The NBA will welcome its newest class of rookies to the league Thursday night during the 2022 draft from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Draft night is always a time for trades, and this year is expected to be no different. There were already some trades in the hours before the draft. The top three picks could be fairly predictable, but things could really get wild in the middle of the lottery through the first round. Several teams had multiple first-round picks and additional draft capital to swing deals that could significantly alter the league’s landscape entering the 2022-23 season.
USA TODAY Sports will recap the entire 2022 NBA draft with all 58 picks (two second-round picks were forfeited), plus pick-by-pick analysis from Jeff Zillgitt, Cydney Henderson, Matt Eppers and Larry Starks on each of the first-round selections.
1. Orlando Magic: Paolo Banchero, Duke
The Magic need help on the offensive end. The team finished last season 28th in effective field goal percentage, 28th in free throw rate, 27th in offensive rebounding percentage and 23rd in turnover rate. Look no further than Paolo Banchero, who can add versality to the Magic’s offense with his physical tools (size, strength, speed) and on-court skills. He can pass, handle the ball, drive to the basket and finish near the rim and possesses solid footwork. He’s easily the most NBA-ready player among the top projected top five. The 6-10 Banchero 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 marked Mike Krzyzewski’ final season.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
Holmgren has immense potential, with an impressive all-around skillset for a modern NBA big man. With his elite rim protection and shot-blocking, he fills an immediate need for the Thunder as an interior defender. He has a versatile offensive game and has shown the ability to handle the ball, shoot from the outside and finish at the rim. Holmgren will need to add strength to reach his peak on offense, but the Thunder can give him time to develop behind top options Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey.
3. Houston Rockets: Jabari Smith, Auburn
Smith was widely expected to the No. 1 pick but instead went No. 3. He only worked out for the Magic and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Smith averaged 42% on his 3-pointers (5.5 attempts), which could make him a good fit in Houston. At his size, he is difficult to defend. And he was also a quality defender at Auburn.
4. Sacramento Kings: Keegan Murray, Iowa
With a point guard in place with De’Aaron Fox, the Kings bypassed Jaden Ivey and took Murray, an efficient wing scorer. Murray, who improved significant from his freshman to sophomore seasons, averaged 23.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 55% from the field and 39.8% on 3-pointers. Murray, 21, is one of the oldest lottery picks and could have an immediate impact for Sacramento. Like Banchero, Murray is NBA-ready.
5. Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ivey, Purdue
Ivey only worked out for the Pistons and Magic. He uses his speed to blow by defenders, who will have a hard time slowing Ivey down in transition. He can explode into the lane similar to Ja Morant and has the bounce to finish. The son of Niele Ivey, the women’s basketball coach at Notre Dame and a former women’s college champion.
6. Indiana Pacers: Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona
One of the biggest risers in the months leading up to the draft, Mathurin has the shooting touch and size to fill a 3-and-D role on the wing for the Pacers. Mathurin shot 42% from 3-point range in his final year at Arizona and flashed nice speed and athleticism. He can play off the ball next to Tyrese Hailburton and Chris Duarte, while helping boost a Pacers offense that was 18th in efficiency and 25th in 3-point shooting.
7. Portland Trail Blazers: Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky
Sharpe is one of the biggest mysteries in the draft. He enrolled at Kentucky in January, didn’t play a second for the Wildcats and once he was ruled eligible for the draft, he entered. While teams only had high school and AAU-type video on Sharpe, he is a gifted scorer with his jump shot and at the rim. He is an explosive leaper who loves to get out in transition and dunk. Wildcats coach John Calipari said that if Sharpe returned to Kentucky next season, he would be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft. Instead, he ends up the No. 7 pick and backcourt mate for Blazers star Damian Lillard.
8. New Orleans Pelicans (from Los Angeles Lakers): Dyson Daniels, G League Ignite
This is a wonderful opportunity for New Orleans to add another quality player to a playoff squad that is poised to be better next season with the return of Zion Williamson. The Australian got a taste of NBA-level play in the NBA All-Star Weekend’s Rising Stars contest in February and he held his own. The 6-8 Daniels is a big guard who began 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 some size at the wing to compliment All-Star Dejounte Murray. He’s a versatile defender and solid rebounder, averaging 6.4 rebounds at Baylor in 2021-22. He runs the court well and scores with efficiency inside the 3-point line. Sochan can shoot the 3 but needs to improve his percentage. He averaged 9.2 points for the Bears.
10. Washington Wizards: Johnny Davis, Wisconsin
With a roster potentially in flux this summer, the Wizards need talent and landed on one of the best players remaining. Davis took a huge leap as a scorer and rebounder in his second year at Wisconsin, from 7.0 points and 4.1 rebounds to 19.7 and 8.2. He can score and create in the mid-range but will need to improve his outside shot.
