The Orlando Magic had the Number 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, and although every player dreams of being chosen first, one of them really did not care to go to that particular team.
Gonzaga All-American Chet Holmgren landed to the Thunder at pick No. 2 and it seemingly played out just how he wanted it to.
According to NBA draft insider Jeremy Woo, “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. While I don’t know whether that impacted anything with the Magic’s decision at No. 1, objectively, it’s very hard to use a high-stakes draft pick on a player that doesn’t truly want to be part of your team.”
Orlando was rumored to be taking Jabari Smith, but things changed drastically as they shocked everybody by going with Paolo Banchero with their first overall pick.
Chet now joins a roster with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, young guards who complement his game nicely.
In his freshman year at Gonzaga, the 7-foot Holmgren averaged 14.1 points per game.