1. Grant Williams
If Grant Williams is still on the board at No. 32, the Phoenix Suns would be foolish not to take him. ESPN‘s latest mock draft projects him as the Suns’ pick here, and it’s not hard to see how he’d be able to help this team from day one.
A 6’7″ junior coming out of Tennessee, Williams was the best player on one of the best teams in all of college basketball. He was a consensus First Team All-American, as well as a two-time SEC Player of the Year during his time with the Volunteers.
Last year, he posted an impressive 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. He was Tennessee’s leader and is one of the most NBA-ready prospects in the draft. He’s still only 20 years old, ran the show in college from the post with poise, and is an intelligent, adept defender. The Suns could use all of those traits, particularly his maturity off the court.
His high basketball IQ and passing ability would make him an asset in Phoenix, even in an offense that wouldn’t run through him down in the post. He sets tough screens, plays physical defense and is a hard worker. P.J. Tucker comparisons could ring true in 5-10 years, especially if he touches up his 3-point stroke.
The biggest flaw in Williams’ game — and one that should worry the Suns, who struggle with this as a whole — is his long range touch. Though he’s improved as a spot-up shooter, he only made 32.6 percent of his 3-point attempts last year, only taking 1.2 of them a night.
Whether he lacked confidence in his shot or was simply aware of his shortcomings, Williams will have to learn to let it fly — and fly efficiently — at the next level. He’s not an overwhelming athlete, which means he’ll have to hold his own as a switchy, small-ball defender on one end and a competent floor-spacer on the other.
Even so, there are too many things to like about Grant Williams’ game to overthink it at No. 32. If he’s on the board, he’s the no-brainer pick.