Grant Williams: On-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.
Williams has a functional handle, but isn’t anything special in this regard. He likes to do a rip-through to his right hand and take a one-dribble move to the basket. He is judicious regarding what situations he will attack, usually taking on a single defender rather than driving into traffic. He’s able to get to the rim fairly well but doesn’t create much separation from his defender while doing so, which can leave him vulnerable to on-ball shot-blockers. At the NBA level he will likely be limited to handling in the open court, in face-up situations, and attacking closeouts.
One of the highlights of his offensive game, Williams is a tremendous passer. He displays excellent court vision as well as the ability to make correct reads and deliver passes accurately in variety of situations. This skill is most often on display in the post, where he is a pass first, score second player often delivering pinpoint passes to the weak side and well-timed big-to-big passes on the interior. However, he’s flashed this ability in many other areas such as hitting the weak side corner on the short roll, throwing lobs while leading the break, or simply driving and kicking to open shooters. One area that projects very well to the next level is his ability to set up screen assists via dribble handoffs, dribbling towards defenders and using his strong frame to seal them off, allowing a 3-point shooter to find enough air space to get their shot off. Even though he may be a low usage player early in his NBA career, his willingness to pass and high-level court awareness will allow the offense to play through him early in possessions.
Shooting off the dribble
Though many of his jump shots come off the catch or from post-up situations, Williams has flashed an adequate mid-range game. He usually tries to go left-to-right to get into his shooting motion. He uses his shoulder effectively to create some separation, and can body up smaller defenders to bounce them out of his air space. He has a step-back move, but often drifts too far from the basket and leaves the ball short.
Finishing off the dribble
This category contains both some highlights and lowlights, making it about a wash for Williams. He has some good moves early (including an absolutely devastating spin move) which can give him space to operate. When his early moves give him the room he needs he is excellent at finishing around the basket; however when he doesn't manage to create any space on the bounce he has trouble finishing over length. He keeps the ball high on scoring attempts as he attacks the rim, usually opting to flip the ball up and in; yet when he does this it usually lacks touch.
Finishing in the post
High volume post players in NCAA often tend to struggle at the next level where defenders are bigger and stronger and very few teams run much offense through the post. This is where the dichotomy between simply scoring in the post and well-developed post skills comes into play. The former tends to dry up in the NBA, while the latter can be applied in a variety of situations. While he won’t be able to overpower nearly as many players in the NBA (outside the occasional switch), Williams’ post game has the substance to retain utility moving forward. He has an array of quick, decisive moves that allow him to get from a back-to-the-basket situation into a scoring motion quickly. This often gets defenders off balance or up in the air, leading to plenty of easy points at the free throw line. He displays advanced footwork, which enables him to string moves together fluidly or seamlessly turn a drive into a post-up. Combined with his passing acumen, this will translate to any situation where has a pivot foot, whether that be on the block, at the elbow, or on the wing.