Paolo Banchero, Duke’s Rookie of the Year, was selected by the Orlando Magic with the No. 1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft Thursday night. The annual event was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY, where the Nets went without a pick and Knicks fans went home stunned.
Below, I’ve broken down every team in the NBA regarding who they selected in this year’s Rookie Class, what the narratives are this Summer so far, and what to look forward to next season.
- No. 24 – MarJon Beauchamp (G League Ignite)
- No. 58 – Hugo Besson (France)
With the NBA looking more toward the G League as a potential development zone for the NBA (as it always was and should have been), rookies like Jalen Green and Dyson Daniels have had executives turn heads. MarJon Beauchamp, the major Bucks acquisition last night, was one of those top G League prospects this year, where he averaged 15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
As a guard, he’s got Pat Connaughton, Grayson Allen, and Wesley Adams to compete with if he wants a starting role alongside the 2021 champs, but the loss of P.J. Tucker to Miami and Khris Middleton’s injury were both felt this postseason. In the 109-103 Game 3 loss against the Celtics, the core trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, and Jrue Holiday scored 80 points, while the rest of their team accounted for just 23 of their 103-point total. Grayson Allen shot 0-6 and it took Giannis’ massive 42-point game with nine made-threes to get them even close. That’s grounds for some shakeups this season.
- No. 18 – Dalen Terry (Arizona)
With the 18th pick, the Bulls selected Dalen Terry, a 6’7″ guard from Arizona who played alongside Koloko and Mathurin (two other rookies drafted this year) during a 33-4 college season.
Though rumors swirled around Zach LaVine’s free agency, Chicago’s general manager Marc Eversley told NBC Sports that “We’re prepared to do what it will take to bring Zach back in the fold.” With Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, and Coby White, however, it didn’t feel this season that the Bulls were lacking in the available guard department. That being said, only four players on the Bulls averaged above 10 points per game in the latest playoff series against the Bucks, an odd minus for a team with DeMar DeRozan that ended the season No. 2 in the East.
- No. 14 Ochai Agbaji (Kansas)
- No. 39 – Khalifa Diop (Senegal)
- No. 49 – Isaiah Mobley (USC)
- No. 56 – Luke Travers (Australia)
Selected at No. 14, Ochai Agbaji was a top 10 pick in my eye. The BIG12 Player of the Year led the Kansas Jayhawks to a 2022 March Madness NCAA Championship victory. Agbaji made around 41% of his three-pointers and averaged 18.8 points for Kansas last season, and his skill as a shooter “fits a need right away” Cleveland’s President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman told Cleveland.com.
The Cavs also picked up Khalifa Diop, a 6’11” center from Senegal who will help add to their Iron Wall roster defense alongside Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, and Lauri Markkanen–all guys over at least 6’10”. They also drafted Isaiah Mobley, Evan’s older brother, likely a family move akin to the Antetokounmpo brothers in Milwaukee to keep their stars happy. One game away from the playoffs due to injuries, I’m sure the Cavs are hungry for a postseason appearance this year.
- No. 53 – JD Davidson (Alabama)
Looking to run it back to the Finals following the loss to the Warriors, the Boston Celtics took a big-haired guard late in the draft that they plan to “invest in and put a lot of time into,” according to President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens.
No one expected the Celtics to be there in the Finals over the Bucks, Nets, Heat, and 76ers–something they’ll tell you every chance they can get (even though the Warriors said the exact same thing)–but I doubt the Celtics are done here. Boston made a lot of moves last season and has around $30 million in trade-player-exceptions this upcoming season from off-loading Evan Fournier, Juancho Hernangomez, Dennis Schroder, P.J. Dozier, and Bol Bol.
- No. 43 – Moussa Diabate (Michigan)
While the Clippers were presumably happy to add to their roster on Thursday night, all eyes are on a potentially healthy Kawhi Leonard, a five-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion who still really hasn’t the chance the play a full season alongside Paul George in LA.
Gaining Normal Powell and Robert Covington when the Trail Blazers imploded last season, they may be able to make a run this season. They’ll have to work around Nicolas Batum, however, who declined a contract to become a free agent this offseason. Batum averaged only 8 points per game in his past two seasons for the Clippers, who probably have no qualms with moving Robert Covington up to starting role.
