Grant Williams, Tennessee’s star junior forward, has until May 29th to make a decision about his professional future. The two-time SEC Player of the Year is going through the 2019 NBA Draft Combine this week, and he has until the May 29th deadline to withdraw his name from consideration for the 2019 NBA Draft if he wishes to return to UT for his senior season.
But Williams isn’t going to wait that long to make that decision.
According to Andy Katz of NCAA.com, Williams told him and Allie LaForce of TNT that he plans to make his decision about his basketball future on Saturday after going through the combine and getting feedback from NBA teams.
Grant Williams of @Vol_Hoops was candid about his decision. He will decide Saturday if he’s going to stay in the draft. He discussed the possible legacy of winning 3 @SEC POY. @NBATV @ALaForce pic.twitter.com/he3nTu0KOZ
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) May 14, 2019
All underclassmen players have 10 days after the end of the combine — May 19th — to make a decision on whether they will keep their name in the draft pool or return to their respective school. That means Williams and teammate Jordan Bone would have until May 29th to officially decide what they want to do with their futures.
Williams isn’t going to make Tennessee wait that long, however.
The 2019 NBA Draft Combine is taking place in Chicago this week. Some of the events begin today, Tuesday May 14th, but the majority of the trials and evaluation process begins on May 15th and runs through the 19th. Williams claims he will have a decision figured out by the 18th.
The decorated junior forward has been projected by many NBA mock drafts as a first-round selection. He’s been predicted anywhere from a fringe lottery pick to even an early second-round pick. Most mock drafts, however, have him being taken somewhere in the 18-24 pick range.
Williams came into his own in his junior season with the Vols. The 6-foot-7, 236-pound forward from Charlotte, North Carolina won the SEC Player of the Year award for the second-straight season and was named a consensus First-Team All-American. He was also a finalist for the Naismith Trophy Men’s Player of the Year award and a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award.
In his third season with the Vols, Williams averaged 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game in 37 starts. He shot 56.5 percent overall, 32.6 percent from three, and 81.9 percent from the free throw line. He set a school record when he made 23 consecutive free throws in Tennessee’s overtime victory against Vanderbilt in Nashville on January 23rd. He broke the school record for most free throws made in a row and most free throws made in a game.
In that same game, Williams scored 43 total points, marking the most points scored by a Vol in a single game since Allan Houston scored 43 points against LSU in February of 1990. He tied Houston for the fifth-most points scored in a single game in program history.
Williams led the SEC in points per game this season, and he became just the third Vol ever to win back-to-back SEC Player of the Year awards. He was also only the third Vol ever to be named a consensus First-Team All-American (Bernard King, Dale Ellis).