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NBA Rumors: Thunder Apply for $4.95M Player Exception After Chet Holmgren's Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 27, 2022

AP Photo/Jeff Swinger, File

The Oklahoma City Thunder have reportedly applied for a $4.95 million Disabled Player Exception because of the season-ending injury to rookie center Chet Holmgren, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Holmgren suffered a Lisfranc injury to his right foot while playing in a CrawsOver Pro-Am event this past week.

"Certainly, we are disappointed for Chet, especially given the excitement he had about getting on the floor with his teammates this season," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement after it was announced that Holmgren would miss the entire 2022-23 season. "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, 20, was the No. 2 overall pick in this year's NBA draft by the Thunder after averaging 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game in his lone season at Gonzaga.

One of the questions regarding Holmgreen was how the tall but thin center (7'1" and 195 pounds) would fare in the physical NBA, though the injury he suffered at the Pro-Am appeared to be a freak occurrence that happened while he was defending LeBron James on a fast break.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

ESPN injury analyst <a href="https://twitter.com/Stephania_ESPN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Stephania_ESPN</a> details the promising path to a full recovery for Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren. <a href="https://t.co/HlUlYTUFWc">pic.twitter.com/HlUlYTUFWc</a>

Presti said the Thunder would be "extremely conservative" in their approach to Holmgren's long-term recovery, naturally hoping to avoid any sort of lingering foot issues that could adversely affect the young player's career.

"He's going to get better just by getting stronger, just by seeing things differently, just by learning the NBA," he added. "All that's going to be happening. He's going to be able to shoot. He's going to be able to do a lot of things with the ball."

Because the event where Holmgreen suffered his injury was a sanctioned activity by the NBA, he won't be in danger of losing any salary or earnings while he's unable to play.

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