Bulls Should’ve Drafted Pistons Big Man Over Patrick Williams, Says Analyst

Getty Patrick Williams

If the Chicago Bulls had it to do over again, would they still select Patrick Williams with the No. 4 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft?

Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey breached the subject in a recent re-draft article, and he pushed Detroit Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart ahead of Williams.

Would the Bulls Take Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart Over Patrick Williams in a Re-Draft?

Bailey likes Stewart’s development as a rookie, but he didn’t talk about how the powerful rookie would fit the Bulls roster better than Williams, which is kind of the point of a re-draft. Still, Bailey wrote:

All of that experience inside may have contributed to Isaiah Stewart coming along a bit more gradually. He averaged 18.4 minutes before the All-Star break, compared to 24.4 after. He eventually established himself as an exciting piece of Detroit’s future, though, thanks to a combination of old-school, bruising interior play and a hint of outside shooting. On the season, Stewart averaged 13.6 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.0 steals per 75 possessions. And though he shot only 33.3 percent from three, his form looks good. If a player his size can just get to average from three-point range, it’ll be a valuable part of his game.”

I love Stewart as a defensive presence on the inside. He brings an element of toughness that good defenses need. I can see him being a better power forward option than Williams in Chicago, and helping to cover up for some of Vucevic’s shortcomings on the defensive end.

That’s part of what the Bulls hoped Daniel Theis would do this year had he not chose to sign with the Houston Rockets. Stewart would have been an even better option because he’s just 20 years old.

Where Does Patrick Williams Land in the Re-Draft?

According to Bailey, Williams dips to No. 8, just ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies’ sharpshooting Desmond Bane whose rookie season skyrocketed him to No. 9 in the re-draft. Bailey gave Williams an edge over Bane because of his length, age and how the two qualities equal more upside.

Bailey wrote:

Patrick Williams’ individual numbers in 2020-21 weren’t as good as Desmond Bane’s, but this is where the age discussion comes up again. Bane was 22 during his rookie season, whereas Williams was 19. Three years from now, the latter figures to have developed quite a bit. The other factor that sets Williams apart is size. Bane’s 6’4″ wingspan isn’t close to Williams’ 7’0″ mark, and that extra length gives Williams the kind of defensive versatility so many teams want in today’s NBA. At his peak, he could conceivably defend three or four positions. What Williams showed offensively as a rookie is enticing, too. He didn’t take many shots, but a 39.1 three-point percentage and solid accuracy from the mid-range provide the profile of a good shooter. At the very least, Williams looks like he has the potential to be a high-end, gap-filling three-and-D player.

Bulls fans are certainly hoping to see Williams become even more than a “gap-filling three-and-D player.” However, if that’s a role he can play well in 2021-22, the Bulls and their fans will be happy.

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