Texas A&M Basketball: 5 best fits for Robert Williams in 2018 NBA Draft

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San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs haven’t had a rim protector since Tim Duncan retired after the 2015-16 season. In the last couple of seasons, they’ve used LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, and before he left for the Atlanta Hawks last offseason, Dewayne Dedmon at the center spot and surrounded them with wings and guards.

The Spurs have embraced today’s NBA game by employing floor spacers who can also play defense. Even without their rim protector, the Spurs have ranked first and fourth in defensive rating over the last two years. This year’s rank was with Kawhi Leonard, maybe the best two-way player and definitely the best perimeter defender in the game, only playing nine games. They play suffocating team defense.

But a guy like Williams would fit more than just a rim protector role. Aldridge and Gasol are obviously both in the tail end of their careers, and neither are good pick n’ roll defenders. Gasol is specifically exploited by this in his old age.

By virtue of playing alongside Tyler Davis, Williams spent much of his career guarding smaller, quicker players and being asked to play help defense. This skill will translate to the next level when teams try to exploit advantages, especially in small ball lineups.

He could also fit nicely running a two-man game with Dejounte Murray, who is still developing but has at least shown an ability to get that coveted lane penetration that opens a defense. The Spurs don’t run a ton of pick n’ roll, but Williams patrolling the lane for lobs would definitely be a weapon they don’t currently have.