As part of our coverage leading up to the 2015 NBA Draft we will provide profiles of more than 60 prospects, including video interviews with each player, what they're saying leading up to draft day as well as their potential fit on the Bulls.
Alan Williams, F, UC-Santa Barbara
6'8" | 261 lbs. | 22 years old
17.6 points, 12.1 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 45.6 field-goal percentage
"Every team needs a guy that go in and bang and fight and scrap and rebound the basketball on the defensive end. And if I'm able to do that, I'll have a shot to make it in this thing. ... There's a select few that go out and do it at a high level. And even if that means not playing 48 minutes a night, it's going in there for spurts and bringing that energy off the bench and being able to motivate teammates and keep guys kind of on track. It's something very special for an organization, and I think all the great teams have one or two guys like that. If I can fit into that mold, then I'd be more than willing and happy to do that."
Fit for the Bulls:
Williams is one of those guys who flourished in a smaller conference, and though he didn't go up against the kind of opponents on a nightly basis that most NBA Draft prospects did, he's proved himself worthy of being in the conversation for a potential shot at being an NBA Draft pick. He averaged a double-double during his senior season, something even projected top-five picks can't claim, and he espoused his willingness to do just about anything to fit in on an NBA roster, something teams ought to appreciate. That being said, Williams might not be a target for a Bulls team that is flush with big men. Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic all demand a good deal of minutes — they're all taller than Williams, too — and there might not be too many for a rookie at either the power forward or center positions. But, Williams' projected status as an undrafted player could warrant the Bulls taking a low-risk chance and adding him as a potential depth piece.
The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.
1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.
2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…
3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling.
On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times), Hub Arkush (ProFootball Weekly) and Jason Goch (SB Nation) join Kap on the panel.
The guys debate which team will finish with a higher draft pick when the season ends: Bulls or Blackhawks?
Plus, hear their reaction to the MLB’s new pace-of-play rule change.
Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: