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Ole Dirty Klondike

The Ziaire Williams Guide

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I know people are disappointed. I know people expected more and that the Grizz overrated him and people are wondering why in the heck did we give up big JV to get Williams? The hell if I know but anyway. It is what it is and time to get to know the young fellow:

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Pre-Draft Analysis

 

Strengths
- Tall, fluid wing at 6-8 with a 6-10.5 wingspan. Big reach. Light on his feet. Can finish above the rim in space. Changes speeds and directions comfortably.
- Shows major shotmaking potential both off the catch and the bounce. Has the footwork to rise into pull-ups smoothly and can create space with step backs. Comfortable ball handler with great balance who can play pick-and-roll. Handle and shotmaking potential give him quite a bit of upside as a creator. Willing passer with strong court vision.
- Strong off-ball defender who has good instincts in the passing lanes. Will rotate for blocks or charges.

Improvement areas
- Rail thin at 185 pounds with narrow shoulders. How much will he fill out long term? Lack of strength limits him defensively and as a finisher. Toughness comes and goes in part because of his lack of physicality. Gets pushed around at times and caught on screens defensively.
- Still finding the right balance between when to be aggressive and when to facilitate. Settles for contested jump shots far too often. Doesn't get to the free throw line. Needs to do a better job getting downhill. Will go long stretches without having much of an offensive impact and then take an out-of-rhythm jumper.
- Relatively streaky shooter given his reliance on shotmaking. Confidence in his shooting comes and goes.

Projected role: Wing shot creator

--Mike Schmitz

 

Post-Draft Analysis

 

The Grizzlies traded into the 10th pick to select Ziaire Williams

With a star in place in Ja Morant and a plethora of productive role-players and promising young building blocks surrounding him, the Grizzlies outlook appears significantly rosier now than it did several years ago. They have the financial flexibility to add pieces, either in free agency or trades, and should continue to grow organically as Morant gains strength, improves his shooting and develops more chemistry with his teammates through continuity. That flexibility became immediately evident with the trade they made to move up from the No. 17 spot to No. 10, taking on salary commitment in the form of Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe and landing a 2022 first-round pick by way of the Lakers. The Grizzlies front office has been reshaped from being the butt of many jokes around the NBA to a force to be reckoned with in the past few years, and they will likely continue to make savvy moves around the edges to build around Morant and make even more progress in the win column.

Ziaire Williams started the season projected as a top-5 pick but saw his stock drop after a disappointing, disjointed campaign at Stanford. He was able to rebound from that in the pre-draft process by showing his significant talent in workouts, and measuring a hair under 6-foot-10 in shoes, giving him tremendous size to go along with elite-level shot-making prowess. The Grizzlies are betting that Williams' projection in the NBA is closer to that of what we saw in high school compared to the version at Stanford. --Jonathan Givony

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Memphis Grizzlies

Wow, this is the first reach in years from the Grizzlies, and maybe the first pick of theirs I’ve disagreed with in recent memory. Memphis traded up to no. 10 to take Williams, who was a top high school recruit, but had ups and downs during his freshman season at Stanford. Anyone with his size, score, and fluidity has a chance to become a long-term success, but he’s still very raw at this stage of his career. He is a good positional fit next to Ja Morant, but his selection provides more questions than answers. 

Grade: C

Lanky shot creator who needs to improve his jumper and his body to maximize his immense two-way potential.

  • Ballhandlingbadge
    Ballhandling
  • Off-Ball Defensebadge
    Off-Ball Defense
PLUSES
  • Fluid ball handler for his size who can change speeds and pivot with ease to create space off the dribble.

  • Go-to-scorer potential if he irons out the kinks in his shooting mechanics; his free throw percentage is a positive indicator for his future.

  • With such a dynamic handle, he also displays playmaking upside. He’s a score-first player, but a willing passer too.

  • Heady defender who uses length and anticipation to be a problem in passing lanes. He’s also a good help defender around the rim who can alter shots and take charges.

MINUSES
  • Needs to revise his shooting form by smoothing out his release and making it more of a clean, one-motion movement.

  • Doesn’t finish well in traffic and avoids contact at the rim, opting instead for more difficult floaters or deep layups. He also isn’t explosive as a leaper unless he has space to launch off both feet.

