Chet Holmgren was a divisive player entering the NBA draft because of concerns about his body translating into the league. After his performance for the Oklahoma City Thunder to start the summer, Colin Cowherd believes he will likely succeed.
Holmgren's debut showed his potential to play against an NBA-level competition. In his second game, Holmgren again showed some of those characteristics but was not as dominant.
Overall, Holmgren's hot start to the summer league has caught the eye of several NBA and general sports analysts. During a recent segment on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, analyst Colin Cowherd spoke about Holmgren's potential in the NBA.
"My takeaway is, I saw some Dirk Nowitzki. I do think he's a unicorn, much like Zion. When I saw Zion in college, I said there's a little Barkley, a little Karl Malone, but Zion's nothing like I've ever seen.
"And when Zion was healthy, he put up Wilt numbers. And it is interesting. I watched him last night, and the knock on the scout is, he's gonna have to settle for 3's."
While Zion Williamson and Chet Holmgren are both opposites physically, the idea that they are so unique they could be a problem is similar. Still, Cowherd believes that Holmgren will succeed because of how the league changes.
"I saw a little Dirk Nowitzki, but he's taller. He may end up being able to handler the ball better. Dirk Nowitzki, often, could not get by defenders and was not strong physically, but was one of the great all-time scorers in league history."
Dirk Nowitzki was an everyday player comparison for Holmgren entering the league because both are significant, lean players that can shoot. If Holmgren can develop his game the same way that Nowitzki did, he could join him as an MVP winner.
Colin Cowherd also believes that the NBA is heading in a direction where a player like Holmgren can be even more successful.
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Colin Cowherd believes the NBA is moving into the skillset of a player like Chet Holmgren.
As the NBA continues to evolve, specific skills become more valuable. Cowherd believes Chet Holmgren is an excellent fit in an NBA that is moving towards a great emphasis on shooting.
"It's very hard for me to see Chet Holmgren not succeeding at some level. The sport is moving into him. You can afford to settle for 3's. The NBA is filled with guys who can't get a good shot unless you give him a screen."
While Holmgren will have help getting open on offense, his defense did show some concern in his second summer league game.
Chet Holmgren's special abilities are built for the modern NBA offensively, but his defense will need to find a way to match them.
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