The NBA welcomes its newest class rookie to the league on Thursday night during the 2022 draft from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Draft Night is always the time for trades, and this year is expected to be no different. There were already some trades in the hours before the draft. The first three choices can be quite predictable, but by the first round things in the middle of the lottery can be really overwhelming. Many teams have several first-round options and additional draft capital to swing deals that could significantly change the league landscape entering the 2022-23 season.
USA Today Sports will recapture the entire 2022 NBA Draft with a total of 58 picks (two second-round picks seized), as well as pick-by-pick analysis options from Jeff Zilgit, Sidney Henderson, Matt Eppers and Larry Stark in each of the first rounds.
1. Orlando Magic: Paulo Banchero, Duke
Magic needs help in the dangerous ending. The team was ranked 28th in effective field goal percentage last season, 28th in free throw rate, 27th in offensive rebounding percentage and 23rd in turnover rate. Look no further than Paulo Banchero who can add versatility to his magic tricks with his physical tools (size, strength, speed) and on-court skills. He can pass, handle the ball, drive to the basket and finish near the edge and has solid footwork. He is the most NBA-ready player in the Top Five Project Top. 6-10 Banchero averaged 17.2 points on 47.8% shooting from the field, with 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals in his only season at Duke, making Mike Krazyzewski last season.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
Holmgren has enormous potential, with an impressive all-round skill set for the modern NBA big man. With his elite rim protection and shot-blocking, he filled the immediate need for the Thunder as an interior defender. He had a versatile offensive game and demonstrated the ability to handle the ball, shoot from the outside and finish on the rim. Holmigren will need to add strength to reach his peak, but the Thunder will give him time to develop top picks Shay Gilgias-Alexander and Josh Gidde.
3. Houston Rockets: Zabari Smith, Auburn
Smith no. 1 pick was widely anticipated, but instead reached 3rd place. He only worked for Magic and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Smith averaged 42% on his 3-pointers (5.5 attempts), which makes him a good fit in Houston. At his size, he is hard to defend. And he’s also a quality defender in Auburn.
4. Sacramento Kings: Keegan Murray, Iowa
With D’Aaron Fox on the point guard, the Kings skipped Jaden Ivy and picked up Murray, an effective wing scorer. Murray, who improved significantly from his first season to second season, averaged 23.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 55% off the field and 39.8% on 3-pointers. Murray, 21, is one of the oldest lottery options and has an immediate impact on Sacramento. Like Banchero, Murray is NBA-ready.
5. Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ewe, Purdue
Ivy worked only for pistons and magic. He uses his speed to damage through defenders, who find it very difficult to slow down Ivy in transition. He can jump into the lane just like Ja Morant and has the bounce to finish. Son of Neele Ivy, a women’s basketball coach and former women’s college champion in Notre Dame.
6. Indiana Pacers: Benedict Mathurin, Arizona
One of the biggest risers of the months leading up to the draft, Mathurin had the shooting touch and size to fill a 3-and-D role on the wing for pacers. Mathurin hit 42% off the 3-point range in his final year in Arizona and sparkled with fine speed and athleticism. He can play ball next to Tyres Hailburton and Chris Dwarte, while he is 18th in escalating pacer offense and 25th in 3-point shooting.
7. Portland Trail Blazers: Shadow Sharp
One of the biggest secrets in Sharp Draft. He registered in Kentucky in January, did not even play a second for the Wildcats and entered after being confirmed eligible for the draft. While the teams have only high school and AAU-type videos on Sharp, he is a talented scorer with his jump shot and rim. He’s an explosive leopard, he loves to transition and get out in the dunk. Wildcats coach John Calipari has said that if Sharp returns to Kentucky next season, he will be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft. Instead, he finished the No. 7 pick and backcourt teammate for Blazers star Damien Lillard.
8. New Orleans Pelicans (from Los Angeles Lakers)
9. San Antonio Spurs
10. Washington Wizards
11. New York Knicks
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Los Angeles Clippers)
13. Charlotte Hornets
14. Cleveland Cavaliers
15. Charlotte Hornets (from New Orleans)
16. Atlanta Hawks
17. Houston Rockets (from Brooklyn)
18. Chicago Bulls
19. Minnesota Timberwolves
20. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto)
21. Denver Nuggets
22. Memphis Grizzlies (from Utah)
23. Philadelphia 76ers
24. Milwaukee Bucks
25. San Antonio Spurs (from Boston)
26. Houston Rockets (from Dallas)
27. Miami Heat
28. Golden State Warriors
29. Memphis Grizzlies
30. Denver Nuggets (from Oklahoma City)
31. Indiana Pacers (over Houston over Cleveland)
32. Orlando Magic
33. Toronto Raptors (from Detroit to San Antonio, over Washington and Chicago)
34. Oklahoma City Thunder
35. Los Angeles Lakers (via Indiana to Milwaukee and Orlando)
36. Detroit Pistons (from Portland)
37. Sacramento Kings
38. San Antonio Spurs (from LA Lakers over Chicago and Washington)
39. Cleveland Cavaliers (over San Antonio over Utah)
40. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Washington over Cleveland)
41. New Orleans Pelicans
42. New York Knicks
43. Los Angeles Clippers
44. Atlanta Hawks
45. Charlotte Hornets
46. Portland Trail Blazers (from Brooklyn via Detroit)
47. Memphis Grizzlies (from Cleveland over New Orleans and Atlanta)
48. Minnesota Timberwolves
49. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Chicago via Memphis, Detroit and Sacramento)
50. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Denver over Philadelphia)
51. Golden State Warriors (from Toronto over Philadelphia)
52. New Orleans Pelicans (from Utah)
53. Boston Celtics
* 54. Milwaukee Bucks (confiscated)
* 55. Miami Heat (over Philadelphia over Denver; confiscated by Miami)
56. Washington Wizards (from Dallas)
57. Golden State Warriors
58. Cleveland Cavaliers (over Miami, Indiana)
59. Portland Trail Blazers (via Memphis, Utah)
60. Indiana Pacers (from Phoenix)