In the great words of Danny Ocean, “You think we need one more? ... You think we need one more. ... All right, we’ll get one more.” The Utah Jazz have got one more signed filling out the roster. This time that person will be familiar for Utah Jazz fans. Former #55 pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, Nigel Williams-Goss, will be returning to the Utah Jazz on a three year contract according to Eurohoops.net.
After turning pro with Partizan and winning the Serbian Cup in the 2017-18 season, Williams-Goss averaged 9.2 ppg, 4.2 apg, and 2 rpg in his first EuroLeague season being coached by David Blatt during the 2018-19 season in Olympiacos.
Nigel Williams-Goss left Gonzaga after help lead Gonzaga to the NCAA Final Four Championship game. Williams-Goss is a 6’4 guard with 6’7 wingspan. During his time with Olympiacos he shot 40% from three while averaging 11.3 points, 4.6 assists, and 2.5 rebounds a game while playing 25 minutes a game.
This is what Draft Express had to say about Williams-Goss when he declared for the NBA Draft.
The Washington transfer proved himself on the grandest of stages at Gonzaga as a hard-nosed point guard who plays a winning brand of basketball. At 6’4 with a 6’7.25 wingspan, Williams-Goss is a big guard by bench unit standards, and he uses his size effectively on both ends of the floor as he likes to operate out of the post, has floaters in the paint (made a ridiculous 34-of-67 as a senior) and, although not a great athlete, puts pressure on the rim in transition. A willing and active defender who can run the show (2.18 assist to turnover), playmake out of pick and roll, and knock down just enough threes and elbow jumpers to keep the defense honest, Williams-Goss projects as the consummate second or guard who can play in a variety of lineup configurations alongside similarly sized or smaller backcourt partners, especially if he can continue to progress as a perimeter shooter - career-best 36.8% from three on 3.7 attempts per 40.
Nigel Williams-Goss’ signing is a reminder to many fans that while the Utah Jazz drafted three players in the second round, their road to the NBA may just be getting started. Nigel spent the last two years toiling in Europe before the Utah Jazz decided to bring him back. The Utah Jazz may even nudge their second rounders in the direction of Europe so that they can retain their rights to bring them back on a deal like Nigel’s.
While we may be quick to say the Nigel Williams-Goss is going to be a backup point guard, he actually may be closer to what Quin Snyder sees in a shooting guard. Big wingspan, can guard multiple positions, and can shoot a good percentage from three in catch and shoot opportunities.
For the Utah Jazz their depth chart now looks like this:
PG: Mike Conley, Dante Exum, Emmanuel Mudiay
SG: Donovan Mitchell, Royce O’Neale, Nigel Williams-Goss
SF: Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles
PF: Jeff Green, Georges Niang
C: Rudy Gobert, Ed Davis, Tony Bradley
But that depth chart really isn’t fair. Utah is moving to a pace and space modern offense. The Jazz are mainly concerned with giving Rudy Gobert space to do damage near the rim. So the depth chart looks like this:
Guards: Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell, Dante Exum, Emmanuel Mudiay, Nigel Williams-Goss
Wings: Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale, Jeff Green, Georges Niang
Bigs: Rudy Gobert, Ed Davis, Tony Bradley
Nigel Williams-Goss can be Utah’s next development project in the vein of Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale, and Georges Niang. With last year’s problem of losing every point guard to injury for two different stretches last season, the Utah Jazz have added another guard who can play both guard positions. Mike Conley is adept at playing on ball and off-ball on offense. Same with Donovan Mitchell. Dante Exum is able to play both positions. Emmanuel Mudiay has the same potential. Williams-Goss can be developed for that same goal.
There’s another benefit to Williams-Goss. His big body. When Utah was short on guards, the Jazz had to pick their matchups with Raul Neto because of his size. While Neto served as an insurance policy, he could be on the wrong side of his matchup when playing bigger guards. Utah won’t have that problem with Williams-Goss.
Most likely Williams-Goss will play much of the beginning of the season with the Salt Lake City Stars. He does have a chance to beat Emmanuel Mudiay on the depth chart during training camp, but realistically Williams-Goss is the insurance policy to the insurance policy to the insurance policy.