Jalen Williams poised for a second year leap after strong summer

Jalen Williams #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images)
Jalen Williams #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images) /

The NBA season is right around the corner, and the OKC Thunder took center stage on the league’s 30 teams in 30 days series on Sunday. As part of the 30 Teams in 30 Days series, the NBA broadcasts old games on NBATV all day and releases a comprehensive preview on their league’s official website. Mark Daigneault talked to Steve Aschburner about this upcoming season and highlighted second-year player Jalen Williams.

A season ago, Jalen Williams burst onto the scene with a dominating rookie season that landed him on the first-team all-rookie list on his way to finishing runner-up for Rookie of the Year. In 75 games, Williams averaged 14 points, four rebounds, three assists, and 1.9 stocks (steals plus blocks) per game.

Jalen Williams is poised for another leap in his second season, according to OKC Thunder bench boss Mark Daigneault.

Mark Daigneault was asked about Jalen Williams’ game and the upcoming season. “Well, he’s worked really hard. Physically and skill-wise, he’s had a really productive summer. He was with the Team USA Select team.” The Thunder coach continued, “It’s hard to place specific expectations on what will change, but I know he’s improved. I give him a lot of credit for how he’s gone about it.”

The OKC Thunder bench boss continued praising Williams: “He understands the importance of the little things in the game. He understands cutting, he understands spacing, he understands running, he understands simple ball movement. He’s a great defender because he really competes at his size.”

Jalen Williams is “someone who has built a really strong foundation for his game. In the games where he doesn’t have his best output or get the most usage, he’s still highly effective because he’s doing all those other things.” according to Mark Daigneault.

The 12th overall pick in 2022 played highly efficient offensively, was switchable defensively, and made a strong winning impact on a squad that improved by 16 wins a year ago. The OKC Thunder expect Jalen Williams to play a massive role this upcoming season, with him projected to be in the starting lineup. Williams started 62 of the 75 games he played in.

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