Williams is a 6’10 Forward who will be a Senior at LSU. He just recently transferred there after playing his previous four years at Murray State. During his time at MSU he became a highly decorated player by improving his game every year. He entered the transfer portal this off-season and was one of the highest ranked transfers before eventually deciding to go to LSU. If he can show he can play well against high level competition night in and night out then Williams could be a name to watch come draft time.
I’m sure many people aren’t familiar with Williams, so I will briefly discuss his game and then will go more in depth later in this article. At 6’10 Williams primarily plays PF, but he is more than capable of playing center in smaller lineups. The most intriguing thing with him is his offensive versatility. I’d compare him to a guy like KAT or even college PJ Washington. He is a very good scorer in the post who does a lot of his work before getting the ball which leads to lots of easy looks. He also has an array of post moves down low and can pass out of double teams very well. He’s also a capable shooter who can space the floor.
After hearing this you might be wondering how he hasn’t been drafted yet. The answer to that is that he’s been very inconsistent when playing against bigger more physical NBA style big men. Some games he will dominate and put up crazy numbers, while others he will look like he doesn’t belong on the same court as those guys.
Defensively Williams isn’t really a shot blocker. Instead he uses his body to contest lots of shots at the rim. He also rebounds the ball well. Defensively the main concern with him is figuring out what position he guards. He’s not big enough to bang with centers, but he’s not quick enough to keep up with smaller forwards.
As I mentioned earlier, Williams best skill is his interior scoring. He does lots of his work early by getting good positioning in the post. This allows him to score quickly with quick hook shots. This is far from the only way he can score down low though. He has a variety of moves he can go to. He can easily overpower smaller defenders with power moves, and he can use more finesse moves against larger defenders.
In addition to scoring out of the post, he is also good at setting on and off ball screens and diving to the basket for easy layups. He can also play from the dunker spot along the baseline and finish in a variety of ways.
Despite being such a good interior scorer, Williams is not a super athletic guy. He uses his high IQ and feel for the game to create easy looks for himself.
In addition to Williams interior scoring, he can also really stretch the floor. He’s a guy who you can use as a pick and pop threat or who you can have spotting up anywhere on the floor. He has even shown flashes of being a good movement shooter who can set off ball screens and then come off one himself for a three.
Williams uses his ability to stretch the floor to open up driving lanes for himself. He’s more than capable of attacking overly aggressive close outs and getting layups out of them. He’s even shown some “wiggle” and can break out the occasional spin or euro step while driving.
The biggest issue with his shooting is that he can at times fall in love with the three a little too much. Sometimes it’s just not his night, but he will continue to shoot even though they aren’t falling. This leads to his stats not looking as good as they really are.
Williams is really good at using his ability to score the basketball to set up his teammates for open looks. This is especially evident in the post. When the inevitable double team comes to him he can easily hit an open teammate for three or for a layup. His feel for the game and court vision are very high level. This allows him to not only be a playmaker from the post, but also from the perimeter. He is a highly capable ball handler in dribble hand offs. He can also occasionally pull down rebounds and initiate the offense himself.
At times Williams can turn the ball over when being doubled, but that is to be expected. Most of the time he makes the right read and doesn’t turn the ball over.
If you draft KJ Williams it is for the offense he can provide, and you just hope he can become an average defender. Williams isn’t really a shot blocker, but does a good job of walling up and forcing tough shots.
While he doesn’t have the quickest feet, he can guard on the perimeter as long as the player is super shifty or quick. He is really good at hedging on screens and then recovering back to his man.
KJ Williams is a tremendous offensive player who could be a mismatch nightmare in the NBA. Despite all of his skill he can at times struggle against bigger more physical competition, but other times he’ll dominate them.
Defensively he isn’t amazing, but he’s also no slouch. He excels at forcing tough shots and securing the rebound. He can even at times intimate the offense himself. While his feet aren’t the quickest, he can guard on the perimeter when needed.
Ceiling: Smaller KAT Floor: Streakier shooting Ryan Anderson