- acquired Danny Green from the 76ers and the No. 19 pick for De’Anthony Melton
- No. 19 – Jake LaRavia (Wake Forest)
- No. 23 – David Roddy (Colorado State)
- No. 38 – Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee)
- No. 47 – Vince Williams Jr. (VCU)
The Grizzlies were one of the most active teams on draft day, and they were able to successfully convert three draft picks into four and Danny Green, losing only De’Anthony Melton and the right to draft Auburn’s Walker Kessler (a 7’1″ SEC Defensive Player of the Year award winner).
None of Memphis’ four picks were on my radar, but the big story here is that Danny Green–a sometimes starter for the 76ers–is now a Grizzly. We’ll have to wait and see how he fits into their lineup, but the move was one of the biggest trades on draft day for sure, as Memphis hopes to build out their roster and Philly tries to make salary cap space to entice P.J. Tucker to leave Miami.
- No. 16 – AJ Griffin (Duke)
- No. 51 – Tyrese Martin (UConn)
The Hawks walked away with AJ Griffin on Thursday night, a forward previously predicted as a top 10 pick from a team of exceptional Duke players this season. Griffin shot 45% from the three-point line for Duke and may even get a starting role for Atlanta this upcoming season.
Rumblings around the league suggest that the Hawks are looking to shuffle players around to give Trae Young a better shot in the postseason, and forwards like Kevin Huerter, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and John Collins have recently surfaced from insiders. In fact, The Athletic reported following the draft that Collins was “done in Atlanta” and had become “increasingly frustrated” with his role on the team. He is the Hawks’ second-highest leading scorer behind Young.
- No. 27 – Nikola Jovic (Serbia)
Serbian Mega Basket star Nikola Jovic may not have ended up on the Nuggets alongside two-time MVP Nikola Jokic like I wanted him to be, but the Thunder drafted two guys named Jalen/Jaylin Williams so I still got my name kicks somewhere.
The Heat seem to have way more to worry about than how to incorporate the 2-time Serbian-league champ, as they may be losing P.J. Tucker to free agency in the offseason. That power-forward spot is Jovic’s should he leave unless the Heat promotes Duncan Robinson or Markieff Morris (two guy’s they benched all postseason).
- No. 15 – Mark Williams (Duke)
- No. 40 – Bryce McGowens (Nebraska)
The Hornets could have had both Jalen Duren and Mark Williams, but they offloaded Duren for some 2025 first-round picks in a move that calls for some explanations. Maybe I could get one if they weren’t too busy being disappointed that the assistant coach who just won the championship decided he would actually like to stay at Golden State instead of move to Charlotte, NC.
Charlotte still walked away with Mark Williams, however, a 7-foot center and ACC Defensive Player of the Year for Duke who averaged 2.8 blocks per game and led all of collegiate basketball in dunks this past season. This is VERY exciting for the Hornets, who should honestly bounce Mason Plumlee to the bench for Williams ASAP. Williams was a top 10 pick in my book and this kind of player is exactly what the Hornets needed.
After the postseason exit the Jazz had, many critics jumped at the chance to say that Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert proved that they do not have what it takes to win the title. Head coach Quin Snyder also recently resigned following eight seasons, meaning that the organization also has to find who will lead their unit next.
They’ll have to take a serious look at their roster this season because of that, especially since Utah acquired zero new players in the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday. According to local KSL reporters, Thursday was the first time the team hasn’t made a draft selection since 1992. They may have had zero picks, but the front office didn’t even make any moves to gain one.
- No. 4 – Keegan Murray (Iowa)
Despite a disappointing first-round March Madness exit, the sophomore Big Ten MVP out of Iowa averaged an unbelievable 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, near 40% three-point percentage, and 2 blocks a game throughout the season, shattering the Midwest university’s records.
Keegan Murray will likely start alongside De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, Harrison Barnes, and Domantas Sabonis, joining a team of young upstarts hoping to end Sacramento’s 19-year-long playoff drought.
- traded Kemba Walker and the No. 13 pick to the Pistons, and traded their No. 11 pick to the Thunder–all for future draft picks
- No. 42 – Trevor Keels (Duke)
The Knicks walked away with the greatest losses of the 2022 NBA Draft, seemingly all in pursuit of Jalen Brunson. The Mavericks’ guard will be a free agent this offseason, and the Knicks are desperately trying to create enough salary-cap space to entice him to move to New York.
