2022 NBA Draft

And-Ones: Sharpe, 2022 Draft, Dotson, Douglas

It was reported a few days ago that top prospect Shaedon Sharpe will be eligible to apply for the 2022 draft, which could have a ripple effect on the projected lottery selections this summer. Kyle Tucker and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic explore the next steps for both Kentucky and Sharpe, who has yet to play a game for the Wildcats. Sources tell The Athletic that although Sharpe is able to apply, there are still questions as to whether he would actually be granted eligibility by the NBA.

Tucker relays that Kentucky wasn’t surprised by the news that Sharpe was eligible to apply for the draft, as it was always a possibility. Sharpe just joined the Wildcats at the beginning of January and hasn’t even gone through a full practice yet. Coach John Calipari said the report doesn’t change anything from his perspective.

It doesn’t change anything. He plans on being here next year. He’s watching. Whether I play him or not this year, if he’s ready to be able to be in games, I’ll put him in. But he’s a great kid and he’s doing well and he’s going to make practices even better. He’s only been here two weeks. But at the end of the day, you know I’m going to be for kids. That’s how I do this,” Calipari said.

The plan all along has been for Sharpe to sit out the ’22 season and suit up for 2022/23. Tucker had a text exchange with Sharpe’s mother, Julia Bell, to verify the plan was still in place and she confirmed that it was. Tucker believes that Sharpe will end up playing at some point this season, but Vecenie thinks that it would behoove him not to.

Vecenie hasn’t projected Sharpe in any mock drafts for ’22 due to the murkiness of his eligibility, but he believes the 6’6″ wing has the upside to be the No. 1 overall pick. If Sharpe does end up applying and is granted eligibility by the NBA, Vecenie says he’d rank him around No. 5 on his board and would be surprised if he fell outside of the top 10. Sharpe would immediately become one of top wing prospects in a draft that is mostly known for its big men.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Speaking of the ’22 draft, Chad Ford provides version 3.1 of his latest NBA Big Board, with Jabari Smith Jr. at No. 1, Chet Holmgren No. 2, and Sharpe No. 5.
  • Devon Dotson, who was waived by the Bulls last week in order to sign Malcolm Hill to a two-way deal, is expected to land with Chicago’s G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, according to veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein of Substack (via Twitter).
  • Former NBA player Toney Douglas has signed with Israeli team Hapoel Eilat, per Dario Skerletic of Sportando. Douglas began the season with Greek team Iraklis BC. Douglas appeared in parts of eight seasons in the NBA, last suiting up with Memphis in 2016/17. Across 394 games, he averaged 7.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest.
  • In an Insider-only article for ESPN, Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz explore the 2023 draft class in a mock draft, with French 7’3″ big man Victor Wembanyana going No. 1 and Scoot Henderson of G League Ignite No. 2.

Checking In On Traded 2022 First-Round Picks

We’re over halfway through the 2021/22 NBA regular season, which means it’s a good time to take a look at where things stand with 2022’s traded first-round picks. Many of the traded first-rounders for the ’22 draft come with protections, so there’s a chance they might not change hands this year after all.

Using our list of traded first-round picks for 2022 and our reverse standings tool, here’s our breakdown of which of those traded picks are most and least likely to change hands, and which ones remain up in the air:


Picks that will definitely change hands:

  • Thunder acquiring Clippers‘ pick (unprotected).

When the Clippers traded a series of first-round picks and swaps to the Thunder in the Paul George blockbuster in the 2019 offseason, they weren’t counting on losing both George and Kawhi Leonard to long-term injuries in the same season. That’s the case this year though, and it could result in Oklahoma City receiving an extra lottery pick.

The Clippers are currently in a play-in spot, so their pick could move to No. 15 or lower if they make the playoffs, but for now it’s projected to be No. 11 or No. 12 (they’re tied with the Knicks in the NBA standings).

  • Thunder acquiring Suns‘ pick (top-12 protected).

The Thunder will also receive a first-round pick from another Pacific team, though that selection appears likely to end up at the very end of the round — the Suns have the league’s best record so far, so their pick would be at No. 30.

  • Grizzlies acquiring Jazz‘s pick (top-six protected).

