Draft Rumors: Top 3, Kings, Sharpe, Wizards, OKC, Hornets, Bulls

In his latest 2022 mock draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) still has Jabari Smith going to the Magic, Chet Holmgren to the Thunder, and Paolo Banchero to the Rockets.

Givony says the Magic continue to cast a wide net as they evaluate their options at No. 1, but rival executives “overwhelmingly” expect them to ultimately land on Smith. The Rockets, meanwhile, watched Banchero work out in Memphis and then brought him to Houston for an individual workout, according to Givony, who writes that the team seems “high on (his) talent, skill, and fit.”

While Givony’s newest mock doesn’t include a shake-up in the top three, there are some changes elsewhere in the lottery and further down in the first round. ESPN’s draft guru also shares a handful of draft-related tidbits. Here are some of the highlights:

  • According to Givony, Keegan Murray‘s chances of being the No. 4 pick may be gaining momentum, since Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and incoming head coach Mike Brown reportedly like him and Sacramento isn’t Jaden Ivey‘s preferred landing spot. However, Givony notes that the Kings have been willing in past years to draft players they haven’t worked out — plus, the pick is considered to be available via trade if there’s a team that wants to move up to snag Ivey.
  • Although Shaedon Sharpe is viewed as a legitimate candidate to be selected at No. 5 by the Pistons, he didn’t separate himself in a recent 3-on-3 workout that also included Bennedict Mathurin and Dyson Daniels, Givony writes. ESPN’s new mock has Mathurin and Daniels going sixth and seventh overall, ahead of Sharpe at No. 8.
  • The Wizards‘ lottery pick (No. 10) is widely thought to be available in a deal that would send a “proven backcourt player” to D.C., per Givony.
  • The Thunder are reportedly looking to trade up from No. 12 to acquire another pick in the top half of the lottery, according to Givony, who says Ivey and Sharpe may be among Oklahoma City’s targets.
  • Rival teams don’t believe the Hornets will keep both the 13th and 15th overall picks. Givony has also heard from rival clubs that the Bulls don’t love their options at No. 18 and are open to trading that pick, possibly in a package with guard Coby White.
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