clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2022 Summer League Player Grades: The Rookies

The Class of 2022 were excellent

NBA: Summer League-Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylin Williams:

Grade - B+

Jaylin Williams did not contribute much offensively but he is a prospect that I have fallen for. His desire to take charges and play unselfishly are endearing qualities. Jaylin knows his role on this Thunder team and goes about executing his job as well he can.

His game is not glamorous but it is filled with interesting subtleties. Jaylin gets so many charges not out of sheer bravery but because he reads the game so well. J-Will watches the driver and waits for the driver’s attention to be diverted away from the rim.

It happens more than you might think, the slasher runs the offense in that situation and they have to be cognisant of the passing opportunities around them. Williams makes hay in that split-second of unsighted play and slides himself into position in front of the slasher.

Williams’ passing shares characteristics with his defense. Williams does not try high-risk, high-reward passes often but watch how he passes the ball. Jaylin has excellent control over the pace of the pass. He can softly drop the ball down to the cutter going middle and he can throw a bullet pass into the low-post.

Williams averaged 3.5 assists per game in Vegas and looks to be confident running the offense from above the break. I am curious to see how Jaylin looks in Coach Daigneault’s dribble hand-off action or even a Draymond Green-esque 4v3 situation. His passing is more than good enough to attack these situations.

Chet Holmgren:

Grade - A+

Holmgren impressed hugely during his time on the court and played with such a swagger, it was almost unreal. Chet was everything advertised and more. He locked down the interior, swatted shots with impunity and casually nailed outside jumpers. He delivered on the stuff we already knew about but it was his game off the bounce which was very exciting.

Holmgren was more than comfortable breaking down the defense off the dribble and getting to his spot in the mid-range area. In that shooting zone, Holmgren’s quick stroke means that he can generate good clean looks against tough defenses.

His adaptation to the NBA will be tricky but I am encouraged by what I have seen so far. His rim protection and outside shooting looks legit. There is an obviously a question about his physicality but that can only be answered by the rigours of an NBA season.

Jalen Williams:

Grade - A

J-Dub’s performances were quietly excellent for the Thunder. Williams took smart shots, moved the ball around and helped keep the Thunder’s offense rolling. He played like a savvy veteran despite still being a rookie in the NBA.

Jalen’s movement off the ball was the defining characteristic of his Summer League experience. His well-timed cuts opened up so many easy looks for him at the rim and led to efficient shooting performances.

Williams’ performances have made him a strong contender for regular rotation minutes when the season rolls around in October. The competition will lie between him and Aaron Wiggins in training camp.

Ousmane Dieng:

Grade - C-Minus

Dieng’s first Summer League was a mixed experience for the young French rookie. His performances were inconsistent and he did struggle to score the basketball. Dieng took 3.5 3PA per game in Vegas and only knocked down 14.3% of these looks. The majority of these looks were of the catch and shoot variety, a role that Ousmane is not comfortable in.

Dieng grew comfortable as the lead ball-handler for the New Zealand Breakers as everything ran through him. Moving back off the ball and becoming more of a play finisher was always going to be a tough transition period.

There were really positive glimpses of strong play from Ousmane. His ball-handling was tidy and he did a good job of bringing others into play. It is clear that he has a knack for facilitating the game and managing an offense.

His defense was also quite mixed. Dieng did not always know where to be in Coach Woods’ scheme and looked lost occasionally. However, there were moments where Ousmane made a smart rotation and used his length to bother his assignment into a mistake.

Overall, I think Ousmane would seriously benefit from time in the G League. He needs to build his body so that he can perform well at the NBA level. A season in the G League worked wonders for Poku, I am curious to see if that same approach works for Ousmane as well.