  • Lean frame limits his ability to add weight and muscle, which will determine how effectively he'll be able to defend multiple positions.

 

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Just for reference...NBADraft.net had this dude at 21 in thier mock draft

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NBA Comparison: Rashard Lewis

Strengths: High level athlete who uses his size and vertical to his advantage on both ends of the floor … Elite wing prospect who can impact the game offensively and defensively … Very good ball-handling for a 6’9 forward which enhances his mid-range jumper which is a strength to his game … Very smooth and efficient at creating shots off the dribble on the perimeter … Excellent footwork allows him to get his feet set and get shots off quickly from the perimeter … Smooth rhythm with his jump shot and plenty of arc on outside jumpers … Capable of finishing around the rim, but he prefers to pull up for mid-range jumpers or three-pointers rather than attempting to attack the rim … His ability to score and shoot on the move supports these tendencies, but can lead to inconsistency with an over-reliance on jump-shooting efficiency … High level rim-runner who elevates well above the rim and finishes with ferocity … Excellent length for a wing at 6’9 and his 6’10 wingspan allows him to disrupt passing lanes and cause havoc on the defensive end although his play and stats did not exactly showcase this in his freshman season at Stanford … Has a 8’10 standing reach as a wing which is on par with power forwards like Blake Griffin and Tyler Hansbrough … His length makes him disruptive defensively … Versatility. Has the ability to play both forward positions in the future with added strength … Prospect who has one of the highest potentials in the entire class of 2020, due to his potential for skill development as a shooter and defender … Attacks the defensive glass and can initiate fast breaks while doing so with long passes and speed with the ball … Good court vision and passing instincts allow him to create for others … Solid free-throw percentage of 79.6% indicates that there is plenty of potential for his jump shot to improve from the disappointing percentages during his only season at Stanford … Plenty of time to develop as he is only 19 years old until September …

Weaknesses: Williams struggled to stay on the court for the Cardinal in his first season and he did not shoot efficient percentages while he was playing … Did not shoot to his ability at Stanford after developing a reputation as a shooter in high school … A 37% shooter from the field including 29% from distance shows plenty of room for improvement … Teams will have to be patient as he develops in his first few seasons as he is still a raw prospect who needs to find comfort and consistency in his game … Often settled too often for difficult shots away from the basket as he struggled to blow by defenders to get to the rim or get around them with his handles … Proved overly dependent on how efficiently he shot jumpers … While he was able to rise above defenders at the college level due to his length and size, he will have much more trouble doing so against stronger and lengthier defenders … At 6’9, 190 pounds Williams still needs to bulk up if he wants to expand his game to more of a slashing role or hang with more physical wing players at the next level Lack of strength was a big reason for his efficiency struggles … narrow shoulders point to him likely being a naturally thin player … Added bulk would unlock his athleticism and ability to attack the rim more off the bounce … Needs to become more focused on the defensive end … With the NBA transitioning into a game more dependent on three-point shooting, he will need to improve his perimeter consistency and shoot to his ability … 3.5 turnovers a game show a need to become a more judicious decision maker and passer …

Outlook: Was affected as much as anyone by a COVID schedule that eliminated practices and forced the team to live out of a hotel off campus … Shaping up to be one of the draft’s big sleepers … Williams looks to be a mid-first round draft selection who needs time to refine his skills and gain consistency before displaying his true talents and impact …

Notes: Measured: 6’8.25” barefoot, 6’9.75” in shoes, 8’10.5” standing reach, 188.4 lbs, 6’10.25” wingspan at the 2021 NBA Draft Combine … Highest recruit ever to commit to Stanford … Former five-star recruit who ranked 8th in the ESPN 100 … Averaged 10.7 PTS, 4.6 REB, 2.2 AST in his only season at Stanford … Played with Bronny James and BJ Boston at Sierra Canyon in 2019-20 …

