Patrick Williams practiced fully Wednesday and, barring a setback, is on track to make his preseason debut in the Bulls’ preseason finale on Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies.
That the second-year forward attacked rehabilitation to return on the short end of his projected absence, exactly four weeks after severely spraining his left ankle, is impressive.
Now, that aggressive mindset needs to play out in on-the-court ways.
It’s well documented how much the Bulls have implored the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft to use his physical and athletic gifts to make more of an impact. Not that they’re dissatisfied with the defensive mindset and shooting ability that led to second-team All-Rookie honors last season.
They just want to see more.
That’s why it was refreshing to hear Williams talk assertively following his first full practice of training camp.
“It seems weird to say, but I’m one of the only guys that was here last year that kind of knows the defense,” Williams said. “So kind of being vocal defensively and kind of talking to guys as far as what I see.”
Now, just take out the “kind of” qualifiers. It’s time for Williams to assert himself.
The question, of course, is what Williams’ role will be now that the Bulls have significantly upgraded their offensive firepower by adding DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball, plus playing alongside Nikola Vucevic for a full season.
With so many offensive options, Williams…