Floor: Core starter
Bullseye: 3+ time all-star, perennial all-defense contention, top 2 player on championship level team
Ceiling: perennial all-NBA, perennial DPOY candidate
Pass - Grade: 86
Notes: Chet is a very high IQ player, has amazing feel, and elite court mapping. Being a perimeter initiator at his size allows him to see over the defense. Chet is patient and efficient in his passing, makes the right reads and makes them quickly. Keeps the offense and players around him moving. He can create scoring situations for others with his directional passing. Great at high-low and downhill/basket cutter situations. He projects to become a great passer out of the short roll. Not at a level where he can he hit shooters on the move or at a standstill quite yet. Chet is a phenomenal outlet passer, this will be very valuable to any NBA offense. Chet's ability to bring up the ball himself and make high level reads paired with his outlet passing ability will juice any team's transition offense. Chet will be a great passer in advantage situations, out of DHOs, and out of pick and pops. Chet will thrive in an NBA offense that will have much more cutting and relocating than his offense at Gonzaga did. Chet should command perimeter and high post touches and be able to initiate offense out of these areas. Chet is a great standstill passer, but is not at a consistent level as a movement passer yet. Chet's patience and feel will make him a good passer from day 1, and there's a good chance he gets to offense hub status. Chet has a realistic shot at becoming a near Sabonis level passer, with a floor of being an Al Horford level passer. Holmgren projects to be one of the better passing 5s in the NBA.
Dribble - Grade: 90
Notes: Relative to his position and body type, Holmgren's ball handling is elite. Holmgren legitimately has guard skills. He doesn't just have the dribbling capabilities of a guard, but the dribbling fluidity of a guard. It is staggering how natural his ball handling is. Holmgren can grab a rebound and comfortably push the ball in transition to go coast-to-coast or initiate offense. Holmgren can be a DHO initiator or receiver. Holmgren will be lethal popping out of the PnR or attacking from the short roll in high PnR. Chet may get to the level of being able to simply space the floor and attack closeouts with his ball handling ability. Holmgren thrives as a handler when given space to create forward momentum, so when that space is cut-off Chet can struggle to attack closeouts. Chet doesn't have a quick first step, and he also has a high center of gravity. So when defenders are able to beat Chet to the spot, he can be stonewalled easily. Many believe this is due to his lack of strength, but it's actually due to his awkward center of gravity and lack of burst. With that being said, with the NBA's spacing and his ability to shoot at a high level Holmgren may eventually able to attack closeouts in the NBA on a game-to-game basis. Holmgren may eventually be able to be a PnR ball handler in a limited capacity as well. Holmgren's length does make it easy to pressure him and force him to pick up his dribble, but Holmgren is good at anticipating pressure and not over-dribbling. Holmgren has a deep bag of behind-the-back, through-the-legs, and crossover dribbles along with great footwork and feel that present limitless exciting possibilities with NBA spacing at the next level.
3pt Shooting - Grade: 88
Notes: Holmgren shot 41/105 (39%) from three this season, with 3.3 attempts per game and 6.6 attempts per 100 possessions. Chet's 3pt volume was not as high as I would've hoped during his time at Gonzaga, but his three point shooting still showed tons of promise this season. Holmgren shot almost all of his threes above the break this season. This is because the large majority of his threes came from being the trailer or from popping out to the 3pt line. Holmgren displayed his ability to pull up from 3 when bringing the ball up in transition. Holmgren shoots the ball with confidence, has great mechanics, and great touch. Holmgren projects to be a high level three point shooter in the NBA. Increasing his 3pt volume from day 1 would be very beneficial to him, hoping to see at least 4.5 attempts per game rookie year, and ideally 5+. His three point volume should increase over time as his career progresses. Holmgren will get lots of open looks from 3, especially early in his career, due to the match up problem he creates. Bigs will not want to have to commit to honoring him on the perimeter, and this will allow for Holmgren to step into open looks on a regular basis. Holmgren's 3pt shooting ties together his impressive perimeter oriented game, and solidifies him as a true offensive threat at the next level.