Derek Bast 7/7/21

Strengths: 6’8 versatile wing … Good length with a 610.5 wingspan … Quick first step and can get to the basket. Good athlete and finishes above the rim with aggression. Good control on drives … Averaged 21.7 points per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019 … Good face up game and driving ability. Shot has good arc and form doesn’t have any wasted motion. Shoots well from midrange and has range out to three … Plays hard and has a tough demeanor. Doesn’t shy away from contact. Draws fouls at a good rate and is a very good free throw shooter. Shot 100% FT% (9-9) at the NBPA Top 100 in 2018. Shot 88% FT% at 6.4 attempts per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019 … Versatility allows him to be a tough matchup; size over the perimeter players and speed over big men. Does a nice job of recognizing mismatches. Scores on the perimeter as well as in the post … Good rebounder for position on both ends. Averaged 6.8 rebounds (2.2 offensive) per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019 … Can take a defensive rebound and start the offense. Solid ball handler and can push it in the open floor, keeps dribble alive when pressured. Good passer and court vision at his size. Unselfish and doesn’t force his scoring. Averaged 3.3 assists per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019 … Spaces the floor and can play off the ball … Versatile defender and switches onto any position. Good effort defensively, active hands, and quick feet. Reads opportunities to jump passes for fast breaks very well. Averaged 1.6 steals per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019 …

Weaknesses: Although he handles contact well at this stage, he still has some strength to gain and filling out to do … Good athlete but isn’t the most explosive … Can improve creating offensively and scoring efficiency. Shot 42.5% FG% at the NBPA Top 100 in 2018. Shot 42.5% FG% over the Nike EYBL in 2019 … Solid perimeter skills but can expand perimeter game if he’s going to be play as a wing at the next levels … Good looking shot but can improve 3PT consistency. Shot 20% 3PT% over the Nike EYBL in 2018. Shot 28.8% 3PT% over the Nike EYBL in 2019. Shot 27.3% 3PT% at the U19 World Cup in 2019 … Can work on limiting turnovers. Averaged 3.1 turnovers per game over the Nike EYBL in 2019 …

Outlook: Transferring to Sierra Canyon for his senior year … 2019 All-EYBL: Honorable Mention … Won Gold at the U19 World Cup in 2019 …

Evan Tomes 9/15/19

 

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About Ziaire Williams

• Ziaire Williams is a tall, lanky jump shooter who showed  promise as a perimeter threat in a disjointed freshman year at Stanford. Something of a late bloomer whose profile rose late in his high school career, Williams averaged 4.6 points per game to help the United States to a gold medal at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Championship before capping his prep career at Sierra Canyon School (CA) with McDonald’s All-American honors. Widely regarded as one of the top-7 prospects in the high school class of 2020, the 19-year-old stepped into a significant role at Stanford under Head Coach Jerod Haase. Finding some success early but battling bouts of inconsistency, Williams finished his freshman year averaging 10.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game.

• Listed at 6’8 with a 185-pound frame, Williams possesses great size for a perimeter player and is a very fluid athlete with effortless leaping ability but has considerable room to get stronger.

• One of several players filling a prominent offensive role for a Stanford team that dealt with injuries and displacement for much of the season, Williams did the majority of his scoring with his jump shot. Playing on the ball quite a bit, he was aggressive looking to get to his pull-up in midrange spots out of ball screens, provided some spacing off the ball, and was the target of some of the Cardinals’ designed actions in the half court. Flashing intriguing talent when his shot was falling, Williams had some quiet stretches as well as he was still early in his development as a decision-maker.

• Holding his own defensively for a Stanford team that hung its hat on that end of the floor, Williams lacks a degree of physicality, but has a feel for guarding off the ball, solid lateral speed, and the reach to effect shooters.


Advanced Stats 

• With over three-quarters of his shots in the half court coming from the perimeter—the majority of which came off the dribble—Williams leaned heavily on his touch as a jump shooter. Flashing some fluidity getting to his jumper in spots, he shot the ball well from the right wing, but struggled from the left side as a freshman. Averaging 0.76 points per jump shot in the half court [27th percentile], he shot the ball better off the dribble than he did off the catch, settled at times in the midrange, and got caught in the air on some attempts. While he has room to grow as a shot creator, his ability to help space the floor will play a key role in his transition to the next level early on.

• Flashing the ability to finish emphatically in transition and push the ball himself some, Williams was significantly more comfortable operating in space than trying to navigate defenses in the half court. Averaging 1.08 points per shot around the rim in the half court [41st percentile], he showed nice touch and timing scoring around the rim but is still figuring out how to deal with physicality as a slasher and finisher.