The pick the Grizzlies are getting from the Jazz will fall near the end of the first round too. For now, it projects to be No. 25 or No. 26, as Utah is tied in the standings with the Heat.

  • Grizzlies or Pelicans acquiring Lakers‘ pick (unprotected).

The Lakers will send their first-rounder to the Pelicans if it lands in the top 10 or to the Grizzlies if it’s between 11-30. It’s certainly possible things continue to go south in Los Angeles and the pick moves up into the top 10 — if the Lakers don’t make the playoffs, their pick could even jump into the top four via the lottery.

For now though, the more likely scenario is that Memphis will get the Lakers’ pick — it would be No. 15 or No. 16 (they’re tied with Minesota) if the season ended today and L.A. clinched a playoff spot in the play-in tournament.


Picks that definitely won’t change hands:

  • Thunder acquiring Pistons’ pick (top-16 protected).
  • Hawks acquiring Thunder‘s pick (top-14 protected).

There’s still a lot of basketball to be played this season, but it seems pretty safe to pencil in the Pistons and Thunder as non-playoff teams, which means they’ll keep their first-round picks in 2022. Right now, Detroit’s at No. 2 in the lottery standings, while Oklahoma City’s at No. 4.

Given how weak the bottom half of the Western Conference has been, the Thunder could theoretically sneak into a play-in spot and make the playoffs, but it’s an extreme long shot — the teams ahead of them in the standings will be more motivated to push for the postseason.

Assuming they keep their pick this year, the Pistons will owe the Thunder their top-18 protected first-round pick in 2023. If the Thunder’s own pick is protected, they’ll instead send the Hawks their 2024 and 2025 second-round selections.


Still up in the air:

  • Hornets acquiring Pelicans‘ pick (top-14 protected)
  • Bulls acquiring Trail Blazers‘ pick (top-14 protected)

At this point, it looks more likely than not that the Pelicans and Trail Blazers will keep their own lottery-protected first-round picks.

Portland, despite holding the West’s No. 10 seed for now, has a tenuous hold on a play-in spot with Damian Lillard sidelined for a while. New Orleans may have some potential for a second-half surge, especially if Zion Williamson returns, but the team is on the outside looking in for the time being. Either team would have a difficult path to a playoff spot as a lower seed in the play-in tournament.

Currently, the Pelicans’ first-rounder projects to be No. 6 or No. 7 (they’re tied with San Antonio), pending lottery results. Assuming that pick ends up in the top 14, New Orleans would instead send their 2022 and 2024 second-round selections to the Hornets.

If the Trail Blazers keep their first-round pick, currently projected to be No. 9, they’d owe the Bulls their top-14 protected first-rounder in 2023.

  • Hawks acquiring Hornets‘ pick (top-18 protected)

The Hornets‘ first-round selection, which was just traded from New York to Atlanta in the Cam Reddish deal, is right on the edge and could go either way. It’s top-18 protected and is currently projected to be at No. 19, meaning the Hawks would receive it if the season ended today (as long as the seventh-seeded Hornets clinched a playoff spot in the play-in tournament). That could change quickly though.

  • Rockets acquiring most favorable of Heat‘s or Nets‘ pick (Heat get least favorable).

Finally, the Rockets will control the two most favorable picks of the following three: their own first-rounder, the Nets first-rounder, and the Heat‘s first-rounder; Miami will get the least favorable of the three, unless the Heat’s own pick lands in the top 14 (in which case Miami would keep it and Houston would get the other two picks).

It seems safe to assume at this point that the Rockets will keep their own selection and the Heat will make the playoffs, so it’ll come down to whether Brooklyn or Miami finishes higher in the standings. Currently, the Heat are a half-game ahead of the Nets, so Houston would get Brooklyn’s pick (No. 24) and Miami would hang onto its own (No. 25 or No. 26).

And-Ones: Hardship Deals, Sharpe, Cornelie, All-Star Voting

The NBA will continue to allow teams to sign players to 10-day hardship contracts via a COVID-related allowance through February 17, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). When first introducing the new form of hardship deals last month, the league said they would be permitted until at least January 19.

