One night after Patrick Williams was cleared for full-contact practice, the Chicago Bulls have announced that the second-year forward has been assigned to the G-League.
Head coach Billy Donovan suggested the Bulls could go this route before Wednesday’s matchup with the Jazz. Williams has remained in Chicago to put in extra work, and this will allow him to continue to do that as the team finishes up their Western Conference road trip. The question now is how long will the 2020 No. 4-overall pick stay with the Windy City Bulls? Are we looking at just a couple of days of practice or a possible game appearance?
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 17, 2022
Donovan didn’t rule out the possibility of Williams playing a game with the G-League affiliate. Not only could this be one of the best ways to evaluate where he stands, but he would be able to squeeze one in before the Bulls’ next game on Monday night. The Windy City Bulls will play the Westchester Knicks in Hoffman Estates at 1:00 p.m. CT on Sunday.
If Williams were to appear in this G-League game, though, I have to wonder whether or not the Bulls would feel comfortable throwing him back into NBA action one day later. That could be a lot at once for the 20-year-old, but it also might be the best way to prepare him for the grueling schedule that rests ahead. Not to mention, the Bulls would surely benefit from his presence sooner than later.
While I think we must temper expectations for what he can immediately provide this team, there is no question his size and raw athleticism could fill a roll this team desperately needs in the frontcourt on both ends of the floor. Donovan said the plan is to ease Williams back into things off the bench, which gives the Bulls quite the deadly weapon that can bolster their second unit. Again, he may not immediately move the needle for this Bulls team, but it’s extremely exciting to get him back into the mix, especially with a handful of regular-season games left to go.