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Brooklyn Nets Draft Prospect: Grant Williams

Tennessee forward was two-time SEC Player of the Year

In three years at Tennessee, Grant Williams put together a stellar college career in an old-school way. Can he evolve and translate his game to the NBA?

SAYS WHO?

Williams has been linked to the Nets with the 27th pick by ESPN.COM, BASKETBALLINSIDERS.COM and Sam Vecenie of THEATHLETIC.COM in both his April 30 and May 14 mock drafts. THERINGER.COM marked Williams at No. 17 for the Nets in mid-May, which represented a big jump from most mocks that project him as a late first round or second round pick.

SO, WHO IS HE?

In some ways, Williams doesn’t seem an obvious fit for the Nets’ typical draft profile. He’ll be 21 in November after playing three seasons at Tennessee. He’s also a 6-foot-7 power forward whose offensive strength tends to be working out of the post — the Nets ran fewer post-ups than any team in the league last season.

WHAT’S HE DONE?

Williams does have a sparkling college resume. He’s a two-time SEC First Team and Player of the Year selection. He led Tennessee to 31-6 record this season — including 15-3 and a second-place finish in the SEC — before the Volunteers lost in overtime in the Sweet 16. Williams averaged 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game, shooting 56.4 percent.

WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?

Williams brings an old-school game as a scorer and distributer out of the post, with the skills for Tennessee to run its offense through him there. The perimeter skills and shooting range required of a 6-foot-7 NBA player have not been on such display, but Williams has shown the mid-range and free throw shooting touch to suggest he can expand his range beyond the NBA 3-point line. He’s also demonstrated solid defensive IQ, fundamentals and physicality.

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