Pistons Rumors

Magic Win 2022 NBA Draft Lottery; Thunder, Rockets, Kings In Top Four

With Tuesday night’s lottery results now official, the top 14 slots for the 2022 NBA draft have been set. The lottery order is as follows:

  1. Orlando Magic
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder
  3. Houston Rockets
  4. Sacramento Kings
  5. Detroit Pistons
  6. Indiana Pacers
  7. Portland Trail Blazers
  8. New Orleans Pelicans (from Lakers)
  9. San Antonio Spurs
  10. Washington Wizards
  11. New York Knicks
  12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Clippers)
  13. Charlotte Hornets
  14. Cleveland Cavaliers

It’s great news for the rebuilding Magic, who finished dead last in the Eastern Conference this season and had the NBA’s second-worst record (22-60). They entered the night tied for the best odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick at 14.0%, and will be picking first in the draft for the first time since 2004, when they selected Dwight Howard.

This time around, the Magic appear likely to draft a big man once again. Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, Auburn’s Jabari Smith, and Duke’s Paolo Banchero, all power forwards or centers, are widely considered to be the top prospects in the 2022 class. Orlando could add one of them to a core that includes 2021 lottery picks Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs.

The Thunder are one of the night’s other big winners, moving up from fourth in the pre-lottery order to No. 2 overall. The rebuilding squad is loaded with first-round picks over the next five years, and will have the opportunity to draft a potential franchise player next month to complement guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. Oklahoma City is the only team with two picks in this year’s lottery, having acquired the No. 12 overall selection from the Clippers.

The Rockets will have a top-three pick for a second straight year after nabbing Jalen Green second overall in 2021. They’ll be followed by the Kings, who moved up from seventh in the pre-lottery order to No. 4 in the draft, making good on their 31.9% chance to jump into the top four.

It’s the fourth consecutive time that the seventh team in the lottery standings has moved into the top four. The Pelicans (Zion Williamson), Hornets (LaMelo Ball), and Raptors (Scottie Barnes) did it in 2019, 2020, and 2021 after the NBA revamped its lottery format ahead of the 2019 event.

The Pistons, Pacers, and Trail Blazers were among the biggest losers on lottery night. Detroit moved down two spots, from No. 3 to No. 5, while Indiana and Portland both dropped one spot from their place in the pre-lottery order, landing at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively.

Since the Lakers’ first-round pick stayed at No. 8, it will head to the Pelicans rather than the Grizzlies — Memphis would have received it if it had fallen out of the top 10.

The rest of the lottery played out as expected, with the Spurs, Wizards, Knicks, Thunder, Hornets, and Cavaliers rounding out the top 14.

Woj: Deandre Ayton “Is Going To Get A Max Contract”

Deandre Ayton‘s future in Phoenix is an open question after the disastrous end to the Suns‘ season Sunday night, and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said plenty of teams are planning to target the young center in free agency (video link).

Ayton played just 17 minutes in the Game 7 loss to Dallas. He remained on the bench after being pulled early in the third quarter and had a heated exchange with coach Monty Williams that had to be broken up by assistant coaches. Ayton didn’t talk to the media after the game to answer questions about the incident.

According to Wojnarowski, Ayton has felt unappreciated since last offseason, when Phoenix decided against giving him a rookie-scale extension. He will be a restricted free agent this summer when the Suns extend a $16.4MM qualifying offer.

“Deandre Ayton did not feel valued by this Phoenix organization,” Wojnarowski said. “They were not able to come to an agreement on his rookie extension. He saw many of the top players in his class get extensions and he wanted a max deal, he would not move off that. So now he moves towards restricted free agency this summer where he’ll have some more options.”

The top pick in the 2018 draft, Ayton remains extremely valuable as a 23-year-old center who averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds this season while shooting a career-best 63.4% from the field. Wojnarowski doesn’t expect the Suns to let him leave with nothing in return, but suggests that they could be open to a sign-and-trade deal.

“Ultimately, Phoenix can still match an offer out there and keep him if he signs an offer sheet with another team,” Wojnarowski added. “… [He] is going to get a max contract in the marketplace, somewhere… There are a lot of teams lining up to figure out: how can we acquire him?”

The Suns already have nine players under contract for next season at a total salary of $128.3MM, which is above the projected cap of $122MM. They are less than $20MM below the projected luxury tax threshold of $149MM, so retaining Ayton and avoiding the tax would require some additional moves.

