Stanford's Ziaire Williams Declares for 2021 NBA Draft; Averaged 10.7 PPG

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2021

Stanford forward Ziaire Williams against Washington State during an NCAA college basketball game in Santa Cruz, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Ziaire Williams is headed to the NBA after just one season of college basketball.

The Stanford forward declared for the 2021 NBA draft on Wednesday in a statement posted to his Instagram page:

1550 Sports @1550sports

Ziaire Williams is entering the 2021 NBA draft 👏👏 https://t.co/UYH9QIo7NK

Williams arrived at Stanford as a 5-star prospect and the No. 6 overall player, No. 2 small forward and No. 4 player from the state of California in the 2020 class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.

He was the type of top-notch, well-known recruit who often goes to powerhouse programs such as Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina and represented an opportunity for Stanford to make noise at a national level that it doesn't normally do as a solid but unspectacular Pac-12 program.

Instead, it was something of an up-and-down roller coaster.

The California native missed some time during his freshman campaign, and the team battled on the tournament's bubble for much of the season before missing out on the Big Dance. He was dominant at times, such as when he posted a triple-double against Washington, but he also struggled with his shooting numbers as so many opposing defenses focused on him.

In all, Williams averaged 10.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 37.4 percent from the field and 29.1 percent from deep.

Despite some inconsistency at the collegiate level, the NBA skill set is on full display when he takes the floor.

Williams is lengthy enough at 6'8" to make an impact defensively and compete for boards. The 185-pounder is also an impressive ball-handler for his size and can attack the basket off the bounce.

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman has Williams ranked as the No. 9 prospect in this class on his most recent big board and noted: "He's a smooth shooter with NBA range and the ability to cleanly separate into balanced pull-ups and step-backs."

If he can reach his ceiling at the next level, Williams will be one of the best players in this season's rookie class.