A timeline of Georgetown basketball’s recruiting history, including some of the more memorable recruiting visits, by the way: A.B. Williams, a star guard from a small-town Georgia high school, became the nation’s top-rated recruit by the time he was in his first year at Georgetown, according to Rivals.com, the site that has tracked national rankings since 1985.
But Williams’ decision to leave Georgia to join the Hoyas and commit to Georgetown in January 2010 has been the subject of much debate, both in the recruiting community and on the court.
Williams ended up playing for Coach John Thompson III at Kentucky, and he is widely credited for helping the Wildcats reach the Final Four.
He also became a finalist for the 2010 National Player of the Year award and was a finalists for the 2009, 2012 and 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductions.
But he had the best of both worlds: Williams was able to get a scholarship offer from Kentucky to play in the NBA, and the Hoyos were able to lure him back to the Big East for the 2014-15 season.
Georgetown also offered Williams a scholarship after he chose to leave.
But that decision ultimately proved to be a mistake, as Williams ended his college career at Georgetown in February 2019.
“It’s disappointing to see a player leave for a school where he was committed to,” Georgetown coach Jay Wright said at the time.
“But that’s the kind of player we’ve got.”
Williams averaged 18.9 points and 9.5 rebounds during his Georgetown career, but his game took a turn for the worse as the Hoyoes struggled to win.
Georgetown finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the country and won just one game, a 107-93 defeat at the hands of No. 4-ranked Gonzaga on Jan. 11, 2019.
Despite a strong regular season, the Hoyats fell short of the NCAA tournament in 2019, losing to a ranked Louisville team in the quarterfinals.
Williams averaged 15.7 points and 4.5 assists in two seasons with Georgetown, but he missed the 2019 tournament with a sprained left ankle.
Williams’ career at Georgia was over.
He was one of two Bulldogs players to leave school early in his career, and in the summer of 2019, he was one half of a three-team recruiting class that included Isaiah Canaan and Dwayne Bacon.
The team finished 11-10 in the regular-season, and Williams was the team’s most valuable player.
He averaged 18 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks during his time at Georgia.
He transferred to Duke in 2020 and joined the Blue Devils as a walk-on.
After a breakout sophomore season at Duke, Williams had another strong year with the Blue Devil, averaging 21.2 points and 7.7 assists in his final season with the team.
Williams spent time with the Warriors, Mavericks and Cavaliers before the 2020-21 season and was named a First Team All-American.
But the decision to play abroad was more complicated than that.
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Williams played for three different teams during his career: Georgia Tech, Syracuse and North Carolina State.
Williams made a career-high $7 million in the final year of his career at Syracuse.
The Cavaliers and Raptors traded for him with the first pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The Raptors offered him a max contract worth up to $70 million, but the Nets chose him with pick No. 1 in the 2018 NBA Draft, sending him to Brooklyn to become the Nets’ starter at point guard.
The Nets signed Williams to a one-year deal with a player option for 2019-20.
Williams was a key part of Brooklyn’s success that season, averaging 19.8 points and 5.6 assists per game.
He missed the first seven games of the Nets season, and by the end of the season, he had averaged 23.2 and 9, respectively.
Williams missed all of the 2020 NBA Finals after fouling out during Game 3 of the 2017 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
He went on to have one of the best seasons in the history of the NBA with the Cavaliers, averaging a career high 25.7 and 10, respectively, as they won their first championship in team history.
But it wasn’t to be for Williams, who was traded to the Mavericks, along with Brandon Jennings and Jarnell Stokes, in a five-team trade that also included Dewayne Dedmon, Devin Booker and Marcus Smart.
The Mavericks were led by veteran guard Tyson Chandler, who would play his last game for the team with a torn ACL in 2020.
Williams returned to the Cavs and signed with Golden State.
He has spent his entire career with the NBA’s best team, and after two successful seasons in Golden State, Williams has signed a one year deal with the Cavs, averaging 13.6 points and 8.5 boards in