Will Chet Holmgren Become the Force Oklahoma City Needs him to Become?

Chet Holmgren has to be one of the least spoken about prospects in quite some time. I guess it’s because maybe many have concluded Thunder GM Sam Presti has lost the magical touch he once had when he drafted 3 superstars in 3 separate drafts in a row(Kevin Durant,Russell Westbrook, and James Harden); or maybe since the league has become so 3-point oriented the thought of fans buying into a big man changing the landscape of the league again much like Shaquille O’Neal did when he was drafted in the early 90’s would be far-fetched. No I do not believe Chet Holmgren will ever dominate the game like Shaq did in his prime with the Lakers where he was aided by budding superstar Kobe Bryant; and went on to win 3 straight championships over the course of 4 years, but I do believe Chet Holmgren can definitely become a top 10 maybe even top 5 player in the NBA if he indeed has those sort of aspirations for himself. I’ve been watching the Warriors for quite some time now and I can’t fathom the fact that they have never had to deal with a big man whom composes the versatile skill set of a Chet Holmgren.

Off the top most would signal to Nuggets center Nikola Jokic as a close comparison for Chet Holmgren but that’s just being lazy; not because Nikola Jokic isn’t good enough they just approach the game differently and impact it differently as well. Jokic for as many times as he’s scored 30+ points isn’t a scorer at heart; he just really has been left with no choice but to look to score more being that Jamal Murray can’t stay on the court and Michael Porter Jr? Well I guess the window for stardom for him should still be opened being that he is currently in the midst of a massive 5-year max deal he signed a while ago, but what I am insinuating is Nikola needs his two main weapons to be healthy to help carry the Nuggets to the mountaintop. Chet Holmgren is more of a go getter than Nikola Jokic, you get him the ball on the low-block and he’s taking it right at your chest 80-90 percent of the time; you never feel or anticipate the ball will be kicked out again once Chet puts the ball on the floor.

It’s been pleasant to watch Shai Gilgeous-Alexander score 30 plus at will practically every game this season; as he has single-handedly carried the Thunder on his back all season and currently has them in contention to qualify for the Play-In Tournament and just maybe a top 6 seed in the Western Conference. What Shai is doing comes of no surprise to me, anyone who watched him closely at Kentucky could see how complete of a guard he was. His former coach at Kentucky John Calipari had the highest of praise for Shai and I’m bamboozled by the fact that his presence on that feisty 2018 Clippers team always goes understated. Shai could quite possibly be the best point guard in the game as we speak but when it comes to being the franchise player of the Oklahoma City Thunder, those are Holmgren’s shoes to fill. The Thunder have the right foundation but if Chet doesn’t become a superstar Presti’s master plan in Oklahoma City will be a massive flop. He low-balled James Harden when it was time to cut the check and watched 2 maybe 3 titles go right down the drain, let’s hope Presti capitalizes this time around.

Chet Holmgren really is an anomaly, I liken him to Tim Duncan being that he can control a game with his shot-blocking prowess,he can get his own offense from the low-post, and he can stretch you out much like Tim Duncan started to do when he won his 2nd championship 2003 against the New Jersey Nets. He’s very composed on the offensive end; doesn’t waste too many dribbles and has substantial foot-work and a dexterity to his game which few big man in the NBA possess today. Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic both play at a similar pace like Chet Holmgren where they make opposing defenses adjust to their play speed and you really can’t do much about it. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren could be a replica of what Tony Parker and Tim Duncan were in San Antonio where Tony was the main guy offensively most nights but we all knew there was no Spurs basketball without Tim Duncan.

Shai is putting it all on display this season but the Thunder’s future title aspirations will begin and end with Chet. I give Chet this level of notoriety because I can’t help but recall him telling Luka Doncic and I quote “I’ll see you out there next year”. At first I just thought to myself these young players these days are so full of themselves; and anyone who has been watching Luka over the past 2-3 years would understand why Chet’s words to Doncic seemed comical; but then I hear how he’s getting stops on the court against the likes of a Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid and his words carry a little more weight all of a sudden. I believe Chet Holmgren has arrived to bring the game back to it’s old roots when big man were the main catalyst and he’ll be the most complete big man we’ve seen since the legendary Tim Duncan, congratulations Oklahoma City better days are ahead.


Author: D-NBA

Hello, the name is Dionis and I've been an avid sports enthusiast ever since childhood. I studied at William Paterson University where I obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Finance and have worked at several financial Institutions within the banking industry through my 20's. I've embarked on the entrepreneurial path in search of looking to impact as many lives as possible by providing value in a subject which has always been ingrained in me as a kid which is the NBA. I've followed the NBA passionately since I was old enough to pick up a Sega Genesis controller and pop in NBA Live 95. I hope to widen your interest in a game I've followed rigorously my entire life and plan on following till my time is up on this earth, thank you for visiting.

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