Incredibly smart, strong and tough PG with an outstanding handle with either hand. He can take you left or right equally well, with a lethal crossover and strong body fakes, and if his man hesitates or backs off him for just a second he'll stop on a dime and nail the mid-range jumper right on top of him. Despite his average foot speed, Williams always finds a way to get inside the lane.
Fundamentally sound. Has an incredible knack for running a basketball team, he knows how to feed his teammates and always places the ball exactly where they want it thanks to his outstanding court vision and feel for the game. Watching him run the pick and roll (and he can be on either end) is a thing of beauty. Williams can make the simple bounce pass just as well as he can heave precise full-court bombs to ignite the fast break. Plays with incredible patience and composure for a player his age, doesn't panic and always lets the game come to him, always fully taking advantage of his strengths.
He plays terrific defense (in the NCAA), mainly because of his strength and footwork, but also because of his excellent fundamentals and high basketball IQ. Doesn't risk his defensive position to get in the passing lanes and come up with steals.
Whether he's scoring or not, Williams always makes his presence felt on the floor. He also seems to have a pretty good demeanor on and off the floor, which is nice to see from the heart and brains of your team.
Williams is a good perimeter shooter, hitting about two threes a game in the NCAA over the past two seasons, usually on good percentages.
In crunch time, Williams wants the ball in his hands and usually does exactly what's needed to help his team come away with the W. He's exactly the type of guy you want handling the ball when the game is on the line, as his decision making is usually superb. A good free throw shooter as well.
Doesn't have great footspeed or a very quick first step. Most NBA PG's have an extra burst of speed they can switch into to blow by their man and create their own shot, or get into the lane and create for others. Deron Williams doesn't.
He finds ways around that on the NCAA level, using a wide array of body fakes and nifty dribbling to get his defenders off balance. Will he be able to do the same in the NBA?
Defensively, he plays very well on the college level, but could have trouble finding the lateral quickness to guard players like Stephon Marbury, Dwyane Wade and others.
His three point shot isn't super consistent just yet, but I don't think that's too much of a cause for concern. His release could be a little faster, but that will likely be worked on in the pros.
And lastly, how is his conditioning? He looks just a little pudgy; does he have room to get a little faster by shedding some weight? Is that just his body type?
Thrown straight into the fire as a freshman, starting in 30 out of 32 games his first season, ranking third in the Big Ten in assists, with close to five per game. That following summer was named a member of the US Junior World Championship Qualifying Team.
Had a breakout season nationally as a sophomore, named to the First-Team All-Big Ten for both conference and tournament play. Had 31 points (10-13 shooting) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in a win over Cincinnati.
Member of the USA Junior World Championship that finished 5-0 to win the 2003 Global Games in Dallas, Texas. Started all five games and averaged 10.8 ppg., 4.0 apg., and shot 54.1 percent from the field, including 58.3 percent from 3-point (14-24 3pt FGs). Co-MVP of the Tournament. (http://www.usabasketball.com/biosmen/deron_williams_bio.html)
Seems likely to at least test the draft waters this summer. His stock is highly dependant on who's being asked, especially in such a strong year for point guards, although it's hard (for me at least) to see him slipping out of the middle of the first round at worst. At best he could go top 10.
Even though he definitely lacks speed, I can easily see Williams becoming a very good PG in the NBA. The key for him will be landing in the right situation, on a team that can play to his strengths and utilize his terrific playmaking skills, like the Utah Jazz or Houston Rockets for example.
I'm usually pretty quick to rule out players that I don't think are quick enough to make it in the athleticism infatuated NBA, but there is something about the way Deron Williams plays the game that makes me think he is going to really special...
He'd definitely be an excellent candidate to represent the US in the upcoming Olympics and possibly the World Championships. His strengths and style of play are tailor made for international competition.
Has a two year old daughter, Denae.