CHARLOTTE — There’s little or no chance of N.C. State guard C.J. Williams being drafted. That doesn’t mean he has given up on an NBA career.
A 6-foot-5 shooting guard for the Wolfpack, Williams is looking to reinvent himself as a combo guard. That means renewing playmaking skills he hasn’t used much since playing point guard in high school.
He says he’s working out three times a day with a personal trainer, dribbling through whatever obstacle courses he can construct. Until Thursday, his only predraft workouts were with the Atlanta Hawks; he lives in Atlanta now, so he makes himself available whenever the Hawks need a fill-in.
Thursday the Bobcats invited him for an audition, where he worked alongside North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes, a sure lottery pick. Williams said he spent more time Thursday setting up Barnes’ jump shots than guarding him.
“Once you get out of college – N.C. State fans are going to hate me for this – you kind of get past the rivalry thing,” Williams said.
“We’re all trying to do the same thing: Get on an NBA team. So we use each other and work together. We knew each other’s skills, based on scouting reports from school.”
Barnes will have the security of at least two guaranteed seasons as a first-round pick. Williams, who averaged 10.6 points with 50 percent shooting last season, is just looking to get on a summer-league roster next month.
Players in Williams’ situation often start searching for international opportunities. He doesn’t want to default to that option just yet.
“I don’t feel I have to go overseas right away,” Williams said. “I want to give the NBA a really good shot and play it out from there.”