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Introducing The Jalen Williams-Jaylin Williams Power Rankings

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 11: Jalen Williams #8 and Jaylin Williams #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder run up the court during a game against the Orlando Magic during the 2022 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 11, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder, a collection of Zoomers who don’t know what fear is, added four rookies to their squad through this summer’s draft. The guy they picked second overall is out for the year, and the French teenager they traded up for nine spots later has been demoted after shooting 33 percent from the field across nine games. More relevant to us are the players they chose 12th and 34th: Jalen Williams and Jaylin Williams.

Jalen Williams, a personal favorite from this rookie class, suffered a right orbital fracture before he could finish his sixth minute of NBA action, requiring him to wear a mask. He’s remained productive in his nine games since surgery, three of which were starts.

This Williams played three years at Santa Clara and, likely due to his age and quality of competition, didn’t get much love from draftniks until vaulting up boards in the months right before his selection. By then observers seemed to realize, however belatedly, that he was in fact a 6-foot-6 point guard with a 7-foot-2 wingspan who could shoot, dribble, and pass. That’s an archetype that should plug holes in a lot of rosters, though for now this Thunder team is almost entirely hole. In Jalen’s tiny body of NBA work, the 24 percent shooting from deep has been colder than expected, but he’s made a startling 70 percent of his two-point field goals, including 78 percent at the rim. Any lack of outright burst might be offset by his vision, length, and finishing craft. He picked up his first double-double in a win over the Raptors last week.

Jaylin Williams, on the other hand, has spent his debut season bouncing back and forth between the Oklahoma City Blue—the Thunder’s G-League affiliate, which is not named after an erectile dysfunction drug but sounds like it is—and the big club. He’s played three games for each team, contributing very little at the NBA level and racking up some nice per-36 numbers in the G-League. The Thunder have lost all three games he’s played in, though he is plus-18.

Jaylin’s also made a total of four shots, none of which were assisted by Jalen Williams and only one of which came with his counterpart on the floor. Mostly he’s floating around and trying to find opportunities to contribute, which is a fine role for him as he gets his sea legs. For the Blue, Williams has been allowed to do more, showing off the impressive skillset that made him the first player of Vietnamese descent to be drafted in NBA history and the second J. Williams drafted in 2022. He’s dishing a healthy number of assists, and also he had this big dunk.

Considering all the information, the inaugural Jalen Williams-Jaylin Williams Power Rankings are as follows:

1. Jalen Williams
2.
Jaylin Williams