Grant Williams: Intelligence

Our scouting grades represent the composite opinion of at least three different scouts. Each category is graded based on how we view a player’s current ability level relative to NBA players at the same position (guard, wing, forward or big). A grade of 1 indicates replacement level, a grade of 5 indicates NBA average, and a grade of 10 indicates historically elite. Our composite scouting notes help provide context for our grades.

 

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Offensive awareness

Williams has exceptional offensive awareness, both of his own scoring opportunities and of where to find open teammates on the court. His quick recognition enables him to score even when the defense is keyed up to stop him, quickly recognizing the slightest misstep and attacking where the defense is about to break down. Despite his scoring acumen he remains a pass-first player, consistently finding teammates that have better scoring opportunities than he does. He is particularly adept at finding shooters on the weak side (both wing and corner). Unlike many post players in college, his awareness doesn’t diminish when removed from the post. Rather, he maintains great awareness on the perimeter, whether screening, driving, or spotting up.


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Defensive awareness

Williams is an attentive off-ball defender. It is clear that he studies film on opposing players and their tendencies, as he often positions himself early to defend certain actions. Although an active help defender, he rarely loses track of his man. He is an excellent one-pass-away defender, making it very difficult for his man to get the ball, let alone do so in an advantageous position.


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Decision-making

Williams is a strong decision-maker, with good shot selection and an ideal scoring-to-passing balance. At times he is too willing to try and attack length defenders, leading to lower quality shot attempts or bailout passes. In general, however, he is a player you can count on to make the right decisions on both ends of the court. His crisp help rotations and spot-on execution of the defensive scheme combined with his ability to improvise when teammates fail to rotate makes a large impact on the team defense.


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Decisiveness (0.5)

Williams is a decisive player, taking advantage of opportunities quickly before they disappear. Though not a high volume outside shooter, he understands the importance of shooting when opponents are willing to leave him open, doing so without hesitation. On defense when making help rotations he does not drift toward the ball, but rather commits and helps decisively. His change of direction struggles make his recovery a bit less decisive than the initial help rotation, however.


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Anticipation (A to C)

Williams shows good anticipation, identifying A-to-C actions on both ends of the court. However, his average physical tools don’t always enable him to make an impact when he sniffs out an opponent’s intentions. On offense when he can dictate pace of play and act on his terms he does better, often drawing in a help defender before passing over the top to the opposite wing. On defense, he consistently gets in good position but struggles to finish the play with a high impact event against more athletic players, often simply forcing them into plan B.