All Aruras Karnisovas and Marc Eversley had to do was fork over Patrick Williams and Rudy Gobert would’ve joined the Chicago Bulls.
But they feel so sure about Williams that they wouldn’t include him in a potential trade for the rim protector they sought this offseason.
And while there wouldn’t have been a shortage of Bulls fans willing to give the former fourth-overall pick a lift out of town, one national writer thinks Williams could soon reward the front office’s faith.
On a recent episode of Open Floor: Sports Illustrated’s NBA Show, Chris Herring named Williams among his three favorites to win the NBA Most Improved Player award next season.
“He has the tools,” said Herring, who had Williams sandwiched between the Magic’s Jalen Suggs and the Raptors’ Precious Achiuwa as his leading candidates to snag the trophy Ja Morant took home this past season. “He’s a decent enough shooter. And I think that they’re gonna put more trust in him this year.”
That much appears to be a necessity.
By swinging and missing on Danilo Gallinari, Karnisovas and Eversley failed to plate a player who, while long in the tooth, could’ve at least taken a bite out of Williams’ responsibility to score.
Andre Drummond and Goran Dragic will help bolster a Chicago Bulls bench that ranked next to last in points, rebounds, and assists a season ago. But neither free-agent acquisition will soften the expectations of Patrick Williams as he enters his third season.
And maybe that’s a good thing.
Someone who’s thought to be too valuable to trade for a three-time Defensive Player of the Year deserves as many opportunities to explore his limits as he can get.
As Herring’s co-host Michael Pina added later, “He’s kinda critical in a lot of ways. Just seems like there’s a lot of untapped potential there.”
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