The NBA announced All-Rookie honors for the 2020-21 season on Thursday night, which included Chicago Bulls' forward Patrick Williams on the All-Rookie Second Team. This honor comes after the news that Williams received zero votes for NBA Rookie of the Year.
Williams, the fourth overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, was considered a growth pick at just 19 years old, but he still had lofty expectations for his rookie season. Bulls' head coach Billy Donovan allotted Williams 71 starts and a healthy chunk of minutes (27.9 MPG) throughout the 2020-21 campaign. The Florida State product displayed spurts of aggressiveness and drew tough defensive assignments, often guarding the opponent's best player on a nightly basis. He experienced some consistency issues, which is expected of a rookie, but his overall stats were still respectable — 9.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.6 BPG.
As part of Williams's aforementioned defensive responsibilities, the rookie found himself guarding some of the league's best players in Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James. James even went out of his way to offer some high praise for Williams during a postgame press conference.
Patrick Williams performed well during his rookie campaign, but not up to the billing as the fourth-best player in his draft class. Analysts and fans alike attributed that disconnect to his age and limited offseason preparation time due to the scheduling oddities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a full offseason of training, Williams has the potential to grow his game immensely heading into his second NBA season. Bulls fans will have to remain patient with Williams's development, but the hope is that he can eventually fulfill the Kawhi Leonard comparisons he drew on draft night.