Complete analysis on every pickup

Complete analysis on every pickup

NEW YORK — The 2022 NBA Draft first round included a few surprises, with the Orlando Magic picking Duke’s Paolo Banchero as the No. 1 overall pick, but mostly going as the best players available in the class. Here are our quick reactions and grades for each pick in the first round.

1. orlando magic, Paolo Banchero, PF, Duke

Banchero isn’t as agile and lacks the lateral speed that Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgren have, but he has the most NBA-ready body at 6-foot-10 and 250 pounds. The Duke forward can be plugged in immediately with Wendell Carter Jr. for some extra size and is comfortable starting the offense as the primary ball-handler of missed shots. grade: a-

Holmgren will be a sight at the frontcourt with 7-footer Aleksey Pokusevsky. General Manager Sam Presti knows what he’s doing and while Holmgren is a swing-for-the-fence prospect, he’s worth the risk on his upside. grade: a

3. Houston Rockets, Jabari Smith Jr., PF, Auburn

Houston scored big in landing Smith. He is the most versatile big at the top of the draft and would fit in well with Jalen Greene and Kevin Porter Jr. Smith did not work for the Rockets before the draft. He is a huge pickup for the Rockets as an inside-out option and is a player who can defend position 1 though 5. grade: A+

It was clear that the Kings were zeroing in on Murray at the start of the week. He had a strong workout leading up to the draft and is a nice complementary piece for Davian Mitchell and D’Aron Fox. The Kings haven’t had the luck of producing the big format, but Murray’s hybrid role to dethrone Wing will bring versatility to the frontcourt. grade: a

Ivey’s fall to No. 5 is the best-case scenario for the Pistons. Ivey is a strong combination in the backcourt with former No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham and one Pistons fans should be excited about. The way Cunningham can dribble away and Ivy’s charming finishes around the rim, this is a fun, talented pair coming to Detroit. grade: A+

6. Indiana Pacers, Benedict Mathurin, SG, Arizona;

Mathurin is a plug-and-play guard who can impress the offensive end of the court with his game and versatility. He isn’t the best 3-point shooting guard in the draft, but he has a high release, and can shoot and pass defense with his 6-foot-6 frame. He is a great secondary addition to Tyrese Halliburton and Malcolm Brogdon. grade: B-

Sharpe is the draft’s biggest question mark and will need extra time to adjust to the NBA’s pace and odds after not entering Kentucky even a minute. If the Trail Blazers are patient, Sharpe could be in the right position playing against Damien Lillard and Anferney Simmons on the backcourt. grade: b

By the end of the G League season, Daniels had grown 2 inches, reaching 6-foot-8. He can add some much-needed shape to the Pelican as the primary ball-handler on the second unit, or to the wing position with the initial rotation. grade: B+

A dynamic defender, Sochan can defend every position on the court with his length and athleticism. He still needs development on the offensive side of the ball but will see the opening minutes off the bench for this Spurs team. grade: a-

Davis is one of the most reliable guards in this draft, averaging nearly 20 points and only two turnovers per game during his second season at Wisconsin. The Wizards are finally getting some help off Bradley Beal on the backcourt and Davis could be the secondary scoring option at the end of the shot clock. grade: a-

Dieng improved greatly in his season with the NZ Breakers in Australia’s National Basketball League. He’s still a very raw prospect, so the Thunder will have to be patient with his development. In a season or two, Dieng will have a very productive wing with a large size at 6-foot-10. grade: C

Williams was the biggest riser in the NBA draft after a combination and brings some shape to the wing with his 6-foot-7 frame and 7-foot-2 wingspan. Williams is a bit older at 21, but she has the experience to jump into the rotation right away. grade: a

13. Detroit Pistons (via trade): Jalen Duren, C, Memphis

Duren is one of the youngest players in this draft class, but at 6-foot-10, 250 pounds there’s a lot of upside with his already built frame. Duren provides an immediate presence in the street. grade: A+

The Cavs need help with 3-point shooting on the wing and Agaji fills that role well. He tested the NBA waters twice and it paid off in a big way. He has established himself more as a reliable 3-and-D guy, working on his body and leading the Jayhawks to national championships. Aghaji is someone who can instantly plug in the Cav wing with his experience and elite skills. grade: a

The Hornets need some help on the frontcourt and Williams was one of the best rim defenders in the country last season. Williams stands at 7-foot-2 and has an impressive 7-5 wingspan. He has a great frame in which he can still develop and this youth center has a lot to offer. grade: a

16, Atlanta Hawks: AJ Griffin, F, Duke

Griffin is the definition of positionless basketball. He can move between multiple locations with his 6-foot-6, 230-pound frame. Griffin has had his fair share of injuries during his youth career, which is why he’s gambling so high in the draft. If he can stay healthy, he could be a missing piece for this Hawks team. grade: B+

