The Chicago Bulls are fighting hard to maintain their spot atop the Eastern Conference. While the No. 1 seed has been somewhat of a revolving door throughout the season, the Bulls are currently clutching onto it at 33-19, though the Miami Heat are hot on their heels. The Bulls have been dealing with myriad injuries, most notably to the likes of Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, but Billy Donovan provided an update on another key player’s potential return. Via Cody Westerlund, Donovan revealed that second-year forward Patrick Williams has been ramping up his conditioning of late, and the possibility remains for a late-season return for the 20-year-old.
Patrick Williams (wrist) has ramped up his conditioning lately, Billy Donovan says.
"I think there's a very strong possibility" he returns by the end of the regular season, Donovan says.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) February 6, 2022
Williams has missed all but five games this season after sustaining a wrist injury. He underwent surgery in October to repair torn ligaments in the wrist and has been out ever since. Donovan’s latest update, however, suggests that Williams could be ready to come back before the regular season winds down, which could put him in line to be a significant contributor come the playoffs.
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The 20-year-old’s name has come up in trade talks of late, though the Bulls have expressed a strong unwillingness to part ways with their former first-round pick. Chicago drafted Williams with the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
In his rookie year in 2020-21, Williams averaged 9.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists across 27.9 minutes per night. He shot 48.3% from the field and knocked down 0.8 3’s per game at a 39.1% clip. In five games this season, Williams averaged 6.6 points and 2.2 rebounds, having played 25 minutes per contest.