OKC Thunder Rookie Chet Holmgren to Miss 2022-23 NBA Season
Chet Holmgren was a popular pick for NBA Rookie of the Year. But fans will have to wait another year to see him make his NBA debut.
The Oklahoma City Thunder announced on Thursday that Holmgren will miss the 2022-23 season because of a Lisfranc injury in his right foot.
Holmgren suffered the injury while defending LeBron James in a Seattle Pro-Am basketball game over the weekend.
“Certainly, we are disappointed for Chet, especially given the excitement he had about getting on the floor with his teammates this season,” OKC general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “We know Chet has a long career ahead of him within our organization and the Oklahoma City community. One of the things that most impressed us during the process of selecting Chet was his determination and focus. We expect that same tenacity will carry him through this period of time as we work together and support him during his rehabilitation.”
Holmgren’s injury will likely change how teams view their players taking part in pro-am basketball games.
The players saw it as a unique and fun opportunity for fans to see them play who may not be able to watch them live at an NBA game. But teams are unlikely to want to see their assets at risk, especially high draft picks such as Holmgren, in what are essentially glorified scrimmages.
The pro-am game that Holmgren was injured in didn’t even finish. Jamal Crawford, who was hosting the game, decided to stop the contest because of unsafe conditions with a wet floor.
The game was called off in the second quarter. A cleaning crew attempted to wipe down the floors, but the game was canceled.
Holmgren's Debut Will Have to Wait
As an ESPN report pointed out, Holmgren will join other top draft picks who lost their rookie years because of injury. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Blake Griffin all did not play during their first years because of injuries, but each of them went on to have All-Star seasons.
The 7-foot Holmgren was expected to give OKC a boost with his versatility and defensive prowess. He averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game at Gonzaga and then made waves at summer league this year.
In both the Utah and Las Vegas Summer Leagues, Holmgren averaged 17 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 4 blocks per contest while converting on 50% of his shots and 41.7% from 3.
Given the spacing and free-flowing nature of the NBA, it was going to be interesting to see if Holmgren would thrive more on offense in the NBA compared to college.
With better shooters around him, there would be more space to create and he wouldn’t have to deal with the constant doubles or extra attention down low. But now we will have to wait another year to see how his guard-like skills at 7-feet will translate.
NBA Rookie of the Year Odds
Holmgren was one of the favorites for Rookie of the Year, but with him out, it opens it up a little more to the rest of the field.
Orlando’s Paolo Banchero is still the favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook at +200 and is followed by Summer League MVP, Sacramento's Keegan Murray, at +450.
Detroit’s Jaden Ivey (+700) and Houston’s Jabari Smith (+700) round out the top four on the odds board.
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