Thunder rookie and No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren will miss his entire first season after suffering a Lisfranc injury in his right foot, the team announced in a press release.
“Certainly, we are disappointed for Chet, especially given the excitement he had about getting on the floor with his teammates this season,” Thunder head of basketball operations Sam Presti said.
“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 was defending LeBron James on a fast-break layup at the Seattle pro-am when the injury occurred.
He actually defended the play well, forcing James to take an off-balance layup attempt, which he missed.
Eventually, though, the game was called the middle of the second quarter due to unsafe playing conditions. Humidity and a crowd of 3,000 inside the little Seattle Pacific University gym caused condensation on the court.
“You don’t get a day like this often, but it’s my job to protect everybody’s safety,” said former NBA guard and 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.”
Holmgren, 19, is 7-foot-0 and spent one season at Gonzaga, averaging 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds in 32 games.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, he has drawn comparisons to Kristaps Porzingis.
The official NBA Draft Guide wrote of his strengths: “Unique combination of length and skill. Elite defender with incredible shot-blocking instincts. Comfortable handling the ball in the open floor. Highly competitive and engaged at both ends of the court.”