• Getting some opportunities to play out of ball screens, Williams delivered some smart passes even if he has room to improve as a ball handler and is still learning how to make reads consistently.


Defensive Analysis

• Possessing good lateral speed and solid length for his size, Williams made some athletic plays as a freshman. He had some positive moments both on and off the ball as he showed a willingness to make rotations and cover ground to contest shots.

• Williams did a nice job sliding with smaller guards and executing against ball screens for the most part but will have a chance to evolve into more versatile defender as his frame matures.

 

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Woohoo....CBSSports projects him to be Josh Jackson

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Ziaire Williams, Stanford

By CBS Sports Staff
Jul 22, 2021 at 11:05 pm ET 1 min read

Draft Prospect Outlook

STRENGTHS

  • Great size and athleticism for a wing who can create shots and shoot over defenders.
  • Extremely high ceiling if a franchise can tap into his potential.
  • Has the measurables to develop into a plus-defender.

WEAKNESSES

  • Very skinny for a player this tall, which causes him to struggle with physicality.
  • Below-average finisher at the rim despite his height.
  • Inconsistent 3-point shot that needs major work.

PRO COMPARISON: Josh Jackson

 

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On 7/29/2021 at 8:43 PM, BAMAFREAK said:

Who doesn’t love a 175 pound 10 pt scorer on horrible efficiency WITH more turnovers than assist? 

Stop. Too soon.

 

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12 minutes ago, Ole Dirty Klondike said:

Woohoo....CBSSports projects him to be Josh Jackson

 

FML

 

Everything I hate in a pick. Ballhog, bad shooter, low IQ. "athlete" but no strength. highly rated in high school that underperfomed once got the college. Jesus.

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Warriors are winning this draft. Can't believe we traded up and took this guy with Moody and  the kid from UCONN still on the board. Hard to believe he was the target they traded up for. This is a boom or bust pick, if it works out they will look like geniuses. He has some tools but he couldn't put it together at Stanford. He must have been incredible in workouts.

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His jump shot has waaay too much arc. Probably why he shoots such a low percentage. Don't want it flat but when you shoot it soooo high it gives it more time for it to go off center and unlikely to get friendly roll.

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1 minute ago, KyleB said:

Warriors are winning this draft. Can't believe we traded up and took this guy with Moody and  the kid from UCONN still on the board. Hard to believe he was the target they traded up for. This is a boom or bust pick, if it works out they will look like geniuses. He has some tools but he couldn't put it together at Stanford.

They won't look like geniuses because they could've just taken him at 17 and used JV for draft capital somewhere else. Trade him for 14 and something and take Moody too.

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5 minutes ago, Grizzfan7979 said:

FML

 

Everything I hate in a pick. Ballhog, bad shooter, low IQ. "athlete" but no strength. highly rated in high school that underperfomed once got the college. Jesus.

Low iq isn't really accurate persay 

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yall overkill on this.  We wanted them to swing for the fences and not play it safe. We wanted a Big wing and was tired of all the small guys.    Then they draft A young  6'10' wing that can shot create and play defense and eveyone B'ss and moansss.......  Typical

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1 minute ago, Back2Grizzness said:

Gave away JV for a future bust…meanwhile, OKC get 2 picks for 16…shades of Thabeet.
D grade

You guys are missing the point......we're already tanking for next year's draft lottery so that we can keep being 2 years away from being 2 years away!!!!

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1 minute ago, Back2Grizzness said:

Gave away JV for a future bust…meanwhile, OKC get 2 picks for 16…shades of Thabeet.
D grade

I was thinking more like Warrick. Like Klieman must have stormed out of the room when Giddey, Wagner, and Kuminga all went off the board before 10 and whoever was left just said f it and took Williams.

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4 minutes ago, KyleB said:

I was thinking more like Warrick. Like Klieman must have stormed out of the room when Giddey, Wagner, and Kuminga all went off the board before 10 and whoever was left just said f it and took Williams.

They called Brevin and he said to take the Stanford guy. 

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Chad Ford is a big believer in him, and has tangible knowledge about his rise up draft boards. Maybe it wasn't a reach at all.

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