NBA Draft 2022: Qualifications of the 30 first-round picks

2022 NBA The draft is underway at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and this year, the mystery starts at the top with the orlando magic.

Throughout the night, FOX Sports College basketball analyst John Fanta will provide his immediate analysis and rating of each pick in the first round, so be sure to follow along.

1. orlando magic: paolo bancheroForward, Duke

Before we look at any talent, let’s get one thing straight: the first name is made to be a big star in the NBA because it’s uniquely identifiable. A big part of what makes Banchero so special is his combination of speed and comfort level in hugging contact. His ability to handle the ball is that of a shooting guard, and Banchero’s ability to change the pace in transitions is special for a player of his stature. He possesses excellent body control and can also serve as a facilitator in an offense. His passing ability is underrated.

The biggest problem with Banchero is shooting from the perimeter. If he shows that he can consistently stretch the floor and hit 3-pointers in the NBA, he could change a franchise. His 34 percent mark from deep is the area in question, but Banchero has a lot more upside than that downside. He can be a reference star for a team in the NBA.

The Magic need everything. Orlando has an All-NBA Rookie Team member in Franz Wagner, but beyond him, the Magic just need to find quality NBA players. So while this may come as a surprise, the Magic picked the most NBA-ready player in this draft class with the Banchero pick. Grade A

By the numbers: He averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game on 48% shooting from the ground. He becomes the fifth Duke player to be drafted No. 1 overall.

two. oklahoma city thunder: Chet Holmgrenair-conditioning, Gonzaga

Holmgren is the most talked about prospect in this draft class because the unicorn skill set is so fascinating, but the fact that he weighs only 195 pounds raises concern regardless of what he’s done in the college game. But Holmgren likes it physical; he embraces contact and plays comfortably inside. The Minneapolis native was a consensus Second Team All-American last season as he earned WCC Defensive Player and Rookie of the Year honors.

It’s not as simple as taking away the perimeter game and making him shoot from deep, because Holmgren proved that doesn’t work. The question is simple: Can such a unique body handle the workload of an 82-game NBA season? The league is evolving and Holmgren has the mindset that a big man must have to succeed in the league. He has offensive versatility. He has the work ethic and attitude to fit in a locker room. He puts his body on the line if it means he can stop a shot. But will Holmgren’s lack of weight prevent him from fighting night after night with the best bigs in the world? We will see.

With four of the top 34 picks in this draft, the Thunder have lost plenty of games and amassed as many assets as they can get. With all those picks, trying to make the draft a success is up for grabs, and it fits with GM Sam Presti’s identity. Holmgren, if he succeeds, could become a generational talent. That’s a big “if,” but with other picks ahead of him, it makes a lot of sense for him to get the unicorn of the draft. Grade A

By the numbers: He led all of college basketball with a 78.7 defensive rating and averaged 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game on 61% shooting from the field and 39% from 3. He is the highest drafted Gonzaga player of all time.

3. houston rockets: Jabari SmithForward, Chestnut

Bruce Pearl called him the best player he ever coached. The NABC Freshman of the Year and second-team All-American lived up to the hype in his freshman year at Auburn. His shot striking is pure, and the catching and shooting ability that he possesses could make him a nightmare for opposing teams to defend. He has the explosiveness to soar above the rim and defense shouldn’t be a concern. If there’s one area he needs to work on, it’s his ballhandling, but that’s finicky.

Beyond basketball skills, Smith checks every box. His father played four seasons in the NBA, and Smith’s level of consciousness and maturity show that he has been prepared for this moment. Combine the size with his level of poise and a shot-making mentality in a shot-making league, and there’s reason to believe Smith could be a superstar in the Association for years to come.

The Rockets have an All-NBA rookie selection in Jalen Green at guard, and now he has a teammate to make a good duo in Houston. The Rockets needed a big man who could shoot, and Smith’s mechanics are outstanding. He can run the floor very well, which fits with Stephen Silas’ system. In Houston, they should be rejoicing. This is a third pick who could be the best player in the draft. Grade A

By the numbers: He averaged 16.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while shooting over 42% both from the field and beyond the arc.

Four. kings of sacrament: Keegan MurrayForward, Iowa

After earning Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors in 2020-21, Murray became one of the top players in college basketball as a sophomore. He took what appeared to be an Iowa makeover program and propelled Fran McCaffrey’s Hawkeyes to their first Big Ten Tournament championship since 2006. Murray used his 6-foot-8 frame to his advantage, combining size with a soft level. of body control to be a difficult force to stop on the fly.

The Iowa native was as efficient as any player in college basketball last season and showed he could score in a variety of ways. Defensively, there is room for improvement for Murray, and he won’t be mistaken for a great passer. But, in a scoring-driven league, that area of ​​Murray’s game will translate to the next level.

By the numbers: He averaged 23.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while shooting 55% from the ground. First Iowa player selected in the first round since Ricky Davis in 1998.


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