Chicago Bulls: Patrick Williams snubbed of All-Rookie first team

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Chicago Bulls rookie small forward, Patrick Williams, 19, was snubbed out of selection for the NBA All-Rookie first team but instead was selected to the All-Rookie second team. Williams, also known as PWill or PDub, had an outstanding rookie season with the Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls saw Patrick William have a fantastic season in 2020-21.

He was originally selected fourth overall in the 2020 NBA draft by the Bulls and was notorious for being the draft pick that was taken too high. Williams did not start in his first and only year at Florida State University where he was the sixth man for the team and averaged 9.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game.

While the 19-year old rookie had a lot to prove as a top-five pick in the draft, he certainly met expectations for the Bulls and became an invaluable asset for them. In his first season, Williams averaged similar statistics to his collegiate averages — 9.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and shot 48.3 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from downtown.

More impressively, Williams stepped in as a rookie as the team’s best defender and took on their opponents’ best matchups. That included LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, etc. Williams recorded 2.2 defensive win shares, a 0.0 defensive box plus-minus, and a 112 defensive rating, which are all remarkable statistics for a rookie against the toughest players in the league.

Who should Williams deserve the award over?

Let’s get to the meat of this argument. When you state a player should have been selected to the “x” team for “y” reasons, you have to have “z” players that should not have been chosen over him.

It goes without saying that LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and Tyrese Haliburton undoubtedly deserved to be on the All-Rookie first team due to their leadership of small-market teams and success with them.

Saddiq Bey

This one is probably the easiest argument to make because Williams dominates in most categories. The narrative of Williams edges out Bey in this situation as well.

Williams has Bey beat in a lot of categories — assists, rebounds, steals, blocks, minutes (very big because Bey plays for a worse team), defensive rating, defensive win shares, and defensive box plus/minus. Williams also is well more efficient with his shooting than Bey. Bey shot 40 percent from the field and 31 percent from behind the arc.

Bey, on the other hand, had more points, better free throw percentage, better offensive rating, fewer turnovers, player efficiency rating, more offensive win shares, and more win shares. Clearly, Bey is a better quantitative offensive player than Williams as shown by his points and offensive rating statistics. However, if you factor in Williams’ offensive efficiency paired with his defense and the fact that Williams factors on a better team, Williams outweighs Bey.

Jae’Sean Tate

Jae’Sean Tate had a fantastic rookie year in Houston coming out of Ohio State. He averaged 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game with the Rockets. He has stepped up big for them during their rebuilding period.

This debate could go back and forth but it’s much tougher to make than Bey’s. Williams has Tate in fewer categories — free throw and deep ball percentage, games started (important because the Rockets are a worse team), defensive rating, and defensive win shares.

Tate has Williams in most offensive categories and surprisingly in defensive box plus/minus. Tate’s narrative of stepping up as a rookie on a team in full rebuild mode is also a fun one for the NBA to use. My main point with Williams’s qualification to the All-Rookie first team is that he is arguably the best defensive player to come out of the 2020 NBA draft, which sadly does not get much praise in the professional league.

Three Bulls who would benefit from a Luka Doncic trace. light. Related Story

What does this mean for Williams?

In all honesty, Bey is probably the target player that should have dropped down to the second team for Williams. The NBA screwed up with that one by not giving Williams enough recognition Nevertheless, the positive for Williams is that he was recognized by a strong crowd on the second team for the NBA all-rookie award.

Immanuel Quickley, Isaiah Stewart, Desmond Bane, and Isaac Okoro, all had phenomenal rookie seasons in the league and Williams fits right in with those names. For a guy that had low expectations coming into the team as the youngest player in the NBA, Williams thrived and proved the doubters wrong.