The Oklahoma City Thunder couldn’t have their star prospect on the floor during the 2022-23 NBA season.
But Chet Holmgren looks back to full strength and is ready to dominate in his first year in the league after missing his rookie season with a non-contact injury in his right foot.
Holmgren’s rim protection has always been one of the highest points of his game, and it’s been a major talking point over his first two games in the NBA Summer League.
The Gonzaga product has seven blocks through just a couple of games, and while Summer League isn’t an objective way of measuring a player’s given impact at the next level, it definitely helps to have these kinds of performances to build from, especially after coming off a season-long injury.
Chet's been a block machine in his return 💪 pic.twitter.com/ukPZ6TZ1H5
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 6, 2023
The Thunder have historically played it safe with their first-round picks and stars, and Holmgren’s height and lanky frame will always give them reasons to be concerned and cautious with his minutes and his loads.
It’s evident that he’s made the most of the non-playing experience, bulking up and adding muscle in the gym to endure the physical demands of being an NBA player.
He’s one of the most accomplished young players in the league, constantly dominating at every single level before reaching the pros.
And even if he’s often out with injuries or if his versatile offense doesn’t translate to the next level — which it should — his rim protection alone will make him a very valuable asset for Mike Daigenault’s team for years to come.NEXT: Chet Holmgren Has An Honest Admission About His Foot Injury