Patrick Williams, a forward for the Chicago Bulls, continued his previous preseason performance.
Flashes of his enormous ceiling could be seen. But not as often as there were extended periods when star teammates DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic were on the court. That makes the most recent information from ESPN’s Zach Lowe on his impending contract predicament interesting to watch.
“I’m hearing Patrick Williams wants big big numbers,” Lowe said on “The Lowe Post with Zach Lowe” on October 20 “Like starts with a two and isn’t ‘[$20 million] kind of stuff potentially.”
Bobby Marks, a former Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager and Lowe’s guest, remarked that a $20 million agreement would be nearly half the most a player in Williams’ condition could ask for. Marks is now an ESPN front office analyst.
Williams played more over 28 minutes per game last season, averaging 10.2 points on 57.6% true shooting.
If the two parties are unable to agree on terms for an extension, he will be a restricted free agency the next summer. Additionally, the Bulls will have the first option on whatever contract offer papers they accept.
Bulls Must Produce More
“I understand that teams in these contracts are paying for future production, not past production,” Lowe said. “If I’m going to give you like $100 million, I’d like to have some past production. Have you done something in the NBA that’s worth any – Patrick Williams has done some stuff. But that’s … a lot of cheese.”
Lowe notes that Williams started all 82 games last season for the first time in his career. He also shot 41.7% from beyond the arc.
Lowe pointed to the five-year contract extension worth up to $146 million that San Antonio Spurs wing Devin Vassell signed on October 3. Vassell averaged 18.5 points on 55% true shooting with 3.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
He also shot 38.7% from deep.
Williams is more durable than other players. Williams just has one more appearance left in their respective careers while Vassell had 38 appearances last season. Additionally, he has started more games than Vassell has. Williams went to the Bulls with the fourth overall choice in the 2020 draft, while Vassell was taken by the Spurs with the eleventh overall pick.
“I’ll never be out on Patrick Williams,” Lowe concluded. “I just don’t know if I want to be that in right now.”
Patrick Williams will start the first game of the regular season
Williams continues to start in the present. Along with the big three of DeRozan, LaVine, and Vucevic, head coach Billy Donovan picked him and Coby White as the two players who will start the first game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Donovan gave himself considerable leeway to shift course if necessary, however.
“Billy Donovan said ‘right now’ it’s a fair assessment that Coby White and Patrick Williams will start regular-season opener,” NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson posted on X on October 19. “This has been obvious throughout camp.”
Donovan pulled Williams after less than three minutes during the Bulls preseason game versus the Toronto Raptors on October 17.
Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley have said this is a big year for Williams. Donovan has followed his words expressing similar sentiments with action. Williams said he appreciated the challenge from Donovan. But, with so much on the line this season, the Bulls need to see that effort more often.