Chet Holmgren

Injury Notes: MPJ, Hyland, Oladipo, Pelicans, Clippers, Holmgren

Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (left heel contusion) will miss his fourth consecutive game on Wednesday, but Denver will get some reinforcements vs. Houston with Bones Hyland (non-COVID illness) set to make his return following a three-game absence, per Harrison Wind or DNVR Sports (Twitter links).

Hyland last played on November 22 and was hampered by his illness on that night, logging just nine minutes. The Nuggets guard said today that he “couldn’t breathe on the floor” during that game, but is “feeling great” now, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post.

Here are a few more health-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Heat guard Victor Oladipo practiced with the team on Tuesday, but there wasn’t any contact during that session and he won’t play on the current road trip, which runs through next Monday, head coach Erik Spoelstra said today (link via Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel). While Oladipo hasn’t played yet this season due to left knee tendinosis, it sounds like he’s making progress toward a return.
  • Pelicans guard CJ McCollum has exited the NBA’s health and safety protocols, but will remain sidelined on Wednesday as he attempts to get back into game shape, tweets Andrew Lopez of ESPN. New Orleans did get some good news on Larry Nance Jr. — he’ll be available after missing Monday’s game with a right shoulder injury.
  • Still without Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Luke Kennard, the Clippers added Norman Powell to their injury report for Wednesday’s game in Utah due to a left groin strain. Powell is doubtful to play, says Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (Twitter link).
  • Thunder big man Chet Holmgren will undergo a follow-up procedure to remove the “hardware” in his right foot from his previous surgery, a team spokesperson tells Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. The procedure had been planned and is a sign that Holmgren is making progress, Mussatto adds.

NBA GMs High On Cavs’ Offseason Moves, Bucks’ Title Chances

The Cavaliers‘ acquisition of Donovan Mitchell made their offseason the most successful of any NBA team, according to the league’s general managers. In his annual survey of the NBA’s top basketball decision-makers, John Schuhmann of NBA.com writes that 41% of the GM respondents picked Cleveland as having made the best offseason moves, while 59% chose the addition of Mitchell as the move that will have the biggest impact.

The Timberwolves and Jazz were on opposite ends of one of the summer’s other blockbuster trades, but the two clubs tied for second (along with the Sixers) in the GM vote for which teams made the best overall offseason moves. Minnesota’s trade for Rudy Gobert was the second-leading vote-getter for the offseason’s most impactful single acquisition, earning 31% of the vote.

The team viewed by the majority of GMs as the title favorite for 2023 didn’t earn any votes for having the best offseason. According to Schuhmann, 43% of the poll respondents picked the Bucks to win next year’s Finals, with GMs apparently betting on continuity in Milwaukee. The Warriors (25%), Clippers (21%), and Celtics (11%) also received votes.

Here are a few more interesting results from Schuhmann’s GM survey, which is worth checking out in full:

  • NBA general managers expect the Clippers – who will have Kawhi Leonard back – to be the most improved team in 2022/23. L.A. received 41% of the vote, with the Cavaliers and Pelicans at 17% apiece.
  • The Celtics‘ trade for Malcolm Brogdon earned the most votes (28%) for the summer’s most underrated acquisition. The Sixers‘ signing of P.J. Tucker and the Clippers‘ addition of John Wall were the runners-up, with 14% each.
  • Asked which team has the most promising young core, NBA GMs overwhelmingly chose the Cavaliers (41%) and Grizzlies (38%). The Pistons (10%) were the only other club to get multiple votes.
  • NBA GMs view Magic forward Paolo Banchero as the best bet to win Rookie of the Year (79%) and also chose him as the 2022 draftee most likely to be the best player in five years (31%), narrowly edging Thunder big man Chet Holmgren (28%). As for the steal of the draft, GMs were split between Pistons big man Jalen Duren and Rockets forward Tari Eason (14% apiece), among many others.
  • Mavericks star Luka Doncic was picked as the favorite to win MVP, earning 48% of the vote from NBA GMs. Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks came in second with 34%.

Northwest Notes: Nuggets, Lillard, Edwards, Holmgren

Veterans Jeff Green, DeAndre Jordan, Ish Smith and Bruce Brown are providing the Nuggets with energy and a level of comfort during training camp, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscription required). Back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic is laid back, which allows the more boisterous personalities of Green and Jordan to stand out, Singer notes.

