Thunder’s manufacturing process has begun in earnest

NBA Commissioners Adam Silver (L) and Chet Holmgren pose for a photo after the Oklahoma City Thunder drafted Holmgren with the second overall pick during the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 23, 2022 in New York City.
(Photo by Sarah Steer/Getty Images)

three years ago, Oklahoma City Thunder Traded Franchise Mainstay Russell Westbrook for the Houston Rockets Chris PaulAnd it was to be expected that the team would be starting a rebuilding project.

But the Thunder delayed it by a year, as Paul took the cast and a team of young prospects to the playoffs after a surprisingly strong season.

Paul later left for the Phoenix Suns, and for the past two years, Oklahoma City has been stocking a boatload of draft picks.

Observers wondered what the Thunder would do with them – would they keep all of them, or would they cash some of them.

on thursday they took the big man Chet Holmgren With the second overall pick, and he is a player who is believed to have star potential.

Now, we can say that Oklahoma City has really begun its rebuilding process.

Holmgren could become a franchise cornerstone

Holmgren, who stands 7-feet tall, was expected to take pick number 1 at the Orlando Magic, but he surprised some paolo banchero Instead, allows Thunder to capture the older man.

A product of Gonzaga University, a school that has produced its share of NBA players, Holmgren weighs just 200 pounds, which brings up the inevitable question of whether he’ll be able to withstand the rigors of NBA play, especially As a grown man.

But he’s an elite defender, blessed with a 7-foot-6 wingspan and an average of 3.7 blocked shots as well as 9.9 rebounds a game to go with this year.

Offensively, he averaged only 14.1 points in one game, but he is an excellent and strong finisher, as evidenced by his 60.7 percent accuracy off the field and the fact that he scores 99th percentile in shooting percentage around the rim. is ranked in. According to CBS Sports,

Even better, he hit a good amount of 39.0 percent of his 3-point shots this season (3.3 3-point attempts at a competition), giving him a skill on the offense that fits with the modern NBA.

Despite his slender frame, Holmgren appears to have the ability to play effective internal defense.

His ability to handle and form the ball makes him even more distinctive, whether working against a defense to take his shot or getting the ball into transition.

If Holmgren has a work ethic and if he avoids the type and frequency of injuries caused to Kristaps Porzingis (the player with whom he is often compared), he could become a star or even a superstar for the Thunder.

Thunder has a lot of capital moving forward

In Shai Gilgius-AlexanderOklahoma City already has a borderline star guard, aged just 23, under contract for the next several years and who could continue to refine his game.

also acquired the right osman diengThe French native who was 11th pick overall and has the potential to be an interesting biggie in his own right.

Dieng is 19 and played for the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League last season.

He’s 6-foot-10 and just 215 pounds, but is believed to have potential as a defender and someone who can dribble.

The Thunder also had the 12th pick they used for Jalen Williams, a wing that has the potential to be a good 3-and-D player.

With a treasure trove of their choice over the next several years, they may be in the same position they were in the late 2000s when they had the fortune of being drafted. Kevin DurantWestbrook, and James Harden,

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