The Golden State Warriors won the NBA title a week ago, and now all eyes are on the 2022 NBA draft, scheduled for Thursday night. The first pick belongs to the Orlando Magic, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets. This is for now, of course. Before the end of the night there can be many transactions.
With that in mind, let’s move on to my five draft picks while we count the Magic on the clock.
1. Knicks traded for #4
There have been reports that the Knicks want to make it to the top five, and Sacramento is the perfect partner. The Knicks have been looking for a franchise leader/combo guard for what seemed like forever, and Jaden Ivey fits the bill. Sacramento already has De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell, and he can’t wait to put together a playoff roster after the trade for Domantas Sabonis.
New York could send in a few rotations, this year’s 11th pick and a future draft pick to go to Ivey, who has teasing talent, but if you listen to most evaluators, that’s not a sure bet that Sacramento needs all the way. ignore. position overlap.
I’m not sure I’d go along with this move if it happens. I don’t think New York will be able to send Sacramento something that will change its playoff fortunes in an absolutely busy Western Conference next season, and the Kings need to gather as much talent as possible. Ivey’s rise to superstardom after the Kings had already traded Luka Doncic for partly valid reasons would be an unfathomable disaster.
Also, I don’t think Davion Mitchell is a franchise point guard. He’s a good piece. Gary Payton II type with the best score. Is he a really good player, but good enough that you trade a pick that Ivey could give you? I’m not sure. But what I think will happen and what I think should happen are two different things and I think at the end of the day New York should take the chance and Sacramento is pretty excited. to take a look at the situation at a glance, especially if there is a player. number 11 likes it.
2. Chet Holmgren will have a better career
Holmgren is not the favorite to bet on first place overall (that distinction belongs to Jabari Smith), but the more I think about it, the more I think Holmgren will have the best career in this 2022 class. He’s a legal seven foot tall with security skills. His defensive impact could be years-long, like a rim-guard monster with what many call off-the-wall instincts.
In addition, Holmgren has room to grow. At times, he was not even the center of attack in Gonzaga. When he starts to take NBA players to the arc as a potential 40-percent three-pointer and put the ball down like a playmaker in space, combined with his defensive ability, Holmgren’s ceiling starts to look pretty high pretty quickly. .
3. Blazers will trade #7 for OG Anunoby
On Wednesday, Portland managed to trade Jerami Grant without losing the seventh pick. Now Yahoo Chris Haynes reports that the Blazers are trying to use that seventh pick to trade him for Toronto’s OG Anunoby. I predict this deal will fail. It’s come this far and Portland will add what it needs to push it to the top spot.
Blazers have put an opponent on the floor next season. Damian Lillard will itch. They traded CJ McCollum, Norman Powell and Larry Nance Jr. to arm themselves with assets for a refresh, especially on defense, and adding Grant and Anunobi would be a huge step towards contention. It’s too important to be stingy at the last second. That seventh pick is doing nothing for the Blazers right now, and right now, Portland only has to think about him.
4. No surprises in the top three
There is no true consensus in this class on the best pick, but most of the taunts still see Jabari Smith as No. 1 on the Magic, followed by Chet Holmgren on the Thunder and Paolo Banchero on the Rockets. There is talk of a deal at the top, but I don’t see it happening. I don’t think Jaden Ivey jumps into the top three for anyone. I don’t think Holmgren surpassed Smith as the number one surprise and Banchero was a pretty sure bet to move to Houston after Christian Wood was traded a second time.
5. John Collins is being traded
Where there is so much smoke, there is almost always fire. I’d be shocked if Collins hadn’t been traded, and with Atlanta owning the 16th pick on Thursday night, that’s a pretty strong package. Once the Hawks make this choice, the real player as a whole becomes less valuable. It will not occupy the same place on the board for everyone. Compliance/need with certain trading partners will come into play. The Hawks want to win now, and Collins alone won’t bring them a strong enough player in return for even being as much of an upgrade from Collins himself. Atlanta needs to revive this package, and the 16th pick will do it.