Unlike the injury-related hardship deals that have been available for many years, a COVID hardship contract doesn’t count against a team’s salary for cap or tax purposes. Additionally, an injury-related hardship exception is only granted if a club has at least four players out with longer-term injuries, whereas that club becomes eligible for a COVID hardship exception as soon as one player enters the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

There are far fewer players in the protocols now than there were in mid-to-late December and early January, so hopefully the worst of this season’s COVID-19 outbreaks are behind us and not many hardship deals will be required in the coming weeks.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe, once ranked by ESPN as the top prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, will be eligible to apply for the ’22 NBA draft as an early entrant, a source tells ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. It’s unclear whether or not Sharpe, who has yet to play at all for the Wildcats, will actually declare for this year’s draft. If he does, it would shake up the top 10 for lottery teams — Givony has tentatively placed the 18-year-old sixth overall on ESPN’s 2022 big board.
  • Despite some rumors that he was being eyed by a team in Spain, former Nuggets forward Petr Cornelie has signed a G League contract and joined the Grand Rapids Gold, Denver’s affiliate, according to the league’s transactions log. Cornelie was waived last week so the Nuggets could sign Davon Reed to a two-way contract.
  • The NBA announced the latest All-Star voting results on Thursday and issued a reminder that voting will end on Saturday and the All-Star starters will be announced next Thursday, January 27. The fans’ selections will account for 50% of the overall vote, with current NBA players (25%) and a media panel (25%) accounting for the remainder.

And-Ones: Davis, Georges-Hunt, All-Star Picks, 2022 Draft

Former NBA big man Deyonta Davis has signed with a Taiwanese team, the Taoyuan Leopards, according to Sportando. Davis, an early second-round selection in the 2016 draft, last appeared in the NBA during the 2018/19 season, when he saw action in nine games with Atlanta.

We have more from around the basketball world:

And-Ones: Kerr, 2022 Draft, Mitchell, 10-Day Contracts, Kings

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is pushing for fouls committed to prevent fast breaks to be upgraded to technicals, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets. That would mirror the FIBA rule regarding transition-stopping take fouls. “It’s terrible,” Kerr said. “It’s terrible for the game. It’s terrible for the fans.”

Kerr added that the NBA is “very serious” about changing its current rule. The league’s competition committee has discussed an increased penalty for take fouls.

We have more from around basketball world:

  • The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie has posted his latest mock draft and the first player taken doesn’t play for Gonzaga of Duke. He projects Auburn forward Jabari Smith going off the board first due to his superior shooting ability for a big man, giving him a slight edge over Duke’s Paolo Banchero and Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren.
  • Smith is also No. 1 on the latest rankings from Chad Ford of NBABigBoard.com. Ford even goes as far to say that’s he’s a consensus No. 1 among scouts and GMs he’s talked to, with Holmgren ranking No. 2.
  • Former Pistons forward Tony Mitchell is signing in Uruguay with Club Trouville, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. The 29-year-old last played in Venezuela. He saw action in 21 NBA games with Detroit during the 2013/14 season.
  • What has it been like for NBA executives to try to bring in players when members of their 15-man roster enter protocols? ESPN’s Brian Windhorst takes an in-depth look at the frenzy of free agent signings on 10-day deals to fill in for players who test positive.
  • The Kings have been fined $50K for violating league rules prohibiting team owners and executives from interacting with scorer’s table personnel during game play, NBA Communications tweets.  Assistant GM Wes Wilcox was fined $15K.

And-Ones: Newley, Jenkins, Spoelstra, Protocols, Draft

While fans may gloss over the names of draft-rights players included as placeholders in minor NBA trades, the players themselves certainly take notice, even if they don’t expect to ever play in the NBA. Australian wing Brad Newley, who never came stateside after being selected in the second round of the 2007 draft, is one of those players — he had his rights sent from the Lakers to the Knicks in the three-team Rajon Rondo trade earlier this week.

The deal gave Newley an opportunity to reconnect with Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose, who was his agent when he first entered the draft 14 years ago, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. Newley knows he won’t ever play for the Knicks, but he and Rose remain friends, and he joked that he’d be ready if he gets the call.

