There are some teams that you just love to hate. And then there are players that often make it even easier to hate those teams.
Over the last three years, Grant Williams has been one of those players for Tennessee. The two-time, defending SEC Player of the Year has given Kentucky fits in almost every match-up. As of Friday, however, he is officially headed to the NBA.
Tennessee star junior Grant Williams is staying in the 2019 NBA Draft, as he announces in exclusive @Stadium sit-down: pic.twitter.com/4GrI16svLg— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 17, 2019
Listed at 6-7, many have questioned Williams’ ability to play in the NBA as an undersized front court player. However, after receiving feedback leading up to the NBA Draft combine, he is convinced that is stock is high enough to take the risk.
Williams averaged 18.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game last season, was named SEC Player of the Year for a second time, and ended up being a consensus All-American. It is hard to imagine that there is a lot he could do in a senior season that would make him as valuable as he is right now.
Many draft projections currently have Williams being selected in the first round, which was not necessarily the case during the college basketball season. If Williams shows that he can stretch the floor and consistently shoot from being the three-point line, he has the ability to be a contributor in the NBA for a long time. While he showed his shooting ability at times last season, he often seemed reluctant to take those opportunities more often than not.
Williams was often ridiculed for flopping to draw fouls, but he is a very talented basketball player. He is a strong young man, he plays with discipline, and he knows what it takes to win.
As dislikable as he may have been in college, I wish him the best of luck at the next level.