Eason is one of the best wing rim runners in this draft class and specializes in chase-down blocks, challenging guards on the rim and even his 7-foot-2 defense of the power forward. Fall down with wingspan. He’s a raw, athletic wing that likes to play atop the rim and will add excitement to this already young, fast-paced Rocket team. grade: a

18, Chicago BullsDylan Terry, G., Arizona;

Terry chose to remain in the draft, to the surprise of a lot of scouts. The opposite is clear. He has a tall, athletic wing at 6-foot-7 and is a player who could be impressive on this Bulls roster after a year or two of development. The Bulls had a great pick in the second round with Ayo Dosunmu last year and Terry is likely to make a move with Dosunmu in the second unit. grade: B+

19, memphis grizzlies: Jake Laravia, g/f, Wake Forest

LaRavia is a solid role-player and can play stretch four and has all the tools to become a solid role-player in the NBA. Grizzlies have a set rooster and the Laravia has a safe, reliable wing. grade: b

20, San Antonio Spurs: Malachi Branham, G., Ohio State

Branham is 6-foot-5 and was the best player from the start to the end of the college season. He averaged 13.7 points, two assists and only 1.7 turnovers per game. Expect Branham to be in the secondary group off the bench to start the session, but with his size and the way he looks at the floor, Branham could have seen a few minutes earlier with the starting unit. grade: a

21, Denver Nuggets: Christian Braun, G, Kansaso

Braun was an integral part in the Kansas Championship run last season. He is more than a 3-point shooter and has proven he has the athleticism to be an effective NBA guard. grade: C-

Kessler was the leading shot-blocker in college basketball this past season and leads well with his 7-foot-1 frame. The Cavs had success with both Isaiah Mobley and Jarrett Allen last year, and TM Connolly is making a similar move in his first year as president of basketball operations in Minnesota. grade:B

23, Memphis Grizzlies: David Roddy, PF, Colorado State

Roddy moves well for his size and has a decent outside shot for the power forward position. He’s a hard worker who will put up a good minute off the bench behind Stephen Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr. He is one of the older players in the draft and will bring high energy to this Grizzlies team. grade: B-

24, Milwaukee Bucks: Marjon Beauchamp, G/F, G League Ignite

A great 3-and-D guard with good shape at 6-foot-7. After playing one season with the G League Ignite team, Beauchamp continued to develop his 3-point jump shot and gained a significant advantage to enter the league. grade: B+

2022 NBA Draft Class Left to Right: Blake Wesley, Walker Kessler, Jaden Hardy, Tari Iason, Jalen Williams, Jalen Durren, AJ Griffen, Dyson Daniels, Johnny Davis, Jabari Smith, Benedict Mathurin, Chet Holmgren, Jaden Ivy, Paulo Banchero, Shaden Sharp, Jeremy Sochan, Tyati Washington, Keegan Murray, Ochai Agbaji, Usman Dieng, Malachi Branham, Mark Williams, Marjon Beauchamp, Nikola Jovic pose for a group at Barclays Center on June 23, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York. (Typhoon Koskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Wesley is the first in Notre Dame history and even though he was a bit inconsistent during the season, he improved his jumper and added nine pounds of muscle during the pre-draft process. The Wesley is an underrated passer and has great body control around the rim. grade: a

Moore Jr. tested the NBA waters last year and elected to return for another season, working on his body and footwork. It paid off in a big way and he was floor general for a very good Duke team. Moore Jr. will take that lead to Minnesota and should be a good backup. grade:B

27, Miami Heat: Nikola Jovic, g/f, Mega Basket (Serbia)

Jovic is a great shooter and hits 13 straight corner 3-pointers during his pro day in Chicago. He’ll need some work to keep pace with the pace of an NBA game and he’ll need to work on his pick-and-roll reads in addition to just being a designated shooter. grade: C

28, Golden State Warriors: Patrick Baldwin Jr., PF, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Warriors clearly have the luxury of drafting a player they can hide from and evolve. Baldwin Jr. looks the part of an elite NBA player with his 6-foot-10 frame. He handles and shoots the ball like a guard but worries whether he can stay healthy. Baldwin Jr. played only 11 games last college season with an ankle injury and was plagued with injuries in high school. Again, Warriors can hide and evolve him but it’s still a risky pick. grade: C-

29, Houston Rockets: Tyty Washington, G., Kentucky

Washington played the ball in Kentucky and developed further into a secondary ball-handler and is one of the fastest players in the draft. grade: B+

Watson didn’t see too many minutes in his one year at UCLA after Mick Cronin’s return to almost the entire Final Four team. Watson’s upside as a 6-foot-8 guard is undeniable and will require a year or two of development before he can start seeing consistent rotational minutes. grade: C

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