There’s no question that Chet Holmgren is an unusually talented young big man. He’s 7-1, he’s an excellent ballhandler, he can shoot and is a gifted shotblocker with excellent timing.
So why aren’t we more sold on him?
Three basic reasons: first, we don’t think he fully understands the blessings his height give him and doesn’t always play up to it. And second, his build. And third, his foot speed is adequate but not exceptional.
It’s very possible that he’ll be a ridiculously powerful guy before he’s through or even just reasonably solid. Or he could be like Atlanta Hawk John Collins and be relatively slim and still very effective.
He does show some tremendous stuff in this video. He’s going be an excellent shot blocker; there’s not much question about that. And the ball handling and shooting is beautiful. He has some nice moves but he’s not as quick as he may be later when his skills catch up more to his size. Not at all unusual for a young big man.
But his frame bugs us a bit. He slouches a lot and we’re not at all positive he’s ever going to gain a lot of weight. You’ll see one spot on here for instance where a much smaller opponent wraps him up and keeps him from leaving the floor.
They both laugh about it, but what’s going to happen when he runs into Steven Adams, LeBron James or Zion Williamson?
Or for that matter, Paolo Banchero this fall in Las Vegas?
We’d have to watch more carefully but it looks like most of his impressive plays here come against smaller guys, which isn’t that hard when you’re 7-1.
The Slim Reaper has the chance to be very, very good, but there are still some important question marks. We’d love to see him become great though. He’s a lot of fun to watch.