Thunder apply for $4.95M player exception after top pick’s season-ending injury: report

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Last Saturday, Chet Holmgren suffered a season-ending foot injury in a pro-am game in Seattle while guarding LeBron James.

The Oklahoma City Thunder took the seven-footer with the second overall pick. But since he’ll be out until the 2023-24 season, the team has filed for a $4.95 million Disabled Player Exception, according to The Athletic.

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Chet Holmgren #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder poses during the 2022 NBA Rookie Portraits at UNLV on July 14, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The 190-pounder suffered a Linsfranc injury. If the NBA grants the exception, it will give the Thunder extra cap space to spend this season in order to replace Holmgren. It will not, however, give OKC an extra roster spot.

“Certainly, we are disappointed for Chet, especially given the excitement he had about getting on the floor with his teammates this season,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. 

Chet Holmgren #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives to the basket against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half of their NBA Summer League game July 6, 2022 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Chet Holmgren #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives to the basket against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half of their NBA Summer League game July 6, 2022 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
(Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER ROOKIE CHET HOLMGREN TO MISS ENTIRE NBA SEASON WITH FOOT INJURY

“We know Chet has a long career ahead of him within our organization and the Oklahoma City community. One of the things that most impressed us during the process of selecting Chet was his determination and focus. We expect that same tenacity will carry him through this period of time as we work together and support him during his rehabilitation.”

The event Holmgren participated in was sanctioned by the NBA, meaning he will not be in danger of losing salary while he is out.

In his lone season at Gonzaga, he averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game in the Bulldogs’ run to the Sweet 16. 

Chet Holmgren greets LeBron James during the CrawsOver Pro-Am game at Seattle Pacific University on Aug. 20, 2022, in Seattle.

Chet Holmgren greets LeBron James during the CrawsOver Pro-Am game at Seattle Pacific University on Aug. 20, 2022, in Seattle.
(Cassy Athena/Getty Images)

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In five summer league games, he averaged 14.0 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.8 blocks.