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Chet Holmgren Reportedly Tanked Workout With The Orlando Magic, Didn't Want To Be Selected As The No. 1 Pick

Chet Holmgren Reportedly Tanked Workout With The Orlando Magic, Didn't Want To Be Selected As The No. 1 Pick

The 2022 NBA Draft opened with a surprise when Duke Blue Devils standout Paolo Banchero went 1st overall ahead of Jabari Smith Jr. and Chet Holmgren. While it was always considered to be a draft with a defined top three, most draft boards had either Jabari or Chet going to the Orlando Magic with the first pick. Ultimately, Chet was selected by the OKC Thunder at 2 and Jabari went to the Houston Rockets at 3.

Holmgren was expected to be a fantastic pick for the Magic if they decided to pick him over Paolo or Jabari. His skill-set is extremely unique, and he does project to have a higher ceiling than the others. The cherry on top was that Holmgren's childhood best friend Jalen Suggs was already in Orlando. 

Chet is now on the Thunder alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Lu Dort, and other young players. They can all grow together, something Holmgren was aware of as he reportedly tanked his draft workout with the Magic to ensure he would be available to the Thunder with the second pick.

"While it was never entirely clear to other teams what the Thunder were going to do, there was significant suspicion amongst rival executives that Holmgren’s camp preferred he land in Oklahoma City and not Orlando... 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." (h/t Sports Illustrated - Jeremy Woo)

It seems Sam Presti must have impressed Holmgren immensely when the pair met during Chet's draft workout in OKC. The Gonzaga Bulldog will be looked at as a franchise cornerstone as OKC has already collected a great assortment of players in their rebuild.

The Magic won't be sour about picking Banchero, but it must have been off-putting to see Chet ready to sacrifice playing with his best friend and being the first pick just to not be drafted by the Magic. The OKC-Magic game next season may just have some extra sting to it.