And Now In Sports – 2022 NBA Draft night just ended, and teams are starting to gear up for what is sure to be an exciting season next year. The draft class this year was one of the best in recent memory, with a number of talented players entering the league. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the teams who came out on top in the draft, as well as those who may not fare so well. Stay tuned for our full analysis!
2022 NBA Draft Winners:
The Houston Rockets had an amazing draft! Getting the projected number one pick at number three was just incredible due to Orlando Magic dropping the ball. Jabari Smith, out of Auburn University, has the potential to be an all-star caliber player without a doubt. As if that wasn’t good enough they were also able to draft Tari Eason at number seventeen, one of the best defenders in the draft, from LSU. Smith and Eason should start along with Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, and Kevin Porter Jr.
After a blockbuster trade sending Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks to pair with superstar Luka Doncic, they got in exchange the Timberwolves’ 29th overall pick, which they drafted Kentucky’s Tyty Washington with. The Rockets are expected to test the trade market for Eric Gordon in order to make their team as young as possible and develop their young, future stars.
Before the draft, the Pistons looked like the biggest loser of the draft. The drop-off in talent after the 4th pick was massive. The expected top four picks were Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, Paulo Banchero, and Jaden Ivey. The number five pick was considered Keegan Murray out of Iowa, and that’s who the Pistons were expected to land, but miraculously in true Sacramento Kings fashion, the Kings took Murray, letting Jaden Ivey, from Purdue, fall to the Pistons.
The pistons also were able to secure Jalen Duren at the 13th pick, which they got from trading Jerami Grant to pair with Damian Lillard in Portland. Ivey and Duren were two great value pick that should both start in Detroit along with rising, young stars Cade Cunningham, and Saddiq Bey. The team was also able to add Gabriele Procida from Italy with the 36th pick as a possible bench player in the near future.
San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio had three first round picks and made great selections with each of them. Starting with the number nine pick, they drafted Jeremy Sochan out of Baylor University. The Spurs were in dire need of a forward and drafted the best prospect available in Sochan. It is very likely he will join Jakob Poetl in the Spurs’ starting frontcourt. A selection number twenty, they were able to take Malaki Branham out of Ohio University, which most people thought of as a lottery pick with a very high upside. Branham shot over 41% from deep in his only season as a Buckeye and could pair very well with the young star, Dejounte Murray in the backcourt.
Spurs have a great past of developing draft picks into stars, especially with the all-time winningest coach, Greg Popovich. With the Spurs’ final selection they took Blake Wesley from Notre Dame. Wesley is a 19-year-old shooting point guard with high potential.
Oklahoma City Thunder
One word, unicorn. Unicorn is the name given to prospects who are very tall, can shoot, handle, and everything in between. That is exactly what Chet Holmgren is. Standing at seven-foot, shooting 40% from deep, and averaging a staggering 10 rebounds and 4 blocks per game is a dream when it comes to draft prospects. Although he didn’t play great in the March Madness tourney, he still is easily a top prospect in this draft. The one criticism that is always stated when talking about Chet Holmgren is his very thin frame, but with the help of Oklahoma trainers and staff, he will undoubtedly put on some weight.
They also traded for the Knicks’ 11th selection and took Ousmane Dieng, from France. Dieng is a versatile wing who has a ton of offensive upside. This is where it gets confusing. The next two Thunder selections were Jalen Williams (Santa Clara) and Jaylin Williams (Arkansas). Both players took large jumps this year and have a high upside.
Memphis was already the deepest team in the NBA and they just got deeper. Starting with their first round selection, Jake LaRavia was excellent at Wake Forest in his third year. He is a great rebounder for a wing player. Memphis then traded away De’Anthony Melton to draft David Roddy. Roddy is a quality forward with great scoring and rebounding abilities.
Usually, you don’t expect a player expected to go in the top 20 to fall into the second round, but that is exactly what happened and the Grizzlies capitalized on it by trading for the 38th pick to select Tennessee point guard, Kennedy Chandler. Perhaps the steal of the draft as he adds incredible scoring ability and getting to the basket, despite his undersized frame.
2022 NBA Draft Losers:
New York Knicks
No surprise here. The Knicks continue to let down all their loyal fans year after year. Landing the 11th overall pick in such a deep draft class isn’t horrible, but the Knicks seemed to think it was and sent off the picks for future first round picks. The one good thing they did however was get rid of Kemba Walker’s contract by sending him to Detroit, clearing cap space, but that won’t be enough to make them winners in this draft. The Knicks almost completely traded themselves out of the draft, but they were able to make one second-round selection in Trevor Keels who may fit nicely with fellow, former-Blue Devil, R.J. Barrett.
The Knicks have one goal this off-season, lure free agent Jalen Brunson away from Dallas to New York. The problem is that is far from a sure thing and banking on Jalen Brunson to help this franchise after playing well in only one post-season is a stretch, considering he never made an all-star or all-NBA team. The Knicks, however, are going to pay him as he did, as they did with Julius Randle.
Let me start by saying this, Keegan Murray is a great player. The Kings however had the opportunity to trade down in this draft. The teams that wanted to draft Ivey were lined up, and willing to send a haul over to Sacramento for the rights to draft Jaden Ivey. Even if they believe that Murray is their forward of the future, they could have put together a nice trade with Detroit who obviously wanted Ivey. It is just sad at this point to be a Kings fan because year after year they mess up in the draft.
2022 NBA Draft Night Is In The Books and Off to Free Agency
There were some clear winners and losers on draft night. It felt like I was watching a sports movie. Let’s take a look at who made out like bandits and who had to sweat it out on stage. Who do you think had the best and worst draft? Will free agency be shaken up due to these selections? Let us know in the comments below!
And that’s Now In Sports!