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NBA draft: Thunder GM Sam Presti found a temporary solution after drafting Jaylin Williams and Jalen Williams

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The Oklahoma City Thunder took a gamble on upside with the No. 12 pick in the 2022 NBA draft, grabbing Santa Clara G/F Jalen Williams. The team was so happy with the pick that they took a player with the exact same name 22 picks later.

Yeah, the Thunder selected both Jalen Williams and Jaylin Williams in the same draft. The names are spelled differently, but pronounced the same, which is going to lead to some confusing news conferences and moments on broadcasts.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti realized this would be a problem and found a temporary workaround Thursday night.

Presti broke it down by college. When talking about Jalen Williams, Presti added "Santa Clara." When speaking about Jaylin Williams, Presti said "Arkansas." That's probably not a long-term solution, but it got the job done Thursday.

Jalen Williams and Jaylin Williams are already used to the jokes

Jalen and Jaylin Williams already have some familiarity with this exact situation. During pre-draft events, the two would joke with each other about sharing the same name.

The two would tell each other to "go somewhere else" if they were in the same room at the combine. That's going to be a lot harder now that they are on the same team.

It will be up to Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault to find a more permanent solution. He can refer to Jalen Williams as "Santa Clara" and Jaylin Williams as "Arkansas," though that's dehumanizing. He can do something creative with the letters "E" and "I" to differentiate the two. He can hope one of them prefers to go by "Jay," which would be really convenient.

Until a better solution is found, there's going to be confusion. But if both the Jalen and Jaylin selections work out and the two spend a lot of time producing highlights together on the court, it will be well worth the draft-night jokes about Presti taking two players with the same name.

Jalen Williams got drafted by the Thunder.
Jalen Williams (pictured) is now teammates with Jaylin Williams. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
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