Chicago Bulls President of Basketball Operations, Arturas Karnisovas hasn’t been as active as some fans might have hoped this offseason, but if No. 4 overall pick, Patrick Williams is what the new head man says he is, the inactivity will be forgiven.
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Karnisovas on Williams: “He’s A Physical Specimen”
If you’ve watched any of the highlight reels featuring Williams in college, then you know he’s athletically built and has some bounce. When you consider he just turned 19 in August, the full scope of what he can become as a pure athlete begins to come into focus.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 23, 2020
Karnisovas doesn’t hold back when he sings Williams’ praises. In a recent article from NBC Sports’ K.C. Johnson, Karnisovas talks about Williams as an athlete and a complete basketball player. If I’m being honest, it’s incredibly exciting to hear.
“He’s a physical specimen,” Karnisovas said, but he continued as it was important for him to point out, Williams is more than just a “raw” athlete.
I think his perception, I didn’t agree with the perception people have of him. They thought he was a raw athlete, and he wasn’t skilled. When I saw his skill level and ball-handling and shooting and ability to pass, I would disagree that he’s just a raw athlete.
I’ve watched a ton of Williams’ stuff since he was drafted, and I’m convinced, his ceiling is somewhere close to what the Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard has evolved into since he arrived with the San Antonio Spurs from San Diego State.
Williams’ body type, quiet, workman-like demeanor, prowess, and willingness to defend is a collection of qualities that seem to mirror the skill set Leonard had when he was drafted 15th overall in 2011.
No one thought Leonard would become one of the NBA’s best players and a two-time NBA Finals MVP. If you’re taking a long look at Williams and seeing things most optimistically, there are some undeniable similarities between him and the future Hall-of-Famer.
As great as Williams’ ceiling sounds, I’m more excited about his floor. The reason for that is simple. With what Williams almost promises to deliver–barring injury or another unforeseen drawback–he’s almost guaranteed to offer the Bulls something of great value, and that’s great defensive versatility and athleticism.
Williams is already the best on-ball defender on the roster. That’s especially the case with Kris Dunn signing with the Atlanta Hawks. If Williams becomes an upper-echelon defender who is capable of guarding three positions and can be a serviceable three-point shooter, and finish effectively in transition, Bulls fans will be pleased with his tenure. More importantly, that’s the profile of a player who can help you win an NBA Championship, and that’s the end goal.
The season begins on December 22, and the abbreviated preseason kicks off