The 2022 NBA Draft features a star-studded class with four legitimate options to go No. 1 overall at the top of the board. The Orlando Magic are on the clock with the first pick, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, and Detroit Pistons to round out the top five.
SB Nation has been covering this draft class all year, and now we’ll finally know who is going where as draft night arrives.
Auburn forward Jabari Smith Jr., Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren, and Duke forward Paolo Banchero gives this draft three players standing at least 6’10 with distinct skill sets at the top of the class. Smith is the best shooter, Holmgren is the best defender, and Banchero is the best passer and shot creator. There’s also Jaden Ivey, the 6’4 Purdue guard who might be the best pure athlete available.
We’ll be keeping you updated with every pick, as well as links to all of the great coverage around the SB Nation communities below the table. As a reminder, there are only 58 picks in the draft this year instead of the normal 60 total, as the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat both lost their second-round picks as part of their respective punishments for tampering charges handed down by the league.
NBA Draft 2022 tracker: Every pick in this year’s draft
|1||Orlando Magic||Paolo Banchero||Duke||Forward||Freshman|
|2||Oklahoma City Thunder||Chet Holmgren||Gonzaga||Forward/Big||Freshman|
|3||Houston Rockets||Jabari Smith Jr.||Auburn||Forward/Big||Freshman|
|4||Sacramento Kings||Keegan Murray||Iowa||Forward||Sophomore|
|5||Detroit Pistons||Jaden Ivey||Purdue||Guard||Sophomore|
|6||Indiana Pacers||Bennedict Mathurin||Arizona||Guard||Sophomore|
|7||Portland Trail Blazers||Shaedon Sharpe||Kentucky||Guard||Freshman|
|8||New Orleans Pelicans|
|9||San Antonio Spurs|
|11||New York Knicks|
|12||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|20||San Antonio Spurs|
|25||San Antonio Spurs (via Celtics)|
|28||Golden State Warriors|
|34||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|35||Los Angeles Lakers|
|38||San Antonio Spurs|
|41||New Orleans Pelicans|
|42||New York Knicks|
|46||Portland Trail Blazers|
|51||Golden State Warriors|
|52||New Orleans Pelicans|
|55||Golden State Warriors|
|57||Portland Trail Blazers|
We’ll be linking out to SB Nation’s team site coverage below as the draft moves along.
1. Orlando Magic – Paolo Banchero, F, Duke
By picking the 6-10 forward out of Duke, the Magic got arguably the top offensive prospect of the three players who were presumed to be in contention for the top overall pick, potentially giving the Magic a sorely-needed creator.
Banchero possess advanced ball-handling and playmaking skills for a big, displaying an ability to create that Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgren did not consistently show at the collegiate level. That should help a Magic team that was among the worst teams in the league in many key offensive categories last season. — Mike Cali, Orlando Pinstriped Post
2. Oklahoma City Thunder – Chet Holmgren, F, Gonzaga
Holmgren was our No. 2 prospect in the class, and feels like a great fit for the Thunder’s long-term rebuild. Oklahoma City already has two gifted young guards who can create good looks for others but have shaky outside shots in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. Holmgren gives them a front court player with extreme length (7’6 wingspan), the ability to space the floor to three-point range on offense, and incredible shot-blocking skills on defense. He was one of the most productive players in the country as a freshman at Gonzaga, and has essentially aced every test he’s faced since first emerging as a top prospect in the high school ranks. It’s easy to question Holmgren’s translation because of his thin frame, but his tools, statistical output, and relentless motor makes him an easy player to bet on. The Thunder got a good one. — Ricky O’Donnell, SB Nation
3. Houston Rockets – Jabari Smith Jr., F, Auburn
This was an unexpected scenario for the Rockets, but a good one, in my opinion, as I feel Smith was the clear best player in the draft. He has elite shooting and elite defense and should be a complement to Jalen Green and if he reaches his ceiling, will be everything the Rockets had hoped Christian Wood would be.
This is an absolute win for the Rockets as far as I’m concerned, as Smith is the kind of guy who can fit in just about anywhere, especially a team like the Rockets who need all of the skills that Smith brings to the table. — Darren Yuvan, The Dream Shake
4. Sacramento Kings – Keegan Murray, F, Iowa
Murray is a do-it-all, two-way wing that was perhaps the best player in college basketball last season. Sacramento has long lacked talent at the forward spot, and Murray certainly brings that to the team.
Murray is a good fit alongside Domantas Sabonis in the frontcourt, with his shooting and defense, two skills Sacramento lacks roster-wide. — Leo Tochterman, Sactown Royalty
5. Detroit Pistons – Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue
With Ivey the Pistons are also adding something they have lacked for nearly a decade, which is a player that gets to the rim and the free-throw line with ease. Ivey averaged 7.3 free throws per 40 minutes last season and had both 200 shot attempts at the rim and over 200 free throws.
While Ivey is 6-foot-4, he’s not a natural point guard but is able to take some of the creation and ball-handling duties off of Cunningham shoulders as a capable secondary playmaker and self-creator. — Sean Corp, Detroit Bad Boys