The Oklahoma City Thunder were able to stock up on plenty of young talent in the 2022 NBA Draft. With the twelfth overall pick, they drafted Jalen Williams. His selection is often overshadowed by that of the second overall pick, Chet Holmgren, but choosing the Santa Clara product out of the pool of talented players in this draft class is paying off for the Thunder.
While Holmgren is sadly sidelined with an injury for the entire season, Williams is solidifying his role on the young team and starting to make a name for himself in the league. Williams is not a full-time starter for the Thunder yet, but he is taking on much more responsibility than anyone thought he would on draft day. He is fourth in minutes on the Thunder’s roster and can take over some of the playmaking duties when needed.
Jalen Williams is playing a big role for the Oklahoma City Thunder
In just his first few weeks in the NBA, Williams is establishing himself as a vital part of Oklahoma’s roster and a prominent member of this rookie class. Just recently, he was named the NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month and is building up a solid case for an All-Rookie team selection.
The wing averages around 25 minutes of playing time, which is quite a lot for a rookie. He easily earns those minutes, however, because he is so versatile and can play and guard all four positions. On offense, Williams is a dynamic scorer in the paint who can finish through contact and shows great off-ball movement and cutting ability. Everything he can do without the ball is especially important for him to get involved in the game because Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey have first dibs on most touches for the Thunder.