There’s a potential for three centers to go in the lottery in the 2022 NBA Draft, and Duke’s Mark Williams is a part of that group.
Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Memphis’ Jalen Duren may both go ahead of Williams, but there are a few teams in the lottery that could use a true big man to bolster their defense.
Williams was dominant at times for the Blue Devils in the 2021-22 season, averaging 11.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while shooting 72.1 percent from the field.
WynnBET Sportsbook has Williams as a borderline lottery pick, projecting him at 13.5 with the OVER (-150) favored to the UNDER (+125).
Williams can be an elite rim protector if he can avoid foul trouble, and here are three teams that could use him in the 2022-23 season:
Charlotte Hornets (No. 13 or No. 15)
The most obvious landing spot for Williams appears to be the Charlotte Hornets, who pick twice in the first 15 picks.
Charlotte was horrible defensively at times last season, and Williams would give them a true inside presence/rim protector compared to Mason Plumlee. This would be a nice spot for Williams in terms of an immediate role, but he’d also fit well as a lob threat on offense for LaMelo Ball.
New York Knicks (No. 11)
If the Knicks decide to let Mitchell Robinson walk, Duren or Williams could be a possible replacement at No. 11. Even if Robinson stays, the Knicks could take a big man and trade Nerlens Noel this offseason as well.
Tom Thibodeau’s defensive scheme could use a player like Williams, and his size would help the Knicks match up with Joel Embiid in the Atlantic Division.
Chicago Bulls (No. 18)
It’s no secret that the Chicago Bulls lacked center depth behind Nikola Vucevic last season, and even when Vuc was in they still lacked interior defense.
The Bulls could benefit if Williams slips in this draft, especially since some teams may not prioritize a traditional center with a lottery pick.
Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record in the NBA this season here.