Grant Williams: Off-Ball Offense

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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Movement & positioning

Williams moves well without the ball, comfortable both ducking in and sealing on the interior and creating plays above the break. He does a good job relocating and finding soft spots in the defense against both man and zone. He does an excellent job setting up screens, particularly on dribble handoffs. After screening he is a threat to roll hard to the rim or pop into open space on the perimeter. Williams shows good timing on cuts, though as primarily a below-the-rim player he will need to pick and choose his spots more often at the next level to avoid situations where he will struggle to finish.


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Screening

Though Tennessee doesn’t have the most dangerous pick-and-roll ball-handlers, Williams has shown that he has all the tools to be an excellent screener. He has a very strong frame and is willing to use it to help the ball-handler gain an advantage. He does a great job reading the screen, knowing when to slip or brush, often getting to the rim with little opposition or setting himself up for a catch-and-shoot three. He has the potential to be a rare triple-threat screener, dangerous both rolling to the rim or popping into open space, with a proven ability to create for others in either case. He needs to become a more consistent catch-and-shoot threat from NBA range to develop the requisite perimeter gravity to consistently open up the lane for ball-handlers, but his passing on the short roll will make him dangerous to defenses from day one.


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Shooting off the catch

Williams has been an effective shooter off the catch in a low volume sample this season. Most of his looks come as a trail man or an inside-out target above the break. He does a good job positioning himself to receive the pass and is very decisive about when to shoot. He has a couple of mechanical issues to address, and his release point is somewhat low for his size, perhaps making it susceptible to an NBA-level contest. Overall his shooting seems to project well to the next level with solid mechanics and great touch evident from mid-range and the free throw line.


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Shooting off movement

The few opportunities he’s had in this regard are typically popping into open space after setting a screen, something he’s done effectively in a limited sample. However, he won’t be sprinting off screens anytime soon, and there isn’t enough of a sample to properly grade his pick-and-pop game yet.


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Finishing off movement

Likely an area where Williams will struggle at the NBA level. Though a smart cutter that does a good job finding soft spots in the defense, he struggles when trying to finish against longer players. Beating opponents to the spot will be key, because he lacks the explosiveness to finish over a rim protector and his touch when at full extension is a bit suspect. In many cases he will be better suited slowing the play down and utilizing his post skills after gaining deep position.