San Antonio Spurs Draft: Buzz continues to grow around Patrick Williams

Feb 29, 2020; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Florida State Seminoles forward Patrick Williams (4) during the first half against the Clemson Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 29, 2020; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Florida State Seminoles forward Patrick Williams (4) during the first half against the Clemson Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports /

The Florida State forward is being consistently mocked to the San Antonio Spurs

There aren’t any off day’s in NBA coverage these days. The postseason is just barely behind us and we’re firmly in the throes of mock draft season now. And in a draft class that has plenty of options available for teams looking to add a quality rotation player to their roster, there’s a lot of debate over who each team should take. Even fans of our San Antonio Spurs can’t seem to settle on who they think the team should take with the 11th pick.

San Antonio is in the back end of the lottery for now but there’s no reason to think that the Spurs are locked into that spot. Rumors are floating around about teams at the top looking to trade down. That could open a window for San Antonio to move up for a player like Onyeka Okongwu. Or they could just as easily trade down if they’re not too intrigued by the players available when it’s their turn to pick.

But assuming that the Spurs do end up using their 11th pick, there are a few names that they’ve been linked to more than others. They’ve reportedly been scouting big men and one player, in particular, has been attached to the Spurs in more than a few mock drafts.

Patrick Williams would be an interesting addition to the San Antonio Spurs

Patrick Williams is one of the more intriguing and uncertain players in a draft class that’s deep on reliability. He’s got one of the highest ceilings in this draft class and also one of the lower floors. The raw potential is there and is enough to convince fans of his to overlook or play down the rougher edges of his game, but there’s reason to be wary.

The San Antonio Spurs have been linked to Williams in the past. Standing 6’8 with a 6’11 wingspan he fits the physical profile that they need to add to their frontcourt. The fit makes some sense, enough that The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor had the Spurs taking Williams with their pick. Here’s his rationale behind the pick.

“Williams is increasingly receiving hype as a mid-late lottery choice due to his rare blend of size and scoring upside. The Spurs could use a piece to develop and possibly build around in the coming years; Williams has the type of traits that make a prospect worth gambling on.”

Hard to argue with that. Williams does have the athleticism and size that San Antonio could certainly use in their frontcourt but some still aren’t sold on his overall potential at this point.

He had a limited role in his lone season with the Seminoles. He never started a game but was on a team that was heavily stacked with upperclassmen. Although he says that the veteran-laden roster was a blessing as he was able to constantly pick the brains of the older players.

Much of the hype around Williams is tied to the hope that he’s able to blend his athleticism with a growing basketball IQ to become a true two-way force. Watching his highlights it’s easy to see why people are so excited about the potential of this young man.

He can protect the rim, rebound, push the ball up the court, and does a good job finding his teammates in transition and half-court situations. As a scorer he’s shown good finishing ability, can knock down mid-range jumpers, and while his 3-point percentage isn’t quite where you want it to be yet (32 percent), his high rate from the free-throw line (84 percent) indicates that he could be a floor-spacing threat at the next level.

Critics of Williams will point to his high turnover numbers, stiff shooting form, and some inconsistency on defense as reasons to avoid him.

Counterpoints to that would be that he’s still very young, as he matures and learns more the turnovers should decrease. Ideally, Chip Engelland can help him smooth out his shot. And the worries about his defense are probably overblown. Give Gregg Popovich and the rest of the coaching staff a few years and they’ll turn him into an above-average defender, I guarantee it.

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So what do you think, San Antonio Spurs fans? Would you be okay with the Spurs using their first lottery pick since 1997 on a player like Patrick Williams, or is there another guy you’d prefer the team adds?