Brown said he feels more at home in Denver than he did during last season’s drama-filled campaign with a big market club in Brooklyn.

I’m more laid back, chill,” Brown said. “I like to be in the house with my dog and my people. Obviously, New York gets a lot of attention, a lot of media attention. That wasn’t for me, but I love my time with those guys.”

According to Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports (Twitter links), Brown has been playing point guard with the second unit, while Zeke Nnaji has been the backup center. That’s a bit of a change for both players — Brown is a swiss army knife type who has played multiple positions, but mostly on the wing, while Nnaji primarily played power forward in the past. Nnaji has performed well in camp thus far, Wind adds.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Damian Lillard is just 531 points shy of surpassing Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler to become the Trail Blazers‘ all-time leading scorer. Lillard says it’s an accomplishment he doesn’t take lightly. “This feat would mean a lot to me,” Lillard told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “Just the respect I have for the organization and for Clyde and how great of a player he was. I think it shows just how productive I’ve been throughout my career. It would truly be an honor.”
  • Timberwolves wing Anthony Edwards is hoping to make big strides on the defensive end in 2022/23, saying that because he’ll be guarding top players more often, he’ll be “salty” to not make an All-Defensive team, as Wolves reporter Dane Moore relays (via Twitter). The former No. 1 overall pick will play a huge part in Minnesota’s standing in the West this season.
  • This year’s No. 2 overall pick, Chet Holmgren, will miss the entire season for the Thunder with a foot injury, but he’s still learning about the NBA while recovering, according to Cliff Brunt of The Associated Press. “What I’m trying to do right now is just kind of soak up all the knowledge of how things are done around here, how they’re going to be done going forward,” Holmgren said. “So when I’m ready to get get back in there, I can just kind of seamlessly plug myself in.”

Northwest Notes: Jazz, Barrett, Edwards, Holmgren, Thunder

Some teams with interest in Knicks forward RJ Barrett believe they’d have a chance to land him if the Jazz were to acquire him in a Donovan Mitchell trade, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. As Begley explains, while the Jazz are thought to like Barrett, there’s a belief that they’d be open to the idea of flipping him for additional first-round picks if he were included as part of a package for Mitchell.

The Jazz’s potential plans for Barrett may be a moot point. Now that the former No. 3 overall pick has agreed to a four-year extension with the Knicks, the poison pill provision will complicate efforts to include him in any Mitchell trade — the Jazz could still theoretically acquire him, but a third team with cap room may need to get involved to make the salary-matching math work, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks noted in a video segment earlier this week.

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • The Timberwolves‘ trade for Rudy Gobert showed that the team is ready to take the next step toward title contention, and the work that Anthony Edwards has been putting in this offseason shows that he’s positioning himself to make a third-year leap to stardom, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. According to Krawczynski, people who have been watching Edwards’ workouts this offseason have all been saying some variation of, “Just wait ’til you see him.”
  • The foot injury that ended Chet Holmgren‘s rookie season before it began probably won’t have a major impact on the Thunder‘s place in the 2022/23 standings, but it will significantly diminish the buzz surrounding the team in Oklahoma City, writes Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman. As Carlson writes, many Thunder fans that had been excited to watch Holmgren play are less likely to follow the club closely this year.
  • In a subscriber-only story for Daily Thunder, Josh Haar identifies Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Jalen Williams, and Aaron Wiggins as three candidates to earn bigger-than-expected roles for the Thunder with Holmgren sidelined.

Chet Holmgren Undergoes Successful Surgery

Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren underwent successful surgery to address a Lisfranc injury in his right foot, the team announced on Tuesday. As we previously relayed, Holmgren will miss the 2022/23 campaign.

Holmgren, 20, was drafted second overall by Oklahoma City in June. The 7’0″ prospect has intrigued teams with his length and offensive skillset, averaging 14.0 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game in five summer league contests last month.

As Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman writes, a Lisfranc injury can be related to ligament damage, bone damage or both. Holmgren suffered ligament damage that will sideline him for several months. He joins a long list of high draft picks to miss their rookie seasons, including all-NBA center Joel Embiid and former No. 1 overall selections like Ben Simmons and Blake Griffin.

The Thunder are coming off a 24-58 season and will have to proceed without Holmgren for the time being. The team is still rebuilding, however, so Holmgren’s absence shouldn’t have a major impact on its place in the 2022/23 standings.

