Gonzaga NBA Draft Picks: Is Holmgren The Next Stockton or Morrison?

Gonzaga NBA Draft Picks: Is Holmgren The Next Stockton or Morrison?
Image © Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
✍️ Written by
Ty Bronicel
🗓 Updated
May 19th 2023

Gonzaga. Gah, Zags. Just can’t get it done by winning a national championship, huh? Even when I pick you to win in my bracket?

You’ve fooled me once. Never again.        

Moving on: Gonzaga coach Mark Few has recruited and coached more than a few future and current NBA players.

But that was before John Stockton, coached by Dan Fitzgerald, burst onto the NBA scene as a somewhat unknown rookie for the Utah Jazz in 1984.

(An aside: I was at the Draft party at the old Salt Palace when he was selected and I leaped to my feet. Hardly a peep from anyone else. But the great scout Marty Blake knew what he had seen and after watching highlights, I believed him.)

Stockton owns unbreakable records (assists and steals) and is a Hall of Famer.

Decades later, along comes Adam Morrison, a scoring machine, who, in 2006, led the nation in scoring with 28.1 points per game. He was named the Co-National Player of the year for the 2005–06 season.

Then he was drafted with the third overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets and quickly became a bust.

His game simply didn’t equate to the NBA style, speed and pace. Similar to 2011 National Player of the Year Jimmer Fredette. Remember him?

Sometimes a great college player doesn’t make it in the NBA. And that includes Michael Olowokandi, Greg Oden, and on and on.

So that leads us to Chet Holmgren, a true freak of basketball gods' nature, who did indeed have a dazzling Summer League debut against the Utah Jazz Tuesday night.

A final stat line of 23 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 blocks, 1 steal on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor and 4-of-6 from beyond the 3-point line will do that.

Which is to say he’s now the betting favorite (+360) to win the award for Rookie of the Year, per our friends at FanDuel Sportsbooks.

Plenty of places to shop around for good odds on these Online Casinos.

But guess what, sports fans? I’m not buying it. As fascinating and talented as Holmgren is (he resembles another unicorn named Kristaps Porzingis, the Wizards’ magical power forward), I’m concerned that he’s not going to stay healthy. He had a summer-league record six blocks against the Jazz, yes. However, he was also bullied down in the paint and teams will figure him out.

Dig the kid, especially his interview with teammate Josh Giddey following his summer-league debut. Cool.

It’s also just one summer game so chill.

I still say the best bets for ROY, with much better odds, are: Detroit’s Jaden Ivey (+700), Sacramento’s Keegan Murray (+900), and Indiana’s Bennedict Mathurin (+1500).

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About the author
Ty Bronicel
Ty Bronicel
Sports Journalist

Ty Bronicel is a dedicated journalist and graduate of the University of Utah with over 25 years of experience in web media. He has worked for USA TODAY, MSN, Yahoo!, Yahoo! Sports, ESPN.com, NBA.com, NFL.com and Movies.com

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