In this latest instalment of draft profiles, I will be looking at Grant Williams.
College Team: Tennessee (Junior)
Position: Power Forward/Centre
2018-19 Stats: Over 31 games in 32min per game he averages 19pts, 8reb, 1.5blk, 1.2stl, 3.3ast at 57% FG, 33% 3P and 83% FT.
Projected Draft Spot: Mid 1st Rd – Early 2nd Rd.
Firstly, Williams has increased all his stats with each year he has played in college, and in some places, like assists, rebounds and shooting efficiency by quite a margin. He has a high motor, is hard-working and is team oriented.
Offensively, he is quite versatile. He can attack the rim, and score in a variety of ways when down low. He is also a beast in taking contact while scoring or creating free throw opportunities. Williams can create room for a shot by initiating contact with an opponent. He can shoot it from deep at a respectable rate, and this shows promise for his role in the pros. He takes most of his shots almost equally from the mid-range and at the rim, which shows that he would be useful as a floor spacer. He is also a fairly decent pick-n-roll/pop type of player.
His offensive skills can be seen in the highlights from his 43pt game against Vanderbilt - Huge Game vs Vanderbilt
Defensively, he is a solid defender who puts his body on the line. Down low, he is able to box out and keep players honest when they attempt to score down in the block. The same with his rebounding, where he can use his bulk and strength to box out and pick up rebounds.
He is only 6’7", and not the greatest athlete. He can be a little foul prone, but he has improved on that a little this past season. He is not confident in handling the ball beyond the arc, and especially in full court transition, leading to turnovers or blown offensive set-ups. He can shoot it beyond the arc, but doesn’t do so regularly, with only 1.5 attempts per game. He will need to expand this part of his game if he is to be truly effective on offence. He also often needs to be fed the ball from the perimeter, which can slow down the play.
Sometimes he blows defensive assignments, particularly on ball out towards the perimeter. His defensive stance needs work, as he doesn’t get down too low to enable lateral movement with an opponent. His defence does need work, but the potential to be a solid defender is there.
Because of his size, he is a bit of a tweener and could swing between the 3-5 spots dependent on scenario.
NBA Player Comparison: Draymond Green (lite, and without the behaviour issues), Chuck Hayes on defence, with a little bit of PJ Tucker and Jae Crowder on offence.
Fit with the Spurs:
Williams would be an intriguing fit with the Spurs. The Spurs haven’t drafted an undersized forward/centre since Dejuan Blair way back when…and at least Williams has two good knees. Williams is certainly more polished on the offensive end, and is as much of a rebounded as Blair, and potentially would be a better defender. So maybe a Blair, Chuck Hayes type of player will be his floor, with a Draymond-lite being his upside.
I can envisage Williams running pick-n-rolls with Mills, White or Murray. Working the perimeter if DeRozan is in the line-up, or being a rebounding 4 if Aldridge or Poeltl are in. Williams could be that off-the bench spark, who can feast on lesser defensive pressure from opponents second units, by bullying them down low, causing them to commit fouls, and by putting pressure on the boards.