Jalen and Jaylin Williams have more than just their name in common

Jalen Williams #8 and Jaylin Williams #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Jalen Williams #8 and Jaylin Williams #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder made everyone chuckle on NBA Draft night back in June when they used the 34th overall pick on Arkansas big man Jaylin Williams after selecting Santa Clara product Jalen Williams in the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery with the 12th selection. While the memes were born instantly, the pair of rookies have more than just their names in common.

Jalen Williams has grabbed the majority of the headlines during his rookie season, never spending a second in the NBA G-League and dominating on the biggest stage right away (after he recovered from getting elbowed in the eye a minute into his NBA Career) the wing has already won a Western Conference Rookie of the Month award and should be in line for a second one in a few days.

For Jaylin Williams, it has been a slow burn. Taking time to major and grow his game at the NBA G-Leauge level including posting a triple-double for the OKC Blue, before he was recalled into NBA action due to the number of injuries the Oklahoma City Thunder suffered down low.

Jalen Williams and Jaylin Williams have more than just their names in common as the OKC Thunder rookies are providing the team energy and wins while in the rotation

The Oklahoma City Thunder are currently 24-25, already matching their win total from a season ago the first team in the NBA to do so this season. Only a half a game out of the NBA Play in tournament and just a game and a half out of making the playoffs outright, their only true additions have been via the NBA Draft along with Isaiah Joe.

Even in the NBA Draft, their prized 2nd overall pick Chet Holmgren has been ruled out for the season since August, their second lottery pick Ousmane Dieng has missed an extended amount of time and is viewed as more of a project forward. That leaves two players from the class, and one name between the two.

Jalen Williams deserves a ton of credit for how good he has been all season long, averaging 12 points, four rebounds, nearly three assists, and a steal per contest while shooting 51 percent from the floor.

Jaylin Williams’s numbers do not pop as much when you look at the overview, four points, three rebounds, and an assist while shooting 43 percent from the floor and 39 percent from three. However, over the last six games those numbers jump to almost six points per game, with four rebounds and an assist per game. The shooting splits for the former Razorback are up to 55 percent from the floor and 66 percent from deep.

The two have more in common than just their name, both players play the game with such passion and energy that it becomes contagious to the rest of the team, and the crowd, and allows them to shift momentum in a matter of seconds.

Jaylin Williams screams after every made three, and he is just as vocal in pregame warm-ups, while Jalen Williams just can not help but play with energy “it is what I hang my hat on” he told me.

Next. Chet Holmgren receives four All-star votes. dark