Jalen Williams tabbed as Western Conference Player of the Week nominee
The Oklahoma City Thunder selected Jalen Williams with the 12th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft via the L.A. Clippers in a choice owed to the Thunder from the Paul George trade. That selection will end up revolutionizing this OKC Thunder franchise.
Jalen Williams has continued to impress this season but has finally earned his flowers nationally over the last week. The NBA announced that the Santa Clara product was a nominee for Western Conference player of the week, the first rookie from the conference to earn such an honor, and the third rookie overall to be a nominee for player of the week this season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have revolutionized their organization by selecting Jalen Williams.
While Jalen Williams was a high riser at the NBA Draft combine, his impressive climb did not stop there. During training camp for the Oklahoma City Thunder, he quickly caught the eye of veteran forward Kenrich Williams, who tabbed the rookie as a future All-Star back in September.
This season, the rookie swiss army knife is averaging 13 points, four rebounds, and three assists per game while shooting a jaw-dropping 52 percent from the floor and 37 percent from distance, according to cleaning the glass.
Williams ranks in the 82nd percentile at the rim, shooting 72 percent at the cup and 38 percent on above-the-break triples. He posts 1.051 points per possession in his offensive possessions while being the Thunder’s starting power forward and backup point guard.
That is just a glimpse of the versatility he provides. This season for Mark Daigneault, Williams has played all five positions, most recently dropping down to the center spot against the Utah Jazz over the weekend.
Jalen Williams uses his length and size to jump into the passing lanes, pick the pocket of ball handlers and recover to swat shots at the rim. The rookie averages over a steal per game while blocking half a shot a game.
According to cleaning the glass, Williams is in the 81st percentile for his position in block percentage (0.9%) and 84th percentile for his position in steal percentage (1.9%).
The Oklahoma City Thunder zeroed in on Jalen Williams during the draft process and made it a goal to nab him making him the first first-round pick out of Santa Clara since Steve Nash. That move by Sam Presti is already paying dividends. As Williams continues this trajectory and the Thunder continue to develop, this selection changes the history of a franchise.
Between Williams, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Chet Holmgren, and the rest of this core, the OKC Thunder have a bright future ahead of them.