2022 NBA Draft Qualifications: Oklahoma City Thunder select Chet Holmgren with 2nd overall pick

With the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday, the Oklahoma City Thunder selected Chet Holmgren, a big 7-foot stretch with guard skills and a defensive ability that could change the game.

One of college basketball’s most dominant two-way stars during his one season at Gonzaga, Holmgren joins budding superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and 2021 No. 6 overall pick Josh Giddey as the core of a Thunder franchise that still full of future draft capital waiting. to be charged.

CBS Sports Gary Parrish gives the Thunder’s pick a A+.

Concerns about Holmgren’s slim build are legitimate, but he’s such a unique prospect with incredible potential that he’s the right choice here. This 7-foot rim guard who can also rebound it like a guard and hit 3s reliably. He has the highest ceiling in this draft and, for that reason, he shouldn’t go any lower than here.

Holmgren profiles as an elite rim protector and bump changer in the paint; many really smart analysts call Holmgren’s instincts on the defensive end “off the charts.” Holmgren has been compared to Pau Gasol, or even Rudy Gobert with perimeter skills, by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor. That is high praise.

Offensively, Holmgren’s ability to stretch the floor as a shooter is a perfect complement to Gilgeous-Alexander, who is one of the most aggressive drivers in the league and becomes nearly impossible to keep out of the paint on a separate floor.

Meanwhile, Giddey, who isn’t much of a shooter but is a special passer, now has a 7-foot shooting target for his sixth-sense reads and more room to operate as a playmaker.

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Holmgren Exploration Report

There is, of course, some question as to whether Holmgren will live up to the hype. His slim figure is where most of the doubt begins and ends. Can he bear the physical toll of the NBA? They’ll all cite the fact that scouts expressed similar concerns about Kevin Durant when he was fresh out of college and, in fact, the NBA has become much more about skill than physicality. But that doesn’t mean Holmgren’s career will unfold the same way. For one thing, he’s not as skilled as Durant. He wasn’t even close. No one is that size.

Here’s what CBS Sports senior writer Matt Norlander had to say about Holmgren, who he ultimately casts as a good but not great player:

I think it’s more than reasonable to project that at least one of the big three (Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero and Holmgren) won’t be a top five player in this class by the time we look to 2030 and take stock of everything that’s happened. . Since Holmgren is still plagued by questions about his structure and lifespan as an enduring presence, I’ll pick him as the worst of the three. I don’t question his work ethic or his love for the game. I can’t wait to see him in the NBA, but I think he’ll end up being a good modern center, if a little inconsistent.

As Norlander says, Holmgren’s floor still appears to be quite high. He is going to be a good player. Seven-footers who can shoot and protect the rim will always be very valuable. The question is whether Holmgren stands out as a valuable rotation player or a legitimate franchise mainstay. OKC bets on the latter.


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