The Memphis Grizzlies signed former Indiana Hoosier Troy Williams to a partially guaranteed deal that does not guarantee him a roster spot. Williams will go to training camp with the Grizzlies and attempt to beat out DJ Stephens and Wayne Selden for a roster spot. Though the team's roster is full, both Vince Carter and JaMychal Green are on partially guaranteed deals that become fully guaranteed on January 1, 2017 (per spotrac), and it would not be difficult to release or stretch either to open up a roster spot.
Williams had offers from five NBA teams, per Scout, but chose to go to camp with the Grizzlies. It's worth mentioning that Andy Miller represents Williams along with Jarell Martin and Janis Timma, though I don't want to assume too much. But one could draw the conclusion that Chris Wallace did Miller a couple of solids in the past by taking Martin in the first round and by simply just drafting Timma, so maybe Miller is returning the favor by steering Williams towards the Grizzlies. But at the same time Miller also represents Malachi Richardson, so who knows?
In terms of his on-court play, the best attribute Troy Williams brings to the table is his athleticism. He's got top-end speed in the open court, moves exceptionally well laterally, and he's an explosive leaper who doesn't need much room to gather before he jumps.
Williams is an above the rim player. He was a very productive rebounder in college, averaging 9.4 rebounds per 40 minutes, and he does a really good job high-pointing the ball off the rim. He does solid work on the offensive glass, averaging nearly two per game between his sophomore and junior seasons, and he's always a put-back dunk threat. Here are a couple of examples:
The way Williams moves coupled with his good size (6-7, 218 lbs) means that he can one day turn himself into a plus defender, despite the lack of length that most good wing defenders have (measured 6-8 wingspan at NBA combine). He could afford to put on another 10-15 pounds and add some strength, but the outline of a good NBA defender is there.
On film, one thing that jumps out is how easily Williams is able to switch onto smaller guards and stay in from of them. He shouldn't have any problem guarding ones and twos, and once he bulks up little, threes won't be a problem either.
Despite his lack of length, Williams can make the home run play defensively. His quickness and leaping ability provide some highlight reel blocks and exciting plays in transition on both ends of the floor.
Another aspect of Williams' game to really like is how hard he plays. He sprints up and down the floor, isn't afraid to dive for loose balls and is always attacking the rim. There's no denying his competitive edge.
In transition is where Williams makes his biggest impact offensively. There weren't many players in college basketball who were more dangerous in transition than Williams when he filled the proper lane or took the ball himself. He's not the best decision maker, but he's a capable player when running in the open floor.
Notice in the video below that when Tyler Ulis makes the steal at the top of the key, Williams is at the block and beats everyone down the court for an easy bucket. Those are the type of easy buckets he gets because of his hustle.
Below is another example of Williams in transition. This time he fills the lane perfectly and beats everybody down the court to get an and-1.
Williams is a capable ball handler in the half-court offense. He operates as a good straight line slasher in pick-and-rolls and dribble hand-offs, using his quickness to get to the rim against hedges and switches.
Off the ball, Williams does a good job working the baseline for backdoor cuts and seems to have a good feel for reading the defense on when and where to cut. He's a solid finisher at the rim with good body control. He seems to finish and-1s at a pretty high clip and absorbs contact well despite his rather slender frame.
His jump shot is a work in progress, but it's probably something that won't ever be much better than league average. It's far from broken, but the mechanics are weird, especially with the way he turns the lower half of his body left as he releases. Different guys have different ways of balancing themselves on their shots, such as the way Dirk kicks his leg on his fade-away jumper, but the way Williams turns his legs and hips isn't ideal. Also, his windup takes longer than you'd like, but the release is pretty smooth. Williams shot 34.7 percent from three his last season at Indiana, and that seems to be about what he'll shoot in the NBA.
Two things that will have to improve if Williams is going to stick in the NBA are his consistency and basketball IQ. One minute Williams plays like a first round pick and the next he makes three head scratching plays in a row. Our resident Indiana fan at GBB, Jay Siskin, did a good job documenting Williams' consistency problems here.
Williams has the tools to be a rotation wing in the NBA, but he plays at his best in a more uptempo, free flowing offense. Nobody knows exactly what David Fizdale's offense is going to look like, but it's not difficult to figure out what it'll look like when the starters are on the floor, and it's not an ideal fit for Williams. But who knows what the team will be in three years and beyond. Fizdale could want to transition into a more uptempo style, and with the way the Grizzlies have acquired players like Wade Baldwin, Deyonta Davis, Rade Zagorac, Jarell Martin, and James Ennis, it's not crazy to think the Grizzlies will play faster in the future. Even bringing in Stephens and Williams indicates a move towards a faster pace in the future.
So while Williams' fit is a bit peculiar at this point, it becomes a little clearer if you project a few years down the road.