Kenrich Williams was able to play “Free” thanks to new contract

Kenrich Williams #34 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Kenrich Williams #34 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder reward their veteran forward last offseason with a multi-year deal. This allowed Kenrich Williams to play with a solidified future for the first time in his career. Previously, Williams has been tasked with performing under the cloud of a non-guaranteed or even expiring pact.

Last Summer, the OKC Thunder signed Kenrich Williams to a multi-year extension, kicking in for this upcoming season at 6.1 million before escalating to 6. million the next year, 7.1 million the following year, and a 7.1 million dollar team option in 2026-27 to end the deal.

For the first time, Kenrich Williams has a solidified NBA future, and it lets him play more freely.

Undoubtedly, the former undrafted rookie, who was viewed as a throw-in to the Steven Adams trade, is now under a long-term deal. He has earned it with some stellar play on the hardwood. While we often pigeonhole him into this gritty hustle role, Williams provides more than that. 

Kenrich Williams played in 53 games for the OKC Thunder before a wrist injury ended his season, as announced on March 2nd. Before that injury, Williams was averaging eight points, five rebounds, two assists, and 1.1 STOCKS per game (Steals plus Blocks) per game.

Kenny Hustle was vital in the small-ball five lineups that Mark Daigneault deployed to make up for the Thunder’s lack of size—spinning the advantage back to Oklahoma City with a wacky but effective lineup.

I asked Kenrich Williams if the new pact lets him play more freely, and he said, “Absolutely,”

Despite only playing in 53 games, Williams was 21st in the league in offensive fouls drawn. Kenrich Williams drew 26 charges, was sixth on the team in deflections, and was the same in loose ball recoveries on the squad.

According to Cleaning the Glass, Kenrich Williams shot 38 percent from beyond the arc, 44 percent from the corner, and a career-high 48 percent from the mid-range. Williams also turned in a career-best 70 percent at the rim this season.

Synergy grades Kenrich Williams as a good defender, placing him in the 65th percentile of points per possession, including his excellent grade as a pick-and-roll defender, ranking in the 86th percentile when defending the pick-and-roll handler and the 88th percentile when defending the PnR roller.

It is impossible to be disappointed with Kenrich Williams’s season, playing a massive role for Mark Daigneault’s squad and showing his high-level impact on games.

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