2022 NBA Draft Grades for all 15 teams in the Western Conference

Adam Silver (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Adam Silver (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /
11 of 15
2022 NBA Draft
LAS VEGAS, NV – NOVEMBER 26: Chet Holmgren #34 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs looks on against the Duke Blue Devils during the Continental Tire Challenge at T-Mobile Arena on November 26, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Duke won 84-81. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

2022 NBA Draft Grades for the Western Conference: Oklahoma City Thunder

Picks: Chet Holmgren, Big, Gonzaga (2); Ousmane Dieng, Wing, Breakers (11); Jalen Williams,  Wing, Santa Clara (12); Jaylin Williams, Big, Arkansas (34)

The Oklahoma City Thunder have pulled off a monumental rebuild, amassing a wild treasure trove of extra first-round picks, and those picks were a big part of their night. Things started off with their own pick, however, as they used the second overall pick on Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren.

While many balked at his shockingly thin frame, Holmgren has proven himself a competitor and his size has never been an issue to this point in his career. As The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie loves to say, the Thunder want to put five players on the court who can all push the ball themselves in transition, and Holmgren gives them that ability.

He can shoot, he can handle, and he is an elite rim protector and rebounder. It’s a slam dunk pick that fits perfectly with how they are building their team moving forward, the best player available at a clear position of need.

Instead of just sitting at pick No. 12, the Oklahoma City Thunder leapt back in at 11, and without giving up 12 at all. Making back-to-back picks, the Thunder went with two of the draft’s late risers in Ousmane Dieng and Jalen Williams. Dieng is incredibly raw but came on late in the NBL and has a tantalizing combination of on-ball shot creation and playmaking if he can put it all together.

Williams was one of my personal favorites in the draft, a wing with point guard skills, the necessary size to defend multiple positions, and the ball-handling, passing, and shooting to excel in any role on offense. The Thunder make a high-upside, high-risk swing in Dieng but then get a solid, versatile wing.

Finally, the Oklahoma City Thunder decided to terrorize announcers and play-by-play guys across the nation by taking the other Jaylin Williams, a big man out of Arkansas. He lacks polish but was a transcendent charge-taker and does all of the dirty work.

The Thunder took multiple players I liked, all guys that fit their team-building vision. It was a very solid draft, although they certainly paid a lot to get pick 11 for Ousmane Dieng.

Grade: B