CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — The Bulls on Wednesday night selected Patrick Williams of Florida State in the NBA Draft.
Williams, a small forward, was the ACC sixth man of the year as a freshman. The Bulls had the No. 4 pick.
This was the first NBA Draft for Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Artūras Karnišovas, General Manager Marc Eversley, and Head coach Billy Donovan.
As CBS 2’s Luke Stuckmeyer reported, there were rumblings they might trade up. But in the end, they stayed at No. 4 and picked the second youngest player in the draft in Williams.
Williams left Florida State after just one year. His biggest strength appears to be his versatility – at 6 feet 8 inches, he can jump and play and guard multiple positions – though he said he needs to work on his jump shot.
Maybe a bit surprisingly, he didn’t start a single game at FSU. He was the sixth man on a deep, talented Seminoles squad, and doesn’t look at it as a negative.
In fact, he eventually ended up fourth on the team in minutes per game.
“I started with 12 minutes, and I think you see that I did well with that 12 minutes, and toward the end of the season, you know, those minutes increased, and I kind of just embraced that role,” Williams said. “So I mean, in the NBA, it’s all about roles.”
Williams is from North Carolina, like current Bull Coby White.
“Coby White is actually from North Carolina, so just growing up all high school, I’d been playing against him or with him. Coming into the pre-draft process, I was already close with him, so I kind of leaned on him for questions or advice,” Williams said. “It’s actually kind of crazy that I get drafted to the Bulls, but I mean yeah, that’s my guy for sure.”
Anthony Edwards was taken by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 1 pick.
The NBA draft delayed multiple times because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Commissioner Adam Silver announced the picks from ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. The draft was originally scheduled for June 25 before multiple delays caused by the virus pushed it back out and out of its usual home at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Boxes of hats were shipped to the top prospects to put on the one they needed after their name was called.
The Golden State Warriors, stung by the news that Klay Thompson sustained another leg injury earlier Wednesday, took Memphis center James Wiseman with the second pick. They stumbled to the bottom of the league while Thompson missed the entire season with a torn ACL in his left knee.
LaMelo Ball then went to the Charlotte Hornets, the next stop on a lengthy basketball journey that sent the guard from high school in California to stops as a professional in Lithuania and Australia.
The newcomers will have precious little time to prepare for their debuts and need to knock off months of rust or more — Wiseman hasn’t played an organized game in a year — without the benefit of summer league. Training camps open in early December and the 72-game 2020-21 season is set to begin on Dec. 22.
Teams had to evaluate prospects without benefit of the usual draft combine in Chicago or the ability to invite them to their facilities for workouts and meetings. And with the coronavirus shutting down the sports world in March, there was no NCAA Tournament for the players to make a final impression before entering the draft.
That helped contribute to perhaps more questions than usual surrounding the draft, with little feel for how the top few picks would play out.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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