The playmaking wing, with size, is everything that is vogue in the NBA right now. In taking a quick look at last year’s NBA Draft you have the likes of RJ Barrett, Deandre Hunter, Jarrett Culver, Cam Reddish, Cam Johnson and Romeo Langford who are all players taken in the Draft Lottery who fit this archetype of a player. Taking a look at Bleacher Report’s Ranking of the Top 100 players in the NBA James Harden, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George are all in the top 10 (with unique players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis blurring the lines as playmaking bigs).
With that being said, there is a premium on players who fit Patrick Williams’ mold. The 6’8” 225 pound freshman at Florida State was not a McDonalds All American in high school (although he did participate in the Jordan Brand Classic), but he could be one to watch this NCAA season as he may creep into one and done lottery status with an August of 2001 birthdate (just turned 18).
Williams, who led West Charlotte High School to a NCHSAA 4A West Championship and a birth in the North Carolina 4A State Championship game (playing against South Central and 2020 5-star Dayron Sharpe), averaged 22.1 points, 9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.8 blocks per game as a senior, tallying 14 double/doubles during the season. Throughout his high school career, four years on varsity, Williams scored 1,787 career points, grabbed 749 career rebounds, dished 310 career assists and blocked 171 career shots. Even being one of the youngest players in his class, throughout playing varsity in one of North Carolina’s toughest conferences, in North Carolina’s largest classification, Williams padded the stats.
The foresight was there, as Williams has always had the talent. However, after Williams first showed up to the Fall Phenom 150 Exposure Camp in 2016, it was obvious we were dealing with someone who was different. After Williams’ performance at that camp, Phenom Hoops’ Jamie Shaw wrote, “Williams is a name that people around the 704 have been whispering about, not has not received much fanfare. When he came to our Grassroots Tip-Off Classic, playing up with Team United 16s, in April Williams showed up as a 6’4” wing. However, his confidence exploded (as did his frame), and he showed up (6 months later) to Session 2 of the NC Phenom 150, as a 6’6” possible point guard. He has great length and size, and Williams has court awareness well beyond his years. In a 2019 class, which is being touted as one of NCs best in a long time, Williams is at the top.”
Some may consider him a late bloomer, however, Williams was hidden in plain sight. Williams played his freshman season on varsity as a 6’ guard. He continued to grow, each year, however he kept the same skill set. Even though Williams went between being ranked first and second by Phenom Hoops in North Carolina’s 2019 class (flip-flopping with Wendell Moore), the national media did not catch on until the summer between his junior and senior years, even still with ESPN ranking Williams 34th in the final rankings (which may not be a curse as the likes of Shai Gilgeous Alexander (35), Tyler Herro (30), Zach Collins (37), etc…were all players ranked in the 30s by ESPN who ended up being one and done draft picks).
Standing 6’8” with a 6’11” wingspan and weighing in at 225 pounds, there are a lot of similarities to Deandre Hunter, from a physical profile. Hunter measured at 6’7” with a 7’0” wingspan at 222 pounds at the NBA Draft Combine. Looking at Williams metrics on the EYBL, which he played 2 years amongst the best in the country, Williams averaged 11 points per game while shooting 45% from the field and 42.5% from 3. He also added 6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 1 block per game (again this is over a two year period playing 17u as one of the youngest players, in his class, on the Nike Circuit).
All off this added in, we cannot wait until we are able to start to get a collegiate sample size of stats gathered. Williams should come straight into Florida State and contribute right away, following in the footsteps of the Malik Beasley, Dwayne Bacon and Terance Mann as wings drafted into the NBA out of Florida State in recent memory. Williams is yet to play a single college game, so he has not popped up on the NBA draft boards, just yet. However, given his playstyle, his physical profile and what the game is moving to in the current NBA landscape, there is a lot to project here, especially with Williams having only just turned 18 a month or so ago.