NBA draft grades: Did Oklahoma City Thunder reach for Jalen Williams with No. 12 pick?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Santa Clara guard Jalen Williams, a former Gilbert Perry standout, went to the Oklahoma City Thunder with the No. 12 pick in the 2022 NBA draft on Thursday night.

How did NBA writers feel about the selection?

Check out their grades and reaction to the pick.

Fox Sports: Thunder receive a B for Jalen Williams pick

It writes: "One of the best stories in the draft, Williams stayed the course at Santa Clara and has grown into a multidimensional wing that has a complete offensive package. He started out as a lead guard in high school, but with a significant eight-inch growth spurt, evolved into a playmaking wing. He can impact the game off the dribble in a variety of ways, whether it be a pull-up shot, a lethal floater, or a dish for a teammate to get a look.  Because of his length, Williams can guard 1-4. In terms of the negatives, Williams isn’t really an athletically explosive player and his activity on the defensive end of the floor is something that he can work on. That said, it’s not easy to be at the top of a scouting report every night and put up numbers, regardless of what league you play in. The traditional wing skillset combined with a knack to make plays for others and the fact he only keeps getting better is what makes this yet another intriguing Sam Presti selection. It seems like Williams was a bit overvalued here at 12, though."

More: NBA draft grades: Indiana Pacers receive high marks for Bennedict Mathurin 2022 selection

More: NBA draft grades: Portland Trail Blazers make risky pick in Shaedon Sharpe with No. 7 pick

More: NBA draft grades: Chicago Bulls get 'high upside' with Dalen Terry selection at No. 18

More: NBA draft grades: Milwaukee Bucks lauded for MarJon Beauchamp selection at No. 24 in 2022

More: NBA draft grades: Houston Rockets' TyTy Washington selection at No. 29 a 'home run'

More: NBA draft grades: Toronto Raptors' Christian Koloko pick at No. 33 earns mixed reviews

Yahoo Sports: Thunder earn an A for selection of Jalen Williams

Krysten Peek writes: "Williams was the biggest riser after the NBA draft combine and brings some size to the wing with his 6-foot-7 frame and 7-foot-2 wingspan. Williams is a little older at 21 years old but has the experience to jump into the rotation right away."

CBS Sports: Jalen Williams pick lands Thunder a B+

Gary Parrish writes: "Williams probably helped himself more in the pre-draft process than any other prospect available, in large part because he wasn't spotlighted as a Santa Clara player. But when you watch the film, it's all there. He's got good size, he really shoots it, he's athletic enough."

More: 2022 NBA Draft: Arizona-connected players get first-round attention

Jalen Williams is congratulated by family and friends after being selected 12th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Jalen Williams is congratulated by family and friends after being selected 12th overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 23, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Ringer: Thunder get an A- for picking Jalen Williams

Kevin O'Connor writes: "The Thunder are loading up on two-way talents in this draft. Williams was a late bloomer at Santa Clara but he’s a versatile defensive talent who can provide knockdown shooting, so he should thrive alongside Oklahoma City’s two other first-rounders, Chet Holmgren and Ousmane Dieng. Maybe Williams has some untapped upside too. He ran point in college, and if he keeps developing he might be someone who can become a scorer at the end of the shot clock. No matter what level he reaches as a player, Sam Presti has pulled off quite the haul."

Bleacher Report: Jalen Williams selection receives a B- for Thunder

Zach Buckley writes: "After some (relative) gambles on Holmgren and Dieng, the Thunder played it safe here with Williams, who looks like an early two-way contributor.

He ranked among the combine’s biggest winners with his measurements (namely, a sweeping 7’2” wingspan), athletic testing and scrimmage work. Coming out of Santa Clara, his numbers are a bit tricky to break down given the competition level and the prominent role he’ll never fill in the pros. Still, he has the handles, vision, stroke and motor of a glue guy. If players like Holmgren, Dieng, Giddey and (fingers crossed) Aleksej Pokusevski come through, Williams could quietly shine as a connector."

More: NBA mock draft: Santa Clara guard Jalen Williams moving up 2022 NBA draft boards

SB Nation: Thunder earn B- grade for Jalen Williams choice

Ricky O'Donnell writes: "Williams was a three-year college player out of Santa Clara who was the biggest winner of the draft combine for his ridiculous measurements and impressive performance in the scrimmages. Williams is a 6’6 wing with an absurd 7’2 wingspan who shot 40 percent from three-point range and also graded out in the 90th percentile of pick-and-roll ball handling. The knock on Williams is his lack of elite quickness. While he did post excellent vertical leaping numbers, he’s someone who very much has to use crafty dribble moves to get where he wants on the floor. Williams’ advanced numbers were worse than you would like for a three-year lottery pick in a mid-major conference, which shows the impact of that lack of athleticism in our opinion. Still, the Thunder need wings and need shooting, and Williams checks both boxes. This is earlier than everyone expected him to go. Williams can contribute now while No. 11 pick Ousmane Dieng develops down the line."

How would you grade the Jalen Williams pick for the Thunder?

Reach Jeremy Cluff at Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

Support local journalism: Subscribe to today.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Oklahoma City Thunder NBA draft grades for Jalen Williams 2022 pick