Thursday, March 23, 2023

Thunder leads Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren with No. 2 overall pick

Oklahoma City ( Associated Press) — The Oklahoma City Thunder picked Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren as No. 2 in the NBA draft on Thursday night.

Holmgren, a versatile 7-footer from Minneapolis, was a second-team Associated Press All-American in his only college season. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds and finished fourth nationally with 3.7 blocks per game for the Zags. He shot 61% from 3-point range and 39% from 3-point range last season – the kind of efficiency that could help the Thunder team which is better on field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and last season’s final in the league. is in place.

His skill can help him be effective as he works to add to his slim 195-pound frame.

He will join a youth corps that includes Shai Gilgius-Alexander, Josh Giddy, Lou Dort, Darius Bazley and Trey Mann. Alexander averaged 24.5 points last season.

Giddy, last year’s No. 6 overall pick, was a second team All-Rookie selection last season. Dort is one of the best defensive players in the league when he is healthy. Baisley is an athletic wing player and Mann was an explosive scorer off the bench. Gilgius-Alexander, the oldest player in that group, is just a few minutes away from his 24th birthday.

The Thunder’s hope Holmgren can finally help them take some of the glory from the Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook era. The Thunder went to the Western Conference Finals four times with that pair and once to the NBA Finals. The Thunder have not won a playoff series since Durant’s departure and have missed the playoffs in the past two seasons. They went 24-58 last season.

The franchise has had early success in the draft in the past, selecting Durant No. 2 overall in 2007, Westbrook No. 4 in 2008, and James Harden No. 3 in 2009.

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Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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