Auburn coach Bruce Pearl gives Chet Holmgren worrying Shawn Bradley comparison before 2022 NBA Draft

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Chet Holmgren is expected to be one of the top three selections in the 2022 NBA Draft, but at least one college basketball coach is concerned about how he may perform at the next level. That would be Auburn's Bruce Pearl.

Pearl was asked about the top of the 2022 NBA Draft in a recent appearance on the "McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning" podcast. While he admitted that Holmgren has a solid skill set, he had a worrying comparison for the former No. 1 overall recruit.

"Chet's intriguing, but so was Shawn Bradley," Pearl said.

Bradley was another long, athletic, but thin center prospect who enjoyed one standout season at a non-Power 5 school in BYU. He was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft by the 76ers and at 7-foot-6, he was expected to become one of the NBA's most intimidating low-post players. However, some wondered if his 235-pound frame would be a hindrance to him against stronger NBA centers.

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Bradley carved out a solid NBA run and was a top-notch shot blocker early in his career. He averaged 3.4 blocks per game during the 1996-97 season, good for the most in the league. However, he never fully reached his All-Star potential and served mostly as a long, defensive-minded role player during the latter half of his 12-year career.

Holmgren is a bit different than Bradley. He is half a foot shorter than the former BYU star and showcased more range as a stretch-five than Bradley did during his college days.

Even still, the two posted similar numbers during their collegiate careers.

Stat Shawn Bradley Chet Holmgren
Height 7-6 7-0
Weight 235 pounds 195 pounds
Points per game 14.8 14.1
Rebounds per game 7.7 9.9
Assists per game 1.2 1.9
Blocks per game 5.2 3.7
FG % 51.8 60.7

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One of these numbers matters above all else to Pearl. It's Holmgren's weight compared to his size.

"The NBA stands for No Boys Allowed," Pearl explained while discussing Holmgren on the podcast. "And that body scares me. It just does. He goes knee-to-knee with the wrong guy, and he could get broken in half. Therefore at the very top of the draft, I think I got to go with what I know, not what could potentially could maybe someday be." 

Indeed, Holmgren — like Bradley — is rail-thin for his size; he stands at 7-0 but is just 195 pounds. The other top prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft have better-developed frames, so that's part of why Pearl would prefer to take Jabari Smith or Paolo Banchero over Holmgren.

Player Height Weight
Chet Holmgren 7-0 195 pounds
Jabari Smith 6-10 220 pounds
Paolo Banchero 6-10 250 pounds

Of course, it must be noted that Pearl coached Smith, the likely No. 1 selection, at Auburn, so there is certainly some bias in his analysis.

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Still, Pearl's opinion shows that there are some notable basketball minds that have questions about Holmgren. He will have to do his best to answer them soon after he joins the NBA.

But if he deals with any struggles related to his strength, it will be tough for Holmgren to avoid the Bradley comparisons. That will ring especially true if he also ends up being the No. 2 overall selection.

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Jacob Camenker is a senior content producer at The Sporting News.