A two time All-MAC honoree, Jeenathan Williams improved every single year at Buffalo. As a senior, Williams averaged 19 PPG, 5 RPG, 3 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.8 BPG, and 3 TOPG on shooting splits of 49/45/69. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Jeenathan Williams
Wingspan/ standing reach: 7’0/8’8
Hand size: N/A
Pre-Draft team: Buffalo
Tools: Athleticism, length, defense
- Good shooting touch
- Good length
- Long strides as a slasher
- Athletic defender that can stay step for step with any slasher
- Good recovery ability
- Strong off-ball defensive skill
- High release on jumper
- Long arms/great frame
- Good passer under the rim
- Left hand dominant
- Slow jumper
- Straight line driver with minimal dribble moves; doesn’t blow by defenders 1-on-1
- Needs to reduce turnovers
- Needs to become more consistent in jump shot, and have more repeatable form
- A bit of a tweener
- Already 23
Jeenathan Williams is a long, versatile wing with defensive specialty. His motor, athleticism, and defensive traits allow for him to be a lockdown defender against multiple positions. With recovery ability to regroup against crossovers and quick first steps, he is always in a play defensively. Additionally, with his length, he can always impact a shot attempt or pass attempt, making him hard to eliminate from the play. Williams had some of the best defensive plays of the college basketball season, and his defensive stat-sheet-stuffing should translate to the next level. Regardless of competition level, his game scales up easily on the defensive end with his size, length, and athleticism.
Offensively, Williams leaves a bit to be desired. While he has good shooting numbers, his slow shot with some movement in the wind-up make it hard to see his shot consistently translating, especially at the level he produced at in college. He must make his form more repeatable and speed up his shot in order to be able to shoot with accuracy in the NBA.
On-ball, Williams is decently limited. He has awkward passing mechanics on the move, but ultimately his vision, timing, and accuracy help him deliver passes in traffic to shooters and cutters. Being decisive with the ball in his hands is key for Williams as a glue-guy and 5th option, being able to be trusted not to make a mistake. Williams’ best scoring options in the NBA will come from transition scoring, where he can use his athleticism best in the open court, and off of cuts. Since his driving ability is limited due to a lack of ball-handling and being limited to straight-line drives, he is unlikely to have a role as a self-creator in the NBA.
A team willing to gamble on a 23 year old forward that can be a lockdown defender early in his career, with minimal mistakes offensively while possessing some passing ability, can find a role at the end of their bench for Jeenathan Williams. At 23 years old as a rookie, teams want a player that can find a niche role early on. For Williams, that niche role would be being a defensive specialist that can keep the ball moving to find open teammates in limited minutes.
Similar to: Feron Hunt, Jordan Bell, Melvin Frazier
Projected draft range: Undrafted
Expected role: Defensive specialist to guard multiple positions and serve as a lob threat offensively.
Unplayable if: Lack of jump shooting and active role offensively minimizes his defensive impact.
Exceeds expectations if: Jump shooting translates to become a lockdown defender and spot-up shooter, earning a true 3&D label.