2022 NBA Draft Big Board: Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren is No. 1 in final prospect rankings

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What the Orlando Magic will do for No. 1 in the 2022 NBA Draft – as opposed to the betting markets, which have Jabari Smith Jr. as the front runner picked with the best overall pick – is this biggest question mark Entry into Thursday’s draft will no doubt have a ripple effect on the rest of the top 10 and the lottery. And opinions differ on who deserves this year’s No. 1 pick.

As it turns out, this is especially true not only for the NBA’s front offices, but also for the staff at CBS Sports and 247Sports. I polled our Draftniks to create a consensus ranking for CBS Sports’ top 100 nominee rankings — Gary Parrish, Matt Norlander, David Cobb, Colin Ward-Heninger, Adam Finkelstein, Travis Branham, and myself — and opinions are completely divided. Four of the seven had No. 1 Chet Holmgren, while one had Jabari Smith Jr. and another had Paolo Banchero. I had Jaden Ivey.

Taken together, Holmgren emerged as #1 in our consensus rankings — although he was hardly a unanimous choice. He ranked #1 and #4 on some of our expert panels, while Banchero – #3 in the consensus ranks – was only #4 on two panels. He consistently ranked between #2 and #3 (with the great Matt Norlander being the lone wolf who ranked him #1).

Sandwiched between Holmgren and Banchero in our consensus rankings, Jabari Smith Jr. is probably No. 1 at No. 2. Only two of us had him on a three or less (guilty!), but only one of us had him on No. 1.

Want more analysis of the top prospects in the NBA draft? Listen below and subscribe to the Eye on College Basketball Podcast where we take an in-depth look at the top players making their way to the next level.

Injuries aside, it will take years to determine which of us is right or wrong in terms of placings in this class, although it feels that despite the lack of consistency, that’s a good representation of how much of a throw at the top is this design is special. There’s no definite #1 – or #2 or 3 or 4 for that matter. Opinions about top prospects differ not only from team to team, but also from person to person within teams. The final top 100 feels as informative as it is prescient in that sense.

NBA Draft Big Board

Click here for the complete Top 100 NBA Draft Big Board

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