NBA: 4 Superstar big men under 21 who will define this new era for frontcourt players

There's a new era of big men under the age of 21 that will define this new era for frontcourt players in the NBA.

Wemby has proven that he's a generational talent.
Wemby has proven that he's a generational talent. / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
3 of 4

Chet Holmgren, Oklahoma City Thunder

Chet Holmgren walked into a fortunate situation when the Oklahoma City Thunder drafted him with the second overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, Holmgren suffered a major injury that summer and ended up missing what was supposed to be his rookie season. As Holmgren was on the mend, the Thunder exceeded expectations and qualified for the Play-In Tournament.

The addition of Holmgren only made them a better team as the Thunder currently own the top spot in the Western Conference and he has placed his name firmly in the Rookie of the Year conversation. Holmgren has also etched his name in the history books as he became the first NBA rookie to record 100 three-pointers and 100 blocks in one season.

Holmgren is skinny and thin but he plays tougher and bigger than the size he actually is. For a player whose weakness is supposedly his weight and lack of strength, it appears that it won't become an issue for Holmgren in order to make his presence known. The scary thing is that he is on a team that is loaded with top-notch talent and they also have the second-youngest team in the NBA.

And the fact that Holmgren can play freely and won't have to carry the burden of putting a team on his back due to the emergence of second-year player Jalen Williams and MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He always gives maximum effort on the defensive end and has been a game-changer for the Thunder as Holmgren averages 2.6 blocks per contest, good for 4th in the league. Holmgren consistently keeps his arms and hands moving when he's guarding opposing players and his reach and long wingspan make it difficult for ball handlers to get around him.

Some teams may schematically match him up against players who are bigger for post-up opportunities but Holmgren has the patience to not get himself in foul trouble and understands what angles to take in order to force opponents to take bad shots. If Holmgren does get any bigger and adds muscle over the next couple of years, he really could become an unstoppable force.