Thunder’s Kenrich Williams to have wrist surgery, expected to miss rest of season


Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kenrich Williams will undergo surgery after suffering a scapholunate ligament rupture in his left wrist during Tuesday’s game against the Sacramento Kings, his team announced Thursday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Williams is expected to miss the remainder of the season with the injury.
  • The 28-year-old has averaged 8.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting 51.7 percent from the field in 53 games (10 starts) this season.
  • Williams’ injury delivers another blow to Oklahoma City’s Play-In Tournament chances. The team is 28-34 and in 13th place in the Western Conference.


Williams, nicknamed “Kenny Hustle,” leads the NBA with 26 drawn charges. The Knicks’ Jalen Brunson is second with 24, while Thunder center Jaylin Williams is third with 22.

Williams is in his fifth NBA season and third with the Thunder after being traded by the Pelicans in 2020. He signed a four-year, $27.2 million extension with Oklahoma City last summer. Williams is expected to make a full recovery and return next season, the Thunder said.

Oklahoma City is already without rookie and No. 1 pick Chet Holmgren, who sustained a Lisfranc injury in his right foot in August and has missed the entire season.

What are the Thunder’s chances of making the Play-In Tournament?

The Thunder are perhaps one of two “surprise” teams that have endured all season. Both stars — in Oklahoma City and also in Utah — are fading, and losing Williams adds another weight around the Thunder’s ankles. Things were already trending in this direction. They’d lost four straight games prior to Tuesday night’s defeat by the Kings, and are 2 1/2 games behind the Pelicans in the West.

It would have been a tremendous coup for Oklahoma City to reach the Play-In Tournament this year, in the middle of a lengthy rebuild, but the Lakers are hot and Portland is in front of the Thunder, too, to say nothing of Dallas, Minnesota, the Jazz, and Pelicans — who are currently in the 7-10 seeds and at present headed for the Play-In.

Let’s say the Jazz continue to fade and crap out; the Thunder would still have to leap over Utah AND another team to get in. Still, tremendous strides for Oklahoma City this season, considering the year began with Holmgren getting stepped on by LeBron James in a pickup game and losing the entire season. — Vardon

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(Photo: Chris Coduto / Getty Images)

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