Notebook: Ousmane Dieng and Jalen Williams get shoe deals

Jalen Williams of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Jalen Williams of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder continue with their season despite some obstacles as we hurl toward Christmas, representing a landmark on the NBA calendar each year as the biggest day of the regular season and a real check-in point for more organizations. The injury bug has hit, the Rookies Jalen Williams and Ousmane Dieng have inked shoe deals, and the home stand heats up all on this week’s notebook.

The OKC Thunder are currently 12-18, on a won game winning streak after snapping a long losing drought that sent them to 4-6 in their last ten games. Despite being hit hard with injuries, the scrappy Thunder prevailed against Memphis on Saturday without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Josh Giddey in the lineup.

The Oklahoma City Thunder see rookies Jalen Williams and Ousmane Dieng ink a deal with Adidas, the injury bug bite OKC, and the handstand heat up

Sam Presti selected three prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery last July, and while the biggest prize, Chet Holmgren, has yet to log an NBA minute due to injury, the other two have shown varying degrees and promise and high potential.

Jalen Williams has already taken home the first Western Conference Rookie of the Month award, while Ousmane Dieng has bounced around from the NBA to the G-League at each stop he has popped and shown why Presti elected to trade three future first-round picks for the right to select Dieng in the draft.

The lottery picks that were selected back to back at picks 11 and 12, have each decided to sign shoe deals with Adidas this past week.

With the injury bug sweeping into town, the Oklahoma City Thunder have needed to play games without Josh Giddey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Darius Bazley, Ousmane Dieng, Kenrich Williams, and of course, Chet Holmgren.

In terms of the long-term, besides Chet Holmgren who is out for the year with a foot injury, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is week-to-week with an ankle injury, Ousmane Dieng will not have his wrist injury re-evaluated until six weeks from now, and there is no time table on when Darius Bazley or Josh Giddey will kick their non-COVID illness.

This week, the Oklahoma City Thunder welcome in the Portland Trailblazers twice on Monday and Wednesday as Damian Lillard needs 21 points to become the all-time leading scorer of the Blazers, on Friday the Pelicans come to town to put on a show for the fans at the Paycom Center which represents a must-see homestand for fans in the area.

This week: vs Blazers, Vs Blazers, vs Pelicans

Record Prediction: 1-3

Song of the week: I’ll be home for Christmas, Elvis

Next. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drops 23 third quarter points. dark