Patrick Williams could be defensive ace pick for Cavs in 2020 NBA Draft

Florida State Seminoles forward Patrick Williams defends. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Florida State Seminoles forward Patrick Williams defends. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /
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Patrick Williams, Cleveland Cavaliers
Florida State Seminoles forward Patrick Williams (#4) contests a shot. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Williams could really help the Cleveland Cavaliers’ team defense

He’s a player that’s likely to be appearing a fair amount at the 4 at the NBA level, and should fill in well guarding that position/small-ball 4’s.

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With Williams’ ability as a switchable defender, though, I could definitely see him as a viable 3 man option for the Cavs, who actually had legitimate success post-All-Star break with then-new head coach J.B. Bickerstaff putting Larry Nance Jr., a more natural 4, there.

Williams has good feet to mirror wings admirably, and would like to do so much better than Cedi Osman, who has struggled mightily for the last two seasons defensively in the individual sense, and against starting 3’s, in particular.

Though Williams is not the spot-up threat Osman, who hit 38.3 percent from three-point land in 2019-20, is, the former’s impressive defensive feel and ability to make impact rotations/force turnovers/loose balls could make him a solid 3 man option for years to come for the Cavs.

Williams realistically, with his 6-foot-8, 225-pound frame and athleticism, could be just the kind of switchable defender the Cavs really need.

Williams, even for an 18-year-old, takes proper angles to get through off-ball screens to contest shooters and be in position to defend pull-ups when asked to do so against more perimeter-oriented players, and he would help the Cavs create more turnovers.

That’s an area they need to improve in, as the Cavs, who had the league’s second-worst defensive rating in their active games this season, were just 25th in steals per game, per

Coupled with that, though having Andre Drummond on the squad earlier could’ve perhaps helped, Cleveland has had the fewest blocks per game in 2019-20 to this point. Of course, the Cavs can’t improve on that with them not participating in the season’s resumption in Orlando, either.

Anyway, Williams could again establish himself, at least early on in a rotational sense, either in minutes at the 3 or 4, by making impact plays on defense, in the team sense, especially. Williams, despite playing 22.5 minutes per game at FSU, had 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per contest, and 1.8 assists and 1.8 blocks per-40 minutes, per Sports Reference.

His timing and instincts both when contests shots near the rim on-ball and coming over off it often jumped out in his lone collegiate season, and though it will likely take some time for his offensive game to come around, Williams’ defensive upside should make him a player the Cavs greatly consider.

That’s wherever their 2020 pick is, and for context, that’s slated to be at worst sixth overall, according to Tankathon.