Chet Holmgren out for the season


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Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren is out for the season after suffering a foot injury.

Lathan Pearce, Staff Writer

With the second overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft the Oklahoma City Thunder selected Chet Holmgren, the seven foot tall freshman out of the University of Gonzaga. In his first game at the Salt Lake City Summer League. Holmgren showed flashes of his potential. He scored 23 points, grabbing seven rebounds, six blocks, four assists and added a steal in only 24 minutes of playing time.

 Everything was looking up for Thunder fans after Holmgren’s impressive showing throughout the rest of the Salt Lake and Las Vegas Summer League. However, just a month later it’s been announced by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Holmgren suffered a ruptured Lisfranc, an important joint in his foot, which will leave him out for the entire upcoming season. This begs the question, what does this mean for the Thunder this season?

Although injury is never a good thing, there are upsides that present themselves to the Thunder. With Holmgren out for the season, it gives other members of the team the opportunity to have more playing time allotted to them that they wouldn’t have seen with Holmgren in the rotation.

For Darius Bazley this year marks the final of his contract, meaning this year essentially will decide whether or not Oklahoma City will consider resigning him to a deal to stick around long term. With Holmgren out, this gives the Thunder the perfect opportunity to play Bazley more minutes and determine just how valuable of an asset he is to them long term.

Aleksej Pokuševski is a more interesting case, seeing as he is more of a raw talent. With his seven foot, 190 pound frame, his polarizing passing skills and his apparent three point shooting skills, Pokuševski is one of the most intriguing young players in basketball. With the absence of Holmgren, Pokuševski will be given more minutes to develop his game into what made him so interesting as a prospect coming out of Serbia and Greece. 

Even with the pros of Holmgren being out for the season, it’s admittedly a big loss to the Thunder in terms of how many games they could potentially win this season. It was already looking to be another season more focused on development of the roster’s young core rather than a season fans of the Westbrook era are accustomed to, but this injury certainly leaves Oklahoma City already looking forward to the 2023 NBA draft. The grand prize of this draft being french phenom Victor Wembanyama, a seven footer with maybe the most polished guard skillset ever seen by a player of his size.

Luckily for Oklahoma City, this isn’t an unprecedented event. There’s been many big men who have had injuries before their rookie year that have gone on to have stellar careers. One of the biggest being Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin, who missed his entire rookie campaign with a broken kneecap. He went on to be the Rookie of the Year when he returned and a five time all-star throughout his career.

With all of this in mind, the impact of the loss of Holmgren this season can not be understated. However, it’s not the end of the world for him and will open up many opportunities for the Thunder. Holmgren will have the best staff available to help him rehab his foot and will hopefully have no further complications due to this injury as he continues to develop into his full potential.

Contact Lathan Pearce at [email protected]