NEW YORK – Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith were the big winners Thursday night, winning No. 1-3 in the NBA Draft 2022. The Orlando Magic had the No. 1 pick for the first time since 2004 and chose Duke’s Banchero, making him the second No. 1 pick by Duke in the last four years (Zion Williamson went No. 1 in 2019). Oklahoma City remain patient with their rebuild, adding the most polar player in the draft, center Chet Holggren, 7 feet, 195 pounds, and Jabari Smith heads to the Houston Rockets.
Many believed that Smith would take No. 1, but the Magic preferred to build around Banchero. The Duke forward has a body ready for the NBA at 250 pounds and the Magic felt comfortable with the size he could carry in the lane right next to Wendell Carter Jr., instead of showing how to fill the bodies of Smith and Holmgren.
Bancero is one of the best transitional players in the draft with an excellent point of view and the ability to start the attack smoother than a missed shot. Yes, Smith is a better 3 point shooter and the Magic need help in this area, but Banchero is not bad perimeter shooter and has excellent shooting engineers who can develop.
There were some surprise selections, most notably Patrick Baldwin Jr. 28th at the Golden State Warriors, and Jaden Ivy made his wish and avoided the Sacramento Kings. Below are the winners and losers of the NBA Draft.
NBA Draft Winners
Paolo Banchero and Orlando Magic
The Magic had their No. 1 draft for the first time since 2004 when they selected Dwight Howard. It went well for the franchise then, as Howard led Orlando to the Finals. Prior to that, the Magic selected Shaquille O’Neal in 1992, so it is clear that the Magic were successful in the draft power forward and center with the top selection.
Bancero entered the draft as the most ready big in the draft with his frame of 6 feet, 250 pounds. The chances of Las Vegas made a huge swing earlier this week from +1600 to +200 for Banchero to go to No. 1 overall against the favored Smith.
The Magic were one of the worst 3-point shooting teams last season, with just 33% of deep attempts. Although Banchero did not make as many three-pointers as Smith did last season, it is more than comfortable to make three-pointers in the transition period and outside of the pick-and-roll option.
Jaden Ivey receives wishes and Detroit Pistons are added to the roster of the youth elite
Jaden Ivey got his wish and did not get a draft from the Sacramento Kings, as he was the fourth best candidate on the board. The Kings went with the need of the team instead of the best player available and chose the Iowa striker, Keegan Murray.
This gave the Pistons the green light to take Ivey and add him to Cade Cunningham, creating one of the sportiest young backcourts in the league. Cunningham is a great facilitator and pulls defenses the way he reads players from pick-and-roll. This will make room for Ivey to swing from the wing and attack the baseline.
The Pistons also won gold in a 6-foot-11 center Jalen Duren in a triple exchange with the 13th overall draft pick. Duren was the No. 1 player to leave high school before being reclassified and committed a year earlier to play for Penny Hardaway in Memphis. Duren has a body ready for the NBA and is a fantastic passer, especially when the defense falls.
Duren and Ivey will join an already elite young roster of Cunningham, Saddiq Bey and Killian Hayes.
San Antonio Spurs and top three of the first round
The Spurs entered the draft with three first-round picks and capitalized on Jeremy Sochan at No. 9, Malaki Branham at No. 20 and Blake Wesley at No. 25. All three players are young and athletic with tremendous growth.
Sochan is one of the best defenders in this draft category who can guard any position on the court at 6 feet-9 and can sit and defend the perimeter. Branham was the most improved guard in the Big Ten and continued to improve his 3-point shot during the pre-draft process. Wesley was the first to emerge from Notre Dame de Paris and is a very capable passerby who has untapped potential.
All three players need time to develop, but they had the highest potential in this draft category. The Spurs have a solid youth base with Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker and Devin Vassell, and San Antonio has a great history in player development.
Lost in the NBA Draft
The Sacramento Kings make another mistake in the lottery
The Kings have had a lottery every year since 2007, except one, and are still trying to build a playoff team. Ivey was the best available candidate at No. 4, with small comparisons to Ja Morant, but with a full backcourt and Ivey saying very publicly that he did not want to go there, the Kings drafted Murray, 6- foot-8 forward out. of Iowa.
The uninspired choices of the Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizzlies already have an established playoff team led by Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane. On Thursday, they selected Wake Forrest winger Jake La Ravia with 19th pick and Colorado State striker David Roddy at No. 23. Roddy struggled at times during Game 5 vs. 5 in the La Liga draft. Ravia is a good player.
The Grizzlies passed on young players like TyTy Washington and Wesley. LaRavia and Roddy predict that they are okay side players, but they are very uninspiring choices.
The enigmatic transactions of the New York Knicks
The Knicks entered the draft with the number 11 and instead of shooting at a player without a position like AJ Griffin with 6 feet 8 (who fell to the Atlanta Hawks at No. 16), the Knicks exchanged the pick at OKC. . The Thunder then traded three protected first-round options to the Knicks.
New York then traded No. 23 in Denver and four future runners-up in Charlotte for 13th (Jalen Duren). The Knicks then shared the 13th pick and Kemba Walker in Detroit to select Milwaukee in the first round in 2025.
So to summarize: the Knicks traded the 11th pick on Thursday, along with Walker, and four second-round pickers and got three future first-round pickers. It has not been a terrible night for the organization, as there is a lot of value in next year’s draft, but instead of trying to get help this season after scoring 34-48 in 2021-22, the Knicks are getting a page from the general manager of Thunder. Sam Presti’s book and collection of future choices.