Thunder Apply For Disabled Player Exception Due To Holmgren Injury

The Thunder have applied to the NBA for a disabled player exception worth $4.95MM due to the season-ending loss of Chet Holmgren, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

The DPE allows a team to sign a player without using cap space.  In order for the exception to be granted, an NBA-designated physician must determine that the player is “substantially more likely than not” to be sidelined through at least June 15 of that league year.

If granted, the disabled player exception allows a club to sign a replacement player for 50% of the injured player’s salary, or for the amount of the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception, whichever is lesser.

Holmgren has a $9,891,240 salary in his rookie year, so a DPE worth half his salary would work out to $4,945,620.

Holmgren, the No. 2 overall pick of the 2022 draft, will miss his entire rookie season after sustaining a right foot injury. The 20-year-old will undergo surgery in the coming weeks and is expected to make a full recovery by the start of 2023/24.

The injury took place during a Seattle pro-am that was later called off due to unsafe (slippery) court conditions.

Chet Holmgren Injury Notes: Surgery, Details, More

After announcing that big man Chet Holmgren, the No. 2 overall pick of the 2022 draft, will miss his entire rookie season after sustaining a right foot injury, Thunder general manager Sam Presti held an impromptu media session (video link) to provide more details and insight on the situation, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman (subscriber link).

The 20-year-old will undergo surgery in the “coming weeks,” said Presti, adding that Holmgren is expected to make a full recovery by the start of 2023/24. The GM said the long-term outlook is “very positive,” described the injury as bad luck, and added that Holmgren suffered a “rupture of the tendon” and “not a fracture,” according to Mussatto.

Presti also dismissed a question asking whether Holmgren’s thin frame might have been a factor in the injury.

I understand there’s a lot of first-level thinking going on out there,” Presti said. “We can’t really control that. It’s a figment of the alternate reality that is the internet. But that’s not where reality resides. There are opinions and there are facts, and we are dealing with the facts.”

While the injury took place during a Seattle pro-am that was later called off due to unsafe (slippery) court conditions, Presti doesn’t believe that led to the incident.

I don’t think the condensation on the floor was a factor,” Presti said, per Mussatto. “Obviously this happened pretty early, and I don’t believe that issue came up until later.”

Presti said Holmgren will work with longtime former Thunder veteran Nick Collison during the recovery process, Mussatto notes. Like Holmgren, Collison also missed his entire rookie season with an injury. He now works in the team’s front office.

Here are a few more notes regarding the unfortunate news:

  • Because the pro-am league, called “The CrawsOver” in honor of founder Jamal Crawford, is on the list of sanctioned events by the NBA, Holmgren’s future earnings will not be impacted, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The Thunder will receive an insurance reimbursement worth 80% of Holmgren’s per-game salary after he misses 41 games, for a total of $4MM, Marks relays in a separate tweet.
  • The injury shouldn’t be an indictment on NBA players who participate in pro-am leagues, argues Law Murray of The Athletic. The events are free and take place in more intimate venues, which allows players to connect to fans in local communities, and they’ve been going on for decades without an issue, Murray writes. The fact that the injury took place at a pro-am league was just a random occurrence that shouldn’t “validate the concerns” of the minority who think players should only play in NBA games, says Murray.
  • Presti agrees with Murray’s assessment that it was a one-off incident, according to Mussatto. “Players are going to play in these (pro-ams),” Presti said, “because the NBA is saying that they are okay to play in. The other thing is, guys are playing all over the place all the time everywhere. If you have players that love to play, they are going to play basketball. Every time you step on a basketball court, something like this could happen. It could happen in a game. It could happen in a practice. It could happen in a scrimmage.”

Chet Holmgren Out For 2022/23 Season Due To Foot Injury

Thunder big man Chet Holmgren, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 draft, will miss his entire rookie season due to a Lisfranc injury in his right foot, the team announced today in a press release.

Holmgren is believed to have sustained the injury during a pro-am contest in Seattle on Saturday. He left the game – which was ended early due to slippery court conditions – after rolling his ankle, and a report on Wednesday indicated that the Thunder feared the injury was more serious than initially thought.

