Jalen Williams and Josh Giddey tabbed as rising stars

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

The Oklahoma City Thunder earned a nice and expected cherry on top of their 2022-23 sundae. Their 6th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Josh Giddey, and their 12th overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft, Jalen Williams, were tabbed as rising stars for NBA All-Star weekend.

The OKC Thunder are sitting at 24-26, a game out of the NBA Play-in tournament and two games out of the sixth seed in the NBA Playoffs.  This is largely due to their max contract point guard, who is playing at an MVP-caliber level, and soon-to-be first-time All-Star, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. However, they have seen a ton of players step up around SGA. Notably Jalen Williams and Josh Giddey.

The NBA tabs Oklahoma City Thunder youngsters Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams as rising stars.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have to be pleased with how they have drafted over the last two draft cycles, the only two so far in this rebuild. In 2021, the Thunder selected Josh Giddey, Tre Mann, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, and Aaron Wiggins after having a disastrous NBA Draft Lottery night as the pick fell to sixth. In 2022,  OKC finally jumped up in the lottery to the 2nd overall pick used for Chet Holmgren, trading back into the first round to grab Ousmane Dieng at 11, using the clippers selection at 12th to pick Jalen Williams before grabbing Jaylin Williams with the 34th pick to round out the class.

Once again, Josh Giddey has been pegged as an NBA Rising Star for the second straight season as the sophomore has made many improvements in year two, seeing his points per game jump. From 14 to 16 per tilt, grabbing eight rebounds and five assists while shooting 48 percent from the floor, 32 percent from three, and 77 percent at the line. This is the second time Giddey has played in the rising stars challenge.

Rookie Jalen Williams has posted 12 points, four rebounds, nearly three assists, and a steal per game while shooting 51 percent from the floor, 31 percent from deep, and 59 percent on two-point field goals.

In January, Jalen Williams averaged nearly 14 points, three assists, four rebounds, and two steals per game while shooting 51 percent from the floor and 32 percent from three-point land. Those numbers should be impressive enough to take home Rookie of the Month honors for the second time in his career.

Next. A calm Deadline is good for OKC Thunder. dark