The Oklahoma City Thunder selected Jalen Williams with the 12th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Since then, Williams has become the team’s starting power forward, an All-Rookie first-team member, and runner-up in the Rookie of the Year race. This time last year, two weeks before the draft, his Lottery placement was still uncertain. Many had him being a mid-to-late first-round pick after a meteoric rise at the NBA Draft Combine. Sam Presti pulled the trigger at pick 12, and so far, Williams is on pace to be one of the best talents from the class.
Jalen Williams’s success was evident, even dating back to Summer League, where he proved to be a versatile defender that just did his job effectively each time on the floor. His personality was something fans immediately gravitated towards, and his energy is infectious. Jalen Williams is helping the NBA by covering the 2023 NBA Finals for their digital platforms as the series has shifted to South Beach.
OKC Thunder forward Jalen Williams made a surprise announcement while covering the NBA Finals that he will participate in NBA Summer League.
At the NBA Finals, Jalen Williams said he will participate in the 2023 NBA Summer League when July rolls around. This is a shock to many, as it is atypical of rookies who had this much regular season NBA success to participate in Summer League. However, it is not unheard of, despite not being the norm. A year ago, Josh Giddey did the same thing to get a jump start on gelling with Chet Holmgren and the 2023 Rookie Class.
Jalen Williams joked that he is playing in Summer League to try out his new hairstyle on the court. Williams clarified that he will only participate in the Salt Lake City session, which ranges from July 3rd-6th. The Thunder will then take on the Vegas circuit July 7th-17th without the Santa Clara Product.
The Salt Lake City portion of the July hoop session will be the one to watch for the Thunder. With Jalen Williams committed to play, and signs pointing toward Chet Holmgren and Ousmane Dieng participating, we might even see a Jaylin Williams appearance. On top of the 2022 class, the 2023 class is slated to feature the 12th, 37th, and 50th picks. When the team packs up for Vegas, it is hard to imagine the 2022 rookies to continue playing, but that three-day stretch in Utah will be must-see TV.