The Pistons are consider the betting favorites to land Ayton if he doesn’t return to Phoenix, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News, citing odds from BetOnline.ag. The online gambling site has Detroit at even odds, the Magic at 2-to-1, Spurs at 3-1, Pacers at 4-1, Trail Blazers at 6-1, Thunder at 8-1, Rockets at 10-1, and Bulls at 12-1.

Edwards Considers Possible Second-Round Targets For Pistons

2022 NBA Draft Lottery Primer

The 2022 NBA draft lottery will take place on Tuesday night prior to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Heat and Celtics. The half-hour event will be broadcast on ESPN beginning at 7:00 pm central time.

This year’s draft pool features a group of four prospects generally considered by experts to be a level above the rest of the class: Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr., Paolo Banchero, and Jaden Ivey. Teams that move into the top four on Tuesday night will have the opportunity to snag one of those potential future stars.

Here’s what you need to know heading into tonight’s lottery:


Pre-Lottery Draft Order:

The top 14 picks in the 2022 NBA draft would look like this if tonight’s lottery results don’t change the order:

  1. Houston Rockets
  2. Orlando Magic
  3. Detroit Pistons
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder
  5. Indiana Pacers
  6. Portland Trail Blazers
  7. Sacramento Kings
  8. New Orleans Pelicans (from Lakers)
    • Note: The Grizzlies will receive this pick if it falls to No. 11 or No. 12.
  9. San Antonio Spurs
  10. Washington Wizards
  11. New York Knicks
  12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Clippers)
  13. Charlotte Hornets
  14. Cleveland Cavaliers

For the full pre-lottery draft order, click here.


Draft Lottery Odds:

The Rockets, Magic, Pistons, and Thunder have the best odds to land the No. 1 pick. Each of those four teams has a 14.0% chance to pick first overall.

Typically, only the top three teams in the lottery standings would have a 14.0% shot at the No. 1 overall pick, but the Thunder join that group by virtue of holding two lottery picks — there’s a 12.5% chance that their own pick will move up to No. 1 and a 1.5% chance the Clippers’ pick, which they also control, will be No. 1.

From there, the Pacers (10.5%), Trail Blazers (9.0%), Kings (7.5%), and Pelicans (6.0%) have the best odds to receive the first overall pick.

For the full draft lottery odds for all 14 spots, click here.


Trades Affecting The Draft Lottery:

The Clippers and Lakers are the only non-playoff teams that have traded away their lottery picks this year, and neither team put protections on its traded first-rounder.

The Thunder will receive the Clippers’ pick, as detailed above.

The Lakers’ pick technically still remains up for grabs, depending on the lottery results, due to a trade between New Orleans and Memphis. Here are the details on that deal:

Pelicans/Grizzlies

The Pelicans will acquire the Lakers’ pick if it lands in the top 10, while the Grizzlies will receive it if it ends up at No. 11 or 12.

Since the Lakers finished eighth in the lottery standings, there’s approximately a 99.5% chance that New Orleans will hang onto the pick. At least three teams in the 9-14 range would have to jump into the top four in order for Memphis to receive it.


Draft Lottery Representatives:

The representatives for each of this year’s lottery teams are as follows, according to a pair of announcements from the NBA:

  1. Houston Rockets
    • On stage: Rafael Stone (general manager)
    • Lottery room: Clay Allen (general counsel)
  2. Orlando Magic

    • On stage: Jeff Weltman (president of basketball operations)
    • Lottery room: Joel Glass (chief communications officer)
  3. Detroit Pistons

    • On stage: Richard Hamilton (former Pistons player)
    • Lottery room: George David (assistant GM)
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder

    • On stage: Nick Collison (former Thunder player / special assistant to GM)
    • Lottery room: Sam Presti (executive VP / general manager)
  5. Indiana Pacers

    • On stage: Kelly Krauskopf (assistant GM)
    • Lottery room: Chad Buchanan (general manager)
  6. Portland Trail Blazers

    • On stage: Damian Lillard
    • Lottery room: Dewayne Hankins (president of business operations)
  7. Sacramento Kings

  8. New Orleans Pelicans

    • On stage: Swin Cash-Canal (VP of basketball operations)
    • Lottery room: David Griffin (executive VP of basketball operations)
  9. San Antonio Spurs

