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NBA draft 2022: Taking a look at each of the 58 picks and first-round analysis

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The NBA welcomes its new class of rookies to the league Thursday night during the 2022 draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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There were some surprises. It started with #1 when Orlando Magic selected Paolo Bankero with the best pick. Auburn’s Jabari Smith, widely expected to go first, dropped to third to take the Houston Rockets.

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Draft night is always trading time, and this year is no different. The Oklahoma City Thunder traded with New York Knicks for 11th pick and Usman Dieng New Zealand Breakers for three future first-round conditional picks.

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On another draft day, the Detroit Pistons acquired No. 13 pick Jalen Duren and Knicks guard Kemba Walker. in a deal with three teams.

Philadelphia 76ers reported moved Danny Green and 23rd pick to Memphis as part of the deal to acquire De’Anthony Melton.

USA TODAY Sports will recap the entire 2022 NBA Draft with all 58 picks (two second-round picks forfeited), plus step-by-step analysis from Jeff Zillgitt, Sidney Henderson, Matt Eppers and Larry Starks in each of the first rounds. choice.

The 2022 NBA draft class poses for a photo with commissioner Adam Silver ahead of the 2022 NBA draft at the Barclays Center.
The 2022 NBA draft class poses for a photo with commissioner Adam Silver ahead of the 2022 NBA draft at the Barclays Center.


1. Orlando Magic: Paolo Bankero, Duke

The Magic needs help attacking. The team finished last season in 28th place in field goal percentage, 28th in free throw percentage, 27th in offensive rebounding percentage and 23rd in turnover percentage. Look no further than Paolo Banchero, who can add versatility to the Magic’s offense with his physical tools (size, strength, speed) and court skills. He can pass, handle the ball, reach the basket and finish the ball near the rim, and has solid footwork. He is easily the most NBA-ready player among the top 5 predicted. Bunchero, 6-10, averaged 17.2 points on 47.8% shooting from the field, in addition to 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals in his only season at Duke, which was his final season Mike Krzyzewski.

2 Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

Holmgren has a lot of potential and an impressive skill set for a modern-day NBA big man. With his elite defense under the basket and blocking punches, he fulfills the Thunder’s urgent need as an inside defender. He has a versatile offensive game and has demonstrated the ability to handle the ball, shoot from outside and finish under the basket. Holmgren will need to add strength to reach his offensive peak, but the Thunder could give him time to develop behind the best options of Shai Gilgeus-Alexander and Josh Giddy.

3. Houston Rockets: Jabari Smith, Auburn

Smith was expected to be number one, but ended up being number three instead. He only worked for the Magic and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Smith averaged 42% of his three-pointers (5.5 attempts), which could make him a good player in Houston. For his size, he’s hard to defend. And he was also a quality defender at the Auburn.

4. Sacramento Kings: Keegan Murray, Iowa

With point guard De’Aaron Fox in place, the Kings passed Jayden Ivey and took Murray, an effective wide scorer. Murray, who improved significantly from his first through his second season, averaged 23.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, while shooting 55% from the field and 39.8% from three-pointers. Murray, 21, is one of the oldest lottery players and could have an immediate impact on Sacramento. Like Banchero, Murray is ready to play in the NBA.

5. Detroit Pistons: Jayden Ivey, Purdue

Ivey only worked for the Pistons and Magic. He uses his speed to hit defenders who will have a hard time slowing down Ivey in transition. He can burst onto the track like Ja Morant and has a rebound to finish. Son of Niel Ivey, Notre Dame women’s basketball coach and former women’s college champion.

6. Indiana Pacers: Benedict Maturin, Arizona

One of the most active players in the months leading up to the draft, Maturin has the shooting accuracy and size to fill the Pacers’ 3-D-D role. Maturin shot 42% from three-point range in his final year in Arizona and showed good speed and athleticism. He can play off the ball alongside Tyrese Hailburton and Chris Duarte to help bolster the Pacers’ offense, which was 18th in efficiency and 25th in three-point shooting.

7. Portland Trail Blazers: Schaedon Sharp, Kentucky

Sharpe is one of the biggest mysteries of the draft. He entered Kentucky in January, didn’t play a second for the Wildcats, and as soon as he was considered eligible for the draft, he entered. While the teams only had a high school and AAU type video of Sharpe, he is a gifted scorer with his jump shot and under the rim. He is an explosive jumper who loves to get out of the transition and dunk. Wildcats coach John Calipari said that if Sharp returns to Kentucky next season, he will be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft. Instead, he becomes the seventh pick and backcourt partner for Blazers star Damian Lillard.

