The 2022 NBA Draft is finally here. It is one of the most wide-open and unpredictable drafts in recent memory with no clear consensus number one pick. Tonight is the night where dreams are made and championships are built. After seeing two teams in the finals built through the draft, those at the top of the draft order hope that this is their chance to take that next step.
Paolo Banchero. Forward. Duke
The shock of the Draft didn’t take long. After so much momentum for Jabari Smith, it ends up being Paolo Banchero going to Orlando with the first pick. Averaging 17.2 points per game and being the focal point of a young talented Duke roster. Banchero’s abilities were showcased during the NCAA tournament leading his team to the final four. The Magic will hope that his ability to get his own shot will have Banchero be the alpha scoring option they have been searching for.
Sources: Orlando selects Paolo Banchero at No. 1 in the NBA Draft. https://t.co/wvUIg8tdyt
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 24, 2022
Chet Holmgren. Center. Gonzaga
The unicorn who was the top prospect in the high school class of 2021 falls to the Thunder at number two. Holmgren can do it all between shooting, playmaking, and rebounding. The 7-footer has a 7-foot 5 wingspan that attributed to 3.7 blocks per game. There are concerns about his sub-200-pound frame holding up at the NBA level but the Thunder are willing to swing for the fences to add potentially the best player in the NBA draft.
Jabari Smith. Forward. Auburn
Jalen Green gets his running mate with another three-level scorer in Jabari Smith. Momentum had been building for him to be the number one pick but now he gets to opportunity to prove why he should have been in Houston. The three-level scorer averaged 16.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game and shot 42% from three in his lone season at Auburn. The Rockets are hopeful that Smith’s shooting ability gives them a potent scoring tandem for the foreseeable future.
Keegan Murray. Forward. Iowa
Another surprise here but after trying to trade the pick they pass on Ivey and add Keegan Murray. Kings go with need over BAP here and it’s hard to fault them for taking guards in the past two drafts. Kings are looking to take that next step in their playoff hunt and are hoping their offensive skill set of Murray will help on the wing complimenting their two young guards.
Jaden Ivey. Guard. Purdue
Last year’s number one pick Cade Cunningham gets a dynamic backcourt mate in Jaden Ivey. Ivery is a speedster who can attack the basket that has drawn plenty of comparisons to Ja Morant. The Pistons are hopeful that Ivey can continue his progression as a shooter after improving to 35.8% from three last season.
Bennedict Mathurin. Forward. Arizona
An explosive 6-foot 6 wing with bundles of potential. The Pacers have a solid core of pieces in place and are banking on the upside of Mathurin to help Indiana take that next step.
Johnny Davis. Guard. Wisconsin.
A backcourt mate for Bradley Beal was a priority for the Wizards so they take Johnny Davis out of Wisconsin. A tough player who loves to pressure opposing defenses even though the former badger has room to grow as a perimeter shooter.
Jake LaRavia. Forward. Wake Forest
Wendell Moore. Forward. Duke
The Timberwolves add a versatile forward in a trade with the Houston Rockets.