3 Thunder players whose roles aren't safe after Trade Deadline

Jaylin Williams and Kenrich Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder
Jaylin Williams and Kenrich Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder / Ian Maule/GettyImages
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No. 2: Jaylin Williams

Jaylin Williams appears to be a draft steal from the Thunder, part of an absolutely slam-dunk 2022 NBA Draft. He is an undersized big man whose energy, grit and skill allow him to thrive in the Thunder's system. Famous for his charge-taking (he leads the NBA yet again in charges drawn per 36 minutes), Williams helps in a number of small ways as the primary backup to Chet Holmgren.

The addition of Bismack Biyombo won't immediately or completely replace Williams in the rotation. His play style and ability to shoot (38 percent career from deep) will almost certainly keep him as the primary center option off of the bench. Biyombo is the exact opposite of a shooter, and the Thunder won't completely alter their play style to accommodate a large role for Biyombo.

That being said, Biyombo was brought in to give the Thunder more size and rebounding against certain matchups. That means that he will play in certain matchups down the stretch, pushing Williams out of the rotation on those nights. Additionally, Biyombo will get some run more generally to give him playing time with this group so the chemistry isn't nonexistent when he is called upon.

There were a number of players that the Thunder could have added at the Trade Deadline that would have spelled the end of Jaylin Williams' rotation role, be that Jakob Poeltl, Wendell Carter Jr. or CLint Capela. Merely signing a player off of the buyout market signals that the Thunder are ready to go to war with Williams in that spot (and even more so with Holmgren starting at the 5) but the reality is that there will be a role reduction for Williams moving forward.