The Oklahoma City Thunder are a year removed from a four-player draft class that 2nd overall pick Chet Holmgren highlighted at the time. After Holmgren spent a year on the shelf, the 12th overall pick Jalen Williams has stolen the spotlight, putting together an impressive rookie campaign and earning runner-up in the Rookie of the Year race. Holmgren is still the only top-five pick from this Thunder rebuild, and expectations for him remain through the roof. As the NBA gets swept up in Wembanyama mania, Holmgren presents generational potential as well—a seven-footer with playmaking skills, floor spacing, rebounding, and rim-protecting ability. Obviously, Victor Wembanyama is the better prospect, but the Gonzaga product is no slouch.
Last August, after dominating NBA Summer League and looking good against future MVP Joel Embiid, Holmgren suffered a Lisfranc fracture at a pro-am event in Seattle that held him out the entire season. Now, Holmgren is ready to return to the floor and give his rookie season another shot.
The OKC Thunder hope Chet Holmgren will play in Summer League, “He is doing great,” notes General Manager Sam Presti.
The Oklahoma City Thunder found a way to surprise the NBA landscape en route to a 40-win season on the back of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s MVP-caliber season. Now, the future is primed to be one of the brightest in the association with. On top of keeping that 40-win squad together, OKC is adding two top-ten picks to the fold in Holmgren and Thursday’s tenth overall pick Cason Wallace. In a tick over a week, basically, the entire Thunder roster sans Gilgeous-Alexander (among others) will participate in the NBA’s Summer League in some capacity. That is headlined by Chet Holmgren’s return to the hardwood.
Sam Presti even added they expect that Holmgren will play while speaking glowingly about how eager the second-overall pick is to play in this event. His return to the court is highly anticipated. We even saw him itching to play last year with his “Free 7” Instagram post as he continued to clear rehab hurdles. In about a week, seven will be freed onto the court.
While Presti could not outright say he is playing, given the roster is not released yet, it seems extremely promising that Holmgren will be on the floor in a little over a week. At least, that is the plan right now.
Holmgren would join Jalen Williams and Ousmane Dieng as players already committed to playing in Summer League, with the 2023 NBA Draft class of Cason Wallace and Keyontae Johnson a lock to participate. It feels safe to assume Jaylin Williams will also join the crew in at least Salt Lake City.
The OKC Thunder will play in Salt Lake City first before joining the rest of the league in Vegas on July 7th. It is typical for the “veteran” young players to only play in the Salt Lake City portion of the Summer League circuit. We will see if that plan continues. For now, you can just get excited about the potential of Holmgren playing again.