The Memphis Grizzlies are on the clock again, and with the 26th pick, they select Wake Forest’s Alondes Williams.
There is a big part of me that wanted to have a team select Williams earlier than this purely because him going to the Grizzlies would be borderline unfair, but if he were to fall this far, Memphis could end up with yet another late first-round steal. Williams’ combination of his change-of-speed athleticism, ridiculous efficiency around the rim, and fantastic court vision would make him a fantastic pickup for any team, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him continue to rise.
College basketball is notorious for having poorer floor spacing, but Williams is simply an exceptional finisher with fantastic handles, footwork, and touch that all bode well for him in the league with more spacing. His lack of utilization during his first two seasons in Oklahoma is becoming increasingly egregious and perplexing, but even being that he’ll be one of the oldest players in his class on draft night, I’m still buying stock.
I can see the Grizzlies making this selection late in the first for similar reasons they opted for Jeremy Sochan in the lottery: Williams plays with a certain sense of grit and urgency without compromising his decision-making, and generally makes winning plays down the stretch of games. He would be a great culture fit in Memphis and would bring skills that should translate well to the next level.