After five exceptional performances, the Oklahoma City Thunder decided they had seen enough from former Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren, holding him out of their matchup against Golden State on Friday.
Holmgren finished summer league with averages of 14 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game. He was magnificent in his first few games, showing off skills he rarely showcased at Gonzaga – including step-back three pointers and exceptional ball-handling skills away from the rim.
He was his typical excellent self on defense as well, blocking over two shots per game and holding his own against the bigger players many feared he would not be able to handle.
Additionally, he took on a different role in his final summer league game, playing more perimeter defense and showing off a skill-set that will help serve him well at the next level – particularly against teams with multiple bigs where he may be best served playing away from the rim.
Of course, it’s summer league, and statistical accomplishments (no matter how enticing) should be taken with at least a little grain of salt.
Still, Holmgren’s vast array of skills on both offense and defense were on full display across five games in Las Vegas, and Oklahoma City seems primed to build around him, Josh Giddey, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for the future, with Santa Clara’s Jalen Williams expected to be a big time contributor right away as well.
Andy hosts the Locked on Zags and Locked on College Basketball podcasts, and serves Locked On in a marketing/digital content creator role as well. He lives just outside Portland with his wife Jenna and dog, Tillie.