Mid-range shooting - Grade: 86
Notes: Holmgren has proved to be a reliable mid-range shot maker throughout his career. He shot the mid-range in college much less than he did in high school, which was expected playing alongside Timme. Chet is comfortable shooting from the high post, on turnarounds, and on the rare late shot clock mid-range spot up. Holmgren has great touch which allows him to shoot from the mid-range at a high level, but I don't expect this to be a significant part of his game at the next level, particularly early in his career.
Finishing - Grade: 92
Notes: Holmgren has significant weaknesses of strength and explosiveness, but they do not prevent Holmgren from being an elite finisher. Holmgren uses his length, touch, timing, footwork, and fluidity to be a high-level finisher. Holmgren has knack for positioning himself in situations he can seemingly score comfortably. Holmgren is an ambidextrous finisher with elite touch and poise, and if he touches the paint there's a very good chance he's going to score. Holmgren is great at absorbing contact when finishing, and has turned the weakness of getting bumped off his spot easily into a strength by maximizing on the space that the bump creates. Holmgren can finish off the bounce or off the catch in the paint, and had a high amount of unassisted baskets in the paint for a big (51.5%). Holmgren spins to either side with comfort and puts up baby hooks over defenders with either hand and hits them at a very high clip, regardless of the level of contact. Getting to his spots may have a level of adjustment in the NBA, but he projects to continue finishing at a very high level in the paint.
Off-ball playmaking - Grade: 90
Notes: All 30 NBA teams would love to stick Holmgren into their lineup because of how valuable his sheer presence to your offense is, even without the ball in his hands. This is due to a combination of his IQ, positioning, cutting ability, run-the-floor ability, and shooting gravity. Holmgren can provide you with your traditional big man needs such as screening/sealing, along with his other unique offensive traits. Holmgren can set or come off a flare or pin down. Holmgren is also great at relocating after setting screens, and great at positioning himself relative to where the ball is to create positional advantages for himself and his teammates. Holmgren's versatility will force teams to pick their poison on how to guard him in ball and off-ball screens. Holmgren's traditional big man skills + IQ and gravity make him incredibly valuable to have in your modern NBA offense.
Offensive Rebounding - Grade: 86
Notes: Holmgren is more than a capable offensive rebounder, but it was not a big part of his game at Gonzaga. This was especially the case playing alongside Timme, as Holmgren was often in the high post or the perimeter and therefore not in a position to crash the offensive glass. Being the anchor of their defense, Chet usually prioritized getting back on defense rather than crashing the offensive glass. However, Holmgren is not afraid to get physical, is good at positioning himself, and utilizes his length when he does crash the offensive glass. Like his shot blocking, he has great timing when crashing the glass too and maximizes his length when doing so. He has the capability to create extra possessions by tipping the ball out to teammates, as he understands this is often the best way to maximize his length when it comes to offensive rebounding. Was able to get to 1.8 OREB per game in large part due to this. You can count on Holmgren to be smart and physical when crashing the offensive glass.
