The next practice for the Thunder might be a bit confusing.
With the No. 12 pick in Thursday’s 2022 NBA Draft, Oklahoma City selected Jalen Willams out of Santa Clara. Then, in the second round, they went with Arkansas’ Jaylin Williams with the No. 34 pick.
The two have become very familiar with one another in recent weeks.
“I talked to him [Jalen] at the NBA Draft Combine,” Jaylin told For The Win. “It was funny because we had to do a lot of interviews there. Somehow, even though we could go to every interview whenever we wanted, he and I would always end up in the same room at the same time. We were always like, ‘Bro, go somewhere else!’
“He’s a really cool dude and a really great player. I always saw his name and I would get tagged in posts for him and I would watch his highlights. I hope he gets drafted super high.”
Jalen did, and now they’ll get to bond even futher.
Despite sharing their names, the Williamses head to the Thunder as very different players.
Jalen plays as a wing and works as an exceptional shot creator – and has massive length with a 7-foot-2 wing span. The 6-foot-6 forward took a major leap during his junior season, averaging 18 points per a game, compared to the 11.5 he put up during his sophomore year.
Jaylin, meanwhile, works as a jump-shooting center who has an instinctive passing ability. The Razorbacks product averaged nearly a double-double in points and rebounds during his sophomore year in college. He also put his 6-foot-10 body on the line for charges.
The Williamses bring a lot more than simliar names to Oklahoma City. They also come in as part of an NBA Draft haul that includes No. 2 pick Chet Holmgren, giving the Thunder some very solid prospects — and some very easy name recognition.