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Bill Simmons Compares Jalen Williams To A Young Kawhi Leonard

Jalen Williams. Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated Kawhi Leonard. Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Williams has become a budding star in his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is a tremendous two-way player who can generate his own offense while being able to rely on his defense if his shot isn’t falling.

When talking about Williams on the latest episode of his podcast, Bill Simmons compared the 22-year-old to a younger Kawhi Leonard.

“Jalen Williams is further ahead of the game than Kawhi [Leonard] was in year two. I think there are a lot of similarities body wise and offensively he is better already. Could he be Kawhi 2.0? I think it’s a real question.”

Bill Simmons said on The Bill Simmons Podcast

Leonard was a tremendous talent with the San Antonio Spurs to start his career. He was able to go toe to toe against a prime LeBron James and was a key component to the Spurs winning a championship back in 2014.

Williams has shown that he can do it all for the Thunder organization. In his 67 games played this year, the athletic forward is averaging 19.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. In Leonard’s second season, he was averaging 11.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game.

While Williams may not become the defensive player that Leonard was, he can be a better offensive player.

“There’s a lot of Kawhi [Leonard] when I watch Jalen Williams and I think about Kawhi Leonard year two.”

Bill Simmons

The comparison of the two is a very interesting one. Both Leonard and Williams could find themselves meeting in the Western Conference playoffs this year. No matter how Williams’ career shakes out, he will be a great player for years to come.