Bulls forward Patrick Williams is in the middle of a very important summer for him. Williams is heading into his third season in the league and fans, teammates and experts alike want to see him display his abilities more consistently.
So far, Patrick Williams has shown flashes of what he can do at both ends of the court, which is why anything he does in the offseason is scrutinized. This includes a double-double (14 points and 14 rebounds) for the Cheaters in their 102-94 come-from-behind win against Young Citi in the Drew League on August 6. He also had three steals.
William’s teammate DeMar DeRozan was named the Player of the Game after dropping 36 points with six rebounds.
A tale of two players
Patrick Williams and DeMar DeRozan are practically opposites. Williams’ injury limited him to just 17 games last season and he didn’t display his skillset, particularly his regarded defensive prowess, which the Bulls desperately needed.
DeRozan, on the other hand, carried the Bulls all year long but he wasn’t much of a facilitator when Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso went down and he struggling finding open teammates when double-teamed. That said, Bulls fans wish Williams was as assertive on offense as DeRozan.
The Bulls front office expects a lot from Williams next season and the performances of rookies Paolo Banchero and Chet Holmgren in their Drew League debuts haven’t helped. Everyone wants Williams to make a leap and while the comparisons to what Banchero and Holmgren did are unfair, he does have to show improvements.
Overall, Williams played okay and even displayed his potential while guarding Cavaliers center Evan Mobley, who also played in this game but he went through the motions at times, something that has also been said about him in his first two years in the NBA. Still, there’s faith for his future.
The Bulls obviously want to see more of this consistently and they will likely put the ball in his hands more next season. The goal of Williams’ “summer from hell” with DeMar DeRozan was to help him make a huge leap and this game is a solid building block.
Williams averaged 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds in 24.8 minutes over just 17 games last season, shooting 52.9 percent from the field but he contributed with 21.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in 34.0 minutes over the Bulls’ last two playoff games against the Bucks. It will be interesting to see if all of the work Williams has put in this summer pays off next season.