Knicks Prospect Breakdown: Patrick Williams
My 2020 NBA Draft Profiles:
Patrick Williams is a 6'8" wing from Florida State University who averaged 9.2 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist in 22.5 minutes per game in his freshman season. Williams will enter the NBA as an overall versatile player on both ends of the court.
Williams is smart on offense: he's not a ball-stopper, he doesn't force bad passes or shots, and he goes out of his way to get the ball to open teammates.
As a scorer, Williams is able to take guys off the dribble and to the basket - and finish efficiently once he's there. His athleticism enables him to stretch to the rim from further distances than most, and his nice touch certainly helps from then on. When taking jump shots, Williams further displays his touch when he knocks down certain tough ones. He struggles as a spot up shooter most likely due to his rather slow shot release, but his performance at the free throw line (83.8%) indicates that his shot has enough potential to be brought along to a fine place.
Williams shows that he can do all the right things in other scenarios as well - when in the pick and roll, he makes the right passes and intelligently uses dribble moves to get to the right spots. He does get himself into trouble in these scenarios when he gets called for travels while driving into multiple defenders, leading to a fair amount of turnovers (1.7 per game). Off the ball, he knows how to properly set screens, position himself well for rebounds, and cut effectively to the basket.
On defense, Williams consistently puts in the level of effort coaches optimally like to get out of their players. He hustles play in and out and has displayed some, even if not too much, versatility throughout all of the defensive switching he's done at Florida State. Working on his lateral movement and footwork should help him with these struggles a good amount - his inspired effort on defense should help to quell the concerns about that aspect of his game.
Overall, Williams should be able to come in and contribute offensively to whichever team drafts him. His hustle and knack for shot blocking (his 6'11" wingspan helps him here as well) should keep him on NBA rosters for years to come, even if not as a featured player or even starter. In this era of small ball, a team could potentially utilize him at the center position - the same way the Rockets use P.J. Tucker.
If Williams is available when the Knicks are selecting a prospect with the Clippers' first round pick, they should definitely take a look at him. Even if the team is planning to have a "heavy veteran presence" on next season's roster, Williams would be able to come in and contribute as a wing off of the bench - making paying to bring back a player like Moe Harkless unnecessary.
If the Knicks don't trade the later of their two first round selections, they would be wise to use it to bring in a player who can provide shooting and defensive help regardless of the coach's systems, and I believe Williams is one of the wings in this year's draft that can meet those qualifications.