Report: Preferring to get drafted by Thunder, Chet Holmgren left Magic workout early

Chet Holmgren at 2022 NBA Draft
Alex Nahorniak-Svenski/NBAE via Getty Images

Jabari Smith said he wanted to be the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Paolo Banchero looked overwhelmed with happiness when the Magic actually picked him No. 1.

The third of the consensus top three prospects – Chet Holmgren – apparently preferred going No. 2 to the Thunder.

Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated:

there was significant suspicion amongst rival executives that Holmgren’s camp preferred he land in Oklahoma City and not Orlando

as I understand things, at least one concrete maneuver was taken to steer Holmgren away from the Magic: according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, Holmgren bailed early on the last day of his Orlando visit, conducting a brief on-court shooting workout that he cut short.

The Thunder have done well to maintain a strong reputation while rebuilding (i.e., losing). In Oklahoma City, the rail-thin Holmgren can develop at his own pace without sky-high immediate expectations.

Who knows what Orlando would’ve done if Holmgren wanted to be there? Some thought he fit the Magic’s style. But they’ve got Banchero now.

And Holmgren got his desired spot with the Thunder.