Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Jordan Williams


Last year’s draft featured a handful of centers like Derrick Caracter and Dexter Pittman who would’ve been first round locks had it not been for questions about their conditioning. This year, a player with first round talent who might slip to the second round for that same reason is Jordan Williams, and if he’s available to the Pistons in the second, he’d be an enticing prospect.


Measurables: 6-foot-10, 260 pounds sophomore C from Maryland

Key stats: 16.9 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 54 percent

Projected: Late first/early second round

How would he help the Pistons?

By staying in the paint. Unlike a lot of the hybrid big men in this draft, who like to venture out to the perimeter, Williams does his damage inside. There’s nothing wrong with having a perimeter game, it’s just that with Charlie Villanueva on the roster and with Greg Monroe not yet showing that he has a back-to-the-basket game, it would be advantageous if the Pistons could diversify the overall skillset of their frontcourt.

Williams isn’t super athletic, but his big advantage over some of the other bigs who could fall to the early second round is that he’s much stronger than guys like Keith Benson and JaJuan Johnson, not to mention younger and still growing. At times during the mock draft process, Williams has been rated as a top 15 prospect but has fallen some for whatever reason, considering there have been reports that he’s taken losing some weight and improving his conditioning seriously. I’d be surprised if he’s still available when the Pistons pick in the second round, but if he is, he’s one of few second round players who would have a fighting chance of cracking the rotation immediately with a good camp.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

He’s not the rim-protecting presence who would compliment the fact that Monroe also does not block many shots. Also, with Williams and Monroe playing minutes together up front, the Pistons would have one of the slower frontcourts in the league. Monroe makes up for his slowness some with quick hands and solid lateral movement, but I’m not sure Williams has those skills to help him hold his own against quicker big men as a rookie the way Monroe did.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

"Williams is not a freak athlete, but his weight loss and development as a potential pick-and-pop option at the next level are intriguing. Jockeying for position with a number of longer, more athletic big men, if Williams can continue making progress and show what he showed us to NBA decision-makers, he’s going to surprise some people and fit into some roles that we couldn’t have penciled him into during the college season."

From ESPN:

"Williams was one of the best rebounders in college basketball last season — but he was a bit on the flabby side. He showed strength and toughness in the paint, but his lack of explosive leaping ability and conditioning were major issues.Williams heard that feedback loud and clear from NBA scouts when he decided to leave school and he’s spent the past six weeks in Vegas working on his body. The results are pretty impressive, as you can see here in this photo I tweeted Tuesday.He’s lost 10 pounds, dropped from 13 percent body fat to 8 percent and really hasn’t lost any strength but has gained quickness, explosiveness and agility in the process. He’s also improved his jump shot over the course of the past six weeks as well.Williams might be slightly undersized for a center (he measured 6-8 3/4 in socks, 6-10 in shoes at Impact), but he’s got a 6-11½ wingspan, is physical and is a proven commodity on the boards."

From The Washington Post:

"(Scott) Van Pelt “was a big factor in helping me make my decision” to go pro, Williams said following a pre-draft workout for the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center. “Just giving me feedback, what he thought about it. Just trying to make me make the right decision. He did a great job, and I give him a lot of credit for going out of his way.“He’s a really busy guy, so for him to go out of his way to do that is unbelievable.”"

Hickory High’s Similarity Scores

Here’s a breakdown of how Ian Levy from Hickory High came up with his similarity scores.