This is a big offseason for Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Wiliams, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft who is heading into his fourth season and is eligible to receive an extension that could push $100 million this summer. There is also an apparent growing buzz that the mild-mannered Williams could want to be utilized differently in the lineup.
“Williams may be the big mystery player for the upcoming season,” wrote Sam Smith of Bulls.com on June 29. “He becomes extension eligible and has stated he wants to play wing, so that suggests he may be ready to embrace that assertiveness everyone keeps calling for.”
That is where things could complicated for Williams.
They are said to have little to no intention of moving off DeRozan — who heads into the final year of his contract at 33 years old — anytime soon, according to Smith. That would create the opportunity Williams would need though.
After averaging 10.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.2 assists while shooting 41.5% from beyond the arc this past season, Williams said that he was not satisfied with his performance and said he was going to be better next season.
“There’s a lot of agreement of Williams being at the wing position — much of it from Williams,” Smith continued. “That’s maybe the biggest question in this Bulls free agency.”
Chicago has retained center Nikola Vucevic and guard Coby White and added Jevon Carter in free agency already this offseason. But their roster is once again guard heavy with little in the way of proven frontcourt depth or size in general; something they still have plenty of time to address one way or another.
Patrick Williams Working to ‘Manipulate My Mental’
He recently took to social media and sent a message about his mindset at this critical juncture for both him and the Bulls.
“Tryna’ manipulate my mental,” Williams said in the caption of an Instagram post on July 1.
Williams’ mentality has been the biggest point of contention for observers who all acknowledge his tremendous ability and skill set perfectly suited for the modern NBA. His passiveness, however, has held him and the Bulls back to the point that it cost him his starting spot this past season.
Patrick Williams’ Teammates React to IG Post
The post is one of two on Williams’ Instagram profile, a common occurrence with many users preferring to share things via stories. But that did make him posting in and of itself notable with DeRozan and 2022 No. 18 overall pick Dalen Terry taking notice and commenting on the youngster’s message.
“You posting now,” DeRozan asked in the comment section.
Terry is a new addition to the early a.m. workout crew this offseason and also weighed in on Williams’ message.
He simply commented “48 Laws of Power”, referring to the book of that name by Robert Greene. A fan chimed in under the replies to point Terry (and by extension Williams) to the book “Body Mind Mastery” by Dan Millman which aims to serve much of the same purpose.
While the Bulls did not see a breakout from Williams as hoped, his approach improved.
Limited in resources and their ability to add to the roster, the Bulls need a leap from the younger players – one that was anticipated in some capacity last season – next season or the Bulls could take a step back for the second year in a row. If that happens, it stands to reason that any and everyone from players to coaches to the front office could become casualties.