Patrick Williams could be a surprise pick for San Antonio Spurs
Finding themselves in a lottery position for the first time in over two decades, the San Antonio Spurs front office is looking at all potential prospects that could be a great addition to the team. One player that has crept his way up on the lottery board is Patrick Williams of Florida State.
According to an article from Bleacher Report, Patrick could be a target for the Spurs this upcoming draft. The team needs help at the forward position and Williams could be exactly the kind of player that fits what they’re looking for. His freshmen year at Florida State, Patrick averaged 9.2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 assist per game while shooting 45% from the floor.
The pros are obvious: ridiculous athleticism and length. If you mix that with an improved jump-shot (courtesy of Chip Engelland), his ceiling becomes a lot higher. Standing at 6’8″ to go with a 6’11” wingspan, he is able to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time which makes him an excellent help-side defender.
Offensively, he is a constant threat for lobs at the rim along with put-back dunks. His motor is not just seen on the defensive end. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor and take it to the rim, and while his pull up jumper is a work in progress, he has shown he is a capable shooter.
His overall basketball IQ is still developing (he’s only 18, after all), and declaring for the draft after just one season, he is still a raw talent. But in the meantime, his natural skill sets to go along with his long, strong frame make him a perfect fit as a modern-day forward.
What other areas of improvement are there? At the risk of stating the obvious, his three-point shot (just 32% on 1.7 attempts per game), will need work. His release is a little slow and most of his 3-point shots were with little contest from the defense. More than that, his shot selection at times is not the best. It goes back to his developing basketball IQ but that is something that he can improve upon over time. Defensively, as you can see from the video above, his length and athleticism make him an excellent help-side defender.
However, he struggled defending on the perimeter in open space and many times allowed open drives to the basket against guards with little to no resistance. On close-outs, he can be caught being flat-footed which leads to easy dribble penetration often ending in wide-open buckets for the opposing team.
Patrick Williams fit with the San Antonio Spurs
Similar to a lot of prospects in this draft class (and any class, for that matter), it depends. It depends on how much of that untapped potential the Spurs are able to pull out. His decision making and 3-point shot on the offensive end are both areas where the coaching staff can help him make improvements. Chip Engelland is one of the best shooting coaches in the NBA, and Patrick would benefit greatly from his teaching.
It is also worth noting that Patrick is a player that plays pretty well within himself. He knows what he is good at and he recognizes areas he can still make improvements. He would benefit from a system such as the Spurs where he would firmly know his role and what his responsibilities would be.
While the backcourt seems set at least for the next season or two, the frontcourt may need some added depth soon. It remains unclear if DeMar DeRozan intends to re-sign or not, Rudy Gay and LaMarcus Aldridge only have one more year left on their contract, and Jakob Poeltl could still potentially sign with someone else this offseason if he is not able to come to an agreement with the Spurs.
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Needless to say, the frontcourt could look a lot different in a few seasons. Enter: Patrick Williams. Draft him now, let him learn from LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay for a season along with other vets, and who knows how much he can improve in a short amount of time.
With a raw talent like Williams, it’s really hard to predict just how much he will live up to his potential. So many times for draft prospects it’s just a matter of finding the right fit and unfortunately for some, they never do.
It’s also always hard to predict what the San Antonio Spurs are going to do. Given everything that’s going on right now in the world, there seem to be more pressing issues for every team than figuring out who to draft, especially now for the Spurs, since they will have a second chance to make the playoffs with the resumption of the season.
Still, Brian Wright and R.C. Buford are always planning ahead, and if they think Patrick Williams could be a big piece for this team in the future, they won’t hesitate to take him with their first lottery pick in over twenty years.