In the meantime, they lost not only Kemba Walker (who they sidelined for the whole last leg of the 2021-2022 season), but also Memphis big-man Jalen Duren and 6’11” French center Ousmane Dieng. “Would they really flip a lottery pick to clear cap space for the mere opportunity to pay Jalen Brunson?” Bleacher Report‘s Dan Favale asked. Insanely, they did.
- No. 35 – Max Christie (Michigan State)
- two-way deals for Shareef O’Neal and Scottie Pippen Jr.
With LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard, and Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers will have one of the most expensive rosters this season. It would feel a bit more justified if they could win some games, but the Los Angeles super-team didn’t even make the playoffs last year.
The Lakers also used the draft to add even more legacy figures to their roster, offering two-way contracts to Shaquille O’Neal’s son Shareef and Scottie Pippen Jr. after they both went undrafted.
- No. 1 – Paolo Banchero (Duke)
- No. 32 – Caleb Houstan (Michigan)
- traded the No. 35 pick to the Lakers for future first-round picks and cash
Winning the draft lottery, the 2nd worst 2021-2022 season record-holder drafted Paolo Banchero from Duke with the No. 1 overall pick. Despite rumors that they would select Jabari Smith Jr., the Magic secured Banchero Thursday night in his wacky purple suit.
With comparisons in the NBA to a kind of player like Ben Simmons, Paolo Banchero will start alongside Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner–Magic’s two top 10 picks last year–as the rebuilding franchise hopes to perform better than their 22-60 record last season.
- acquired Christian Wood from the Rockets in exchange for Boban Marjanovic, Marquese Chriss, Trey Burke, Sterling Brown, and the No. 26 pick
- No. 37 – Jaden Hardy (G League Ignite)
The Mavericks looked a little less like the Luka Doncic show this postseason thanks to improved play from Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie, but Doncic still needs a lot of help if Dallas hopes to reach at least a West Conference Final. He can take them there scoring 30 points on average throughout the postseason, but it’s been proven that he couldn’t do it alone for the title. No one really can.
The first big move to help the Mavericks along is the trade for Christian Wood, a center who consistently gives 15 points a game, and will likely contribute more to Dallas’ box score than Dwight Powell. Shooting guard Jaden Hardy was an odd pick, however, especially since they already have Brunson, Tim Hardaway Jr., Luka, and Dinwiddie. I don’t see Hardy getting much playing time. In my eyes, the Mavs really need some help in the forward department–a guy who can take it to the rim if Luka is double-teamed more than Dorian Finney-Smith or Reggie Bullock.
After deferring the No. 23 pick to 2023 and handing it off to the 76ers, the Nets walked away from a draft that took place in their own venue with nothing to show for it. With many variables still in the air such as Ben Simmons’ future and Kyrie Irving’s potential farewell, the Brooklyn squad definitely has a lot on their plate already.
At the same time, some help on defense could have gone a long way, especially if the Nets plan on just running it back with the same squad. Of course, we’ll have to see how Simmons fits in alongside Durant, but another season of experiments isn’t what the Nets need right now. They need some consistency.
- No. 21 – Christian Braun (Kansas)
- No. 30 – Peyton Watson (UCLA)
- No. 46 – Ismael Kamagate (France)
- two-way deal: Collin Gillespie (Villanova)
The two-time MVP Nikola Jokic may have bowed out to the eventual champs in the first round of the playoffs, but the Nuggets were without two of their starters: Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. In their place, they picked up DeMarcus Cousins, Jeff Green, and Bryn Forbes, all valuable additions to the backcourt.
Christian Braun, their highest pick in the draft this year, helped lead Kansas to an NCAA victory, and he still managed 14.1 points per game despite Ochai Agbaji stealing all of the spotlight. The Nuggets also offered a two-way contract to Collin Gillespie, the guard who scored 20 points against Ohio State in the 2022 March Madness tourney.
- No. 6 – Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona)
- No. 31 – Andrew Nembhard (Gonzaga)
- No. 48 – Kendall Brown (Baylor)
Bennedict Mathurin led Arizona to a ridiculous 33-4 record this past season before Houston aggressively double-teamed him and the Wildcats fell in the Sweet 16. The Pac-12 Player of the Year had a 30-point game showing just before their exit match, however, bumping his stock up to No. 6 in the 2022 NBA Draft. He’ll hopefully help out a Pacers squad in need of much development this season, when he’s, ya know, not starting beef with LeBron James before he even plays his first NBA game.
