NBA assistant coach isn’t sold on Chet Holmgren being a star: ‘He is so physically weak’

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

With the No. 2 overall selection of the 2022 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder nabbed big man Chet Holmgren. He is seen as one of the best prizes of the most recent draft class, and his talent was on display during his team’s first Summer League game.

In the game versus the Utah Jazz, Holmgren notched 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists and six blocks.

It was an impressive showing without a doubt. However, despite Holmgren’s status as the No. 2 overall pick and recent performance, one unnamed NBA assistant coach is apparently not convinced that he’ll end up being a star in the league.

“I’m not sold on him being a star,” the assistant coach told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. “He’s obviously an excellent shooter, skilled but he is so physically weak. He can’t get by his defender and he realized that early and settled for threes the rest of game. He’s so thin in hips and legs that he makes [teammate] Poku (Aleksej Pokuševski) look like he has thick legs. I don’t think he’ll ever fill out. He will need to make difficult shots this season to have a good year because he settles for jumpers and can’t play inside. He was able to use his length to block shots on drivers tonight but NBA guys will just get into his body. He has a long way to go.”

Holmgren is currently listed at 7-foot-1 and 195 pounds. He’s going to have to stack on a lot of muscle if he wants to become an enforcer in the league and battle inside with other big men.

However, gaining a lot of muscle could end up hurting a part of his game that is truly elite: his 3-point shooting. Moreover, the unnamed coach clearly doubts that Holmgren even possesses the ability to stack muscle.

During his single season at Gonzaga University, Holmgren shot 39.0 percent from beyond the arc. Adding too much muscle could negatively impact that ability.

Still, the assistant coach’s review of Holmgren does seem uniquely harsh. The youngster seems like he has the potential to be a truly special player in the NBA. Though he may have a long way to go, his natural size and ability give him a major head start compared to a lot of young players who make it to the league.

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Jonathan has worked as a sports writer covering NBA and NFL news since 2017. He's a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Vikings.