Jalen Williams was the Oklahoma City Thunder’s third and final lottery pick in the 2022 draft. Because he was the third lottery pick, it may be easy for some Thunder fans to overlook him and his potential.
In the Summer League, Williams seemed to be the perfect complimentary, young player for this roster. Josh Giddey was finding him on cuts, he could create his own shots, and his overall energy on the court was infectious.
One issue that could hinder his potential with the Thunder is opportunity. This season, there’s no doubt Williams is going to be in the rotation, and he may even find himself sharing the sixth man role with Tre Mann.
Between the trio of Giddey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort, it may be difficult for Williams to crack the starting rotation. One possibility to see Williams in that role would be an injury, which hopefully doesn’t happen.
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Another interesting potential role for Williams would be a stretch four, small ball role. Down the road, with Chet Holmgren at the center position, a potential lineup with Williams at the power forward position would be an interesting look, as he’s able to assist on the rebounds if needed. His career high of rebounds in college was 15, which he grabbed against the Washington State Cougars.
Unless Williams gets the opportunity to start in an unusual lineup or circumstance, it may be hard for him to come by a starting role, which could lead to him being a perennial sixth man.
Of course, there’s always the potential someone gets traded, or Williams improves to a point the Thunder have no choice but to start him.