Once the Orlando Magic selected Paolo Banchero first overall, the Oklahoma City Thunder had a choice. Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren or Auburn forward Jabari Smith Jr.?

Oklahoma City made Holmgren the second overall pick in the NBA Draft.

One of Holmgren’s new teammates, Josh Giddey, was excited about the move.

Others in the NBA world had a lot to say about it, as well.

The obvious concern for Holmgren is his body. He’s a seven-footer but weighs only 195 pounds. So, he’ll have to get into the gym to add some muscle.

If he does that, though, there’s a lot to be excited about.

Holmgren averaged 3.7 blocks per game and was the WCC’s Defensive Player of the Year. He was a second-team All-American during the 2021-22 season. On the year, he nearly averaged a double-double during the 2021-22 season at Gonzaga, averaging 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds a game. He shot well, especially for a seven-footer, making 60.7% of his field goals, 71.7% of his free throws, and 39% of his three-pointers. The long-range shooting from a player his size will definitely play well in the modern NBA.

Another thing to be excited about is that, in his time running the Thunder (and Seattle SuperSonics before the move), Sam Presti’s previous early draft picks have hit.

Following four league MVPs will definitely create high expectations for Holmgren. But Presti clearly has an eye for high-end talent.

About Michael Dixon

Michael has a background in sports writing both online (Bleacher Report, Sportsnaut, Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks) and in print (Sedona Red Rock News, Brentwood Press). Sports have been a lifeline passion for Michael and he continues to enjoy writing and talking about them.