Chicago Bulls: Patrick Williams picks jersey number of former fan favorite

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls once struck gold with a player wearing no. 9. Can they do it again with Patrick Williams?

When the name Patrick Williams was announced at pick no. 4, some Chicago Bulls fans were puzzled. That’s fine, because this year’s draft class was full of mysteries. The average fan may not know much about Williams, but they’ll find out soon enough.

At first glance, Williams seems to always have that head-down mentality on film. He’s always posing some look of intensity, no matter what he’s doing. Williams is a focused, high-effort player who prides himself on playing every possession hard.

The 6-foot-8 forward didn’t even get a chance to start last season for the Florida State Seminoles, which is interesting considering his being drafted at the fourth overall pick. But, Williams was more the Seminoles’ secret weapon as a reserve, and still played over 20 minutes per game — sometimes upwards of 30. He might take a little time to fully develop, but will be worth the wait.

Chicago wanted a high motor player who would give them every bit of themselves on the defensive end, and that is exactly what they selected in Williams. He’s not going to be the flashy, 30-point scorer night-in and night-out. But, that’s not what the Bulls needed.

The last couple of years, Chicago has been bleeding on the perimeter when it comes to defense. That’s why they grabbed Williams — and if you remember another former Bull who excelled in that area, you may see a resemblance.

After wearing no. 4 in college, Williams went with no. 9, of course worn by former Bull and fan favorite Luol Deng.

The more you look at Williams’ game, the more you can actually see many similarities. Deng measured 6-foot-9 with a long wingspan, helping him to defend the perimeter with strength and length. Like Deng, Williams is right up there at 6-foot-8 with a ridiculous 7-foot wingspan.

While Deng had a stronger offensive game initially, Williams’ prowess is on defense and the offensive glass. He actually resembles a more athletic version of Deng with a bit of work needed on offense. But, again, he wasn’t drafted to be a scorer. Deng was one of the Bulls’ main options offensively for a while.

The longtime Chicago Bull played nine and a half years with the organization before moving on to a few other teams late in his career, but he will go down as one of the better defenders this team has ever seen. Deng is, quite honestly, one of the more underrated players in the history of this league — always quietly performing well and flying under the radar.

Bulls: NBA veteran praises Patrick Williams. light. More

If Williams is going to wear that number, he better wear it proudly and do a little tape study while he’s at it. He has some big shoes to fill in that no. 9 jersey.