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Jalen Williams

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

You should buy Jalen Williams’ stock before it’s too late

Jalen Williams
Buy Jalen Williams stock before it’s too late! | Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

You should buy Jalen Williams’ stock before it’s too late:

The NBA Draft Combine offers a time where NBA Draft prospects — whether they officially enter the draft or not (they have until June 1 to decide) — a time to workout and play two scrimmages in front of scouts and other team evaluators to improve (or sink) their stock. Grant Williams improved his in the 2019 combine and is now a rotation player for an Eastern Conference Finals team; Bones Hyland and top-five pick Scottie Barnes improved their stock after last year’s combine. This year, it looks as if former Santa Clara guard Jalen Williams is doing the same.

He’s not the only player to have impressed. Dereon Seabron (NC State), Scottie Pippen Jr. (Vanderbilt), Terquavion Smith (NC State), Andrew Nembhard (Gonzaga) and Kenny Loften Jr. (Louisiana Tech) cracked my short list of impressive players.

But Jalen Williams appears to be the most notable riser. I highly recommend investing fake currency into his stock while it’s still (kind of) low; I’ve already bought nine shares and have considered purchasing more later. No, you can’t stop me from doing it either!

To begin with, let’s look at a few of Jalen Williams’ workout numbers/physical traits, per

Number:Rank Amongst Combine Guards:Rank amongst Every Combine Player:
Standing Reach8’9.5′4thT-22
Standing Vertical Leap33.5T-1T-2
Max Vertical Leap39.00T-3T-4
Shuttle Run3.17T-19T-30
Lane Agility11.1317th24th
Three-Quarter Sprint3.114th4th

A near 7-foot-3 wingspan for a player who’s 6-foot-6?? He’s also got a vertical that matches up with the rest of the class?? Some, including myself, keep asking: Was Williams made in a lab? His create-a-player build is certainly eye-opening — and in the best way imaginable.

His 9.75 wingspan-to-height differential was also the greatest amongst any player measured at the combine, per Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony.

But wait, there’s more!

In his first of two scrimmages Thursday, Williams tallied 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting (1-2 3PT), four rebounds and one assist in 22 minutes. On Friday, he added a team-high 19 points on a near-perfect 7-of-8 shooting with pair of triples, four assists, an assist, a steal and a block in 27 minutes.

The box-score numbers may not indicate it, but despite the lack of sheer quickness, Williams was able to get down hill, possessed good court-vision and was good defensively with a few sound rotations.

Playmaking-wise, he showed capability in the pick-and-roll — whether it was reading the drop-defender (in the first clip) or the two weakside tag defenders (second clip) — slinging a pair of one-handed sling passes to the popper for open 3-point attempts. He also showed a willingness to make the extra pass, even if an open shot was there for him. We all love team players!

Defensively throughout the two scrimmages, Williams showcased good lateral quickness, making sound rotations at the nail and on the baseline as well as making multiple-effort plays. If he’s able to further sharpen his defense at the next level, with his size and length, he’s going to be an absolute problem for opposing guards and wings. You wouldn’t be able to play him off the floor.

Williams’ best trait last week, in my view, was his ability to get to the rim (and finishing through contact). At times, he was gifted opportunities at the cup due to poor rebounding or defensive miscommunications, which is commonplace for players who have no experience playing together. Other times, he used his craftiness — spin moves, half-spins and euro-steps — to knife through the defense. That’s a true sign for what he could potentially bring at the next level, coupled with his shooting.

In three years at Santa Clara, he averaged 12.6 points on 46.9/35.2/78.5 shooting splits — equating to a 56.8 true-shooting percentage — for his career, in addition to 3.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.5 blocks in 30.5 minutes per game. As a junior, the All-WCC first-team honoree averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.2 steals, shooting 51.3 percent from the floor, 39.6 percent from the 3-point line (3.2 attempts) and 80.9 percent from the charity stripe (60.1 TS%).

As one of the top mid-major players in the country, Williams was second in the WCC in scoring and was a finalist for the Lou Henson Award, given to the nation’s top mid-major player.

ESPN had Williams going in the second round; SB Nation had Williams getting selected No. 30 to the Oklahoma City Thunder after the lottery was selected. Here’s what they said about him:

“Williams was one of the biggest mid-major stars in college basketball this year as a junior, and now has the NBA’s full attention as a possible late first round pick. A 6’6 guard with a massive 7’2 wingspan, Williams is a skilled pick-and-roll playmaker who also hit 40 percent of his threes on 106 attempts. He led the Broncos in assists this year, and finished in the 86th percentile as a pick-and-roll ball handler, per Synergy Sports. Williams also finished in the 97th percentile as a spot-up shooter. His combination of length, ball handling, and shooting gives him the potential to play on- or off the ball with the ability to guard a variety of different matchups. Williams enters this draft as a small school standout without the hype of most first round prospects, but his skill set should translate nicely into the league if he can prove he can hang athletically.”

Yahoo Sports had Williams going to the Memphis Grizzlies:

“Williams was one of the best perimeter players in the WCC this past season, averaging 18.0 points and 4.2 assists per game while shooting 51.3% from the field, 39.6% from three, and 80.9% from the foul line. Williams’ ability to make plays both for himself and his teammates is something that improved throughout his three seasons at Santa Clara, and he can also defend multiple positions on the perimeter. Add in a wingspan of over seven feet, and that only increases his chances of being selected in the first round.”

His stock is going up. He might move into the lottery by June 23. He did everything but hurt his draft stock at the combine — now he’s got to excel in the team workouts, interviews and such.

The hype train is packed with members. Join and purchase stock before it’s too late!

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