From one big man to another, Nikola Jokic has some advice for 21-year-old Chet Holmgren, who is in his rookie season with OKC.
The OKC prospect is embarking on his first official year in the league, after a Lisfranc foot injury he sustained during CrawsOver Pro-Am derailed his rookie season.
Thunder played the Nuggets on Sunday and in just his third game in the league, Chet went up against the best big man in the NBA.
Unsurprisingly, the Joker won the matchup since he finished the game with 28 points, 14 rebounds and five assists in Denver’s 128-95 win.
But, Holmgren still managed to record 19 points and four rebounds in the contest as power forward.
After the game, Jokic praised Chet, but gave him one honest piece of advice.
“He’s a really talented guy, but this is his first year. He’s still learning everything: the game, how quick it is, where is (he at) an advantage, where is (he at) a disadvantage,” Jokic told The Denver Post. “I think he needs experience. I think he needs to be a little bit fatter, to be honest. But yes, he has a talent that is unique.”
Since last year, the rookie has actually gained 13 pounds.
Being so lean and tall, Holmgren is used to the notion that his frame won’t hold up against other bigger NBA players.
He addressed this before the start of the season.
“It’s not just about being big,” Holmgren said on All The Smoke. “There’s so much into the game now. You got to be able to move still and do so many different things. It’s not necessarily about gaining weight. It’s really just trying to work on my body — stronger, more athletic. The weight kinda comes with it as you add some muscle and get older, you always add weight. I don’t want to add the wrong weight just get some big broad shoulders and now I’m moving slow, can’t move (and) my knees hurt. The focus has been working on my body all around and how it plays into my game.”
OKC will no doubt be looking to enter the postseason, led by a host of talented youngsters, including Chet, Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.