Jalen Williams, a rising star in the NBA, has garnered attention and recognition for his impressive rookie season. Named to the USA Basketball Select Team alongside teammate Chet Holmgren, Williams has proven himself as a player to watch. Williams was selected No. 12 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft out of Santa Clara. As a well-rounded forward, his versatility is ideal in today’s modern NBA. At 6-foot-6 inches and 218 pounds, Williams possesses a well-built physique that complements his playing style.
Top 25 NBA Players Under 25: No. 24 – Jalen Williams
Williams showcased his prowess on the court during his rookie season by putting up impressive numbers across the board. Last season, he averaged 14.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. His stats showed his ability to impact the game in multiple aspects. His 52/36/81 shooting splits indicate his proficiency in scoring efficiently from different areas of the court. Due to his stellar play, Williams was voted to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. While Williams finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting behind Paolo Banchero, he still managed to leave a lasting impression.
What Makes Him Special
His performances were particularly noteworthy when considering his well-rounded skill set. He proved to be a valuable asset not only as a scorer but also as a playmaker, capable of creating opportunities for his teammates. Additionally, his defensive abilities, highlighted by his average of over a steal per game, further solidified his impact on both ends of the floor.
An important part of what makes Williams a sound defender is his 7-foot-2 wingspan. For context, his height-to-wingspan differential is, in fact, one of the largest in the NBA, making him an impactful defender who can contest shots and get his hands in the passing lanes.
Impact on the Thunder
Williams is undeniably a pivotal component of the Thunder’s emerging core and rebuilding process. His style of play aligns well with the Thunder’s team identity. They emphasize quick decision-making and ball movement, making him an ideal fit within their system. As the team focuses on developing young talent and building for the future, his contributions are invaluable. His ability to blend into various roles, from playmaker to floor spacer, makes him a uniquely adaptable player.