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NBA Draft grades 2022: Grading every team’s picks, trades in first round
2022 NBA Draft is underway and the picks are rolling in. Even though these prospects have not seen a second of NBA action yet, there’s naturally going to be questions about whether each player went to a good situation for his career. On the flip side, did teams make the right choice given the draft position they had? The draft can make or break a franchise’s trajectory and a player’s career, depending on where the pick is made and which team is making it.
We’re tracking each pick as it happens and providing instant reaction with draft grades.
#10: Washington Wizards -Johnny Davis
Davis has a nice mix of production and upside, and the Wizards could use some insurance in the event Bradley Beal decides to leave in free agency. The Wisconsin product will have to work on his passing here with Washington’s other offensive options, but he should see plenty of minutes right off the bat.
#9: San Antonio Spurs – Jeremy Sohan
Sochan is a defensive star and if there’s any place to develop a jump shot, it’s San Antonio. The Baylor forward is a great fit for the Spurs defensively right off the bat and will take some pressure from Dejounte Murray on that side of the ball. If he can be competent offensively, watch out.
#8: New Orleans Pelicans -Dyson Daniels
The upside is there, but it’s hard to be a guard without a three-point shot. The Pelicans do have some perimeter shooters so it’s not a terrible fit, but New Orleans could’ve gone with a safer player here.
#7: Portland Trail Blazers -Shaedon Sharpe
The upside is there, but so is the unknown. The Blazers are in a position to go for broke though, and they’re likely doing enough to keep Damian Lillard around for a few more seasons. That gives enough time for Sharpe to find his jogging from him and make a contribution, though the bust potential is quite high given his lack of playing time over the last year.
No 6: Indiana Pacers -Benedict Mathurin
Mathurin was widely considered a top prospect because of his overall offensive ability and defensive potential. The guard/wing broke out this season for Arizona, but this is a loaded positional group for the Pacers. It’s likely someone gets traded out here to make way for Mathurin.
#5: Detroit Pistons -Jaden Ivey
This pick likely moves Cade Cunningham off the ball a bit, so it’ll be interesting to see how Ivey and last year’s No. 1 pick work out. It also means Killian Hayes is on the way out as the Pistons try to tweak things around Cunningham. Ivey is a great prospect and if he fits well with Cunningham, this backcourt will be something to monitor.
#4: Sacramento Kings – Keegan Murray
It’s tough to judge this pick, because Jaden Ivey might be the better player but Murray is the better fit in this system. His defensive chops from him are not up to the mark but new head coach Mike Brown is a specialist on that side of the ball. Murray can score with the best of them, and he should provide a nice boost immediately.
#3: Houston Rockets -Jabari Smith
The Rockets might have gotten the best player in the draft, and Smith is going to have a chip on his shoulder after falling to No. 3. If he fits well with Jalen Green, this could eventually be the league’s best 1-2 punch offensively .
#2: Oklahoma City Thunder -Chet Holmgren
Holmgren’s potential is obvious, but he likely has the most warning signs out of the top three prospects. If he’s unable to add muscle, it’ll be hard for him to be considered a true rim protector at the next level. He fits Oklahoma City’s overall timeline, so the development aspect should be fine. If Holmgren can add some weight on, he’ll be in position to dominate the league.
#1: Orlando Magic -Paolo Banchero
Banchero is considered the best all-around prospect offensively of the top three guys, and he now gets a chance to be the go-to player in Orlando. The fit is interesting with a stacked frontcourt for the Magic, but Banchero can do everything offensively to elevate that group.
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