Chet Holmgren, the No 2 overall pick in this year’s draft will miss the entirety of the upcoming NBA season because of a Lisfranc injury to his right foot.
“Certainly, we are disappointed for Chet, especially given the excitement he had about getting on the floor with his teammates this season,” Oklahoma City Thunder 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.”
The 20-year-old suffered the injury while defending LeBron James during a pro-am game in Seattle on Saturday. The game was canceled in the second quarter after humid conditions made the court slippery. Presti said that he did not believe the court played a part in Holmgren’s injury.
“Guys are playing all the time all over the place everywhere,” he said. “If you have guys who love to play, they’re 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.”
Presti said he is confident Holmgren will make a full recovery, and highlighted players such as Joel Embiid and Blake Griffin as examples of high-draft picks who missed their first year due to injury and went on to become All-Stars.
Holmgren can play power forward or center and was a college star at Gonzaga, making the All-America second team as a freshman. There were some who expressed concern about how his 7ft 1in, 196lb frame would hold up in the NBA, but he had performed well in the Summer League and was expected to be in the running for rookie of the year honors this season.