The pieces of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s rebuild are finally coming together. With a core group of young players built around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder appear poised for success in the future. A big reason for that is because they landed a potential superstar in the 2022 NBA Draft in Chet Holmgren.
Holmgren may have suffered a severe injury before he even suits up for the Oklahoma City Thunder
Holmgren’s performance for the Thunder throughout their Summer League campaign only added to the hype surrounding the young forward. Holmgren dominated on both ends of the floor and showed why he was such a highly touted prospect coming out of Gonzaga. Despite concerns about his lanky seven-foot frame, Holmgren is a skilled basketball player.
Holmgren’s frame has always been a concern, and many folks wondered whether or not his body would be able to handle the rigors of an entire NBA season. It turns out those concerns may have been justified after all.
Since the Summer League’s conclusion, Holmgren has been getting runs in at various Pro-Am leagues across the country, and he recently was part of the star-studded lineup playing at the CrawsOver last week. Holmgren was also part of the reason the game ended up getting called off midway through the second quarter, as he picked up an injury due to the poor court conditions early in the game.
Reports have begun to filter out that there is concern that Holmgren may have torn ligaments in his foot as a result of the injury. This would be a massive blow for the Thunder, as they were looking to finally take a big step forward with their assortment of young talent after a lengthy rebuilding process over the past few seasons.
What Holmgren’s injury would mean for the Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder were banking on Holmgren coming in and making an immediate impact for them next season. Of course, that’s what happens when you use the second overall pick on a player in the NBA. But now, Holmgren’s status for the upcoming season has been thrown in doubt.
The timetable for Holmgren’s return is still being discussed, but there’s a decent chance that if he tore ligaments, he will need surgery, which would almost certainly rule him out for the start of the season. How long he would end up missing remains to be seen.
Holmgren is still unproven, given he hasn’t played a minute in the NBA, but losing his two-way capabilities would be a huge loss for the Thunder. Holmgren was projected to be a starter for OKC right out of the gate, but they may have to find a replacement now that he appears to be on the mend.
This isn’t ideal for the Thunder and Holmgren whichever way you slice it. Even if his injury isn’t as severe as it seems, losing a top player for any period of time is tough, and it looks like Holmgren could end up missing a decent chunk of the 2022-23 NBA season.