    • On stage: David Robinson (former Spurs player / strategic partner)
    • Lottery room: Niraj Mulji (director of basketball strategy)
  10. Washington Wizards

    • On stage: Wes Unseld Jr. (head coach)
    • Lottery room: Tommy Sheppard (president of basketball operations / general manager)
  11. New York Knicks
    • On stage: William Wesley (executive VP / senior basketball advisor)
    • Lottery room: Brock Aller (VP of basketball and strategic planning)
  12. Charlotte Hornets
  13. Cleveland Cavaliers

    • On stage: Anderson Varejao (former Cavaliers player / team ambassador)
    • Lottery room: Jon Nichols (VP of basketball strategy and personnel)

Lottery Format:

This will be the fourth year that the NBA uses its revamped lottery system, which reduces the odds that the league’s very worst teams will land a top pick and makes the top four selections available via the lottery, instead of the top three.

Before the NBA changed its lottery format, there was a 60.5% chance that one of the league’s bottom three teams would secure the No. 1 pick, and only a 27.6% chance that a team in the 5-14 range of the lottery standings would do so. Now, those odds are 42.0% and 45.5%, respectively.

The results since the new format was implemented have shown that the smoothed-out odds have the potential to create a little more mayhem on lottery night.

In 2019, the Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Lakers claimed three of the top four picks despite ranking seventh, eighth, and 11th, respectively, in the lottery standings. In 2020, the Hornets and Bulls each moved up four spots, from Nos. 7 and 8 to Nos. 3 and 4, respectively.

A year ago, the results were more by-the-numbers. However, the seventh spot in the lottery standings was lucky again, this time for the Raptors, who moved up to No. 4 and grabbed eventual Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes.

For full details on the revamped lottery format, click here.

Central Notes: Grant, Pistons, Pacers, Haliburton

After securing the No. 1 pick in the 2021 draft and selecting talented guard Cade Cunningham, the Pistons are hoping to have similar lottery luck this year. Detroit’s landing spot in Tuesday’s draft lottery could help add some clarity to the team’s decision on the long-term future of veteran forward Jerami Grant, writes Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press.

The Pistons could opt this offseason to extend Grant, whose deal with the club expires in 2023 after he earns $21MM next season. Should the Pistons find a suitable young replacement candidate in the draft, the team may opt to move on from the 28-year-old forward.

During his second season with the Pistons, Grant missed 35 games with a left calf strain. In his 47 healthy contests, he averaged 19.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.4 APG and 1.0 BPG, with shooting splits of .426/.358/.838.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Pistons will have a variety of players to choose from wherever they land within the NBA lottery, writes James Edwards of The Athletic. Edwards takes a look at a handful of mock draft scenarios for Detroit depending on just where that selection ends up. Edwards notes that Purdue guard Jaden Ivey could rocket up the draft board for several clubs, and may be an intriguing top-four candidate for Detroit.
  • The lottery-bound Pacers held their first pre-draft workout of the 2022 offseason Friday at the St. Vincent Center with six young prospects. Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files offers a breakdown of the day, including intriguing tidbits on draft hopefuls Josh Minott, a 6’8″ guard out of Memphis, and Hyunjung Lee, a 6’7″ guard out of Davidson.
  • New Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton hopes to stick around in Indiana for the long haul, writes Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files“I want to be here and I want to be part of it,” the 22-year-old said of his future with the franchise. Agness notes that Haliburton has remained in Indiana, working out consistently, since the team’s season came to an official close. He sat courtside to watch the Indiana Fever defeat the Minnesota Lynx 82-76 earlier this week. The 6’5″ guard averaged 17.5 PPG, 9.6 APG, 4.3 RPG, and 1.8 SPG in his 26 games with Indiana after being dealt by the Kings.

Pistons Could Trade Pick If They Don't Move Up

Hall Of Famer Bob Lanier Passes Away At Age 73

Former Pistons and Bucks big man Bob Lanier has passed away at the age of 73, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). A cause of death was not disclosed as of this writing.

A 6’11” center, Lanier was selected with the top pick in the 1970 NBA draft by the Pistons, following three All-American seasons at St. Bonaventure. Lanier played for 10 years in Detroit before being traded in 1980 to the Bucks, where he would finish his career after the 1983/84 season.

An eight-time All-Star with the Pistons and Bucks and the 1973/74 All-Star Game MVP, Lanier held career averages of 20.1 PPG, 10.1 RPG, and 3.1 APG, across 959 career regular season games. He was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame as a player in 1992.

