Il y a 10 mois
- Elite length
- BB IQ
- Shooting upside
- Rim protection
Décent, mais à travailler
Born on May 1st 2002, Chet Holmgren will be twenty years old on draft night. He is listed at 7 feet tall (2m13) and 195 lbs (88 kg) with a 7'6 (2m29) wingspan. Holmgren is the son of Dave Holmgren, himself a 7 foot center for University of Minnesota from 1984 and 1998 and Sarah Holmgren. An only child, his development and basketball career has been somewhat of their life project. His father has been training him since a very young age and Holmgren's been playing elite basketball for several years already. He's played varsity basketball at Minnehaha Acadedy alongside Orlando Magic's Jalen Suggs. He's been Minnesota Mr. Basketball, Gatorade National Player of the Year, Naismith's Prep Player of the Year, McDonald's All-American, MVP of FIBA U19 MVP, you name it. Holmgren is not projected #1 pick for nothing. He's got pedigree. He was born for this.
Two variables have dominated the Chet Holmgren narrative in his draft year: defense and physical ability. He is understood to primarily be a defensive anchor and his doubters don't think he'll ever be big enough for his defense to translate to the NBA. I believe his size will be a lot less of an issue than it's been made out ot be. Holmgren is a very high IQ player who understands his limitations and developped a style around it. He's played bigger, stronger, faster and more explosive players all his life and he's found a way to make it work. He's learned how to take contact without fouling. He understands the importance of verticality as well.
What Holmgren doesn't have in girth and physicality, he compensates for in speed, length, timing and agility. He's not chasing contact. He uses his gangly frame to exploit tight spaces and challenge shots with his length. He rarely makes it a point of pride to stay in front of his player and will take the quick decision to optimize his coverage, whatever the situation he's in. This year in Gonzaga, he's been regularly beaten by speed guards and the perimeter, but most times he's shown quick enough feet to recuperate and challenge at the rim. So no, Holmgren might not be that Anthony Davis beast-like defender and he's going to be dunked on enough times to make Shawn Bradley jokes, but he IS going to be a defensive anchor in the NBA. He IS going to lead the league in blocks and he IS going to be a nightmare defending the pick-and-roll. Mark my words.
The question remaining is: what is Chet Holmgren's offensive upside? I believe this is where the range of outcomes is a little more unpredictable. He can shoot the three, which makes him already quite valuable. Holmgren shot for 72% from the free throw line and 39% from three in his year at Gonzaga. The shooting stroke is proper and come hell or high water, you'll always be able to play him in catch-and-shoot or pick-and-pop situations. He's shown capacity to create from the dribble in certain situations, which is promising. He's a 7 foot center with very long arms, so his dribble is always going to be high an suceptible to get ripped by guards and wings, but if you need Chet Holmgren to constantly create in isolation your offense is not very balanced.
One thing Holmgren told Mike Schmitz during the ESPN film session that I really liked is that he models a lot of his offensive game around Kevin Durant. This sort of statement would normally raise red flags because Durant is such a unique player, but Holmgren actually shares physical attributes with him. They are both underweight players who use their length to compensate for their lack of physicality. Holmgren understands what kind of player he is and what he needs to be successful at the next level, which leads me to believe his progression curve unfurl over a long time. Who he is now as a player is not who he can be.
Do you draft Chet Holmgren first? Depends on how you want your team to play. I don't think he's a two-way anchor that can wreck both offenses and defenses on his own, but he's the player that offers you the most versatility among Banchero, Smith, Ivey and him. Yes, Chet Holmgren is underweight, but it's not going to matter the way you think it does in the pros. He's skilled, smart, intelligent and he knows that he'll need to adapt. I would definitely draft him no.1