Name: Kendall Williams Age: 22 School: New Mexico
Height: 6’4 Weight: 183 Projected Position: PG
16.0 ppg, 4.9 apg, 3.6 rpg, 1.6 spg, 2.0 tpg, 2.5:1 A/TO (35.3 minutes per game)
43.0 FG%, 79.2 FT%, 38.9 3FG%, 59.3 TS%, 52.0 eFG%
23.1 USG%, 2.7 STL%, 28.7 AST%, 12.9 TOV%
SKILLS & ATHLETIC BREAKDOWN
Williams is an above-average perimeter shooter, especially off the catch when he time to get set. He has good form on his jumper, with a high, quick release and good follow-through. Williams does a good job getting square to the basket quickly off the catch, and with the threat of him looking to get into the lane, defenders often give him the space he needs to shoot. Williams uses screens and his dribble well to set up his jumper, but he has some problems with his jumper when he is not stationary. Off the dribble, or catching off a screen, Williams needs to work on going straight up for his shot instead of floating in the direction he is going. This problem is very prominent when he is looking to shoot mid-range jumpers. Williams moves well without the ball, using screens and cuts to get open, though he needs to watch coming too wide around screens and allowing defenders space to stay with him. His shot selection is generally good, but when he is feeling his jumper, he will just keep firing.
Williams can be effective when he looks to get to the basket off the dribble, especially drawing contact and getting to the free throw line. He doesn’t have a great first step, but he uses his body well to shield the ball from defenders and mixes up his dribbles well to both sides. Williams doesn’t shy away from contact when he is in the lane, though he needs to work on hitting the short jumper or floater when the help arrives quickly. Williams can be a strong finisher around the basket, but he has shown some finesse and touch when needed. He does a good job keeping his head up and seeing the defense when he gets into the lane, and while he is good at finding open teammates off penetration, he can do a better job drawing the defenders closer to him before he makes the pass, possibly giving him more options. As mentioned above, Williams really needs to work on hitting the mid-range jumper off the dribble, especially making sure to not float in the direction he is moving when he goes into his motion. Williams does a good job attacking the basket off of screens, though at times he has to make sure to come off them tighter to create separation from the defender.
Williams is an above-average ballhandler with both hands, capable of going strong to both his left and right. He has good control, for the most part, keeps the ball low and close to his body, and makes moves to the basket without forcing it through defenders. Williams’ game isn’t built around speed, but he has a very nice hesitation dribble to either side, and he has a strong crossover which he uses to create space for his jumper. Williams sees the floor well, and he does a good job getting teammates the ball in spots where they can get a good shot. He can find teammates when he draws help defenders off of penetration, though he can do a better job looking to draw defenders to him. While Williams is good at using screens to attack the basket, he needs to show he can make proper reads in pick-and-roll situations, especially knowing where he should find an open teammate off of rotations.
Free Throw Shooting
Williams is a good free throw shooter with a consistent routine, fluid shooting motion and good follow-through. Williams got to the free throw line at a very good rate with his ability to attack the basket off the dribble (almost .65 free throws for every field goal attempts). He uses screens well to get into the lane and he is very good at initiating contact and getting a good shot off.
Perimeter Defense (On/Off Ball)
Williams is a very good on-ball defender, positioning himself well between his man and the basket, and having strong lateral movement, even over longer distances. Williams anticipates and reacts well to his man’s movements, and he has a good understanding of how to defend different types of players. While not an overly active defender, he focuses more on containing his man and preventing penetration. Williams uses his body and arms well to disrupt any passing lanes and he can force some turnovers one-on-one or in trap situations. He is good at getting through screens, both on and off the ball, especially getting over the top when he needs to. Off the ball, Williams generally positions himself well, and he has a very good sense of spacing between his man and his help position. He can be a good help defender, and he moves well between his man and the post in trapping situations. His defensive awareness is very good, and he finds ways to make defensive plays from many spots on the floor. He sees the floor well, tracking the ball and his man, and knows how to play angles to cut off cuts to the ball or basket. Williams plays passing lanes well and he does a good job anticipating and getting a break on passes that he can pick off.
Williams may not be very fast in the open floor, but he can score in transition either pushing the ball himself or running one of the wings. His decision making can be very good in the open floor, though some may see it as very conservative. Williams can knock down the long jumper if given space off the dribble, but he needs to watch a tendency to float on his shot because he is shooting on the move. When Williams looks to get to the basket, he attacks right at the defenders, and if he doesn’t get the easy bucket, there is a very good chance they are going to foul him. He does need to work on being able to stop on the dribble and hit the mid-range jumper if the defense gives him that space.
Williams has spent the past few seasons playing with an assortment of talented players who seemed to attract more attention than him. Last year it was Tony Snell, now with the Chicago Bulls, and this year it was the emergence of Cameron Bairstow. Still, Williams has continued to improve almost every area of his game, and he was comfortable playing both on and off the ball. He will never be a flashy playmaker, but he is effective and knows where to get his teammates the ball. If defenders don’t give him enough credit, he can score points in bunches, including getting to the basket or knocking down long-range jumpers. Williams may not seem very strong, but he has no problem looking to initiate contact with anyone when he is heading to the rim. He is a very good perimeter defender and he was able to defend either guard spot well. Williams has a strong understanding of the game and while there is nothing flashy about his game, he makes his team better on both ends of the floor.
Draft Value Mid-Late 2nd – #44-52
Williams hasn’t gotten the attention that a lot of the senior point guards in this draft have so far, but it would be a mistake to underestimate how good he really is. A versatile guard who can work in many offenses, as well as a strong defender, Williams is the kind of player who could find himself in an NBA rotation in the next few years. He is well worth a shot in the 2nd round to get a better feel of where he should continue to hone his game.
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