Oklahoma City kicked off their Summer League tour on Tuesday evening in Salt Lake City, Utah, and if you’re a Thunder fan, you have a lot to be excited about and look forward to.
The Thunder as a whole looked impressive, but the conversation revolves around two players: Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams.
Entering the NBA Draft, all the scouts and experts boasted Holmgren’s ball-handling, shot-blocking, mobility, and overall ability to score the ball. It didn’t take very long to figure out how good he could be, as he displayed all those facets of his game within his first five minutes of playing time.
Fifty seconds into the game, Holmgren blocked a shot in the paint, then shortly after, led a fast break and flashed some crafty moves with the ball. It was unusual to see how confident he was in his first Summer League game, a situation that often has many highly-touted rookies shivering.
Holmgren’s only weakness is his lanky frame, considering he’s a “big man,” with a concern of him going against bigger offensive players. Well, as mentioned in his introductory press conference, Holmgren is unique. He recognizes he’s not a match for a traditional big man based on his size, so he uses his 7-foot-6 wingspan to block the offensive player’s shot instead, which he had six in his first Summer League game.
Sam Presti and OKC’s scouting team need an award because they pegged Holmgren and Williams near-perfectly.
Williams was evaluated as a high-energy, shifty guard that likes to get his teammates involved and can finish at the rim in multiple ways. Williams is touted as a guy that can move without the ball, which we also saw against Utah.
One thing that stuck out to me was Holmgren and Williams playing together. Without sugarcoating that experience, they were dynamic, feeding off each other. Both are high-energy guys that like to get each other involved, but are looking to get buckets.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see them paired together a lot this season for the Thunder.
In Holmgren’s opening Summer League performance, he finished with 23 points on 7-of-9 shooting, seven rebounds, four assists, six blocks, and one steal. He also broke the Summer League record for blocks.
“I’m coming to break it again.”
Williams capped off his productive opening night with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting and five rebounds.
Second-year guy Josh Giddey was also impressive, finishing with 14 points, 11 assists, and five rebounds.
OKC will play the Memphis Grizzlies tomorrow at 7 PM Central Time.
Love this optimistic report about the Thunder!