Most college basketball teams had their season shortened due to Covid-19 outbreaks and Stanford was among them. Ziaire Williams, who was a consensus 5-star recruit out of the famed Sierra Canyon wasn’t able to showcase his talents to the max. But he gave a glimpse of the potential that he has for NBA scouts this season. In addition, Williams was also grieving the death of two family members that were considered cornerstones in his life. Def Pen’s NBA draft profile analysis continues as we break down Ziaire’s game a bit and get into what makes him one of the more polarizing prospects in this year’s NBA Draft.
One of the first things you will notice about William’s games is that he has the ability to score off the dribble but is able to score off the ball through motion plays. Williams has a smooth jumper that has drastically improved and is an excellent ball-handler for his size and height. He’s able to hurt you in different ways and his versatility has the ability to really translate in the NBA. Although he isn’t completely polished as an offensive player, as a fan you have to be excited about the upside he has due to him exhibiting so many avenues to scoring. As you’ll see below, William’s showcased his versatility by dropping a triple-double vs. Washington.
Ziaire Williams dropped a triple-double for Stanford last night:
This freshman is special ? pic.twitter.com/k1q7MIZZWO
— Bleacher Report CBB (@br_CBB) January 8, 2021
Wiliams is 6’8″, 185lbs, and an elite athlete. This makes him a big wing at the NBA level who has all the tools to develop into a high-level NBA player. He has excellent length and is fluid on the court. With these traits, he has the ability to be a major disruptor on the defensive end. Ziaire has long arms and length that can clog the lane and be a pest on the perimeter. I can see him guarding spots 1-4.
From Stanford’s continuity ball screen offense — Ziaire Williams looked good in terms of his offensive movement vs. Washington: curl the empty-side down screen for a layup + a fluid off-movement step-back midrange 2 (high release) pic.twitter.com/Wig93TzNv0
— Brian Geisinger (@bgeis_bird) February 19, 2021
The Covid-season and personal reasons didn’t help his cause, but in his freshman year, Williams was considered a VERY inefficient player and inconsistent. He’s also not a polished product in any way shape or form, but when you draft him, you are drafting on his potential, not instant impact. In review of William’s lone season at Stanford, he started off the season relatively strong with achieving his career-high in his first game against a stacked Alabama team. Late in the season his production really tailed off. He only had 2 points in a triple OT game vs. Washington State.
NBA Comparison: Paul George
I’m willing to bet on Ziaire being a very solid NBA player. I believe his absolute ceiling is Paul George, but he is going to do a lot of growing to achieve that level. Ziaire’s fluid play, smooth style, and size remind me of PG. Getting drafted by a team that is willing to groom him is going to be key for his development because I don’t think he’ll be able to contribute to an NBA team for at least 2 years.