2022 NBA draft will take place on Thursday, June 23, and the franchise will bet on young players who want to make their mark on the game. Orlando Magic keep the first overall choice for now and pick anyone on the board.
Here is a look at the player that best suits the current team roster. This does not necessarily mean that the player will be selected or be a better player than those predicted to follow him. It’s just plugging a potential client into the team’s current configuration to get what we think is the best possible outcome.
Top Pick by Each Team in the 2022 NBA Draft
No. 1 Magic – Jabari Smith (Auburn)
The Magic has a lot of young players in different positions, which makes it difficult to determine the most suitable one. Getting a strong perimeter shooter who could be the No. 1 offensive option is the best way for Orlando as they try to determine which players are part of the core going forward.
No. 2 Thunder – Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)
Oklahoma City missed the chance to pick a big player last year and won’t do it again. Holmgren has a lean build but would make a great teammate with Shai Gilgeus-Alexander and Josh Giddy.
Rockets #3 – Paolo Banquero (Duke)
With Jalen Green, Alperen Sengan and Kevin Porter Jr on the team, the Rockets have some young players coming forward. Bunchero has a good frontcourt position next to Sengun and could play a few minutes forward if Porter Jr doesn’t work.
No. 4 Kings – Keegan Murray (Iowa)
Murray may not be the best player available here, but the Kings can’t get another guard here with De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell in prominent roles. Murray has great offensive potential and pairs well with Domantas Sabonis and Harrison Barnes in the frontcourt.
No. 5 Pistons – Schaedon Sharp (Kentucky)
Detroit want Cade Cunningham to excel, and it’s clear that Killian Hayes isn’t the right fit for him. Sharpe has some time to develop here as the Pistons are playing the long game and he plays well off the ball.
No. 6 Pacers – Jayden Ivey (Purdue)
The Pacers took up positions on the wings and made it clear they wanted to move Malcolm Brogdon. Ivey is a perfect fit for the lead quarterback and has some sympathy with Indiana fans after starring in Purdue for two seasons.
No. 7 Trail Blazers – Benedict Maturin (Arizona)
Portland must make a decision on Damian Lillard. Maturin can play without the ball regardless of who is leading the attack: Lillard or Anferny Simons. He is a strong rebounding guard who will immediately help Portland defensively.
No. 8 “Pelicans” – AJ Griffin (Duke)
Adding another perimeter shooter would help the Pelicans a lot, especially if Zion Williamson comes back healthy. Griffin offers New Orleans some roster flexibility and can immediately contribute to the offense.
No. 9 Tottenham Hotspur – Jalen Duren (Memphis)
The Spurs have a lot of backcourt players, so some other prospects don’t fit here. Düren appeared in the second half of the season and could become a two-sided frontcourt star.
No. 10 Wizards – Jayden Hardy (G-League)
Bradley Beal is likely to leave the franchise, which will create a huge hole in the shooting guard position. Despite struggling in the G-League, Hardy has more options here than some of the other players and can grow with the rest of Washington’s young core.
No. 11 Nix – Tai Tai Washington (Kentucky)
The Knicks need a point guard who can lead this team on offense, and Washington fits the bill. He had his moments in Kentucky, but he needs to help take this offense to the next level.
No. 12 Thunder – Jeremy Sochan (Baylor)
OKC can afford to play the long game here, and Sochan immediately raises the team’s defensive profile. Pairing him with Holgrem and Gilgeus-Alexander could make this a tough team to score in 2022-23.
No. 13 Hornets – Tari Eason (LSU)
Charlotte has a type based on the last sketches. Eason has potential and athleticism but doesn’t really fit into the position and needs some development. That’s why he works in this place in this team.
No. 14 Cavaliers – Johnny Davis (Wisconsin)
The Cavaliers can use a kick off the bench right away, and Davis fits that mold. He can make an immediate impact as a microwave scorer and rebounder.
No. 15 Hornets – Walker Kessler (Auburn)
The Hornets need a center player who can defend the rim, and Kessler is the best choice. He will help the team a lot in defense, and this is what Charlotte needs.
No. 16 “Hawks” – Ochai Agbaji (Kansas)
Atlanta have a lot of combo players on the perimeter, but Agbaji makes sense for them as a more experienced player who can contribute right away. He also fits well into Atlanta’s system and should help the team defensively.
No. 17 Rockets – Dyson Daniels (G-League)
Daniels has a unique combination of size and skill but needs time to perfect his game. The Rockets are bringing in a lot of young prospects to see who can fit, so Daniels is a great fit for that environment.
No. 18 Bulls – Mark Williams (Duke)
During the playoffs, the Bulls were losing in the interior, although Williams doesn’t do much outside of the basket’s defense. He will have to fit into the game, but he must help Chicago in the interior.
No. 19 Magic – Bryce McGowans (Nebraska)
Even though Orlando has a surplus of defenders, McGowans makes sense as he can fill the shooting guard position in the long run. There is a positive side, although he is likely to step off the bench to start the year.
No. 20 Timberwolves – Blake Wesley (Notre Dame)
Even with D’Angelo Russell and Patrick Bevely in the rotation, the Timberwolves don’t know that either player is the answer to offensive position. Wesley could take on the role of the lead guard while Russell moved away from the ball.
No. 21 Nuggets – Malachi Branham (Ohio)
Branham fits in well with the Denver offense, and he’s in the right spot with Jamal Murray’s status up in the air. He can make an immediate contribution as a perimeter shooter and can play a larger role if needed.
No. 22 Grizzlies – Max Christie (Michigan)
Christie doesn’t have to be a direct contributor to the Grizzlies, and he can develop in the environment that helped Desmond Bain become the league’s rising shooting guard.
No. 23 76ers – Kendall Brown (Baylor)
Philadelphia learned the importance of having multiple perimeter defenders in a losing streak against Miami. Brown can step into that role right away while developing his attacking game behind the scenes.
No. 24 Bucks – Dalene Terry (AZ)
As Milwaukee shuffles the roster around their Big 3, Terry makes sense as a combo guard/forward who can hit the basket hard. This season, he has stepped up as a scorer and has been able to place himself among the Bucks’ all-stars.
No. 25 Tottenham – Ousmane Dieng (France)
With San Antonio already grabbing Duren early, Dieng makes sense on the flank. He is more of a project player who fits the Spurs profile.
No. 26 “Rockets” – Nikola Jovic (Serbia)
The Rockets can’t get past Jovic, especially since they’re giving away Christian Wood to the Mavericks. Jovic offers them a similar player in terms of position, but with a more comfortable contract for the team.
No. 27 Heat – E. J. Liddell (Ohio State)
Miami urgently needs stronger frontcourt players and could lose PJ Tucker at large. Liddell has shown improvement on both ends of the floor and is working well for the Heat in this draft slot.
No. 28 Warriors – Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Milwaukee)
Considering how Andrew Wiggins has fitted into Golden State, Baldwin Jr. is the right choice. The Warriors built their team around versatile players, and the Milwaukee forward lives up to the organizational mantra.
No. 29 Grizzlies – Wendell Moore Jr. (Duke)
Moore Jr. has become capable of shooting three-pointers, and Memphis may use more of these guys in the future. A Duke product can help right off the bench.
No. 30 Nuggets – Caleb Hustan (MI)
Wolverine is being designed as a 3D player, but needs work. He could get a job backstage in Denver before working on the flank. With Jamichal Green gone, Houston could be a potential replacement.