Paolo Banchero of Duke is taken first overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2022 NBA draft

posted by vicky684 about 1 month ago
Paolo Banchero of Duke is taken first overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2022 NBA draft
NEW YORK — After months of talk, the Orlando Magic picked Duke's Paolo Banchero with the first pick in the 2022 NBA draft on Thursday night at Barclays Center. This was a big surprise.

The Oklahoma City Thunder picked Chet Holmgren, a center from Gonzaga, with the second pick. Then, they traded with the New York Knicks to get Ousmane Dieng, a French player who was picked 11th. Finally, they picked Jalen Williams, a guard from Santa Clara, with the 12th pick.

The Houston Rockets took Auburn forward Jabari Smith Jr. with the third pick in the draft.

In the weeks before the draft, most people thought that Smith would be the first pick. But the Magic turned everything on its head when they chose Banchero. He wore a bright purple sequined suit and even brighter shoes when he went on stage and shook hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

"From what I was hearing, I got the sense that it was kind of up in the air," Banchero told ESPN about who would go first. "Orlando still was not sure, and he just wanted to be ready for anything.

"However, I did not find out I was chosen until about 20 seconds before the commissioner came on stage. I did not have time to even really think about it. It just kind of went that way. It is hard for me to believe, but I am ready. I am all set."

Duke forward Banchero, who is 6 feet 10 inches tall, averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 39 games for the Blue Devils, who made it to the Final Four but lost to their rivals, North Carolina, in the championship game. Banchero, who might be the most NBA-ready player in this draft, will now be looked to as the leader of Orlando's rebuild, which also includes guards Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony, forwards Franz Wagner and Jonathan Isaac, and center Wendell Carter Jr.

Banchero going first was a surprise, but Holmgren going to Oklahoma City with the second pick was always expected. Holmgren, who is 7 feet tall and went to Gonzaga, showed a wide range of skills in his one year of college. He averaged 14.1 points, shot 60 percent overall and 39 percent from 3-point range, grabbed 9.9 rebounds, blocked 3.7 shots, and played 26.9 minutes in 32 games.

Oklahoma City's promising young backcourt of rising star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Australian Josh Giddey, the sixth overall pick in last year's draft and a first-team All-Rookie pick, now has a strong anchor in the middle.

The Thunder also got Dieng, who was the 11th pick, by giving the Knicks three conditional first-round picks in 2023. Dieng turned 19 last month, and this past season, he averaged 8.8 points per game for the New Zealand Breakers in Australia's National Basketball League. Then, Oklahoma City took Williams with the 12th pick. He was the first player from Santa Clara to be drafted since Steve Nash in 1996, who is now in the Hall of Fame. And with pick No. 30, the Thunder chose Peyton Watson from UCLA to finish off their first-round picks.

Holmgren said that he was happy to join the Thunder.

Holmgren said, "I think it is a great situation and a great dynamic to play with guys like Josh and Shai, as well as the rest of the team." "There are a lot of great players with different skills. I feel like I can pair up with them and help them improve their skills while they do the same for me."

Smith, a 6-foot-10 forward from Auburn who shot well and averaged 16.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, shot 42% from 3-point range.

After drafting Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher, and Usman Garuba in the first round of last year's draft, the Rockets continued to rebuild after trading away franchise icon James Harden at the start of the 2021-22 season by picking Smith. The 17th pick went to Tari Eason, a forward from LSU.

When asked if he has more drive now that he did not get the first pick, Smith said, "Definitely. But God does not make mistakes, so I am happy to be here. I am glad to be where they want me to be. I can not wait to get to Houston and show them what they chose. "I am just glad to be here.

Keegan Murray, a forward from Iowa, was taken by the Sacramento Kings with the fourth pick. Purdue guard Jaden Ivey was taken by the Detroit Pistons with the fifth pick.

Murray's sophomore year at Iowa was his best. He averaged 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 55.4 percent field goals and 39.8 percent 3-pointers. He will now play for the Kings, who have not made the playoffs in 16 years. Their new coach, Mike Brown, is trying to rebuild the team around guard De'Aaron Fox and big man Domantas Sabonis.

Ivey had said that going to Sacramento would not be the "worst" thing that could happen to him. He will play in the backcourt with last year's first overall pick, Cade Cunningham. Ivey, like Murray, had a big year as a sophomore. At Purdue, he averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists.

Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin went sixth to the Indiana Pacers, Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe went seventh to the Portland Trail Blazers, Australian guard Dyson Daniels went eighth to the New Orleans Pelicans, Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan went ninth to the San Antonio Spurs, and Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis went 10th to the Washington Wizards.

Mathurin averaged 17.7 points and 5.6 rebounds at Arizona. He should play next to point guard Tyrese Haliburton in Indiana's backcourt, where the Pacers are about to start a full rebuild for the first time in a decade.

Sharpe, on the other hand, was the top overall recruit out of high school. He enrolled early at Kentucky, but did not play for the Wildcats this spring because he was going to the draft.

Daniels is the latest player to join the NBA from the G League Ignite. He averaged 11.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists in 32 minutes per game last season.

As a freshman at Baylor, Sochan averaged 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.3 steals. He will bring a versatile, two-way game to San Antonio. Davis, like many other Big Ten sophomores at the top of this draft, really started to shine in his second year in Madison, where he averaged 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 34.2 minutes per game.

The 11th pick was the first trade of the night. The Thunder got the draft rights to Gorgui Dieng from the New York Knicks in exchange for three conditional first-round picks from the Denver Nuggets, the Washington Wizards, and the Detroit Pistons.

The Knicks then traded the conditional first-round pick from Denver in 2023 that they got from Oklahoma City, along with four second-round picks, to the Charlotte Hornets for the rights to Memphis center Jalen Duren. They then sent Duren and guard Kemba Walker to the Pistons in exchange for a conditional first-round pick from the Milwaukee Bucks in 2025.

After that, Cleveland took Kansas forward Ochai Agbaji with the 14th pick, and Charlotte took Duke center Mark Williams with its second first-round pick.

As the first round went on, there were more trades that changed the way the board looked.

Sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that the Memphis Grizzlies traded the 22nd and 29th picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 19th pick, which they used to take Wake Forest forward Jake LaRavia.

Then, Memphis moved back into the first round by trading the athletic guard De'Anthony Melton to the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 23 pick and the veteran Danny Green, who had a serious injury in Philadelphia's season-ending loss in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

With the 22nd pick, Minnesota took Auburn center Walker Kessler. Then, they traded the 29th pick and two second-round picks to move up to the 26th pick, where they took Duke forward Wendell Moore.

Houston got the 26th pick from Dallas earlier this month when they sent big man Christian Wood to the Mavericks. With the 29th pick, Houston picked Kentucky guard TyTy Washington.
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