Kings.
Stats: 9.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 45.9% FG, 32.0% 3-point
Age: 18 Height: 6-foot-8 Weight: 225 Wingspan: 6-foot-11
Long and athletic, Williams projects as a combo forward with major switchability on the defensive end. He has a frame that can take on weight as he matures in the league and like plenty of other prospects, he could use the advantages that an NBA training staff can provide.
He’s raw offensively and wasn’t asked to do much in his freshman year at Florida State, but there is potential for him to develop into a solid 3-and-D defender.
Williams scored in double-figures in just 13 out of 29 games in his lone NCAA season. His career-best came in a win over Western Carolina when he scored 18 on 5-of-8 shooting. His career high in field goal attempts is just 14 and he shot 10 or more times just four times, which again highlights his role with the Seminoles.
Williams will join the league as a defensive specialist that can cover multiple positions. He’s rangy and has a nice wingspan for a small forward, although just average if he’s playing the four.
He closes out strong on the perimeter, has an ability to stay in front of his man and averaged both a steal and a block in 22.5 minutes per game. He’s equally solid as an individual and a team defender.
On the offensive end, Williams has shown potential both as a shooter from distance and as a driver off of close outs. He isn’t particularly creative, but he has the ability to get out in transitions and finishes well around the basket.
Due to his lack of playing time, it’s difficult to gage how a lot of stats translate. He appears to have solid court vision, although his assist numbers are low.
He got the free throw line 2.6 times per game, which equates to roughly 4.2 attempts per game. He knocked down 83.8 percent from the stripe, which is a good sign for his long-term ability to shoot from the perimeter.
Age, inexperience and overall lack of opportunity make Williams somewhat of a boom or bust prospect. There are safer picks at No. 12, but there also is a lot to like from the limited chances.
Williams’ offensive game is a mystery. He shot 32 percent from 3-point range, but that came on just 16-of-50 shooting, so the sample size is miniscule.
While he’s shown an ability to create for others on occasion, he posted just one assist per game and an assist rate of 8.4 percent. Again, he didn’t play in a system that utilized his skill set, but his usage rate of 22.2 percent is higher than a player like Isaac Okoro, and Okoro posted a 13.1 percent assist rate and a lower turnover rate as well.
Williams is a solid leaper off of two feet, although he isn’t considered an elite athlete. He’s slightly blocky through the hips and could project more as a four than a three long term. If he can’t play both positions, that would severely hamper his upside.
Fit with Kings
Sacramento needs versatility at forward and Williams can bring that. Due to his age and inexperience, he likely isn’t a starter in his first two years, but in the right setting, he could develop into a top of the rotation player.
Even in small bursts, the combination of Williams and starter Harrison Barnes is intriguing. They could be almost interchangeable on the defensive end, which would help the Kings’ mediocre defense.
On the offensive end, Williams will take time to develop, but he can get out and run in transition and there is hope that he can improve his 3-point shot, especially from the corner. There also is a chance that he has more offensive game than he was allowed to show at Florida State.
If the Kings selected Williams, it would likely mean the end of their pursuit of Kent Bazemore in free agency or possibly allow them to turn down Nemanja Bjelica non-guaranteed $7.2 million for next season.
Trevor Ariza, Moe Harkless