By Kevin McPherson

LITTLE ROCK — Former Arkansas star and Oklahoma City Thunder rookie big man Jaylin Williams will receive $4 million in guaranteed money over the first two years of his recently signed 4-year, $8.2 million rookie contract with the NBA club, according to a source.

Williams will receive $2 million guaranteed in each of the 2022-23 and ’23-24 seasons, with non-guaranteed money at $2,019,699 in ’24-25 and $2,187,451 in ’25-26 (team option), the source told Hogville.net.

The Thunder organization formally announced a contract agreement with Williams on Tuesday afternoon, but the club did not disclose the terms in accordance with team policy. The 4-year, $8.2 million agreement between Williams and OKC was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The No. 34 overall pick (early second round) in the June 23rd NBA Draft, Williams (6-10 forward / center, Fort Smith native) has now secured a spot on the 15-player roster and along with his OKC teammates just wrapped up competing in the Salt Lake City and Las Vegas NBA Summer League (July 5-17).

In his four Las Vegas Summer League games, Williams averaged 5.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.0 drawn charge per game.

Official team training camps around the league conclude on Sept. 28 with preseason games to follow and the regular season set to tip up on Oct. 19.

Williams averaged nearly a double-double to earn All SEC first team and SEC All Defensive team honors in 2021-22, and he helped Arkansas to back-to-back NCAA tournament Elite Eights in his two seasons as a Hog. The day after draft night, Williams made the short 181-mile trek from Fort Smith to Oklahoma City to meet with team officials and media.

Williams was 1 of 4 players obtained by OKC via the draft as he joined lottery picks Chet Holmgren (No. 2 overall, Gonzaga); Ousmane Dieng (No. 11 overall, New Zealand Breakers, traded to the Thunder from the New York Knicks); and Jalen Williams (No. 12, Santa Clara).

Williams’ combination of elite passing and floor IQ for a big, volume rebounding, competent face-up shooting skill, instincts to battle for 50/50-balls, and proactive footwork and positioning defensively is what attracted the Thunder as well as multiple NBA teams during his various pre-draft evaluations and when they watched game footage from his two seasons at Arkansas.

Williams was Arkansas’ third-highest drafted player in the past 16 years behind Moses Moody (lottery pick No. 14, first round, 2021) and Bobby Portis (pick No. 22, first round, 2015). He was also the Hogs’ fourth player selected in the last four NBA drafts, joining Moody, Isaiah Joe (pick No. 39 ,second round, 2020), and Daniel Gafford (pick No. 38, second round, 2019).