Bulls Forward Criticized For Being ‘Too Mellow’

Getty Billy Donovan

Are you beginning to worry about Patrick Williams?

That’s not a question related to the injury to his ankle that he suffered just before the start of training camp, nor the injury he sustained to his shoulder in the season-opener.

The question relates to what appears to be a no-progress-made take on Williams’ approach on the floor from a pure aggressiveness standpoint.

Heavy NBA editor Sean Deveney tweeted this and it’s hard to argue with the take:

Scottie Barnes, Williams’ former college teammate at Florida State looks like a fantastic young player and someone who will fit nicely alongside Fred Van Vleet, OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. Barnes has a thicker frame and long arms, but that’s not the only reason he looks like a surefire prospect.

He’s also mad aggressive and doesn’t look to be in the least bit timid about anything on the court. Take a look at this spin move Barnes put on Williams on Monday:

Where are these kinds of moves from Williams?

In Barnes’ second pro game, he went for 25 points and 13 rebounds on the road against the Boston Celtics. In this clip alone there is probably more offensive aggression from Barnes than we’ve seen from Williams his entire rookie year and the first four games of his second season.

Pippen Ain’t Easy’s Andrew Miller says the Bulls need Williams to be more aggressive. He wrote: ”

Something that most Chicago Bulls fans were likely wanting to see from second-year forward Patrick Williams early this season was an increased level of confidence and assertiveness. In fact, it almost feels like assertive is too soft of a word for what Williams needs to show for the Bulls this season. Aggressiveness seems like a better term to use here. Williams came out of the gates hot in the Las Vegas NBA Summer League, averaging more than 20 points per game. And he even looked solid in limited minutes on both ends of the floor in his one preseason game played with the Bulls in the finale against the Memphis Grizzlies back on Oct. 15. But that trend of Williams showing more confidence on the offensive end of the floor, while maintaining a solid defensive presence, shied away from in the regular season opener on Oct. 20. As Williams and the Bulls took on the Detroit Pistons on the road on the night of Oct. 20, there wasn’t much scoring to come by, especially in the first half.

Bulls fans are rightfully busy celebrating the team’s 4-0 start, but it might be time to worry about Williams’ mental makeup.

Do the Bulls Need Williams to Be Something That He’s Not?

You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s true, there are some things that you just can’t teach. Having that alpha dog mentality is one of them. So far, there is nothing about Williams that suggests he has a desire to be that kind of presence on an NBA basketball team.

Williams looks more like a guy who wants to be a piece, or a role player who does the little things that help his team win. That’s not a horrible thing; Every NBA team needs those guys.

The problem is, you don’t want to use the No. 4 pick in the draft on a kid who ultimately is satisfied with being a role player.

Don’t Underestimate the Win-Now Bulls’ Willingness to Trade

Most Bulls fans love Williams and it’s with good reason. He seems like a fantastic young man. However, the Bulls didn’t spend to add players like Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso just so they could run a group of nice guys on the court.

The Bulls want to win and they want to do it soon. If the trade deadline rolls around and it appears they might have an opportunity to land a difference maker and the cost is Williams, the team might take a serious look at it if he hasn’t yet started to show the aggression the Bulls need.

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