FanShot

Who needs to step up in response to Chet Holmgren’s injury

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Besides being arguably the most talented player in the draft, Holmgren was drafted to elevate the Thunder’s front court. In terms of talent, Oklahoma City’s bigs and forwards are the team’s weakness. With Holmgren going down, the Thunder have lost their defensive anchor and rim protector. Derrick Favors, the backup center, cannot fill either role. However, the Thunder do not have to lose the offensive production the rookie would have brought. Holmgren would have been the second or third scoring option for the Thunder next season and there are players who can fulfill that role. In particular, Darius Bazley should be the Thunder's primary wing scorer this season. After a jump in scoring during his sophomore season, it was a surprise to see Bazley regress offensively last season. The Thunder will have rely on Bazley to turn things around this season. If he can improve his scoring average to 15 points per game, that would significantly help their offense. This average is very obtainable, it would just require some consistency from Bazley.