“If the Knicks are rebuilding around a 36-year-old, I’m not sure,” he told Vorkunov. “But I’m open to anything.”

Newley admitted in his conversation with Vorkunov that he probably didn’t prioritize the NBA enough earlier in his career, but he was happy to spend his career playing in international leagues and said he doesn’t have any regrets.

“I played the whole of my career in Europe as a stash guy, thought maybe one day you’d get a chance, but I was on some pretty good contracts over there,” Newley said. “So the NBA, at that time, the guarantees weren’t around as much as they are now, with the way things operate. It would be interesting if you could rewind and do it all again, it might be done a little bit different.”

Let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • Taylor Jenkins of the Grizzlies and Erik Spoelstra of the Heat were named the NBA’s December Coaches of the Month for the West and East, respectively, the league announced on Tuesday (Twitter link). Jenkins led Memphis to a 12-4 record despite missing star guard Ja Morant for 10 games, while Spoelstra navigated a series of injuries and COVID-19 cases to lead Miami to a 10-5 mark.
  • In an Insider-only story, Kevin Pelton of ESPN looked into which teams have been hit the hardest by the health and safety protocols this year, concluding that the Cavaliers, Sixers, and Bucks have lost more WARP (wins above replacement player) than any other clubs so far. Zach Kram of The Ringer explored the other side of the health and safety equation, examining how the players signed using hardship exceptions have performed and how they’re affecting the NBA.
  • Looking ahead to the 2022 NBA draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) profiled some players whose stocks are rising, including Iowa’s Keegan Murray and Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis, while Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has published a new mock draft.

And-Ones: Hall Of Fame, House, Clark, Beasley, 2022 Draft

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced its list of 50 nominees for 2022, including four-time NBA champion Manu Ginobili, who is eligible for the first time this year.

Chauncey Billups, Shawn Marion, Michael Finley, and Mark Jackson are among the other nominees eligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as players, while George Karl and Paul Westhead are two of many coaching nominees. Veteran referee Joey Crawford is also eligible for the first time this year.

The Hall of Fame will announce its 2022 finalists in February and will reveal this year’s class on April 2. The enshrinement ceremony will take place on the weekend of September 9-10.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Before Danuel House signed a 10-day deal with the Knicks, he received interest from a number of other teams, including the Sixers, Lakers, and Kings, sources tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Veteran forward Earl Clark, the 14th overall pick in the 2009 draft, has signed an NBA G League contract, agent Daniel Hazan tells Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Clark appeared in 261 career NBA games, but hasn’t played in the league since 2015.
  • Former No. 2 overall pick Michael Beasley has been sent a G League contract and invited to join the NBAGL player pool, tweets Marc Stein. Beasley joined a Puerto Rican team in October after playing for Portland in Summer League this year.
  • Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report takes a look at some early-season surprises and disappointments among 2022 NBA draft prospects, while ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) published an updated version of their 2022 mock draft this week. Purdue guard Jaden Ivey has moved up to No. 4 in ESPN’s latest mock, while Jaden Hardy of the G League Ignite has slipped out of the top five.

And-Ones: Roster Rules, Muhammad, Faried, Prospects

A handful of reporters have shared some additional details on the changes to the NBA’s roster rules as agreed upon by the league and the players’ union, which we outlined this morning.

According to Eric Koreen of The Athletic, while teams are now being required to sign replacement players if they have multiple players sidelined due to positive COVID-19 tests, a club won’t have to sign any additional replacements if it’s able to have 13 healthy players in uniform.

Meanwhile, Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link) cites multiple sources who say it won’t just be new hardship signings that don’t count against team salary for cap or tax purposes — that change will be applied retroactively to all of this season’s hardship signings. Teams, of course, will still be required to pay 10-day salaries to each player they sign, but those deals won’t have an impact on a club’s cap or tax situation.

