Chicago Bulls Surprising Draft Night Selection
The Chicago Bulls and their new Front Office broke everyone’s mock draft predictions when they selected Patrick Williams with the #4 overall pick in the draft. A move that sent shockwaves down the rest of the draft board.
Patrick Williams is a 6’8” Small Forward out of Florida State University. He averaged 9 points coming off the bench in his freshman season. While Williams did not start games for the Seminoles… his former head coach let it be known ‘He finished them.’ Williams is a player who can guard anyone on the floor and play multiple positions on offensive. His versatility was a major asset for Florida State.
It was reported a day prior to the draft that the Bulls had their eye on Williams. Many thought this could be a ‘Smokescreen’ to throw other teams off their actual plan. I can understand why the casual fan would be upset with this move by Chicago. Patrick Williams name was not seen as a top 10 selection in any of the ‘Experts’ mock drafts. Most mock drafts I saw had Williams as a mid-late first round selection.
That is my only hesitation with fully supporting this draft pick. The Bulls probably could have traded back a few slots in the draft to take Williams. However, we must trust that the Bulls new Front Office knew that if they traded down, any other team could have stolen him from right under their nose.
Before bashing the front office for this selection, there are a few things Bulls fans should consider.
1. The Bulls have their playmakers… They do not need another player that needs the ball in their hands to contribute.
Chicago already has Zach Lavine, Coby White, and Lauri Markkanen who all need the ball to make an impact. Zach and Coby especially. If the Bulls had drafted Deni Avdija as many fans had hoped (including myself) that would be another player that needs the ball in his hands to make positive plays. Patrick Williams is a player who can get the ball for himself by attacking the offensive and defensive glass. He will not take shots away from the core playmakers on this Chicago roster.
2. Patrick Williams is the 2nd youngest player in the draft (Turns 19 years old in August)
While Bulls fans will need to practice patience with Williams’ development, he has the mentality and work ethic of a winner. He was praised by his team and coaching staff for being an incredible teammate. Someone who strives to improve every day and contribute to wins. The unselfishness alone is something you do not find in most NBA prospects. Williams also boasts impressive athleticism. According to his FSU teammates, he is an ‘Athletic Freak.’ If the Bulls front office is right about this pick, we may get the privilege of watching a ‘Young Bull’ blossom into an NBA star.
3. He has an NBA ready body and can make an impact year 1.
As I imagine every Bulls fan did when this draft pick was made, I hopped on YouTube to do a full scouting report. After watching a few highlights, you can tell that he was a man among boys in College. He is built for the rigors of a long NBA season. Williams will have a role for the Bulls in his rookie season. I do not see him playing a major role in the offensive game plan, but Bulls fans should fall in love immediately. in the words of Stacey King… he is a ‘Hard hat and lunch pail’ type of player. This means that he is a junkyard dog. He has no problem doing the dirty work for this team. A guy who will relentlessly attack the offensive and defensive glass, hustle for loose balls and play solid defensive. He is a guy who can guard 1–4 on defense, similar to a Bam Adebayo. A versatile asset that any NBA team would love to have. That is where his impact will be made in his rookie campaign.
While Patrick Williams looks to be a project piece for this young Bulls team going forward, I think he will earn the love of Chicago Bulls fans. Chicago sports fans are a tough crowd to please, but Williams has the mentality of a winner. A guy that will do whatever is necessary to make a positive impact.
I understand if Bulls fans are still skeptical of this pick. I want to preach patience with Patrick Williams. His stats will not jump off the page at you in his first couple seasons. However, you can count on him to make the plays that do not show up in the stat sheet. The hustle plays that contribute to wins. That is what it is all about. Contributing to winning games and working hard to improve each and every day.
He is not the ‘Flashy’ pick. He is not the ‘Safe’ pick. This pick is a gamble from the Bulls new Front Office, but if I can echo one sentiment that resonates with Bulls fans it is patience… Be patient with Patrick Williams, be patient with the Front Office and trust that they know what they are doing.
Like most things in sports, only time will tell if this was the correct move… Luckily for NBA fans, the Pre-season is right around the corner and the evaluation process of the new draft picks will begin.
In AKME We Trust