Get Chicago's Best Sports Content In Your Inbox!

Become a smarter Chicago sports fan with the latest game recaps, analysis and exclusive content from CHGO’s writers and podcasters!

Just drop your email below!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Upgrade Your Fandom

Join the Ultimate Chicago Bulls Community!

CHGO Bulls 2022 NBA Draft Profile: Jalen Williams

Will Gottlieb Avatar
June 15, 2022

We’re only a few days out from the 2022 NBA Draft and CHGO is examining prospects who could be in the Chicago Bulls range with their 18th pick.

Let’s look into Jalen Williams, junior guard from Santa Clara:

  • Age on draft night: 21.2
  • Measurables: HT: 6’5.75 | WS: 7’2.25
  • Junior Stats (Santa Clara): 18 pts | 4.4 reb | 4.2 ast | 1.2 stl
  • Junior shooting splits: 51.3 FG% | 39.6 3P% | 80.9 FT%
  • 33.5 standing vert (tied for highest at combine)
  • 39 inch max vert (4th)
  • Projected range: Late lotto to mid-20s

Here are my notes, including strengths, weaknesses or question marks, and potential fit with the Bulls should they take him at 18.

Strengths

Pick-and-roll maestro
  • Crafty pick-and-roll ball handler with incredible vision and touch as a playmaker
  • Incredibly mature understanding of the game/angles/positioning
  • Creative live dribble passer
  • Manipulates the game with his eyes
  • Sets up screen rolls well, patient, probe dribble, puts guys in jail
  • Good floater/mid range pull up game
Shooting versatility
  • Good step-back 3, can create and get his own shots off-the-bounce
  • Can operate off-ball/playing next to another lead guard with spot-up shooting ability (51.6 percent)
  • Has shown ability to be a threat off-ball as a movement shooter, coming off dribble-handoffs or pindowns (53 percent coming off screens)
Tools
  • Measured one of the longest wingspans and vertical leaps at the combine
  • Plays slowly and deliberately but has bounce and explosion
  • Uses change of pace, IQ more than burst but has the latter in his back pocket
  • Long arms, active hands allow him to be a disruptive defender when he’s fully engaged
  • Understands angles and positioning to be an effective team defender

Question marks and weaknesses

On-ball defense
  • Not very quick, doesn’t move hips well
  • Not a great chase defender — gets stuck on screens a bit
  • Length can make up for it at times but does get beaten off the dribble
  • Has size to bother smaller guys but not the speed. Not big enough to defend bigger wings. Will likely be hidden on weaker guard and asked to be a help defender. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, just low upside.

Role and potential fit with Bulls

I really like Jalen Williams. One of the biggest combine risers, he went from the mid-second round range to potentially a late lottery pick.

He has an incredible blend of smarts, passing and shooting. It’s easy to imagine him running second units early in his career the way he manipulates the pick-and-roll, but he could also be effective playing alongside DeMar DeRozan and/or Zach LaVine with his ability to float along the perimeter and knock down open threes, as well as beat hard closeouts off the dribble.

You can never have enough shooting and playmaking on your roster. Although Williams is a bit older and not the power forward-sized utility player the Bulls need, he has a ton of upside to lead an offense. He would be one of my favorite options for the Bulls at 18 because of how he adds reliable decision-making, passing and shooting now, while also giving you long-term upside as a primary playmaker down the line.

Here’s our video breakdown from our CHGO YouTube channel (which you should subscribe to)

Get Chicago's Best Sports Content In Your Inbox!

Become a smarter Chicago sports fan with the latest game recaps, analysis and exclusive content from CHGO’s writers and podcasters!

Just drop your email below!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Comments

Share your thoughts

Join the conversation

The Comment section is only for diehard members

Open comments +

Scroll to next article

Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?
Don't like ads?