The Vegas heat was brutal at NBA Summer League, but former player and The Old Man & the Three podcast host J.J. Redick believes the future looks bright for the Oklahoma City Thunder after watching rookie Chet Holmgren and 1-year veteran Josh Giddey team up on the floor.
Redick got his first look at Holmgren and compared the lanky rookie to a young Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“Watching Chet Holmgren in person was an experience,” said Redick. “He’s got a confidence to his game. He’s got a competitiveness to his game. He’s got a really strong belief in self.”
Redick noted three plays that showcased Holmgren’s abilities, including an ISO sidestep three from the top of the key and grabbing the defensive rebound and leading the team on transition.
“Watching that frame move so fluidly, his ball-handling skills, it did remind me of a young Giannis. I hate the comparison because Giannis is one of one, and hopefully, Chet will become one of one. But watching him move in transition reminded me of a young Giannis.”
Still, the play that most impressed Redick was when Holmgren spiked the ball against the backboard, demonstrating his potential dominance on the defensive end.
The seven-foot Holmgren, who averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks during one season at Gonzaga, paired up with Giddey, a member of the 2021-22 All-Rookie Team.
Redick noted that Giddey gets off the ball early, has great half-court vision, and has a knack for getting the basketball in tight spots.
On a pick and roll, Giddey squeezed a no-look pass in between two defenders to Holmgren for the dunk.
“There’s just a really good feel and pace to his game that he uses with the pass,” said Redick. “The big question mark is Josh Giddey’s shooting. For him to unlock a superstar level potential, he’s got to become a better shooter.”
OKC is no stranger to talent.
This is the same team that put Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and James Harden on the floor, and from Redick’s vantage, OKC could be on the verge of a second run.