Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren Declares, May Be Biggest Prize In Stinker Of NBA Draft

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Don’t look now, but may be cool to be a 7-footer in the NBA again. At least, that’s the latest after Chet Holmgren told ESPN he has declared for the 2022 NBA Draft.

Holmgren just finished his freshman season at Gonzaga. He stands 7-foot-1 and averaged about four blocked shots a game. That alone makes him the type of player who should be able to impact an NBA game — at least defensively — right out of the gate.

“After a season where we accomplished a lot of great things as both a team and an individual, I feel like I’m in a position to be able to chase my lifelong dream to play in the NBA,” Holmgren told ESPN.

Along with his 3.7 blocks, Holmgren averaged 14.7 points and 9.,9 rebounds. He is unique in the sense that he can hit 3-pointers (39 percent on the season), score underneath and again, make a difference down low defensively.

Otherwise, this is supposed to be significantly down season for the NBA Draft. In most years, Holmgren might go in the Nos. 5-7 range. He could drop this year, too, but likely not below No. 3.

“My goal every day is to do everything I can to become the best I can be,” Holmgren said. “I’m doing that with my pre-draft training — in the weight room getting stronger, tightening up my [ballhandling], my shooting, and becoming more accustomed to handling an NBA style of game. Summer league will be my first opportunity to showcase that.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.


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  1. I thought about this watching him play all season and I think I can stand by it still. Holmgren is the best ball handling big man I have ever seen. He could play the point if the Zags needed him to, I’m pretty sure he did on occasion, he’s that good. Yes, he blows away in a stiff breeze, he’ll get pushed around his first couple years in the league, but when he grows into his body the guy is going to be a super star. The sky is the limit for him as far as potential goes. Where are you going to find a 7 footer who can bring the ball up the court, shoots 40% from 3, and blocks almost 4 shots per game? Insane. I’d take him first overall easy.

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