“Certainly, we are disappointed for Chet, especially given the excitement he had about getting on the floor with his teammates this season,” Thunder executive VP and general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. “We know Chet has a long career ahead of him within our organization and the Oklahoma City community.

“One of the things that most impressed us during the process of selecting Chet was his determination and focus. We expect that same tenacity will carry him through this period of time as we work together and support him during his rehabilitation.”

Holmgren, 20, was drafted behind only Paolo Banchero this June after averaging 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game in 32 appearances (26.9 MPG) for Gonzaga during his first and only college season.

Holmgren’s ability to protect the rim and knock down three-pointers (.390 3PT%), along with his rare blend of length and athleticism, made him perhaps the most tantalizing prospect of the 2022 draft class and a cornerstone piece in the Thunder’s ongoing rebuild. While Oklahoma City hadn’t been expected to be in the playoff picture in 2022/23, it’s still a brutal blow to both the player and team that Holmgren won’t get a chance to play at all this season.

As Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN observes (via Twitter), a number of top draft picks within the last 10 or 15 years have missed their entire rookie seasons due to injuries and eventually went on to make All-NBA teams, including Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Blake Griffin. The Thunder will hope that Holmgren can follow a similar career path.

Thunder Fear Chet Holmgren Has Torn Ligaments In Foot

No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren is undergoing further evaluation on his injured foot, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links), who says the Thunder fear Holmgren has suffered ligament damage.

As Charania explains, exams on Holmgren’s foot have shown potential torn ligaments, and the big man is getting additional opinions to determine the severity of the injury and to set a recovery timetable.

Holmgren’s injury occurred during a pro-am game in Seattle on Saturday — he left the contest after rolling his ankle. Reports at the time indicated the injury didn’t appear serious, but it sounds like there’s cause for real concern now that the young center has undergone more tests. That pro-am game had to be stopped early due to slippery court conditions that were deemed unsafe.

Holmgren, 20, was drafted behind only Paolo Banchero this June after averaging 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game in 32 appearances (26.9 MPG) for Gonzaga during his first and only college season.

Holmgren’s ability to protect the rim and knock down three-pointers (.390 3PT%), along with his rare blend of length and athleticism, made him perhaps the most tantalizing prospect of the 2022 draft class, but his slender build raised questions about his ability to stay healthy going forward.

The Thunder aren’t expected to be a playoff team in 2022/23, but view Holmgren as one of the foundational pieces of their franchise in the long term, alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. We’ll provide more info on his foot injury once we know more.

Chet Holmgren Believed To Be OK After Rolling Ankle In Pro-Am Game

Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren had to leave Saturday’s Seattle pro-am game after rolling his ankle, but the injury doesn’t appear to be serious, tweets Nathan Thompson of Fox 23 Sports in Oklahoma. Thompson provides a video of the play, which happened early in the game as Holmgren was defending LeBron James on a fast break.

The contest, which featured an impressive array of NBA talent, had to be called midway through the second quarter because of unsafe court conditions, writes Kevin Pelton of ESPN. The combination of unusually humid weather and a crowd of nearly 3,000 people that packed the gym at Seattle Pacific University led to condensation issues that made the court too slippery to continue.

The decision to end the game was made after Bucks rookie MarJon Beauchamp slipped while attempting a layup.

“You don’t get a day like this often, but it’s my job to protect everybody’s safety,” said league founder Jamal Crawford. “On the court, I couldn’t risk those guys taking a chance of getting hurt. It’s not worth that. It’s supposed to drive inspiration and give hope and they did that. The job was accomplished.”

According to Pelton, fans began lining up Friday night in hopes of being admitted to the venue. Thousands of people were left outside once the small gym reached its capacity.

James received a thunderous ovation when the crowd first caught a glimpse of him, and tipoff was delayed as a group of fans surrounded him on the court. Crawford addressed the crowd over the PA system, asking for order to be restored amid a warning from Seattle police that the game might have to be shut down.

Once play began, Celtics star Jayson Tatum provided some early highlights, hitting three shots from three-point range and blowing kisses to the fans (video link). He also threw a lob pass to James at the end of the first quarter that resulted in a crowd-pleasing dunk.

“Obviously, everybody didn’t get in and everybody probably could never get in,” Crawford said after the game. “We tried to do the best we can. We tried to provide an experience that we’ve never had before. I thought that overall it was great because I think it’s moments and memories that the kids will never forget.”