The Oklahoma City Thunder found a way to post 40 wins on the season, finishing just two games below a .500 record. The team dealt with a ton of adversity, from losing Chet Holmgren for the entire season in August to playing spurts without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, losing Kenrich Williams midway through the year, and seeing injuries derail Aleksej Pokusevski’s and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl’s campaigns.
Chet Holmgren was billed as a franchise cornerstone when Sam Presti used the second overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft on the Gonzaga product. That felt validated when Holmgren performed at the NBA Summer League in July—even catching the attention of former OKC Thunder star Kevin Durant.
In three months, the Oklahoma City Thunder might see prized second-overall pick Chet Holmgren play in the NBA Summer League action.
Throughout the season, we have seen Chet Holmgren process from riding a scooter and getting shots up, to only wearing a boot, to shooting without jumping, to just getting shots up, to playing in shooting competitions with the team, working out before games, and then eventually doing 5-on-0 work.
At his exit interview, Holmgren informed us he would begin doing 5-on-5 work and would soon have all restrictions lifted off of him.
I asked the soon-to-be 21-year-old big man if he would play in Summer League in three months, and he reiterated that he would follow any plan the franchise put in place for him.
On Thursday, OKC Thunder General Manager Sam Presti was asked the same question, and he gave a detailed answer on the impending decision: “It’s possible. We’ll see when we get to that point. If he’s at that point where we feel good about making that decision — I wouldn’t say he wouldn’t. He may do, but he’s got a lot of time between now and then.”
Chet Holmgren has made no mistake that he misses playing basketball and wants to get on the court as soon as possible. He went as far as to write “Free 7.” in his Instagram caption just weeks ago.
I expect to see Holmgren participate in Summer League in some capacity, but as Sam Presti said, a lot can change between now and then.