Bulls rookie Patrick Williams talks ROY and All-Rookie honors
While the No. 4 overall pick doesn’t feel the need to promote himself for postseason honors, he does feel like he has improved in his rookie campaign.
Forward Patrick Williams wasn’t promoting himself after the draft, he wasn’t promoting himself at the halfway mark of the NBA season and he wasn’t going to start promoting himself now.
That’s just not how he’s wired.
“Not really,’’ Williams said Sunday when asked if receiving All-Rookie honors would mean something to him. “I don’t really play basketball for the accolades and things like that. I just play because I love to play it. I’ve always been that way. It wouldn’t even really matter to me.’’
That might be a good attitude to have because there’s a chance it won’t have to matter for the No. 4 overall pick.
Williams has had some moments since the Bulls had a roster facelift at the trade deadline, but five new players in the mix have limited the amount.
The Florida State product entered the game against the Timberwolves 10th in scoring (9.7 points per game) for the rookie class, seventh in rebounds (4.7) and 10th in steals (0.8).
“Like I said, coming in when I was drafted, I just wanted to get better every day,’’ Williams said. “I think I’ve done that. Just being able to grow, get experience. And just learn from guys like Zach [LaVine] and the rest of the guys on the team, Thad [Young], the vets on the team but also young guys. I’ve learned from Coby [White], learned from Troy [Brown].
“As long as I’m learning, as long as I’m getting better every day, I feel like that’s a good season from me.’’
The one key ability that Williams has displayed is availability.
Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball was the runaway Rookie of the Year leader until a season-ending injury. Minnesota’s Anthony Edwards is the leader now.
As far as All-Rookie honors, Tyrese Haliburton has been solid, Immanuel Quickley is still performing and James Wiseman had some great moments before his season was put in jeopardy by a knee injury. Cole Anthony, Saddiq Bey and a surging Jae’Sean Tate also are contenders.
The player who hasn’t surprised Williams is Edwards.
Edwards caught a lot of attention by posterizing Toronto’s Yuta Watanabe with possibly the dunk of the season, but Williams has had a good idea of Edwards’ game for quite some time.
“I’ve known him since high school, so it was no surprise to me,’’ Williams said of the dunk. “But it was a great play. I’ve seen him do that and more.
“I actually tried to recruit him to Florida State his senior year of high school. I know him pretty well just from playing with him and against him from different camps throughout high school. Of course, I watch some of the games they’ve been playing. But I don’t really focus too much on rookies but just watching everybody.’’
Bulls big man Nikola Vucevic always appreciated LaVine’s game from afar, but now that he has had the opportunity to see it up close and personal, it’s even better than advertised.
“Everything he does just looks so effortless,’’ Vucevic said. “Even the way he runs, the way he moves, the way he jumps, everything just looks so effortless.
“One thing that really impresses me is that he’ll drive at full speed, then, like, slow down to go to one-two, and then just bounce off like if he’s bouncing off a trampoline.’’