National Basketball Association

Who Is Patrick Williams?

November 19, 2020

Wednesday night's NBA Draft went according to plan, at least in the beginning.

But the annual NBA player selection process was not without its curveballs, and no curve was nastier than the one that landed at No. 4.

The Chicago Bulls made Patrick Williams the highest-selected player in Florida State history, much to the bewilderment of many. 

Despite Williams coming off the bench as a freshman, his stature and physical abilities are impressive, as noted by Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations, Artūras Karnišovas. 

He averaged 9.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game for the Seminoles, but at times, his versatility jumped off the page, even if his numbers didn't.

And even though he served in a reserve role this past season, FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton had a simple response to those who might have been worried about Williams' readiness for the NBA.

The Seminoles freshman forward was projected as first round pick coming into Wednesday night's draft, but for fans, it came as a surprise to see him drafted so high, especially for an already young Bulls squad. 

While Williams wasn't projected to go in the top five, there was noise during the pre-draft process that he could rise up the boards of several NBA front offices.

And according to reports, he had a fan in San Antonio.

Williams' career-high in points at FSU was 18, and his career-high in rebounds was just nine, but he was named the ACC Sixth Man of the Year by coaches and media, and was selected to the All-ACC Freshman Team, also by coaches and media.

Even with the momentum building in Williams' favor as the draft approached, ESPN's draft expert Mike Schmitz spoke on how the Bulls' selection was the biggest surprise of the draft.

"You were starting to hear that [Williams would go to Chicago] as we got closer to the draft, but just a guy who never started a game and was a sixth man [and] the second youngest player in the draft to go that high – this was a little bit of a swing."

Still on the board when the Bulls selected Williams were 2020 Naismith College Player of the Year Obi Toppin, First Team All-Pac 12 big man Onyeka Okongwu, and Israeli League MVP Deni Avdija.

Although Chicago will presumably bring the 19-year old Williams along slowly, he will now enter his rookie season with top five pick expectations for a Bulls team that hasn't won 50 games since the 2010-2011 season.

But if Williams can help the Bulls return to their winning ways, the reach of the draft just might turn into the steal of it.

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