When the Bulls selected forward Patrick Williams with the #4 pick there were quite a few skeptics. He wasn’t one of the highly touted prospects everyone was talking about ahead of the draft. He came off the bench in college and a lot of people believe the Bulls reached. Well here we are after the Bulls season and the potential for Wiliams is high. He had his moments where he looked like a rookie. He had even more moments where he looked NBA-ready. With the regular season accolades coming out Williams found himself on an NBA All-Rookie team.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) June 18, 2021
While it wasn’t the first team he still found himself on the second team. That puts him in the category of top 10 rookies this past season. He was voted in for good reason. Williams spent a lot of this season trying to figure out where he belongs offensively. He will get there in time but most importantly he showed the league who he already is defensively.
Patrick Williams defensive intensity
Williams plays tough defense regardless of who he’s up against. He wants to take on the best player on the opposing team and try to stop them. He made that known during the season after guarding Bucks big man Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Chicago Bulls rookie Patrick Williams said his chest is on fire from the shoulders that Giannis Antetokounmpo gave him while he guarded him.
Williams: "I want to guard him again and hopefully I will do better. I want to guard the best player every night."
(Via Bulls FB Live)
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) January 2, 2021
He knows he can stand with anyone defensively because his skillset on the defensive side of the ball is solid. Williams plays with intensity and wants to stop whoever has the ball. This is something the Bulls had been lacking over the years. Williams is bringing that intensity every night as he started in 71 games for the Bulls.
Patrick Williams led rookies in starts (71) and ranked fourth in total minutes (1,983) in 2020-21
He joined a list of 10 other teenagers to start 70+ games in an NBA season: pic.twitter.com/R9S9EpE8wX
— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) June 18, 2021
If Williams can maintain a high level of defensive play he will solidify himself as the Bulls lockdown defender. With the versatility to guard any position on the floor, Williams is going to be a key piece for the Bulls. The main portion of his game that he needs to work on heading into next season is his offense.
Patrick’s offensive ceiling
The main concern when talking about Williams ahead of the draft was his offensive ceiling. Williams absolutely got the job done when he needed to or had the opportunity but he never seemed to be the guy to take over a game offensively. That made a lot of people question whether that will ever be something he does in his NBA career. He only averaged 9.2 PPG this season however he scored 20+ points 3 times and was in double digits 34 times. The potential for his offense to grow is certainly there. He just needs to be assertive and go for it. Lucky for him he’s going to have some assistance this summer for the Bull’s best offensive weapon.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) May 18, 2021
Hopefully, the work he puts in with LaVine along with the Summer league will set him up for better offense in the 2021 season.
The Bulls made the right pick
While we only have one season of Williams it seems like the Bulls made the right decision. He still needs to grow offensively but he is not afraid of anyone on defense. He plays hard and with determination. Williams also has something in common with Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine.
PATRICK WILLIAMS DEFENDED THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD ON A NIGHTLY BASIS AS THE YOUNGEST PLAYER IN THE ENTIRE LEAGUE.
ALL ROOKIE SECOND TEAM.
YOU KNOW WHO ELSE WAS ON THE ROOKIE SECOND TEAM?
HIS ALL STAR TEAMMATE ZACH LAVINE.
FUTURE MAD BRIGHT
— Artūras Karnišovas Fan Club (@arturasfanclub) June 18, 2021
Now I’m not saying Williams will turn out exactly like LaVine but they are both NBA All-Rookie second team members. With the assistance of LaVine this summer we may be looking at a different Patrick Williams next season. At just 19 years old the future is very bright for Williams. The Bulls look like they got their hands on a great young star in the making. Given more time to improve and hone his skills, Williams could add another All-Star to the Bulls mix. Let’s hope Williams uses this summer to focus on his offense and being more aggressive on the floor. His defense is here to stay so hopefully he can rub off on the rest of the Bulls roster in that regard.