Chet Holmgren is a 7’0” center who is projected to go in the top 3 of the 2022 NBA Draft. His frame and skill set make him a unique prospect, which has teams eager to select him. The Magic, Thunder, and Rockets own the top 3 picks, so Chet is almost certain to land at one of those franchises. He would be the first top 3 selection from Gonzaga since Adam Morrison in the 2006 NBA Draft.
Chet Holmgren Scouting Report
In his lone season at Gonzaga, Chet averaged 14.1 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 1.9 APG, and 3.7 BPG on a 60/39/71 shooting split. He was highly durable and dominated on both ends of the court. He did everything for Gonzaga, from rebounding to shooting to rim protection. His versatility was apparent, and this quality makes him a special prospect.
Weight: 195 lbs
Strengths: Chet is a center with guard skills. He can run the floor and has the ability to dribble the ball up the court in transition. He is extremely mobile and fluid for his size. In the half-court, Chet can post up opponents with a nice jump hook or fadeaway. When doubled, his length and vision allow him to pass cross-court to the open man. He is also a threat from the perimeter because of his smooth shooting stroke. He had a 39 3PT% on 3.3 3PA, and 37.5% of his total FGA were 3PA. Chet will be able to impact the game from every area of the court, which is rare for a center.
Defensively, his shot-blocking skills are excellent because he locates the ball well and stays vertical when contesting shots. This will translate to the NBA given his 7’0” frame and 7’6” wingspan. He rotates quickly from the weak side and moves fluidly as a help defender. Chet will be able to hold his own on the perimeter for stretches, which is all a team can ask from their center.
Weaknesses: Chet’s weight is the biggest concern, as he is only 195 lbs. He was able to play against college centers, but the NBA is a completely different physicality level. Chet must add strength so that he is not moved off the block by players like Embiid. His rebounding would benefit from this as well because he would be able to hold his box outs. Injuries are also a concern because skinny 7-footers have historically been injury prone, especially at the knees.
Chet can also be passive offensively and not take command. He needs to be more aggressive and take over games. His playmaking has room to improve. His passing is fine, but he is often a little late on reads and identifying a brief window.
Chet Holmgren Stats
Chet Holmgren NBA Draft Ranking, Team Fit, Landing Spot
Draft Ranking: Chet is 2nd on my Big Board behind Paolo Banchero because his skills are desirable and rare for the center position. It’s unknown whether he can hold up against NBA centers for 82 games, and I am concerned about his knees. He has arguably the most potential of anybody in this draft class, but the risks are real.
Team Fit: Chet’s best fit is with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who own the 2nd pick. They desperately need perimeter shooting, rim protection, and size in the front-court. Chet provides all three, so he is an excellent fit for them. He doesn’t have to carry the offensive load either, which is not his strength. Gilgeous-Alexander, Dort, and Mann will lead the scoring charge, while Giddey can set everyone up with good looks. The Thunder will maximize Chet’s talent and hide his weaknesses.
Landing Spot: Chet is essentially a lock to go in the top 3, which leaves the Magic, Thunder, and Rockets. Orlando has Wendell Carter Jr at center and a hole at forward, so I don’t think they take him. The Thunder likely grab him, but they also have a need at forward. Sam Presti could select Banchero or Smith Jr instead. If Chet is on the board at 3, the Rockets will gladly scoop him. Jalen Green is the only cemented player on Houston’s roster, and Chet would pair with him well.
Chet Holmgren NBA Comparison
There is no true comparison for Chet because his combination of size and skills are extremely rare. A glimpse of his potential impact would be peak Kristaps Porzingis during his 2017/18 All-Star season. Porzingis averaged 22.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 2.4 BPG on a 43/39/79 shooting split. Chet is able to run in transition, space the floor, and protect the rim like Porzingis did during that season. Their overall style of play is similar, although Chet is more involved in the paint. Overall though, Chet has a higher ceiling than Kristaps because his defense is slightly better, he has better handles, and he is a better finisher around the rim.