Offensive Summary - Grade: 88
Notes: Holmgren's offensive profile is very exciting. He can be used in countless ways on the offensive end. You can count on Holmgren to make himself useful in any way he can. He is a very high IQ player who understands his strengths and can fit into any role. Appears to be extremely coachable. He could fit seamlessly into any offense in the league due to his ability to space the floor, keep the ball moving, make the right reads, and play in any spot on the floor. He is not a high a volume scorer in any area yet, but he has elite touch and has already proved his ability to be a high-level finisher around the rim and presents a very promising three point shot. Holmgren's teammates will love playing with him as he will clear driving lanes for them and will always be an option to reset and run an emergency PnR or DHO. Holmgren is a coach's dream because of his IQ and versatility. I do not project Holmgren to be a go-to guy or to lead a team in scoring, although if his volume increases he will have the capability. I do project Holmgren to be an elite complementary player on offense, who should command many high post touches/top of the key touches and to be have a significant amount of offense partially ran through him. Chet will not be able to punish teams for going small, and will be able to be contained by lengthy and physical wings the same way teams can play KAT and Porzingis. While teams will be able to play him in ways similar to KAT and Porzingis, that does not by any means mean that Holmgren is soft or will shy away from contact. It just means that he does not currently and may never possess the ability to punish the wings that teams may put on him. On the flip side, the Jokic, Steven Adams, Gobert, and Valanciunus type players will resent matching up with Holmgren. Holmgren has a better IQ coming into the league than his offensive comps of the past did, and Holmgren has the benefit of coming into a league tailor-made for his skillset and the benefit of seeing other bigs with his unique skillset play in the league before him. Additionally, Holmgren is more stylistically versatile than similar players before him and can fit into any scheme. Holmgren will be loved by the fan base, coaching staff, and teammates of whatever team selects him as long as they understand that Holmgren should not be expected to carry the offensive load or play bully ball in the post (Shaq and Chuck are not going to like Chet). Holmgren already plays like a veteran, and makes few mistakes for a player of his build and age. Holmgren checks all the boxes for a guy who will be a key contributor for playoff teams for years to come.
Engagement - Grade: 99
Notes: Chet's engagement on defense is the best in the draft. He is a defensive anchor who always has his head on swivel. Calls out coverages. Knows where everyone is supposed to be at all times, and what they are supposed to be doing.
Containment - Grade: 80
Notes: Chet struggles to defend quicker players in space, but teams are often unsuccessful in their attempts to have players attack Chet from the perimeter when he is switched onto them. Chet's IQ results in him maximizing every inch of his length when defending in space to compensate for his struggles to move his feet laterally, and he has elite contest timing. He often appears to have no chance to beat a guy to the spot and is often trailing, but because of his length/positioning/timing he often manages to get a good contest on these drives/isos. His foul rate is a bit concerning, and often gets a whistle in these situations. Defending in space was easier in college than it will be at the next level. Chet is an elite north-south defender, but struggles as an east-west defender. The team that drafts Chet will have to sacrifice regular season possession by allowing Chet to switch on to guards at times, he needs the reps. He struggles to contain ball-handling wings more than guards in space, as they can get into his body with more force. His lateral movement is not great, but his lack of core strength is the biggest issue he has when defending in space. Chet's recovery ability when he is beat on the perimeter is elite, and this is one of the reasons he is not a player who can be played off the floor in the playoffs even as a rookie. Chet projects to get to a level where he can switch on to guards and wings and defend them at a solid level, but Holmgren isn't there yet. If he reaches (or comes somewhat close) to his ceiling at being a switch defender/defending in space, then Holmgren will be a true swiss army knife on defense.
Team Defense - Grade: 98
Notes: Chet has all the tools to be a true defensive anchor, meaning he is an elite team defender. Chet is a quarterback on the defense due to his elite ability to make advanced reads way in advance. Chet's court mapping is elite and he makes all of his teammates better on defense because of it. Chet is elite off the ball, he is basically always in the right spot. Chet is a massive luxury for a coaching staff, and when taking his age into consideration his defensive mind and execution for his age is unheard of.
Rim Protection - Grade: 96
Notes: Will be a great rim protector on day 1, projects to be an elite rim protector. Elite length. Elite timing on contests. Elite rotations. Has a knack for being in 2 places at once. Always in the right spot. Blows up drives and PnRs once they meet him in the paint. Stifles opposing bigs that try to go over or through him. Covers a ton of ground. Projects to anchor a defense. Doesn't sacrifice rebound positioning to block shots, doesn't sell out. Doesn't try to block shots into the third row. Foul rate is a concern, but Chet's IQ projects for him to improve in this aspect. Isn't afraid to get dunked on. Great at defending 2 on 1 situations and forcing uncomfortable/low efficiency decisions similar to Gobert. Blocks shots with both hands with elite coordination. His presence in the paint alters how teams/players play, again similar to Gobert. Has a remarkable blend of sheer will to get a stop, IQ/poise, and freakish physical tools projecting him to become one of the NBA's best rim protectors.