Lanier also enjoyed an active career with the NBA long after his playing days had ceased. He served as a president for the NBPA and enjoyed an extended run as an ambassador for the league.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement through the league (Twitter link).

“For more than 30 years, Bob served as our global ambassador and as a special assistant to [former commissioner] David Stern and then me, traveling the world to teach the game’s values and make a positive impact on young people everywhere,” Silver said in part. “I learned so much from Bob by simply watching how he connected with people. He was a close friend who I will miss dearly, as will so many of his colleagues across the NBA who were inspired by his generosity.”

We at Hoops Rumors extend our deepest condolences to Lanier’s family and friends.

Pistons Notes: Cunningham, Draft, Free Agency

Last year’s NBA draft lottery resulted in the Pistons landing the No. 1 overall pick and selecting Cade Cunningham, and his strong rookie campaign has liberated general manager Troy Weaver to select the best player available no matter where their pick lands on May 17, argues Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.

The league has been dominated by primary play-makers with the basketball IQ, talent and skill to manipulate defenses, and Cunningham certainly fits that description. That’s why Langlois believes Weaver should be comfortable selecting whichever player he believes “has the best chance to both complement Cunningham and have his potential drawn out by Cunningham.”

The worst pick the Pistons can end up with is No. 7, but there’s a 93% chance it’ll be in the top six.

Here’s more on Detroit:

  • James L. Edwards III and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic explore several prospects the Pistons might target in the upcoming draft. If the Pistons land the No. 1 pick again, Vecenie views Jabari Smith as the top choice, with Chet Holmgren second. However, he doesn’t love the fit between Cunningham and Paolo Banchero. In the four-to-seven range, Vecenie thinks Jaden Ivey or Shaedon Sharpe, both top-tier athletes, would fit well as a second guard next to Cunningham. Both Edwards and Vecenie have heard Detroit likes Keegan Murray, but they aren’t sure exactly how much. Vecenie compares Murray’s game to Tobias Harris and Antawn Jamison, skilled forwards who are/were productive NBA players.
  • Who should the Pistons target if they fail to land one of the top 2022 free agents with their sizeable cap space? Some fallback options might include Gary Harris, Bryn Forbes, Donte DiVincenzo and T.J. Warren, Edwards writes in another story for The Athletic.
  • In the same vein, Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press details three focus areas for the team in free agency, and who they should target. Sankofa thinks Jalen Brunson is a good fit with Cunningham and Detroit has been linked to him multiple times, but the Mavs are reportedly intent on keeping him. Deandre Ayton, who’ll be a restricted free agent once Phoenix tenders him a qualifying offer, is a legitimate max player in Sankofa’s eyes, but he thinks the Suns would match any offer for him.

Hornets Notes: Hayward, Bridges, Coaching Search, Harrell, Washington

Hornets forward Gordon Hayward is a name to watch in the trade market, though injuries limit his value, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, who conducted a podcast with Charlotte Observer beat reporter Rod Boone.

Hayward is regarded as a “neutral asset” that the Hornets can move. However, it’s unlikely they’ll benefit much in terms of cap space if they deal the veteran, who has two years and $61.5MM remaining on his contract. One executive told Scotto they might be able to move him for two players making around $10-15MM apiece.

The Pacers are an unlikely destination after trading away Domantas Sabonis and building around younger pieces.

More highlights from the podcast:

  • Both Scotto and Boone anticipate Miles Bridges will get $25MM or more annually in restricted free agency. Scotto sees Bridges as being coveted due to his status as a young, two-way, big wing. The Trail Blazers could pursue him if they can’t trade for Jerami Grant and teams with cap space, like the Pistons, could also be a factor. Boone believes he’ll return to the Hornets due to unfinished business with an improving team. The fact that he’s close with LaMelo Ball also works in Charlotte’s favor.
  • Neither Scotto nor Boone believe Mike D’Antoni is a viable option in the search for a head coach. Former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney are names to watch there. However, D’Antoni could wind up in Philadelphia if the Sixers let Doc Rivers go, according to Scotto.
  • Free agent Montrezl Harrell generally enjoyed playing with Charlotte this season and could return to the Hornets, depending upon the coaching hire. Harrell probably wouldn’t command more than the taxpayer mid-level on the open market, according to Scotto.
  • P.J. Washington, who is extension-eligible, is a movable piece and his name will pop up in trade rumors.

