The Orlando Magic shocked the basketball world by selecting Paolo Banchero with the first pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. While many were left stunned, Chet Holmgren was seemingly pleased after his plan to avoid being picked by Orlando worked.
Throughout the pre-draft process, reports surfaced that Holmgren wanted to play for the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, Orlando held the top picks and 2021 first-round selection Jalen Suggs liked the idea of paying with his best friend.
Many viewed Holmgren as the best NBA Draft prospect in 2022, offering tantalizing potential that could turn him into a perennial Defensive Player of the year candidate who can also make plays with the ball. It’s one of the reasons why the Magic brought him in for a workout, but it seems the Gonzaga alum made sure they weren’t too impressed.
According to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated, the 7-foot center tanked his visit with the Magic. Between leaving his workout earlier and barely putting his skills on display, Holmgren made it clear he didn’t want to play for the Magic.
It’s easy to see why Holmgren preferred Oklahoma City over Orlando. He joins a roster with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, young guards who complement his game nicely. He will also play alongside Aleksej Pokusevski, a young forward with similar skills.
- Chet Holmgren stats: 14.1 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 3,7 BPG, 39% 3PT, 78.7 Defensive Rating
Only time will tell whether or not Orlando made the right decision with the No. 1 pick. Based on how everything unfolded, though, it’s clear the best three prospects all landed with the teams they want to play for and their new clubs are very happy with the selections.