While some rookies are beginning to come back down to earth following fiery starts to their careers, others are beginning to heat up.
One of those is Thunder guard Jalen Williams. Selected twelfth overall in the 2022 NBA Draft, Williams is a lengthy, do-it-all forward out of Santa Clara whose silky games impressed many in the pre-draft process.
After leading all rookies in assists in Summer League, Williams got off to a bit of a slow start in his NBA career due to various factors: injury, opportunity, etc. But he’s finally
Spanning three games over the last week, Williams has averaged 15.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals on 47 percent shooting overall and 36 percent from three.
With each game, Williams looks increasingly more comfortable. Be it slashing off-ball, cutting to the basket in a timely fashion, creating his own shot or creating for others, the 21-year-old has become a do-it-all tool for Oklahoma City.
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Used by head coach Mark Daigneault in a variety of situations, Williams earns himself a larger role in the Thunder’s lineup each day, primarily by showcasing his versatility.
Williams has scored in double figures in his last five games, largely due to him shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc in those games. Most importantly, he’s played upwards of 30 minutes a night.
Williams has just four starts in 14 games, but his play is keeping him on the floor more and more. Closing the half here, ending the game there.
It’s clear Williams will be a pivotal piece in the Thunder rebuild, and they’ll now wait to see just how good he can be.
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