Chicago Bulls F Patrick Williams
“The No. 4 pick in 2020 hasn’t exactly stormed out of the gate to open his career, but he’s also done nothing to lower his towering two-way ceiling,” argues Buckley. “He could step in and provide the Hawks with perimeter defense and a reliable three-ball, and if the Hawks find a way to up his offensive assertiveness, he could give them so much more.”
Standing 6-foot7 and listed at 215 pounds, Williams averaged 10.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.2 assists on a .464/.415/.857 slash line while appearing in all 82 games in the regular season.
But Chicago finished the regular season as the eight-seed and got eliminated from the postseason in the second round of the Play-In Tournament after management set expectations for the season at a second-round playoff berth. That did not happen and Williams’ inability to take the necessary leap to support the Bulls’ top trio of DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic was a big part of the reason why.
Williams is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and will be extension eligible this offseason. It’s fair to wonder if having to make such a quick decision on a player would alter the Hawks’ approach assuming they had interest in the first place.
However, while the Hawks are not trying to win any less than the Bulls are, the age of their roster would seem to be better suited for the 21-year-old Williams to grow with. Chicago’s average age is 26.7 years old, above the league average of 25.9 years old.
Atlanta’s average age is just 24.5, making them tied with the San Antonio Spurs in fielding the seventh-youngest roster in the NBA, per Real GM.
But the Bulls have been reluctant to part with Williams and that has not changed.