Bulls Patrick Williams’ career prediction, can he still become the next Kawhi Leonard?

It’s still too early to determine Patrick Williams’ future in the NBA, but there’s no denying that he possesses the necessary skills for success. The development of these skills may take some time. The Chicago Bulls are relying on him to progress quickly, as their roster lacks youthful talent, and most of their core players are getting older. While having an experienced team has its advantages, it also sets a clear limit on their potential. This is why I believe Patrick Williams is the key to the Chicago Bulls’ 2023-24 season.

The comparisons between Pat and NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard have been discussed extensively. They share similar physical attributes, with the ability to shoot from long range and excel in the mid-range game. While Kawhi has superior ball-handling skills and larger hands, Patrick is working on improving in that aspect. The next step for Patrick Williams is to develop the ability to make two or three dribbles and pull up from mid-range, which could significantly enhance his game. Kawhi is a master of this skill.

Currently, Patrick demonstrates a respectable mid-range game, using his shoulder to create separation or executing a little fadeaway. He can also shoot off the dribble to some extent, although consistency is a challenge. I hope that the Bulls’ coaching staff will provide him with more opportunities to operate in the mid-range area in the upcoming season.

He is adept at driving to the rim and changing directions, although he doesn’t possess the same level of athleticism as Kawhi. What they have in common is their high release and stable shooting base; neither of them prefers one-legged jump shots.

Defensively, Kawhi has been considered the league’s best defender for a few years, capable of guarding players of various heights. Patrick might not reach the same level but remains a net-positive defender who requires minimal assistance on that end. In other words, he’s good but not elite.

Bulls prized prospect Patrick Williams has received comparisons to Kawhi Leonard since he was drafted, but are they warranted?

In Kawhi’s age 21 season, he averaged 11.9 points, 6 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game, while Williams posted similar stats with approximately 10.2 points, 4 rebounds, and just under one steal per game, shooting 41.5% from beyond the arc compared to Kawhi’s 37.4% during that year.

Kawhi’s statistics might have been slightly better, but he played in a more robust team system, with the Spurs ranking first in assists per game that season, while the Bulls ranked 20th last year. This difference in team play impacted their individual performance. Before the season, coach Billy Donovan emphasized a desire for better ball movement, so that might affect Williams’ opportunities.

Kawhi had his breakout season in 2015-16 when he averaged 21.5 points per game and earned his first All-Star selection at the age of 24. However, he was in a more favorable situation.


Kawhi Leonard returns, starts for Clippers after missing 12 games | NBA.com


Is it reasonable to expect a similar leap from Patrick Williams?


During the preseason, there were reports of increased leadership from Coby White, and Patrick Williams has shown improvement from last season. With DeMar DeRozan in his contract year and other offensive threats on the team, questions arise about Williams’ role. Should they wait for the current core to pass the torch to Williams, similar to what happened with former Bulls prospect Lauri Markkanen?

Patrick Williams holds the key to the Bulls’ season. If he can take the next step and consistently contribute around 17 points and 7 rebounds per game while maintaining strong defense, the Chicago Bulls have a genuine chance of securing at least the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. If not, they may find themselves stuck in the play-in zone, as they were last season. To truly gauge Patrick Williams’ potential, it might be time to grant him the opportunity to shine, much like Kawhi Leonard once did.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.