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||Dyson Daniels||G League||Wing||Born 2003|
|9||San Antonio Spurs||Jeremy Sochan||Baylor||Forward||Freshman|
|10||Washington Wizards||Johnny Davis||Wisconsin||Guard||Sophomore|
|11||Oklahoma City Thunder||Ousmane Dieng||France||Forward||Born 2003|
|12||Oklahoma City Thunder||Jalen Williams||Santa Clara||Guard||Junior|
|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 good fit alongside Domantas Sabonis in the frontcourt, with his shooting and defense, two skills Sacramento lacks roster-wide.
The biggest question with this pick is whether Sacramento drafted based on need rather than overall talent. Most draft prognosticators had Jaden Ivey out of Purdue as one of the top-four players in this class, with Murray on the outside looking in. Murray has often been considered one of the most “NBA-ready” prospects in the draft, which likely factored into Sacramento’s calculus with this pick… It’s clear that the majority of NBA Draft media disagree with the pick, but only time will tell if this was the correct selection. — 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
6. Indiana Pacers – Benedict Mathurin, G, Arizona
Mathurin steps in following his sophomore year with the Wildcats, scoring 17.7 points per game, averaging 5.6 rebounds. Being linked so long in the draft process with the Pacers, Caitlin Cooper and Mark Schlindler brought a great breakdown to Indy Cornrows just days after the Lottery.
One thing the Pacers are looking to get with Mathurin is his shot-making ability. Though he shot 45% from the field and 37% from three, he excelled in contested attempts but did struggle with isolation. Mathurin did have a successful March, scoring 27 points in the Pac-12 Championship and 30 in an overtime thriller against TCU to guide Arizona to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. — Nathan S., Indy Cornrows
7. Portland Trail Blazers – Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky
Sharpe burst into the spotlight with his multi-faceted offensive game in the 2021 EYBL sessions. On the perimeter, Sharpe has the framework and athleticism of a modern first option. He creates space with ease off the dribble and around screens. Sharpe has a smooth, rise-and-fire shot form from beyond the arc. His mechanics should allow him to create for himself from all three levels once he develops. Inside the arc, Sharpe is an excellent finisher. He can complete highlight-worthy dunks and shield the ball from defenders with nifty layups… Sharpe has the frame and ball skills to blossom into a dominant force at the NBA level. He could also flame out against tougher competition at the next level. When you consider those two potential outcomes, it is clear that Sharpe has a chasm between his floor and ceiling. — Steve DeWald, Blazer’s Edge
8. New Orleans Pelicans – Dyson Daniels, Wing, G League
For a team with CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson as obvious focal offensive stars, with Jonas Valanciunas and Trey Murphy in support, there’s going to be a necessity for more connectors who do just about everything else on the court than score in volume. Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado are fantastic, but the Pelicans need more players of this ilk. Daniels fits this mold, with the talent and size to grow into something more down the road.
If everything goes right, he could eventually become what the Pelicans were probably hoping that Lonzo Ball would develop into: a big guard who can score at every level, involve teammates, especially in transition, and defend just about anyone on the court. — Oleh Kosel, The Bird Writes
9. San Antonio Spurs – Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor
Sochan is the best defensive forward in the class. At 6’9 with a 7-foot wingspan, Sochan is an incredibly disciplined defender who can wall off driving lanes, contest shots, and use his active hands to force takeaways. Sochan also has some skill with the ball in his hands, showing the ability to handle the rock and make easy passing reads. The big question in his game is his shooting ability, both from three-point range and the free throw line. If Sochan can become a league average shooter, he’s going to be a great pick for the Spurs. We’re not super optimistic on his offensive impact, but he’s so versatile defensively that he’ll most likely find a way to succeed either way. — Ricky O’Donnell, SB Nation