The last time an NBA Draft featured a Gonzaga player selected within the first three picks was back in 2006, when the Charlotte Bobcats took a chance on highly-touted prospect Adam Morrison at No. 3 overall. Morrison remains the program's highest-drafted star, all these years later, but his run likely comes to an end on Thursday night in Brooklyn, as Bulldogs center Chet Holmgren has been projected as a consensus top-three pick.
Holmgren, who helped Gonzaga reach the Sweet 16 this past season, is one of the most fascinating big men in the 2022 draft class. As a 7-foot freshman, he showcased elite rim-protection abilities and exceptional ball-handling skill, averaging 14.1 points with 9.9 rebounds across 32 games. Holmgren was also the only Division-I player who had games of 15 points, 15 boards, five assists, and five blocks. The only concern about Holmgren is his rather slender frame, as he currently weighs less than 200 pounds.
"I believe the hype on his potential. But, a problem we've seen with unicorns over the last five years is, 7-foot bodies aren't meant to be played like guards in the NBA," CBS Sports college writer David Cobb explained to The DA Show on Thursday. "And as great as it is in theory for your 7-footer to get out on the perimeter, hedge on pick-and-rolls, knock down threes, handle the ball, lead to fast-breaks, that's a lot of wear and tear on a really large frame...
"It's just a lot of stress. And to play the way he plays, that's my hesitation with Holmgren. If you go and look at some other guys who profile similar to him, all are either really good players or have the chance to be. But all have also dealt with significant, significant injuries early in their careers that've kept them out for long chunks in certain seasons. If you're taking him at No. 2, you just have to be okay with that. I hope Oklahoma City Thunder fans are ready for that."
The entire NBA Draft conversation between Cobb and DA can be accessed in the audio player above.