Jalen Williams wins Western Conference Rookie of the Month

Jalen Williams #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jalen Williams #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder had another four-player draft in 2022, the same amount of players they selected during the 2021 NBA Draft. With three of the four selections by Sam Presti being lottery picks in June, we are now starting to see the potential of these players, namely Jalen Williams.

While Chet Holmgren is sidelined for the entire 2022-23 NBA season after the second overall pick suffered a foot injury back in August, the rest of the rookie class is performing well at some level. From Jalen Williams thriving in the NBA to Jaylin Williams showing his future potential in the G-League, and Ousmane Dieng bouncing back and forth between the two leagues.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams earns October/November NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month award

OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti has to be proud of how his last two NBA Draft classes are coming together. The Oklahoma City Thunder have won five of the last six Western Conference Rookie of the Month awards, and the only reason they did not sweep the category is due to Josh Giddey‘s injury which held him out of the final month of the season.

Josh Giddey won each Rookie of the Month award he was eligible for last year, and this year Jalen Williams has grabbed the torch from Giddey winning the first issue of the 2022-23 Rookie of the Month award over the likes of Jabari Smith, Tari Eason, Keegan Murray, and Shaedon Sharpe.

Williams has been a swiss army knife for the OKC Thunder, playing anywhere from point guard to power forward for head coach Mark Daigneault. In his first 18 games, Williams is averaging 10 points, three rebounds, two assists, and nearly a steal per game while shooting 52 percent from the floor.

His month was capped off by being the catalyst for the Thunder’s win over the Spurs on Wednesday while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was sidelined with a hip injury.

Jalen Williams put up a career-high 27 points,  dished out two assists, and hauled in six rebounds, shooting 2-for-3 from distance, and 73 percent from the floor. Williams had the game-sealing floater on his way to his first 20+ point game of his NBA career.

While he likely will not sweep the category as Josh Giddey did a year ago, still off to a fantastic start to his NBA career nonetheless. Jalen Williams has All-Star potential.

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