8. New Orleans Pelicans (from Los Angeles Lakers): Dyson Daniels, G League Ignite

This is a great opportunity for New Orleans to add another quality player to a playoff roster that will improve next season with the return of Zion Williamson. The Aussie got a taste of playing at the NBA level in the NBA All-Star Weekend Rising Stars in February, and he persevered. Daniels 6-8 is a big defender who started playing professionally as a teenager in his native Australia.

9. San Antonio Spurs: Jeremy Sochan, Baylor

The Spurs have three first-round picks and used their first to select Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan. Sochan gives the Spurs a bit more on the wing to compliment All-Star Dejonte Murray. He is a versatile guard and reliable rebounder, averaging 6.4 rebounds at Baylor in 2021-22. He manages the court well and scores effectively within the three-point line. Sochan can roll a 3, but he needs to improve his percentage. He averaged 9.2 points for the Bears.

10. Washington Wizards: Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

With the roster likely to change this summer, the Wizards are in need of talent and have settled on one of the best remaining players. In his second year at Wisconsin, Davis made a huge jump as a scorer and rebounder, from 7.0 points and 4.1 rebounds to 19.7 and 8.2. He can score and create balls from mid-range, but he needs to improve his long-range shot.

11. New York Knicks: Usman Dieng, New Zealand Breakers

In some simulation drafts, Dieng rose to 8th overall. He fell to 11th, which was reportedly traded by the Knicks to the Thunder. Last season he played in the Australian Pro League for the New Zealand Breakers and averaged 8.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and assists while shooting just 39.8% from the field and 27.1% from three-pointers. But as the season went on, he improved and became a much better scorer and shooter in the second half of the season. The Thunder development team will work hard to ensure that Dieng makes a significant contribution to their restoration.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Los Angeles Clippers): Jalen Williams, Santa Clara

Williams shot up noticeboards after the harvester, in which his vertical jump, speed, and wingspan attracted the attention of scouts and executives. His defense would fit well with the OKC. The Thunder traded for the No. 11 pick, which did not affect the No. 12 pick. Williams was effective with 3-pointers (39.6%) and inside the 3-point line (55.1%) and averaged 18 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4. 2 assists in 2021–22 season. He patiently handles basketball in pick-and-roll situations and finds his place on the three-point line for point jumpers.

13. Charlotte Hornets: Jalen Duren, Memphis

The Hornets need not only a head coach, but also defense under the rim after finishing 22nd in the defensive rankings in 2021-22. They picked big Memphis Jalen Duren, who can play with his back to the basket, run around the court and bat. He has good face-up play in the low post and can shoot mid-range jump shots. He seemed like a perfect fit for the Hornets, but was reportedly traded to the Knicks.

14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

A booming team in the East, the Cavaliers have put together a pretty strong defensive unit. They have rim protectors and added the need for a perimeter protector. The Agbaji is a 6-5 with a wingspan of 6-10 and a standing reach of 8-8 and is known as a 3-and-D wing. He played four seasons with the Jayhawks and was the 2022 Final Four MVP in the Jayhawks title run. He averaged 18.8 points and 5.1 rebounds, 47.5% shooting from the field and 40.7% from three seconds. Former ESPN NBA draft analyst Mike Schmitz, now at Portland headquarters, once tweeted, “Ochai Agbaji could play over 25 minutes in an NBA game tomorrow.”

15. Charlotte Hornets (from New Orleans): Mark Williams, Duke

Williams should be able to intervene immediately and fill the big need for the Hornets in the center. At 7-2 with a wingspan of 7-6 and a standing reach of 9-9, Williams has the tools and good mobility for his size to be impressive on the ring. He doesn’t offer much offensively yet, but he should catch a lot of passes from LaMelo Ball.

16. Atlanta Hawks: AJ Griffin, Duke

Griffin averaged 10.4 points on a team that potentially has five NBA draft picks, including No. 1. He comes from a basketball family (his brother, sister, and father played for Power 5 schools; his father is also an assistant in Toronto Raptors), Griffin is considered one of the best shooters in the draft. He threw 44.7% 3rds and 49.3% overall. Along with Trae Young, he will add the necessary shots and give the Hawks the defensive help they need with his ability to defend multiple positions at 6-6220 pounds.

17. Houston Rockets (from Brooklyn): Tari Eason, LSU

After finishing with the worst record in the league this year, the Rockets are looking for someone to help Jalen Green (Houston’s 2021 No. 2 pick). The Rockets have already picked up No. 3 Jabari Smith, and Tari Eason will add more offensive versatility with his ability to score under the basket. He uses his athleticism and height to attack…


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