Rookie Chet Holmgren is going to miss the entire 2022-23 NBA season rehabbing a Lisfranc injury to his right foot – but that doesn’t mean all is lost for the Thunder in terms of player development.
Where one door closes, another opens; and an opportunity is set to present itself to Ousmane Dieng, Darius Bazley, Aleksej Pokuševski, Jaylin Williams, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, and Vít Krejčí.
Dieng, 19, was selected by the Thunder with the 11th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Dieng is listed at 6-10 but can play shooting guard or small forward due to his skill and speed.
Bazley, 22, was selected by the Thunder with the 23rd pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and is in the last year of his rookie contract.
In three seasons with the Thunder, Bazley has averaged 10.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists on 41%/31%/70% shooting splits.
Pokuševski, 20, was selected by the Thunder with the 17th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
It’s hard to believe Pokuševski has already been in the League for two seasons; where he’s averaged 7.8 points and 5.0 rebounds on 38%/29%/72% shooting splits.
Williams, 20, was selected by the Thunder with the 34th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Last season at Arkansas, Williams averaged 10.9 points and 9.8 rebounds.
Robinson-Earl, 21, was selected by the Thunder with the 32nd pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
In his rookie season, Robinson-Earl averaged 7.5 points and 5.6 rebounds.
Krejčí, 22, was selected by the Washington Wizards with the 37th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, then traded to the Thunder.
In 30 games with the Thunder, Krejčí averaged 6.2 points and 3.4 rebounds.
Ousmane Dieng, Darius Bazley, Aleksej Pokuševski, Jaylin Williams, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, and Vít Krejčí are all 6-8 or taller and under the age of 22.
Thunder’ general manager Sam Presti will surely want to see which big men will compliment Holmgren’s playing style when he returns in 2023.