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Thunder linked to move for former top-5 draft pick

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November 20, 2010; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder logo on a player’s shorts during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center. The Thunder defeated the Bucks 82-81. Mandatory credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

With Jalen, Jaylin and Kenrich already in the mix, the Oklahoma City Thunder could add a fourth Williams this season.

Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic reported Tuesday that the Thunder have “strong interest” in Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams. Mayberry notes that OKC needs more size and is loaded with a war chest of draft picks to offer the Bulls a potential sign-and-trade this offseason.

The 22-year-old Williams, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, was Chicago’s No. 4 overall draft pick in 2020. While he hasn’t quite reached the ceiling of his talents, he has a very strong skill set. as a true 6-foot-1 power forward with an impressive 7-foot wingspan. Williams was also a 41.0 percent three-point shooter and averaged 10.0 points per game in a limited offensive role with the Bulls this season.

Since Williams is a restricted free agent, Chicago should willingly let him go. But instead of continuing to pour resources into Williams as he enters his fifth season in the league, a cash-out offer could be quite enticing for the Bulls. As for the Thunder, they are indeed very undersized outside of starting center Chet Holmgren, and the 6-foot-4 Jalen Williams has seen plenty of minutes this season as a de facto 4. OKC is probably still a bit away from a real title fight, and it could be a having Patrick Williams replace this floundering player in the starting five would be a good start for them.

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