The Tennessee Volunteers have taken yet another step forward with their basketball program during the 2018-19 season. Behind a starting core which features a few future NBA players, the team was ranked as high as No. 1 in the country and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. One name who’s earned a decent amount of hype ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft is forward Grant Williams.
Williams leads the Volunteers in scoring this season, averaging 18.7 points along with 7.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists. The 6-foot-7 forward has showcased an impressive amount of talent over the first three seasons while essentially improving his numbers each year along the way. In turn, he’s widely viewed as a first-round pick in the upcoming draft and will be a name to monitor in the coming months.
We’re going to take a look at the latest on Williams’ draft stock and projections, along with where a few draft analysts believe the Volunteers star will come off the board.
Grant Williams NBA Draft Projections & Mocks
Evaluating the outlook of where Williams is currently listed in various mocks is certainly interesting. For the most part, analysts tend to agree that the junior is a first-round caliber talent, but one exception to that is Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo, who didn’t list him in the latest mock.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz currently view the Volunteers forward as a first-rounder, and they project him to land with the Brooklyn Nets at No. 27. This has him coming off the board just ahead of Auburn forward Chuma Okeke (No. 32) and Tennessee teammate Admiral Schofield (No. 34).
Williams is pegged to be drafted a bit earlier by The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie who has him as the No. 25 pick in the opening round and going to the Indiana Pacers. He’d be an interesting fit with both Brooklyn and Indiana, and it’s hard to argue that these aren’t two of the better fits.
Grant Williams NBA Draft Stock & Big Boards
After Woo left Williams out of the first-round mock, I was interested to see where he landed on the site’s big board. Based on that, the forward would be a potential mid-second round selection, as he’s listed at No. 46 overall. It’s worth noting that a player’s spot on a big board doesn’t necessarily translate directly to their draft spot, but it’s still good to evaluate.
On the Sports Illustrated big board, Woo cited concerns about how Williams’ game will translate to the NBA.
Williams is clearly an exceptional college player, but there are questions about how the elements of his game translate at the next level. While he’d certainly be drafted, and his stock may never get higher, there’s some debate from scout to scout about whether he’s actually worthy of a first-round selection. His strength, smarts and scoring touch are all real positives, but Williams is going to have to make big strides as a jump shooter to stick around.
It’s an interesting insight, and looking at the other side of the spectrum, The Athletic and Vecenie have a much higher grade on Williams. Their most recent big board places him at No. 23, ahead of two intriguing centers in Daniel Gafford and Bol Bol.
At this point, Williams seems to be a likely first-round pick, but he could potentially even help his stock more as the draft draws closer and the NCAA tournament rolls on.