Not only Victor Wembanyama. There were two other highly anticipated NBA debuts on the night: that of Chet Holmgren and that of Scoot Henderson. They will be the two, in all likelihood, the Frenchman’s main opponents in the race for the title of Rookie of the Year.
Holmgren is the second overall pick in the 2022 Draft but missed all of last season due to an injury sustained during a summer tournament. Tonight he played his first NBA game and contributed to the good win of the Oklahoma City Thunder (124-104) against the Chicago Bulls. Holmgren, like Wemby, also entered on tip-off: 25 minutes on the court starting in the quintet, 11 points (2/3 from three, 2/4 from two, 1/3 at the free), 4 rebounds and 3 assists. The most iconic play of the game, however, he experienced from the wrong side: in the second quarter a lost ball off the dribble and the subsequent ankle-breaker suffered by Andre Drummond (not exactly a monster of agility) on the counterattack.
Much more space for Scoot Henderson, given also the full reconstruction underway at Portland after Lillard’s farewell. The #2 pick of the last draft started in the starting five and was on the court for 36 minutes, being the most employed of his team. For him 11 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists with 0/3 from the arc, 5/8 from two and 1/1 at the line.