Before Victor Wembanyama got the NBA into a tizzy about what an extremely skinny, very skilled big man can do for a developing franchise, there was Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren.
Following a very successful stint with the Bulldogs, Holmgren elevated his stock enough to warrant being taken second overall in the 2022 NBA Draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Unfortunately, before he could play a single regular season game for them, Holmgren suffered a Lisfranc injury in his foot during a Pro-am game. As a result, he ended up missing the entirety of the 2022-23 NBA season.
Fortunately, Holmgren has been putting in a lot of work in anticipation of his Thunder comeback.
In a series of photos that recently went viral, Holmgren can be seen adding some legit muscle to his slender frame.
Chet Holmgren has clearly been in the gym. You can tell he has added some muscle mass.‼️😤
Can’t wait for his return 🙌🏽💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/3sGKLpuZbG
— Basket 🅿️oint (@livebasketpoint) June 8, 2023
Reactions to Holmgren’s physical development poured in immediately.
Some were impressed; others – not so much.
Chet Holmgren está construindo o shape 💪 pic.twitter.com/3VY9fE2NL5
— Meu Thunder (@meuthunder) June 8, 2023
Chet Holmgren adding muscle mass pic.twitter.com/3Rpg71SecV
— BetMGM Canada (@BetMGMCanada) June 8, 2023
Damn that boy look like he gained a solid 2 lbs 🔥. His weight should be at 102 lbs.
— K-Dot Of Plug Talk Media (@KDotPTM) June 8, 2023
I thought that was Jason Bourne
— Shane Lewis🏴☠️🏴☠️🏴☠️⭕️🙌🏻 (@ShaninusMaximus) June 8, 2023
Given what Holmgren’s body used to look like, it’s hard to dispute that progress was made.
All in all, it will be interesting to see how Oklahoma City fares next season. This year the team primarily made headlines for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s ascent to superstardom on the court and his girlfriend’s rise to fame off it.
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/9G934k6EMm
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 8, 2023
But in 2023-24, the expectation is for them to legitimately make some noise in the Western Conference.
And Holmgren’s continued development, both in terms of his body and his skills, is going to be a big part of that.
Will Holmgren come back next season and justify the Thunder’s decision to take him second overall in 2022? An answer one way or the other will emerge soon enough.