RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Jordan WilliamsPosted by rtmsf on May 18th, 2011
Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 30-35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.
Player Name: Jordan Williams
Height/Weight: 6’10/260 lbs.
NBA Position: Power Forward/Center
Projected Draft Range: Late first round or second round
Overview: Jordan Williams came to Maryland from Torrington, Connecticut, in 2009 as the 16th-ranked center in the country. Though he wasn’t heavily recruited (only two other power conference schools offered Williams a scholarship), Wiliams made an impact right away, averaging 9.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per contest (second in the ACC) in 24.8 minutes per outing. Posting eight double-doubles in his freshman year, he was named to the ACC All-Rookie team. After the Terrapins’ top four scorers graduated, Williams’ role increased dramatically last season, and he lived up to the pressure. He shed 25 pounds during the summer and was an absolute force in the paint for Gary Williams last season. Jordan averaged a double-double in 2010-11, and was automatic from the lane. He displayed tremendous efficiency as a big man, with an eFG clip of 53.8% and a 12.5% offensive rebound rate. Recognized as one of the nation’s most improved players as a sophomore, Williams came up especially big in conference play, and the highlight of his season may have been a late February game against UNC. Matched up against North Carolina’s NBA-caliber frontcourt, Williams plowed his way to 16 points and a career-high 19 boards. Though the Terps would miss the NCAA Tournament, Williams’ sophomore season garnered AP Honorable Mention All-American status. Williams declared for the draft after the season, but did not immediately hire an agent. However, as the declaration period wore on and many players took the safe route of returning to school amidst NBA labor uncertainty, Williams took the plunge and announced his intention to stay in the pool, hoping to take advantage.
Will Translate to the NBA: Williams’ best asset at the pro level will be his knack for rebounding, but he should be able to exploit offensive mismatches as they come for easy baskets. He also shows a great motor, and though he won’t play major minutes from the get-go, that style should make him a very good spark from the bench. Williams’ frame at 6’10 and 260 pounds is very close to NBA-ready, though he can stand to lose some baby fat. He can be flat-footed, and as a result will have trouble scoring against comparable and bigger competition down low despite having a solid frame. The knocks are that he’s a touch slow for the next level and is limited in range, though both areas can be improved once he catches on with his new team.
Needs Work: Williams must continue to improve his conditioning in order to be effective. As he commanded attention with Maryland, he was frequently double-teamed, which exposed a major weakness in his game – knowing how and when to kick the ball back out. He needs to gradually develop his post repertoire, and he would be particularly well-served to learn to use his left hand, a skill that never took shape for him in College Park. Defensively, he should be just fine down low, but don’t be surprised to see him get exploited in pick-and roll situations or other sets where his man draws him out to the perimeter, as Williams is generally somewhat slow to recover from screens.
Comparison Players: Williams most often gets compared to a couple of fellow ACC alumni, current Chicago Bull Carlos Boozer (Duke) and former Bobcat/King/Net Sean May (UNC). The tale of these two players is somewhat instructive in how the career arcs of big, physical players can go — if he avoids injuries and stays in good game shape, he has the size and girth to cause problems for any number of defenses in the NBA. If, however, he succumbs to the fate of so many large-framed players who find themselves regularly battling nagging injuries that limit their effectiveness, then he’ll likely be out of the league by the age of 25. A little bit of luck is involved in this, but the key will be to get his body into maximum physical shape and hope for the best outcome.
Best Case Scenario: Speaking of which, if Williams does the above things — takes care of his body and avoids injuries — it wouldn’t shock us to see him become a solid double-double type of player in the NBA. The best case for him would be if he continues to develop his offensive game to the point of becoming a reliable second option on a team with an effective perimeter scorer (this will require a mid-range jumper). Even better, if he can play opposite another interior scorer, his knack for getting into position to rebound the ball on the weak side for easy buckets would be ideal. Supposing he finds a niche somewhere, we could see Williams latching on for a decade-long career in the league.
2014 Projection: We’re not sure that we see Williams turning into another Carlos Boozer, but we could see him mimicking the career arc of someone like Kris Humphries or JJ Hickson, players who are not primary scoring options on their teams but who can consistently score in spots, rebound the ball, and play effective defense. The young power forward will have just turned 21 at the beginning of his professional career, so the bulk of his development will occur in the next few years. We figure that by 2014 he’ll have put in the work to make his body an effective tool at the next level, and he will have worked his way into a starting power forward position putting up 20 double-doubles a year for a mid-level team.
Best NBA Fit: What NBA team doesn’t need a big body with a knack for rebounding the ball? Answer: none of them, which is why it says here that Williams will be an intriguing possibility for nearly every team at the bottom of the first round and the first half of the second. Without a developed offensive game beyond putbacks, he’d probably be in a better position to improve on a bad team with a serious big man deficit, which is why the Golden State Warriors or the Charlotte Bobcats might make sense with their picks in the second round.
Scout’s Take (Chris Denker from Netscouts Basketball): “he has great hands and a big body… the question is that he doesn’t have a tremendous amount of experience… he’s not a set play kind of guy.”