Playmaking - Grade: 95
BLK rate (first column) STL rate (second column)
Joel Embiid Kansas, 2014 (11.7 2.3)
Deandre Ayton Arizona, 2018 (6.1 1.0)
Evan Mobley USC, 2021 (8.8 1.4)
Jaren Jackson Jr. MSU, 2018 (14.3 1.6)
Anthony Davis Kentucky, 2012 (13.7 2.5)
Bam Adebayo Kentucky, 2017 (4.9 1.2)
Chet Holmgren Gonzaga, 2022 (12.7 1.7)
Chet compares favorably amongst some of the NBA's best stock leaders compared to their college seasons. Additionally, Chet is great at turning his stocks into efficient transition opportunities on offense.
Versatility - Grade: 86
Notes: Chet's ability to play in every PnR coverage at good to elite level makes him a versatile defender. If Chet improves his ability to defend guards and wings in space and on switches, then he will be a true swiss army knife on defense.
Defensive Rebounding - Grade: 95
Notes: Chet recorded 8.1 DREB per game, with a DREB% of 28.1% which is really, really good. Holmgren is a unique and incredibly effective rebounder. This part of his game is the most underrated. He rebounds at an elite level using the same tools he uses for his shot blocking: positioning, timing, IQ, length, and sheer will to get a stop/scrappiness. He is deceivingly physical on the glass (Shaq and Chuck will like him once they realize this). Chet draws frustration fouls by contesting a shot and still somehow positioning himself perfectly to secure the miss. Chet uses everyone's desire to out-physical him to his advantage, and it shows on the glass. Chet is solid at slipping/ducking/spinning/sealing his way to a rebound, but he prefers to be able to be vertical when rebounding and to grab the ball right as it comes off rim. He uses his elite timing, length, and coordination to do this. His rebounding is especially valuable when paired with his ability to bring the ball up and make outlet passes.
Defensive Summary - Grade: 97
Notes: If I am a rebuilding team with an opportunity to select Chet Holmgren to anchor my defense for the next 10+ years, I am sprinting to the podium to select him without hesitation. Chet has the best defensive instincts out of any prospect in a very, very long time - and is incredibly unique in how he utilizes these instincts. Chet's unique body movements and his instincts result in bizarre, magnificent defensive plays that have never really been seen before. The same Steve Nash used same foot same hand finishes to shield off bigger defenders to make up for his size, Holmgren uses same hand same foot shot contests to make up for his lack of mobility. Holmgren often looks like he's beat, out of position, or back-peddling hopelessly and then will miraculously get a hand on the ball at the last second or will significantly alter a shot. These unique abilities allow for Chet to not just be elite in his role as a rotating help defender, but as primary rim protector and in one on one situations stemmincg from anywhere on the floor. Chet's instincts, complete body coordination, and length provide him with one of the most unique and effective defensive skillsets that the NBA scouts have ever seen. It is so new and unique that there's doubt about its sustainability, but since Holmgren is already remarkably effective in what he does on defense with his length (which isn't going anywhere) and his instincts (which aren't going anywhere) Chet can only further improve on the defensive end. Chet's concerns about his body and longevity are stemmed in his frame, but Chet isn't overly reliant on his mobility for defense. Chet's main focal points on defense being length and instincts rather than tools like athletic vertical and lateral mobility actually suggest that Chet's reign as a defensive anchor will be able to last longer than other center prospects such as Jalen Duren, who's athletic gifts are the essence of his rim protection. Chet's rim protection, PnR versatility, rebounding ability, and intangibles will make him a great defender from day 1 similar to how we saw Mobley do it this year. His defensive floor is high because of this, and his ceiling is perennial DPOY candidate, perennial all-defense. His lack of strength does not hinder his defensive production in the areas you think it would (there are isolated exceptions to this), which is why you should let the tape and numbers speak for Chet's defensive abilities.
Measurables - Grade: 87
Frame needs work
Core strength needs improvement along with overall strength
Functional Athleticism - Grade: 70
Solid open court speed for size
Slow first step
Lacks vertical jump
Lateral movement needs improvement