Jalen Williams is the next player being covered in our draft profile series. A Junior out of Santa Clara, Williams has impressed with a truly complete skillset, and has the ability to be an elite role player in the NBA.
The Denver Nuggets, who hold the No. 21 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft on June 23, may view Williams as an ideal fit next to the players currently on their roster. His mindset, intangibles, and skills genuinely make him a fit on most rosters.
In his Junior year, Williams averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.2 steals on 51.3% from the field, 39.6% from three, and 80.9% from the free throw line.
There is no doubt that whoever does select Williams next Thursday night will walk away with a high-potential talent.
Not only did Williams hit 39.6% of his three-point attempts during the 2021-22 season, he also made 44.3% of his catch-and-shoot attempts. Simply put, he is a willing and capable shooter from just about everywhere on the court.
His Sophomore shooting percentages were lower, but the fundamentals have always been present in Williams' jumper.
What makes a shooter even more dangerous is the ability to pass up a good shot for a better one. This is an important attribute of Williams' game. He can find open teammates with ease and has a strong basketball IQ.
Energy and Effort:
Williams has also made a name for himself by being the hardest worker the court. He consistently brings his best effort when he's called upon, and this can provide a wonderful energy boost for any team.
Areas of Improvement
The Santa Clara product has received some criticism for his first step on defense, with some saying that it may lead to a difficult adjustment in the NBA game. However, his tenacious attitude keeps him engaged on the defensive end. Sometimes, effort can be more helpful than physical gifts.
If Williams wants to become a truly complete playmaker, he'll need to improve his ball-handling. Already displaying remarkable court vision and a smooth jump shot, adding a reliable handle would be a dangerous prospect.
Fit With Nuggets
As previously stated, Williams would be an excellent fit alongside the Nuggets current roster. With the passing abilities of Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray, Williams could provide a doubling of Michael Porter Jr.'s role.
There's no such thing as too many wings in the NBA. Having Porter Jr. and Williams would allow the Nuggets to play a versatile style of defense without conceding anything on the offensive end.
Williams could also develop a strong rapport with other reserves like Bones Hyland. The beauty of having the ability to score, pass, and defend is that just about any lineup combination would benefit from having Williams be a part of it.
The Nuggets will not be the only team excited about the idea of adding a talented wing player, though. Draft day comes with plenty of twists and turns, and only time will tell if Williams is truly the perfect fit in the Mile High City.