Chicago Bulls veteran Thaddeus Young has seen his fair share of rookies.
The 14th year forward admitted he sees something in No. 4 overall pick Patrick Williams, who is the second-youngest rookie from the 2020 NBA Draft.
Thad on Patrick Williams: "I've had a lot of rookies. 14 years now. He's been great so far – he learns, he listens. He comes to work each and every day so far, but you can see it in him. You can see he wants it." pic.twitter.com/sEclwigzgU
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) December 5, 2020
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Young Reflecting on Rookie Year to Help Williams
Williams spoke to local media on Thursday about his first year of Bulls training camp. He credited Young with helping him along the way — a mentor relationship that’ll likely be pivotal in his first season as a pro.
Here’s what Williams said when asked about what he’s looking forward to most in his rookie year:
Just learning. Every day I’ve come in here and I’m learning new things, terminology, or places on the court, things like that, and reads to make. Just coming everyday learning has been the best part for me. That’s a dream come true…
Just being able to see the progress that I make year after year. When I first came into the locker room, Thad [Young] was like, ‘man, you’re a rookie, I remember my rookie year, it goes by fast. And just to see the progress that he’s made over the years, I want to do the same thing and be able to look back at a rookie coming into the league and kind of give him the guidance and give him knowledge that will help him prolong his career, as Thad has done for me. Just getting better every day, growing, and then seeing the progress that I make.
Williams, who hit a massive growth spurt his senior year of high school — just two years ago — has shown a realistic and veteran-like mentality to his development as the former point guard will require time to find his NBA form in his new 6-foot-8 frame.
He was named ACC Sixth Man of the Year at Florida State last year and will likely be used as a rim runner and defensive weapon to start his career.
Williams Impressing at Training Camp
Drafted as a player who could guard anybody on the floor, Williams was praised by center Wendell Carter Jr., who said Williams can play 1 through 4 “very easily.”
“I feel like he gets it,” second-year guard and fellow North Carolina native Coby White said of Williams. “Pat, just like a North Carolina kid, just wants to come in, wants to work, wants to get better and is willing to learn.”
NBA rookies will face unique circumstances in 2020-21, preparing for a season without a summer league and learning at an accelerated schedule as the preseason starts in less than a week on Dec. 11.
Williams has maintained that his focus is on improving each day and, when the opportunity comes, he’ll be ready.
“My job right now is to come in every day and just work and make sure I get the plays, make sure I’m doing what I need to do so when my name is called I can produce. When my name is called, I can’t really control that,” he said. But I can control if I’m ready when my name is called. So I’ve just been coming in every day and just working. Not really worried about expectations or things like that. Just working to be the best that I can be.”
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