Jalen Williams is flashing high potential for the OKC Thunder

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) /

We are running out of ways to describe Jalen Williams. The 21-year-old rookie has looked wise beyond his years and has helped put the Thunder in this position just a game out of the NBA postseason. While people fear overreacting or being put on cold takes exposed, it is getting more challenging by the day to deny the Santa Clara products star power.

The 12th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft was tabbed as a rising star this week by the NBA and will be heading to Salt Lake City for NBA All-Star weekend in a few weeks to participate in the rising stars challenge. Kenrich Williams has discussed Jalen Williams’s All-Star potential since training camp in early October.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have witnessed Jalen Williams flash star potential over his rookie season; what is the Santa Clara products ceiling?

The OKC Thunder have watched Jalen Williams start his rookie season hot; through half a season of play, Williams is already flashing his high upside.

Last week, the Thunder played a three-game stretch against playoff-or-better caliber teams. They were taking on the Warriors, Cavs, and Hawks. All of them presented different matchups for the rookie, with the Hawks playing bigs like Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu, the Cavs boasting Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, and the Warriors with their floor-spacing offense and switchable defense.

In that three-game stretch, Jalen Williams averaged 20 points, four rebounds, an assist, and nearly two steals (1.7). Williams shot 62 percent from the floor, 71 percent from beyond the arc on two attempts per game, and only committed two fouls per contest against much bigger matchups.

Jalen Williams flashed an unbelievable rim-finishing ability to blow past defenders, slam rim-rocking jams, and nifty up-and-under layups to avoid the defense. At the cup this year, the rookie is shooting 71 percent, placing him in the 84th percentile for his possession, according to Cleaning the Glass.

Along with that rim finishing, he is a unique playmaker for his size, especially in the pick-and-roll, which offers many wrinkles for Mark Daigneault. Williams is a savvy player in the PnR, both as a ball handler and roll man. In addition, his size and wingspan offer some impressive defensive measurables he is beginning to grow into.

Jalen Williams ranks in the 58th percentile in overall offense, according to Synergy’s all-possession points per possession which categorizes him as good. Additionally, Synergy pegs Williams as a “very good” isolation defender ranking in the 76th percentile allowing 0.806 points per possession while opponents shoot 40 percent from the floor.

A 6’5 swiss army knife that comes in at 195 pounds with a 7’2 wingspan that can play anywhere from point guard to power forward, score at all three levels, and has high-end defensive potential is incredibly valuable moving forward for the 12th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Jalen Williams once again was nominated for Rookie of the Month. dark. Next