Could the Bulls dip right back into the FSU pool at draft time?
Patrick Williams didn’t have the opportunity to play with Scottie Barnes at Florida State, but he was heavily involved with his recruitment. The two still talk, but could they be Bulls teammates someday soon?
It’s not territory the Bulls hope to find themselves in when the regular season ends.
It was, however, their reality entering their game Monday against the Knicks.
Sitting in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference a quarter of the way into the season, the Bulls are in line to draft in the No. 6 or No. 7 range — pre-lottery, of course. Coincidentally, that’s the range most draft experts have a versatile forward from Florida State being selected.
It does for Bulls rookie Patrick Williams.
Williams knows all about prized Seminoles freshman Scottie Barnes. Not only was Barnes the highest-rated recruit Florida State ever landed, but Williams was involved in that recruitment.
‘‘I was there on his recruiting visit,’’ Williams said. ‘‘So I was pretty much a big part of getting him to Florida State. Of course, the coaching staff and the culture was what got him there. But on his visit, I was one of the ones that kind of [hung out] with him, me and Raiquan Gray. So, for sure, I definitely tap in with those guys every now and then, just to see how they’re doing.’’
Barnes is listed at 6-9 — about two inches taller than Williams — but there are some similarities to their games, especially their ability to pass and their high basketball IQs.
‘‘I talk to them on the regular,’’ Williams said about his former Seminoles teammates still in the program. ‘‘I also talk to Scottie. But he’s been real insightful. He would [Snapchat] me, text me, [direct message] me, asking questions, asking me what I did, what got me through.
‘‘They’re kind of in midseason or a good way into the season, and he’s seeing some of the things that the ACC brings. It’s a daily grind every game. You’ve gotta play the best of the best every game. He’s kind of seeing that, seeing what he can do and what he can’t do.
‘‘He’s been asking questions. I’ve been talking to him about what I see and what he’s been really good at. He’s been great for them.’’
Barnes is certainly a one-and-done candidate, so might he and Williams have a chance to be NBA teammates?
‘‘I haven’t thought about the draft for next year, but that would definitely be cool,’’ Williams said.
Taking the high road
Forward Thad Young entered the game Monday averaging slightly less playing time than he did last season, but his mood seems to be way better.
While he declined to throw former coach Jim Boylen into the fire directly, he didn’t have to when he offered an explanation for his increased success playing under Billy Donovan.
‘‘Uh, playing much more comfortable,’’ a laughing Young said when he was asked why he’s having so much more success under Donovan. ‘‘I’m able to do a lot of the things I was doing with previous teams, as opposed to last year, which is catching the ball in the pocket, playing and reading the defense, stepping out and taking an occasional shot here and there. But also, when I get mismatches, being able to take advantage of those mismatches on the post.
‘‘For me, it’s being in a comfortable position and a comfortable situation and then just understanding who I am as a player. Like I said, Billy and the coaching staff have done a phenomenal job of just kind of putting us all in successful positions and putting us in positions where we could all be good for the team [and] great for this organization.’’