Elliot Williams (Memphis) -
6'4, 180 lbs., SG
At 6'4, he is a slightly undersized shooting guard in the NBA. However, Williams will be one of the most athletic players to play in the NBA next year. With long arms, quick feet, quick hops, and cat-like reflexes with his hands. He should terrorize opponents with his defense for a long time in the NBA.
Due to Medical Concerns in his family, Williams transferred to Memphis to be closer to his mother. At Memphis, he was the go-to-guy, and lived up to the billing his high-school ranking provided. He starred as the main feature in a drive and kick offense, which plays to his strengths, getting to the rack and finishing with acrobatic shots or passing out to the open shooter.
Williams is not a point-guard, rather a playmaking shooting guard. As a lefty, he has an advantage in playing against the natural tendencies of defenders to guard the right. He has one of the quickest steps in this draft, and finishes well with his left, but is a one-handed player.
Williams is a streaky shooter, but at least shows flashes as evidenced by his 36% three-point shooting last season. As the season went along, teams started forcing him to go right and finish right, which forced him to become more hesitant and not produce as effectively. However, in the NBA, the name of the game is speed and he will produce plenty of speed and defense. An adjustment of Williams will be playing off the ball and adding to his ability to finish right-handed.
Perhaps a little over the top, but Williams has the ability to generate steals and fluster offensive players like a prime Gary Payton. Using a non-stop motor and quick feet, he shuts down opposing ball-handlers. In fact, I believe he is a better on the ball defender than heralded Avery Bradley of Texas. The only adjustment required for the NBA is additional strength which comes wilt time in an NBA workout program.
How does his game translate to the NBA?
Overall, Williams possesses several NBA caliber qualities to become a quality starting shooting guard in the league eventually. He is a little raw, but he should defend immediately in the league. He needs to develop his jumper and right hand in order to find success at the next level. His weaknesses limit his immediate impact, but if he can work through them he has a good ceiling. A team could find a late round steal in Williams if they groom him properly and he learns to fix his weaknesses. He has top 10 pick upside for a late 1st round pick. Williams reminds me of a much more raw shooting guard version of Russell Westbrook at best or Jrue Holiday.
How does he fit with the Bulls?
Right now, with Rose working at the helm, it is hard to see Williams meshing well because they have similar games. Williams doesn't provide nearly enough shooting to fill our gap in that area as a two guard, but he does have defensive potential. .He's unlikely to realize his full potential due to his fit here, and thus isn't likely to carry much trade value either. Though his athleticism gives him a higher ceiling than other guards profiled here, his flaws and poor fit make him an unlikely candidate.