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Bennedict Mathurin vs. Jalen Williams: Who Will Have a Better Career?
Bennedict Mathurin vs. Jalen Williams: Who Will Have a Better Career?

Associated Press

March 15, 2023

50 new NBA players were just added to Mojo’s NBA market this week! The hype is out of control, and it’s only just the start.

For those that are new here, Mojo is the Sports Stock Market that lets you bet on your favorite athletes. It started with the NFL, and as of a month ago, NBA has been added to the platform. You can either bet on a player’s career, or you can bet on their Single-Game Props, an all-new feature for big volatility on a nightly basis. There are so many ways to win betting on all of your favorite players. 

In the last few weeks, we’ve uncovered some undervalued players and some overvalued players. Here, we’ll dive specifically into two promising rookies that were just added to the player pool. That is Indiana Pacers’ Bennedict Mathurin and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Jalen Williams. 

Both players have had very solid first seasons, but which has the better career outlook? Which should you be Going Long on, and which guy should you be shorting, if any? 

After reading the article, let me know if you agree. You can hit me up anytime on Twitter @AdamKoffler to talk about it. 

Bennedict Mathurin, $131.64

Mathurin got off to a very fast start with the Pacers. Through his first 37 games, he averaged 17.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in just over 28 minutes per game. He was a high-volume scorer off the bench for Indiana, but the rest of his stat line wasn’t all that robust. In fact, he averaged just 0.6 steals and 0.1 blocks per game through those first 37 games. He also shot just 41.8% from the field prior to the new year. Yes, he could score, but could he add value in other areas of the game?

Fast forward to today, and Mathurin is averaging 16.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per contest. He’s increased his field goal percentage slightly, shooting at a 42.8% clip on the season. But from a stat-stuffer perspective, Mathurin has been generally underwhelming. 

In fact, according to Basketball Monster’s Player Rankings, the Pacers’ rookie isn’t even a top-200 player this season. He barely cracks the top-250. He’s around guys like Gabe Vincent, Ty Jerome, Georges Niang, and Rui Hachimura. 

As a reminder, here’s the calculation for an NBA player’s earned value on Mojo:

When finding players to bet on, we want lots of stats, and not just points. So far, Mathurin hasn’t been able to give us that. His volume has also largely been dependent on whether or not Tyrese Haliburton is on the court. 

With Haliburton off the court, Mathurin sees a usage rate of 28.8%. With Haliburton off the court, the rookie’s usage rate dips all the way down to just 20.4%. That’s a big difference for a guy who’s likely going to play a lot of basketball alongside Haliburton in the near future. 

Jalen Williams, $128.34

Unlike Mathurin, Wiliams, the 12th overall pick out of Santa Clara, got off to a relatively “slow” start (at least as a scorer). Williams averaged just 11.4 points in 27 minutes per contest through the end of December. 

However, he shot 51.2% from the field and averaged 1.1 stocks (steals and blocks) per game. He also averaged 2.6 assists per game in his first 32 games. Again, not great, but promising since he was only getting 27 minutes a night. 

Enter the new year, and Williams has become a force. He’s averaged 15.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.1 steals, and 0.6 blocks per contest over his last 30 games and keeps getting better. He’s shooting 52.4% from the field and 79% from the charity stripe while only turning the ball over 1.5 times per game. That’s super impressive for a first-year player. 

Much like with Mathurin with Haliburton, Williams has also seen increased usage with star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander off the court: it’s 22.6% without him and 15.8% with him. Even with such a low usage rate, Williams has been a top-25 player since January 1. His game is robust and he’s shown to be a very valuable asset on an ascending Thunder team. 

The Verdict: Mathurin vs. Williams

Somehow, someway, Mathurin currently has a higher Future Value than Williams ($124.39 vs. $120.10). A month ago, the difference in their share prices was much higher. One share of Mathurin stock was $150.42, while Williams’ sat at just $106.58. 

While the gap has narrowed due to Williams’ play in the past month, I think there’s more room for Williams to grow down the stretch. That’s especially the case based on the limited minutes and games played for SGA. Additionally, it appears as if Rick Carlisle and the Pacers are intent to limit Mathurin’s playing time.

There’s still time to bet on both these guys. But which should we Go Long on and which should we Short? To me, it’s a very clear answer. Based on his broad set of skills and production, Williams is my pick, while Mathurin is a sneaky option to Short. 

Mathurin could still have a very good NBA career, but his peripherals don’t make me overly excited. The 6th overall pick out of Arizona currently has a higher Future Value than most other rookies and I think that will correct itself soon.

Prices are current as of 3/15/23 at 3:00 PM
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