Sam Bowie, Greg Oden…Paolo Banchero? The first two guys were selected one pick ahead of Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant. The third – he was chosen one slot before Oklahoma City selected Chet Holmgren in last month’s NBA Draft. And like those who picked Bowie and Oden, there just might be some regret as to what might have been.
Ok, who are we kidding? It’s been one game. Let me rephrase, it’s been one Summer League game. But, 2nd overall pick Holmgren did show out and dominate in his first taste of NBA action. The 7-foot beanpole led all players with 23 points, seven rebounds and a Summer League-record, 6 blocks.
A strong showing for the rookie who was long presumed to be Orlando’s top pick in June before they opted to selected Banchero instead. For what it’s worth, Bowie…I mean, Banchero, and the Magic open Summer League play on Thursday.
It's only Summer League but this was an unbelievable Summer League performance by Chet Holmgren.
Chet looked more like the HS version of himself with the freedom to create so much off the dribble. Just better. pic.twitter.com/g2ivpAxvhi
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) July 6, 2022
Next stop: Springfield, Massachusetts and the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame. Obviously.
“I’m a professional basketball player playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder and I’m going to lace them up whenever or wherever,” Holmgren said following his debut. “I was fortunate enough to play tonight, and I never take that for granted. If I can play, I’m going to play.”
Holmgren’s impressive debut puts him in rare air. Before (seemingly likely) occupying space alongside Jordan and Durant in the HOF, Holmgren has already positioned himself side-by-side with such NBA Summer League legends as Anthony Morrow (most points, 47), Malcolm Thomas (most rebounds, 22) and Marcus Williams (most assists, 17).
Oklahoma City and Chet are back in the spotlight this evening, squaring off with Memphis at 7pm EST. There’ll surely to be plenty more magic on the court, just not in Orlando.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF