2022 NBA Draft

Southwest Notes: Hardy, Liddell, Pelicans, Smith, Eason, Matkovic

The Mavericks gave up second-round picks in 2024 and 2028 to the Kings in order to draft Jaden Hardy at No. 37, but they had the G League Ignite guard rated much higher, Tim MacMahon of ESPN tweets.

Hardy was ranked No. 19 on Dallas’ draft board, which convinced Mavs — who had dealt their picks in both rounds — to jump back into the draft. He averaged 17.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 3.2 APG for the Ignite.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell was projected in mock drafts as a first-rounder and that’s where the Pelicans had him rated, Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune tweets. Liddell slipped down to New Orleans’ second-round pick at No. 41. The Buckeyes forward averaged 19.4 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 2.6 BPG over 33.2 MPG last season.
  • Even though pre-draft rumors swirled regarding a potential trade of their lottery pick, Pelicans GM Trajan Langdon said the team didn’t have serious conversations about moving down from the No. 8 spot, Will Guillory of The Athletic tweets. They chose G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels.
  • The Rockets were “beyond excited” that Jabari Smith was still on the board at No. 3 when the Magic pivoted to Paolo Banchero at the top spot, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. GM Rafael Stone wouldn’t indicate if he would have chosen Smith with the No. 1 pick but he was thrilled the Auburn forward was there for the taking at No. 3, saying it “made my night.” “He’s just so big and he moves his feet exceptionally well on the perimeter,” Stone said. “I don’t remember anybody at his size in college with his ability to stay in front and contain and contest on the perimeter. He’s also good on the interior.”
  • Stone and his staff were “sweating bullets” that LSU forward Tari Eason would drop to their pick at No. 17, Feigen adds in the same story. The Rockets view Eason as an elite defender. “Tari can play defense, man,” he said. “He plays really hard and he’s a great athlete and he’s really committed on the defensive end. Some defensive players contain. Very few are playmakers. I would definitely consider him a playmaker on defense.”
  • Pelicans draft-and-stash second rounder Karlo Matkovic is close to signing with Slovenia’s Cedevita, according to Antigoni Zachari of EuroHoops.net. The Crotian forward/center, selected 52nd overall, is expected to join New Orleans’ Summer League roster.

2022 NBA Draft Results

The 2022 NBA draft is in the books, and we tracked all of this year’s picks in the space below, taking into account each trade agreed upon over the course of the draft. Picks listed in italics are involved in trades that aren’t technically official yet.

Here are 2022’s NBA draft results:

First Round:

  1. Orlando Magic: Paolo Banchero, F, Duke (story)
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren, F, Gonzaga (story)
  3. Houston Rockets: Jabari Smith, F, Auburn (story)
  4. Sacramento Kings: Keegan Murray, F, Iowa (story)
  5. Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue
  6. Indiana Pacers: Bennedict Mathurin, G/F, Arizona
  7. Portland Trail Blazers: Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky
  8. New Orleans Pelicans (from Lakers): Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite
  9. San Antonio Spurs: Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor
  10. Washington Wizards: Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin
  11. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Knicks): Ousmane Dieng, F, New Zealand Breakers
  12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Clippers): Jalen Williams, G, Santa Clara
  13. Detroit Pistons (from Hornets): Jalen Duren, C, Memphis
  14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Ochai Agbaji, F, Kansas
  15. Charlotte Hornets (from Pelicans): Mark Williams, C, Duke
  16. Atlanta Hawks: AJ Griffin, F, Duke
  17. Houston Rockets (from Nets): Tari Eason, F, LSU
  18. Chicago Bulls: Dalen Terry, G, Arizona
  19. Memphis Grizzlies (from Timberwolves): Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest
  20. San Antonio Spurs (from Raptors): Malaki Branham, G/F, Ohio State
  21. Denver Nuggets: Christian Braun, G, Kansas
  22. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Jazz via Grizzlies): Walker Kessler, C, Auburn
  23. Memphis Grizzlies (from Sixers): David Roddy, F, Colorado State
  24. Milwaukee Bucks: MarJon Beauchamp, G, G League Ignite
  25. San Antonio Spurs (from Celtics): Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame
  26. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Mavericks via Rockets): Wendell Moore, F, Duke
  27. Miami Heat: Nikola Jovic, F, Mega Mozzart
  28. Golden State Warriors: Patrick Baldwin Jr., F, Milwaukee
  29. Houston Rockets (from Grizzlies via Timberwolves): TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky
  30. Denver Nuggets (from Suns via Thunder): Peyton Watson, F, UCLA

Second Round:

  1. Indiana Pacers (from Rockets): Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga
  2. Orlando Magic: Caleb Houstan, F, Michigan
  3. Toronto Raptors (from Pistons): Christian Koloko, F/C, Arizona
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jaylin Williams, C, Arkansas
  5. Los Angeles Lakers (from Pacers via Magic): Max Christie, G, Michigan State
  6. Detroit Pistons (from Trail Blazers): Gabriele Procida, G, Fortitudo Bologna
  7. Dallas Mavericks (from Kings): Jaden Hardy, G, G League Ignite
  8. Memphis Grizzlies (from Lakers via Spurs): Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee
  9. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Spurs): Khalifa Diop, C, Gran Canaria
  10. Charlotte Hornets (from Wizards via Timberwolves): Bryce McGowens, G, Nebraska
  11. New Orleans Pelicans: E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State
  12. New York Knicks: Trevor Keels, F, Duke
  13. Los Angeles Clippers: Moussa Diabate, F, Michigan
  14. Golden State Warriors (from Hawks): Ryan Rollins, G, Toledo
  15. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Hornets): Josh Minott, F, Memphis
  16. Denver Nuggets (from Nets via Pistons and Trail Blazers): Ismael Kamagate, C, Paris
  17. Memphis Grizzlies (from Cavaliers): Vince Williams, F, VCU
  18. Indiana Pacers (from Timberwolves): Kendall Brown, F, Baylor
  19. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Bulls via Kings): Isaiah Mobley, F, USC
  20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Nuggets): Matteo Spagnolo, G, Cremona
  21. Atlanta Hawks (from Raptors via Warriors): Tyrese Martin, F, UConn
  22. New Orleans Pelicans (from Jazz): Karlo Matkovic, F, Mega Mozzart
  23. Boston Celtics: JD Davison, G, Alabama
  24. Washington Wizards (from Mavericks): Yannick Nzosa, C, Unicaja Malaga
  25. Golden State Warriors: Gui Santos, F, Minas
  26. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Heat): Luke Travers, G/F, Perth Wildcats
  27. Portland Trail Blazers (from Grizzlies): Jabari Walker, F, Colorado
  28. Milwaukee Bucks (from Suns via Pacers): Hugo Besson, G, New Zealand Breakers

Note: The Bucks and Heat forfeited their second-round picks due to free agency gun-jumping. They would have been No. 54 and No. 55, respectively.

Knicks Looking To Trade For Ivey, Pistons Balking

The Pistons selected Jaden Ivey with the No. 5 pick, forming a potentially dynamic backcourt with last year’s top pick, Cade Cunningham.

However, the Knicks didn’t give up on their pursuit of Ivey easily. They are trying to make a deal with Detroit to acquire the jet-quick point guard out of Purdue, according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer (Twitter link) and SNY TV’s Ian Begley (Twitter link).

Steve Popper of Newsday tweets that the Pistons may have some interest if Memphis center Jalen Duren is still available at New York’s pick at No. 11. However, New York instead chose French center Ousmane Dieng, the top international prospect, and are moving him to the Thunder in a trade, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

The Knicks are acquiring multiple picks in that deal and are making one last serious push to trade for Ivey with those additional assets, The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III tweets.

New York is desperately seeking a lead guard to get back into the postseason after coming up empty this past season.

Kings Keep No. 4 Pick, Draft Keegan Murray

After weighing trade offers for weeks, the Kings have decided to keep the No. 4 overall pick and have drafted Iowa’s Keegan Murray, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).

Murray and Purdue guard Jaden Ivey were widely considered the top two prospects after the top three were off the board. While Ivey was ahead of Murray on many experts’ boards, he may have been an awkward fit in Sacramento alongside a similar lead guard in De’Aaron Fox. Murray should comfortably slot into the Kings’ frontcourt alongside Domantas Sabonis.

Murray, who was not a blue chip prospect entering college, was one of Division I’s most prolific scorers this past season. He averaged 23.5 PPG along with 8.7 RPG while knocking down 39.8% of his 3-point tries. He was also a defensive force (1.9 BPG, 1.3 SPG). He’s considered by many experts to be the most NBA ready prospect in the draft after playing two seasons of college ball.

Kings forward Harrison Barnes has been mentioned frequently in trade rumors this offseason, and the selection of Murray could make a Barnes deal more likely as the team seeks to end the league’s longest current playoff drought.

We won’t be publishing full stories on the rest of the individual picks in this year’s draft – unless there are trades involved – but we’re tracking all the picks right here.

Rockets Select Jabari Smith Third Overall In 2022 Draft

The Rockets have selected Auburn forward Jabari Smith with the third overall pick of the 2022 NBA draft.

In 34 games (28.8 MPG) in his lone college season, the 6’10” Smith averaged 16.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.1 SPG and 1.0 BPG. Smith led the Tigers to a 28-6 overall and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, where the team lost in the second round to Miami (FL).

The 19-year-old earned numerous accolades for his standout season, including Consensus All-America Second Team, All-SEC First Team, and SEC Rookie of the Year, among others.

Smith has the ability to make an array of incredibly difficult shots in a variety of ways, including step-backs, fadeaways, pull-up jumpers in transition, and coming off screens. Despite facing frequent double teams, he converted 42% of his three-pointers and 79.9% of his free throws.

Smith is also viewed as an energetic, intense, and “highly versatile defender” who can switch across multiple positions, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. His shot-making prowess and strong defense should fit in nicely with a young Houston squad that struggled mightily to score last season — the Rockets were 26th in the league in offensive rating and 21st in three-point percentage.

Smith falling to No. 3 was unexpected, because for well over a month league insiders had him going No. 1 overall to Orlando.

Thunder Select Chet Holmgren Second Overall In 2022 Draft

The Thunder have selected Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren with the second overall pick of the 2022 NBA draft.

In 32 games (26.9) as a freshman this season, the 7’0″ Holmgren averaged 14.1 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 1.9 APG and 3.7 BPG. The 20-year-old also boasted an impressing shooting slash line of .607/.390/.717.

Holmgren won numerous awards for his impressive season, including Consensus All-America Second Team, All-WCC First Team, and WCC Defensive Player of the Year, among others.

Holmgren helped lead the Bulldogs to a 28-4 record and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament in 2021/22. They ultimately fell to Arkansas in the Sweet Sixteen, ending their tournament run.

Weighing just 195 pounds, Holmgren has been a somewhat divisive prospect for talent evaluators. Some are enamored by his length (7’6″ wingspan) and overall skillset, as he’s an outstanding shot blocker, rebounder, and inside finisher. He also has some guard-like skills, capable of starting a fast break after a defensive rebound with his ball handling on top of being a solid passer, and a good shooter with space.

The Thunder are known for playing their cards close to the vest, so many around the league were curious if they’d actually select Holmgren, but clearly they viewed his upside as too good to pass up.

Magic Select Paolo Banchero First Overall In 2022 Draft

In a surprise twist, the Magic have selected Duke forward Paolo Banchero with the first overall pick of the 2022 NBA draft.

For well over a month, league insiders had predicted that Orlando favored Jabari Smith with the first pick, but obviously the Magic liked Banchero more, even though he didn’t end up working out for the team after a Monday visit was reportedly canceled.

In 39 games as a freshman in this season, the 6’10” Banchero averaged 17.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.2 APG and 1.1 SPG on .478/.338/.729 shooting. He helped lead the Blue Devils to a 32-7 record and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, where they ultimately fell to long-time rival North Carolina in the Final Four.

Banchero earned numerous accolades for his stellar season, including Consensus All-America Second Team, All-ACC First Team, and ACC Rookie of the Year, among others.

The versatile big man is viewed as an outstanding shot-creator from all over the floor, capable of generating offense for both himself and teammates via post-ups and drives. He’s a strong ball handler, passer, and has a great overall feel for offense.

Banchero sometimes lacks effort defensively, and he’s a solid, but unspectacular shooter at the moment, but he showed throughout the NCAA tournament that he was capable of turning up the intensity when the games mattered most.

Orlando was clearly drawn by Banchero’s strong tournament performances and his polished offensive skills — the Magic ranked last in the NBA in offensive rating in 2021/22, so he should help bolster that figure.

Draft Rumors: Pistons, Duren, Dieng, Mavericks, Raptors, Anunoby

The Pistons, who already made news this week with their impending trade of Jerami Grant to Portland, could make another significant move this evening. They are holding ongoing conversations to acquire another lottery pick, with Memphis center Jalen Duren believed to be the target, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweets.

Detroit already holds the No. 5 selection in the draft. A report earlier today indicated Pistons GM Troy Weaver is a big fan of Duren.

  • Ousmane Dieng seems destined to be chosen higher than any other international prospect. The French big man, who played for the New Zealand Breakers, has been surging up draft boards and could go as high as No. 8, where the Pelicans are picking, Marc Stein tweets.
  • The Mavericks are covering all their bases, even though their first-round pick is headed to Houston and their second-rounder is headed to Washington, Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News tweets. GM Nico Harrison says they’re are not actively calling teams to trade into the draft, but have done the prep work needed in case they end up with a draft pick in either round.
  • The Raptors are unlikely to move into the lottery and trade forward OG Anunoby, Michael Grange of Sportsnet tweets. Most of the chatter surrounding Anunoby has come from the Trail Blazers, who are trying to add veterans around Damian Lillard, Grange adds, while Toronto remains in a ‘be patient and grow’ mode.

Woj: Paolo Banchero Frontrunner To Be No. 1 Pick

6:56pm: Wojnarowski (Twitter link) now classifies Banchero as the frontrunner to be the No. 1 pick.

6:48pm: Duke forward Paolo Banchero remains “very much” in the mix for the No. 1 overall pick, Adrian Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s draft broadcast. Wojnarowski has since reported on Twitter that Banchero has emerged as a “significant possibility” to be drafted first overall (Twitter links).

The Magic are expected to select either Auburn’s Jabari Smith or Banchero, according to Wojnarowski, who says there’s a “real chance” teams’ draft boards could be blown up.

Virtually all reporting leading up to draft night has had Smith as the favorite to go first overall, with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony suggesting earlier this week that it would be a major surprise to most teams around the NBA if Smith isn’t Orlando’s pick.

As we relayed earlier today, oddsmakers around the country briefly made Banchero the betting favorite to be the No. 1 pick late last night, but those odds shifted back strongly in Smith’s favor after Wojnarowski reported this morning that the top three – with Smith to Orlando, Chet Holmgren to the Thunder, and Banchero to the Rockets – looked “increasingly firm.”

Trade Rumors: Suns, Jazz, Capela, Wolves, Russell, Fournier, Anunoby

The Suns don’t currently own a pick in the 2022 NBA draft, but there have been recent rumors that the team is interested in trading for a second-rounder. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Phoenix goes a step further, stating (via Twitter) that “while a second-round pick is more likely, I cannot rule out (the Suns) trading into the first round.”

Gambadoro reports that Phoenix has its eyes on eight-to-10 prospects that the team would consider making a deal for. He points to the Spurs, Hornets and Hawks as teams who could be trade partners, though he doesn’t clarify which of those teams’ picks might be in play.

Here are more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • Like Phoenix, Utah doesn’t currently control a pick, but the Jazz are dangling core players to try and acquire some, multiple sources tell Tony Jones of The Athletic. Jones reports that the Jazz are very active on the trade market, with the odds increasing that the team’s roster could look significantly different by the end of today. The Jazz have a “lengthy list” of potential undrafted prospects they hope to entice with Exhibit 10 contracts once the draft concludes, sources tell The Athletic.
  • The Timberwolves remain interested in potentially pairing Karl-Anthony Towns with Clint Capela in the team’s frontcourt, but sources tell Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic that the Wolves and Hawks haven’t made any real headway on that front.
  • Sources suggest to Dane Moore of Bring Me The News (Twitter link) that there’s a greater than 50% chance that D’Angelo Russell will be traded by the Timberwolves in the coming days. Russell is viewed as a trade candidate due to his poor playoff showing despite having a solid season with Minnesota. The guard is extension-eligible this summer and his $31.38MM contract expires after next season.
  • The Knicks offered to trade Evan Fournier to the Celtics to create cap space in order to sign Jalen Brunson, but Boston has no interest in the deal, according to Gambadoro (Twitter links). The Celtics have a large trade exception that was ironically created by signing-and-trading Fournier to New York, so the Knicks theoretically wouldn’t have needed a player in return, but he’d still count against Boston’s cap, which would push the team deep into the luxury tax.
  • Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report says (via Twitter) that he has “consistently heard” the Raptors are only interested in trading OG Anunoby if they can get an “elite center” in return. Toronto is still linked to Rudy Gobert and inquired about Jarrett Allen in February, sources tell Bleacher Report.