Arrow-right Camera
Gonzaga Basketball
Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Nigel Williams-Goss keeps options open as Utah Jazz training camp nears

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 22, 2017

Nigel Williams-Goss shares a laugh with the kids while giving instruction during basketball camp at The Hub in Liberty Lake on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Nigel Williams-Goss shares a laugh with the kids while giving instruction during basketball camp at The Hub in Liberty Lake on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

Nigel Williams-Goss can’t predict the future, but he does know he will have options.

The former Gonzaga great could be facing a tough battle to make the Utah Jazz regular-season roster. The Jazz selected Williams-Goss in the second round of the NBA Draft, but they have several point guards.

Utah traded for presumed starter Ricky Rubio shortly after the draft. Dante Exum, a lottery pick in the 2014 draft, was a part-time starter in 2016 and had promising summer league performances. Raul Neto has played in 121 Jazz games the last two seasons.

Williams-Goss hasn’t signed a contract with the Jazz, but he has an invite to training camp next month.

“To make any NBA team is tough. These are the best players in the world,” said Williams-Goss, during a brief timeout at his basketball camp at the HUB Sports Center. “As long as you come in confident and compete and play the right way, you give yourself a chance.”

Williams-Goss, a meticulous planner and worker, is keeping his options open.

“I actually have some other things in the works right now, possibly, if I decide I want to go overseas for next year and come back,” he said. “I have to make sure whatever I do is best for my development long term.”

Williams-Goss earned All-American honors in his lone season in a Gonzaga uniform. He led the Zags in scoring (16.8), steals (1.7) and assists (4.7). He was second in rebounds (6.0).

Gonzaga made its first trip to the Final Four and nearly won it all. Williams-Goss scored GU’s last eight points as the Zags led North Carolina 65-63 with just less than 2 minutes remaining in the title game. Williams-Goss sprained his ankle with 1:25 left as UNC closed on an 8-0 run.

“Everyone asks me, ‘How bad did you sprain it?’ ” Williams-Goss said. “Everyone knows I’ve had ankle issues in the past. I sprained it pretty good. I had to take about two weeks off.”

He spent draft night with his parents, grandmother, girlfriend and two close friends. Gonzaga coach Mark Few and GU and Utah star John Stockton put in a good word for Williams-Goss with Jazz management.

“I talked to Coach Few throughout the draft process,” Williams-Goss said. “I heard about Stockton later and his conversation with (general manager) Dennis Lindsey. I’m very appreciative of them both for helping me out.”

Williams-Goss struggled at times in Jazz summer league games. He averaged 4.4 points, 3.1 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 3.4 turnovers. He made 23.8 percent from the field.

“Anybody who watched me play said I wasn’t being as aggressive,” Williams-Goss said. “Utah was actually very happy with the way I played because they wanted me to do specific things and I did some of those things.

“For sure, there were some ups and downs, but I learned a lot. Since then, I’ve continued to work on things that gave me some trouble.”

Follow along with the Zags

Subscribe to our Gonzaga Basketball newsletter to stay up with the latest news.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com