Patrick Williams

Why Will Perdue believes DeMar DeRozan's departure benefits Patrick Williams

The former Bull believes there's no hiding for Williams on offense anymore

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Patrick Williams, and a handful of the Bulls' younger players, have benefitted greatly from DeMar DeRozan's three-year tenure in Chicago.

DeRozan took Williams under his wing upon arrival, inviting him to Los Angeles during that first offseason to train with him. That included vigorous, early-morning workouts and more of them in the afternoon and evening.

DeRozan's leadership was invaluable for the Bulls. From a mental standpoint to a performance aspect, DeRozan is a true veteran of the game with a wealth of experience. Any young player can soak up wisdom and knowledge from the venerable forward.

But now with DeRozan signing a three-year deal with the Kings, will his absence benefit Williams and the younger players ... more?

"I love the fact that when he was here, from my understanding, he was great with the younger guys," former Bull Will Perdue said. "I know they're gonna miss his leadership. You're not going to be able to replace his scoring. But I think what we're learning now is the direction that the Bulls are going in. And I think they've made it very clear, which I think was something that they had to do.

"And I think this now really opens things up for Patrick Williams. He's kind of been the unknown over all these years. We've seen his flashes of brilliance. And we all kinda thought there was maybe a correlation between him struggling consistently because of the fact of the type of the player DeMar is, you know, a ball-dominant player. So now, it's one of those good things that he's now gonna have an opportunity. But also for him now, there goes that excuse of 'It's a DeMar DeRozan thing.' There are pros and cons to both."

Former NBA player and NBC Sports Chicago analyst Will Perdue shares his thoughts about the DeMar DeRozan trade and why he says Patrick Williams will benefit from it

Once in an offense riddled with scorers in DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic --- all of whom operate better with the ball in their hands --- the opportunity for Williams to step up into the player management wants him to become.

As Perdue said, we've all seen the flashes. Williams is a proven shooter, averaging over 40% shooting from beyond the arc over the past two seasons. He's incredibly athletic (when he wants to be) and has the strength and vertical prowess to get to the rim with ease.

But he's never flaunted those assets for more than 10 points per game.

DeRozan and his counterparts constantly urge him to shoot the ball more. Averaging nearly 30 minutes per game over his four-year career, Williams averages a measly 7.8 shots per game. Total.

Now on a five-year deal worth $90 million, that volume needs to increase, especially with the Bulls introducing a youth movement to the cast. The Bulls don't have many proven scorers outside of LaVine, Vucevic and Coby White. And who knows, the former two might not be on the Bulls' roster much longer.

This offseason, they brought in Jalen Smith, an athletic big man who's scratching the surface of his NBA career. And they traded Alex Caruso for Josh Giddey, who's trying to elevate players around him as a pass-first point guard.

As a franchise in flux, this upcoming season could be Williams' best opportunity to shine. The Bulls likely won't have playoff expectations, but they'll expect to develop and strengthen their younger core.

That's where Williams, and the young core, come in.

"This is not only going to give Patrick, but Coby [White] and Ayo [Dosunmu] and everybody else more opportunities," Perdue said.

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