- No. 8 – Dyson Daniels (G League Ignite)
- No. 41 – E.J. Lidell (Ohio State)
- No. 52 – Karlo Matkovic (Croatia)
There were a lot of eyes on 19-year-old Dyson Daniels, an Australian player who once won the FIBA Cup with 23 points and six steals. The 6’8″ guard impressed at the Combine as well, and his reportedly has some history playing alongside the Thunder’s Josh Giddey.
Even with Zion Williamson back (hopefully), the Pelicans’ 2022-2023 season is still up in the air. They were able to snag CJ McCollum from the Blazers to make a run in the first round of the playoffs, and rookie Jose Alvarado stole the show with his sneaky defense, but we’ll have to see how far they can get now that their star power-forward has returned.
- No. 5 – Jaden Ivey (Purdue)
- No. 13 – Jalen Duren (Mempis) (acquired from the Knicks via the Hornets for future draft picks)
- Kemba Walker (acquired from the Knicks via the Hornets for future draft picks)
- No. 36 – Gabriele Procinda (Italy)
- traded Jerami Grant to the Trail Blazers for future draft picks and $43 million
The Pistons seem like the easy winners of the 2022 NBA Draft, acquiring Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren, and Knicks PG Kemba Walker for some future draft picks and Jerami Grant. They also worked out acquiring $43 million to play with in free agency and added amazing young prospects around Cade Cunningham.
Jaden Ivey was seemingly the best guard to draft this year, and Jalen Duren was described by ESPN as “the most physically gifted big man in this class.” The two should both start alongside Cade, Saddiq Bey, and Marvin Bagley III, but the Pistons could still acquire more talent in the forward department. They’ll likely buyout Kemba’s contract, however (unless he’s fine playing second-fiddle to Cade), so that he can essentially become a free agent this offseason.
- No. 33 – Christian Koloko (Arizona)
The Raptors improved a lot this past season, going from a 27-45 record in 2020 to reaching the first round of the playoffs. They also had 2021’s Rookie of the Year, Scottie Barnes, who went No. 4 overall in last year’s draft. Toronto will add Arizona’s star center Christian Koloko this year, a 7’1″, 230-pound Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
- No. 3 – Jabari Smith Jr. (Auburn)
- No. 17 – Tari Eason (LSU)
- No. 29 – TyTy Washington Jr. (Kentucky)
- acquired Boban Marjanovic, Marquese Chriss, Trey Burke, and Sterling Brown from the Mavericks for Christian Wood
Jalen Green, last year’s No. 2 pick overall, is the new face of the Rockets following a probable John Wall buyout after not playing since April 2021 due to contract disputes. They earned Jabari Smith Jr. at the No. 3 pick after having the worst record in the league last season, and also picked up Tari Eason from LSU with draft picks left over from James Harden’s short stint in Brooklyn. The rebuild remains, however, especially when players like Wall and Kenyon Martin Jr. request trades before the season beings.
- acquired De’Anthony Melton from the Grizzlies for Danny Green and the No. 23 pick
The 76ers probably thought they were making the greatest deal of all time when they were able to offload the stubborn Ben Simmons and acquire James Harden all in one move, but they didn’t anticipate the lasting effects of losing Seth Curry and Andre Drummond as well until they were in the playoffs and Doc Rivers had to keep sending out guys like DeAndre Jordan, Furkan Korkmaz, and Paul Reed to relieve his starting five.
Trading their sole pick in the 2022 NBA Draft (granted to them by the deferring Nets) along with Danny Green just for De’Anthony Melton, however, is an odd decision. I could see wanting more bench support over developing young players when you still have to work out how Harden fits in with Embiid, but the 76ers’ backcourt still needs a lot of work.
- No. 9 – Jeremy Sochan (Baylor)
- No. 20 – Malaki Branham (Ohio State)
- No. 25 – Blake Wesley (Notre Dame)
Malaki Branham was Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a 41.6% three-point shooter for Ohio State this past season. The Spurs could really use a reliable perimeter shooter, as well as Jeremy Sochan’s “ability to defend all over the floor,” according to ESPN. I don’t see much else going for the Spurs outside of Dejounte Murray, and a starting lineup of Murray, Branham, Sochan, Keldon Johnson, and Jakob Poeltl seems like their only option.
