Chet Holmgren Says He Wants to Land 'in the Best Fit For My Career' in 2022 NBA Draft

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 28, 2022

Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren against Arkansas during a college basketball game in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament in San Francisco, Thursday, March 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren, a contender for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft, said he's more concerned about how he'll fit with a team than where he lands in the draft order.

"Man, I want to land in the best fit for my career and the best possible situation," Holmgren told TMZ Sports in an interview released Saturday.

The 20-year-old Minnesota native is joined by Auburn forward Jabari Smith and Duke forward Paolo Banchero as the most likely options for the Orlando Magic with the first selection. Smith appears to hold the edge, but there's time for things to change before the June 23 event.

Holmgren put together a terrific freshman campaign for the Zags. He averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 1.9 assists across 32 games. He shot 60.7 percent from the field and showed his ability to stretch the floor, hitting 39 percent of his three-point attempts.

While his ability to become a key contributor at both ends of the floor is evident, there are concerns about how his 195-pound frame will hold up as a post player at the NBA level.

In April, the WCC Defensive Player of the Year told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski it's one of the things he's focused on leading up to the draft.

"My goal every day is to do everything I can to become the best I can be," Holmgren said. "I'm doing that with my pre-draft training—in the weight room getting stronger, tightening up my [ballhandling], my shooting and becoming more accustomed to handling an NBA style of game."

While he's got a strong case as the best prospect in the draft, going to the Oklahoma City Thunder with the second pick may be the ideal fit he's looking for.

OKC features a promising core of young talent, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Luguentz Dort, Darius Bazley and Isaiah Roby. Someone who fits the system with prototypical center size is the one thing that's been missing.

Holmgren could fill that void, and he'd also provide the Thunder with some much-needed offensive efficiency in the frontcourt.