Grizzlies: Ziaire Williams is proving that his shooting won’t be a problem

Ziaire Williams, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Ziaire Williams, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /
Memphis Grizzlies
Ziaire Williams, Memphis Grizzlies Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Memphis Grizzlies stuck their neck out to trade up and acquire Ziaire Williams, a one-and-done wing out of Stanford. The former teammate of LeBron James Jr. in high school made a quick trip to the NBA and it wasn’t without its issues.

One of those issues was his three-point shooting, which looked less-than-desirable throughout his time in college.

At the college level, Williams didn’t shoot the ball well in general, only knocking down 37.4% of his field goals. A large portion of those were three-point shots, of which he scored 29.1% of his long-range attempts. Offensively, he hadn’t shown much promise at all.

But the Grizzlies didn’t care — they still traded away a valuable asset in Jonas Valanciunas in order to move up in the NBA draft and select Williams, who was considered one of the best players in the country at the high school level.

Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ziaire Williams is proving that his shooting will not be a problem

But fans weren’t necessarily happy. Many wanted different guys like Moses Moody picked up at the 10th spot. That said, has the Grizzlies’ front office not proven fans wrong time and time again? At a certain point, we have to trust the process.

And so far, Williams is proving everyone wrong.

Granted, his entire preseason three-point shooting hasn’t been impressive. Heck, throughout the preseason, Williams has only knocked down 20% of his three-point shots at a high volume. So why am I so high on Williams’ shooting?

You may not like this, but it’s hard to deny it — the rookie wing passes the eye test.

His shot doesn’t have any mechanical issues. It’s the same thing that we said about Ja Morant during his shooting slump — Williams isn’t throwing up bricks like Justise Winslow as a year ago, he’s missing close. His jump shot looks smooth, and even though it’s not dropping right now, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a problem.

Heck, when you give him more time on the court, he’s capable of getting into a rhythm and seeing these shots drop. Take Wednesday night’s game for example, when the Grizzlies had most of their primary rotational players sitting on the bench to rest. Williams got the start and finally looked comfortable offensively.

In the game, the former Stanford wing scored 19 points, knocking down two three-pointers on three attempts and scoring 19 points on the night. In even more promising fashion, he reached the free-throw line seven times, knocking down all seven attempts from the charity stripe.

Next. 3 potential starting lineups without Dillon Brooks. dark

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — Williams’ poor shooting over time isn’t a result of bad mechanics or an ineffective jump shot, it comes as a result of playing in a compact system in college. With a spaced-out floor in the NBA, it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a serviceable three-point shooter.