11. New York Knicks: Ousmane Dieng, New Zealand Breakers
Some mock drafts had Dieng going as high as No. 8. He fell to No. 11, which the Knicks reportedly traded to the Thunder. He played last season in Australia’s pro league for the New Zealand Breakers and averaged 8.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and an assist while shooting just 39.8% from the field and 27.1% on 3-pointers. But he improved as the season continued and was a much better scorer and shooter in the second half of the season. The Thunder’s player development staff will work hard to make Dieng a significant contributor as they continue their rebuild.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Los Angeles Clippers): Jalen Williams, Santa Clara
Williams shot up draft boards after the combine in which his vertical leap, speed and wingspan caught the attention of scouts and executives. His defense will fit in well in OKC. The Thunder traded for the No. 11 pick, which did not affect the No. 12 pick. Williams was efficient on 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. He has patience with the basketball in pick-and-roll situations and finds his spots at the 3-point line for spot-up jumpers.
13. Charlotte Hornets: Jalen Duren, Memphis
The Hornets are not only in need of a head coach, but some rim protection after finishing 22nd in defensive rating the 2021-22 season. They selected Memphis big Jalen Duren, who can play with his back to the basket, run the court and rebound. He has a capable face-up game in the low post and can make mid-range jump shots. He joins a talented young core led by LaMelo Ball.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Ochai Agbaji, Kansas
A team on the rise in the East, the Cavaliers are putting together quite a defensive unit. They have rim protectors and they added a need in a perimeter defender. Agbaji is 6-5 with a 6-10 wingspan and 8-8 standing reach and known as a 3-and-D wing. He played four seasons for the Jayhawks and was the 2022 Final Four Most Outstanding Player in the Jayhawks’ title run. He averaged 18.8 points and 5.1 rebounds and shot 47.5% from the field and 40.7% on 3s. Former ESPN NBA draft analyst Mike Schmitz, now in Portland’s front office, once tweeted, “Ochai Agbaji could play 25+ minutes in an NBA game tomorrow.”
15. Charlotte Hornets (from New Orleans): Mark Williams, Duke
Williams should be able to step in immediately and fill a big need for the Hornets at center. At 7-2 with a 7-6 wingspan and 9-9 standing reach, Williams has the tools and good mobility for his size to be an imposing presence around the rim. He doesn’t offer much yet on the offeive end, but he should catch a lot of lobs from LaMelo Ball.
16. Atlanta Hawks: A.J. Griffin, Duke
Griffin averaged 10.4 points on a team that has potentially five NBA draft picks, including No. 1. Hailing from a basketball family (his brother, sister and father all played for Power 5 schools; his father also is an assistant with the Toronto Raptors), Griffin is considered one of the better shooters in the draft. He shot 44.7% on 3s and 49.3% overall. He will add necessary shooting alongside Trae Young and give the Hawks needed help defensively with his ability to guard multiple positions at 6-6, 220 pounds.
17. Houston Rockets (from Brooklyn)
18. Chicago Bulls
19. Minnesota Timberwolves
20. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto)
21. Denver Nuggets
22. Memphis Grizzlies (from Utah)
23. Philadelphia 76ers
24. Milwaukee Bucks
25. San Antonio Spurs (from Boston)
26. Houston Rockets (from Dallas)
27. Miami Heat
28. Golden State Warriors
29. Memphis Grizzlies
30. Denver Nuggets (from Oklahoma City)
31. Indiana Pacers (from Houston via Cleveland)
32. Orlando Magic
33. Toronto Raptors (from Detroit via San Antonio, Washington and Chicago)
34. Oklahoma City Thunder
35. Los Angeles Lakers (from Indiana via Milwaukee and Orlando)
36. Detroit Pistons (from Portland)
37. Sacramento Kings
38. San Antonio Spurs (from L.A. Lakers via Chicago and Washington)
39. Cleveland Cavaliers (from San Antonio via Utah)
40. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Washington via Cleveland)
41. New Orleans Pelicans
42. New York Knicks
43. Los Angeles Clippers
44. Atlanta Hawks
45. Charlotte Hornets
46. Portland Trail Blazers (from Brooklyn via Detroit)
47. Memphis Grizzlies (from Cleveland via New Orleans and Atlanta)
48. Minnesota Timberwolves
49. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Chicago via Memphis, Detroit and Sacramento)
50. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Denver via Philadelphia)
51. Golden State Warriors (from Toronto via Philadelphia)
52. New Orleans Pelicans (from Utah)
53. Boston Celtics
*54. Milwaukee Bucks (forfeited)
*55. Miami Heat (from Philadelphia via Denver; forfeited by Miami)
56. Washington Wizards (from Dallas)
57. Golden State Warriors
58. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Miami via Indiana)
59. Portland Trail Blazers (from Memphis via Utah)
60. Indiana Pacers (from Phoenix)