Another installment of our 2022 NBA Draft scouting report series is here with a look at Alondes Williams, a guard out of Wake Forest.
Alondes Williams is a big-bodied 6’5 205-lbs. guard who spring boarded onto the NBA radar after a huge breakout season with Wake Forest this past season. He began his college career at Oklahoma, but transferred to Wake Forest before his junior year for a chance at a bigger opportunity on the floor.
He averaged 18 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 2021-22 after averaging just over 6 points in about 18 minutes per game in two seasons for the Sooners. Clearly, the change of scenery has helped develop and boost his play — and therefore his stock in the eyes of the 30 NBA franchises looking to acquire talent through the draft.
At his size and skill, he can credibly claim to provide looks at both the point and off guard in a combo guard role at the next level. Williams is a smart field general, and he can generally envision plays before they develop when ball handling and distributing. Being a smart screen action operator continues to be key in today’s game. When teams trap or blitz Alondes Williams in the pick-and-roll game, he typically has the awareness to make the right pass and find a gap for a teammate’s chance to score.
Among this year’s class, he has top tier court vision. And along with that vision is him showcasing his ability to get the ball to where it needs to be before the metaphorical window closes. Williams is skilled at finding the opening for entry passes into the post as well as tossing up lobs to his big men in space. There is always a zip on his passes to make them difficult to intercept and he often whips one handed passes cross court to find teammates.
In the half court, he possesses an explosive burst with the ball in his hands, and his quick first step often beats defenders. His role as a downhill slasher is fundamental to his game, and his decisive rim attack early in the shot clock often catches the defense napping while they attempt to set up their defense.
Williams finished extremely well around the rim, and has the awareness to use the rim and the glass to protect him from shot blockers. He’s equally comfortable laying it up with both hands as well.
When locked in, he can offer his athleticism to help in dig situations on defense.
He’s a fantastic rebounder for his size — pulling down 6.8 rebounds per 36 minutes this past season — and can grab and go 94 feet with ease. Williams likes to push the ball in transition and has the vision and awareness to skip the ball to teammates that have beaten the defense down the floor. Ultimately, his smooth handle and efficient slashing should project well to the next level.
Possessing just a 6’7” wingspan, Alondes Williams just is not quite long enough to affect shots at the wing. At this stage, he’s more of an upper body defender when being attacked off the dribble and is still a touch slow sliding his feet to keep ball handlers in front of him.
While he can be a passable team defender off the ball, he’s simply not an overly impactful defender. It often appears that he doesn’t have a great motor or hustle on the defensive end. He can be a beat behind in recognizing offensive actions and a step slow to the spot where he needs to be. This is especially true in recovery situations when he needs to close out hard on open shooters but can occasionally lack the urgency to do so.
Williams has a strong lower base in post defense which can make it difficult to back him down, but can be beaten with speed in space. He was usually hidden in the corner and not put in a situation when he had to defend at the point of attack at least to start defensive possessions. He can still be effective as a help or dig guy, but the ability to recognize when and how to rotate will need to come in time.
On offense, he can look to drive between too many bodies and has racked up turnovers as a result. 3.9 turnovers per 36 minutes is just too many for someone who looks to calmly facilitate a steady offense.
Most glaringly at this stage of his collegiate career, Williams is just not a jump shooting threat at all. A career 27% shooter from three on 3.8 attempts per 36 minutes is a worry for a guard going to the next level where spacing is paramount. Despite that — and without a mid range game to present either — the shooting stroke looks workable to a degree. He’ll just need to find a way to get more loft on his flatter trajectory shots.
If he were a 19-year-old, you could have more optimism in projecting improvement forward. But as an older prospect — Williams will be 23 years old by the draft — these major drawbacks will most likely limit his draft range to second round and undrafted free agent status. But of course, with a functional shooting motion and NBA-level development, he can overcome some of these setbacks going forward.
Possible fit with the Hawks:
As the playoff series against the Miami Heat showed, you can never have too many ball handlers. Even the main secondary handlers in Kevin Huerter, Delon Wright and Bogdan Bogdanovic just couldn’t collapse the defense by getting into the paint enough to scramble a well connected defense.
Alondes Williams certainly brings those abilities. He’s a second round talent more than likely, so the Hawks will give him a look at the No. 44 overall pick should he last until then. Despite the defensive and spacing drawbacks, Williams could provide instant offense with his rim attack off the dribble and open up shooting space for teammates in the NBA.