The Suns didn’t take a single pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, largely due to the fact that they went 64-18 last season. You weren’t gonna see a franchise-record win percentage like that in the lottery. They also traded the final pick this year to the Pacers for Torrey Craig, a 31-year-old wing who “was virtually ineffective,” according to SB Nation.
Despite their regular-season success, however, the Devin Booker-Chris Paul Suns seem to just not be able to put it away. After all, they fell in Game 7 to Mavericks once trailing over 50 points. Ouch. Maybe they need to drop everything and just rebuild now. Rumors are already swirling that DeAndre Ayton may be the first domino to fall.
- No. 2 – Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)
- No. 11 – Ousmane Dieng (France)
- No. 12 – Jalen Williams (Santa Clara)
- No. 34 – Jaylin Williams (Arkansas)
- acquired JayMychal Green from the Nuggets
The Thunder did pretty well for themselves at the 2022 NBA Draft, which is just what you want to do after finishing the season as one of the worst teams in the league. After securing Chet Holmgren with the No. 2 pick–a 7’0″, 190-pound lanky center that will hopefully become the next Kristaps Porzingis–they also got a piece of the Knicks foolery to grab Ousmane Dieng from France as well. Oh, and two guys named Jalen/Jaylin Williams.
We’re looking at a Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Chet Holmgren rookie trio here, and I certainly see more upside there than other teams around the league that also have no starters above the age of 23 years old.
- No. 22 – Walker Kessler (Auburn)
- No. 26 – Wendall Moore Jr. (Duke)
- No. 45 – Josh Minott (Memphis)
- No. 50 – Matteo Spagnolo (Italy)
- David McCormack (Kansas) offered a chance to come to the Timberwolves Summer Camp
In tandem with a lot of the Grizzlies’ moves, the Timberwolves were very active this NBA Draft and they walked away with four new players because of it. Granted, none of these guys were really on my radar outside of Kessler and McCormack, but new guys mean new potential.
Kessler, a 7’1″ SEC Defensive Player of the Year led collegiate basketball last season in blocks. He’ll pair nicely on the defensive end when Karl Anthony-Towns needs a breather, and hopefully, add more to Minnesota’s bench this season.
- No. 7 – Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky)
- No. 57 – Jabari Walker (Colorado)
- acquired Jerami Grant from the Pistons for future draft picks and cash considerations
Damian Lillard previously told ESPN that he wanted to see Shaedon Sharpe on the Trail Blazers with him, so Portland appeased the star they desperately trying to keep and took the 5-star recruit at No. 7 this year. Sharpe is the kind of player that scouts love to talk about, but he really has yet to prove himself. He didn’t play a single game for Kentucky, meaning that taking Sharpe is taking a guy who last played a game in high school.
He’ll join a lineup including Lillard, Anfernee Simons, and Jerami Grant, who the Trail Blazers just acquired from the Pistons, but Portland is going to have to do way more to support Lillard. They lost $43 million acquiring Grant, so I don’t imagine they have a lot of room to sign free agents unless they offload guys like Kris Dunn or CJ Elleby.
- No. 28 – Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Milwaukee)
- No. 44 – Ryan Rollins (Toledo)
- No. 55 – Gui Santos (Brazil)
The Golden State Warriors won the 2022 NBA Championship thanks to exceptional play from Steph Curry and a returned Klay Thompson, and according to the front office, they don’t plan on losing anyone to free agency this year. They want to resign Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Gary Payton Jr., James Wiseman, and more, and in doing so they’ll likely spend the most money out of any team in the NBA.
Last year’s rookies Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga already only get one minute a game if they’re lucky, and even players like Juan Toscano-Anderson barely ever suit up. They still took three picks this draft, but if they can afford to run this team back as is, then what does it matter. These are the guys to beat, once again.
- No. 10 – Johnny Davis (Wisconsin)
- No. 54 – Yannick Nzosa (The Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Now the drama surrounding Bradley Beal has mostly died down, we can take a serious look at what the Wizards are working with this season. Washington acquired Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as part of the Russell Westbrook trade, and they also swapped Dinwiddie for Porzingis. Johnny Davis will likely start as their new point guard, where the Big Ten Player of the Year will have to sort out this random assortment of talent around Beal.
Lastly, I can’t believe no one drafted Teddy Allen out of New Mexico State. The guy scored 37 points in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to defeat UConn, and he led the team with a 19.6 points-per-game average. Hope he’s given the opportunity to wreak havoc in the G-League and return with a vengeance.
What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.