Jaylin Williams is making an impact on the OKC Thunder

Jaylin Williams #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
Jaylin Williams #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /
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Boom! No, the Thunder big man did not splash another three, but it is fun to say. When the Oklahoma City Thunder selected Jaylin Williams in the second round of the 2022 NBA Draft, it was a sign of Sam Presti putting his money where his mouth is.

The OKC Thunder General Manager and their bench boss Mark Daigneault spent last Summer discussing how important internal competition would be this season. Presti went as far as to say some players will be left behind as a result. On Draft night, selecting the Arkansas big man felt redundant, given the rookie season of Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. Now, the selection looks like another perfect Presti pickup. However, Jaylin Williams’s rookie season can be split into two parts.

Jaylin Williams is making a significant impact for the Oklahoma City Thunder in his rookie season, and the future looks bright for the Arkansas big man.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have used their G-League affiliate, the OKC Blue, to prepare Jaylin Williams for life in the NBA. Though they would be without Chet Holmgren when the Thunder started the season, they had a relatively crowded rotation of big men.

From Aleksej Pokusevski, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Mike Muscala, and Mark Daigneault getting creative with Eugene Omoruyi, Kenrich Williams, and others playing the small ball-five, there were not a lot of early-season minutes for Jaylin Williams with the varsity squad.

That started the “awkward phase” of Jaylin Williams’s rookie season.