2022 NBA Offseason Preview: Detroit Pistons

The Pistons‘ rebuild took a major step forward when they lucked into the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft, giving them first dibs in what looked to be an exceptional pool of prospects. Detroit’s choice – Cade Cunningham – didn’t win this season’s Rookie of the Year award, but he led all first-year players in points per game and his strong second half reinforced the Pistons’ belief in his ability to be a franchise centerpiece.

The team’s front office and ownership won’t want to rush the roster-building process, but after winning no more than 23 games in each of the last three seasons, they’ll likely be eager to take the next step forward as soon as possible.

With Cunningham and strong secondary pieces like Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart in place, the Pistons are on the right track, but some more good fortune in the lottery (they have a 52.1% chance of securing a top-four pick) would help further accelerate the team’s climb back to playoff contention.


The Pistons’ Offseason Plan:

The Pistons are one of the only NBA teams projected to have cap room available this summer, but to fully take advantage of it, they’ll have to first resolve Marvin Bagley III‘s free agency, since his cap hold ($28MM+) far exceeds his expected salary.

After three-and-a-half relatively underwhelming seasons in Sacramento, Bagley finished the 2021/22 season strong in Detroit, unburdened by the same expectations he faced with the Kings, where he was known as the player the team drafted one spot ahead of Luka Doncic. He averaged 14.6 PPG with a career-best .555 FG% in 18 games as a Piston.

The Pistons, who reportedly liked the athleticism Bagley brought to the frontcourt and want to re-sign him to a multiyear deal, should have a good amount of leverage, given that the former No. 2 overall pick will be a restricted FA and seems unlikely to draw significant interest from many other teams. The three-year deals signed a year ago by big men Khem Birch ($20MM) and Nerlens Noel ($27MM) could be used as points of comparison.

Even after accounting for the cap hold for their lottery pick and a new deal for Bagley, the Pistons are poised to have a good deal of cap space available. The team has been linked to a wide variety of potential free agent targets, ranging from point guards (Jalen Brunson) to wings (Miles Bridges) to centers (Mitchell Robinson), but shouldn’t feel compelled to spend big in free agency — that cap room could just as easily be used to accommodate trades to continue stockpiling draft picks and/or young talent.

Speaking of trades, the Pistons will face a decision this summer on Jerami Grant, who has one season left on the three-year contract he signed in 2020 and will be eligible for an extension of up to four years. Reports at the trade deadline indicated that vice chairman Arn Tellem was more open to the idea of moving Grant than general manager Troy Weaver was, but if Detroit isn’t prepared to extend the veteran forward, perhaps the front office will become more united behind the idea of pursuing a trade this offseason.

A handful of option decisions will impact how the Pistons fill out their bench — Cory Joseph holds a player option and would be a solid backup to Cunningham or a useful trade chip if he opts in. Detroit also has team options on four players: Hamidou Diallo, Frank Jackson, Carsen Edwards, and Luka Garza.


Salary Cap Situation

Note: Our salary cap figures are based on the league’s latest projection ($122MM) for 2022/23.

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

Team Options

Non-Guaranteed Salary

  • None

Restricted Free Agents

Two-Way Free Agents

Draft Picks

  • No. 3 overall pick ($8,763,720) 1
  • No. 46 overall pick (no cap hold)
  • Total: $8,763,720

Extension-Eligible Players

Note: These are players who are either already eligible for an extension or will become eligible before the 2022/23 season begins.

  • Jerami Grant (veteran)

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Offseason Cap Outlook

Let’s assume the Pistons keep all eight players with guaranteed salaries, re-sign Bagley to a deal starting at $7MM, get the No. 3 overall pick, and bring back all five players who have options. In that scenario, the team would still have just shy of $18MM in cap room.

If the Pistons aren’t committed to picking up all their team options or have some bad lottery luck, their cap room could easily exceed $20MM. Of course, Joseph’s option decision, Bagley’s free agency, and possible trades are also wild cards that will affect that number. But if Detroit has a move in mind that requires 20MM-ish in cap space, it looks like it won’t be too difficult to carve out that space.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Room exception: $5,329,000 2

Footnotes

  1. This pick is dependent on the lottery results. It could land anywhere between No. 1 and No. 6. The Pistons’ lottery odds can be viewed here.
  2. This is a projected value.

Salary and cap information from Basketball Insiders and RealGM was used in the creation of this post.