Finally, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link), even though players on two-way contracts no longer face a 50-game regular season limit, they remain ineligible to participate in play-in or postseason games unless they’re promoted to their team’s standard roster.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former lottery pick Shabazz Muhammad, who last played in the NBA in 2018, joined the Grand Rapids Gold – the Nuggets‘ G League affiliate – for the NBAGL Showcase, as Marc Stein reported (via Twitter). Muhammad struggled in his debut on Sunday vs. the G League Ignite, recording four points, four turnovers, and six fouls in 16 minutes of action.
  • CSKA Moscow and veteran NBA big man Kenneth Faried have parted ways, the Russian club recently announced in a press release. Faried signed a two-month contract with CSKA in October, but played a limited role for the team, which opted not to extend his deal to cover the entire season. “Thank you for having me, it was amazing – the organization, coaches and people of CSKA Moscow,” Faried said in a statement. “I wish I could have stayed the whole season but it’s a business and I understand that!”
  • Sam Vecenie of The Athletic identifies seven college upperclassmen to keep an eye on this NCAA season as 2022 draft prospects, singling out Kansas wing Ochai Agbaji, Duke wing Wendell Moore Jr., and Northwestern forward Pete Nance (Larry Nance Jr.‘s brother), among others.

And-Ones: Franchise Valuations, Maker, Ferrell, J. Smith

Kurt Badenhausen of Sportico has released his annual NBA franchise valuations, with the Knicks ($6.12 billion), Warriors ($6.03 billion), and Lakers ($5.63 billion) leading the way. Those three clubs are far and away the NBA’s most valuable, in Sportico’s view — no other team is valued above $3.61 billion, which is where the fourth-place Nets land, and the average league-wide valuation is about $2.6 billion.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA lottery pick Thon Maker and Hapoel Jerusalem have parted ways, the Israeli team announced earlier this week (via Twitter). Maker, who spent part of last season with the Cavaliers, is once again a free agent.
  • Veteran guard Yogi Ferrell recently signed with a team in Slovenia, but he remains focused on playing his way back to the NBA, he said this week on Eurohoops’ EurohooPOD podcast. “I definitely want to get back over there and still show I belong in the league,” Ferrell said.
  • While Paolo Banchero and Chet Holmgren have long been viewed as the consensus top two prospects in the 2022 draft class, John Hollinger of The Athletic says that Auburn’s Jabari Smith is making a legitimate case to be considered at No. 1.
  • The Bulls‘ organization is being impacted by COVID-19 at multiple levels. Like the NBA squad, the G League’s Windy City Bulls have had their schedule affected by the health and safety protocols and won’t take part in the upcoming NBAGL Winter Showcase, the league announced in a press release.

And-Ones: Stephenson, Popovich, Thibodeau, Africa League, Samuel

Lance Stephenson is currently playing for the Nuggets’ G league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Gold. He ultimately hopes to get another chance to play in the NBA, as he told Bob Kravitz of The Athletic.

“I want to show everybody I’m a different guy and I’ll do anything I can to contribute to a team,’” he said. “My whole mindset is getting back to the NBA. I feel like I belong there. That’s my destination. And I’ll never quit trying.”

Stephenson, who is averaging 19.5 PPG and 7.4 RPG for the Gold, hasn’t appeared in the NBA game since the 2018/19 season, when he played in 63 regular-season games for the Lakers.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • A successor for Gregg Popovich as Team USA’s head coach has yet to be named. Popovich said that Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau would make an excellent choice, according to Steve Popper of Newsday. “Oh sure, there are a lot of guys up here that would be fantastic and he’s one of them,” Popovich said. “I think that experience is great and the people that they’re looking at, they’re all great candidates and I think everybody is going to be happy with the final selection for sure. He also was really helpful and supportive during my last four or five years with this, talking to him about how it all goes, giving advice.”
  • The Basketball Africa League will have an expanded second season, according to an NBA press release. The season will begin on March 5, 2022, in Dakar, Senegal, and will include stops in Cairo, Egypt, and Kigali, Rwanda.  The BAL will once again feature the to 12 club teams from 12 African countries and will expand to a total of 38 games over three months.
  • Seton Hall big man Tyrese Samuel has caught the eye of NBA scouts, Adam Zagoria of NJ.com writes. According to Zagoria, 25 NBA scouts from 17 teams will be in attendance on Thursday when the Pirates play Texas.  There’s a chance Samuel could enter the draft after this season, depending on the feedback he gets.