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We’re just days away from the 2022 NBA draft, which means teams will be talking, rumors will be doing the rounds, and information will be shared.
There’s still a lot of debate as to who the Orlando Magic will pick with the #1 pick overall. New questions about Chet Holmgren have also surfaced.
Trades are also discussed, starting with the Sacramento Kings in 4th place.
It’s not common to hear anything concrete ahead of draft week, so the next few days should contain a lot more gossip.
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Since lottery night, competing teams have largely predicted that the Orlando Magic will favor Jabari Smith at number one. However, over the past week we’ve heard that the Magic are doing their homework on Chet Holmgren. The idea of Orlando considering him has gained momentum.
Smith also trained for the Oklahoma City Thunder and spent several days with them. That suggests that the magic didn’t give him any assurance to design him first.
Smith has also trained in Orlando.
There were also questions about Holmgren’s willingness to undergo a physical and the NBA’s heart test. It’s unclear if he intends to do so or is only for certain teams, but the idea that he’s trying to move towards (or away from) certain teams is common.
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Teams don’t expect Bennedict Mathurin to get past the New Orleans Pelicans in 8th place. Most people in the league think he’ll be off the board by then at the latest.
Strong and explosive at 6ft 6in (in shoes) and a sweet shooting punch, Mathurin presumably looks great in a training setting. He’s more proven than Shaedon Sharpe, far more athletic than AJ Griffin and by comparison the more dangerous goalscorer/shooter Dyson Daniels.
The Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers could all find Mathurin suitable at the 2/3 positions. His range looks like #4-7.
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With Keegan Murray, Dyson Daniels and Bennedict Mathurin seemingly in the top eight, AJ Griffin is believed to be prone to slipping.
Though Shaedon Sharpe never played a minute in Kentucky, most feel he offers too much potential for teams in the No. 6-10 area to pass on.
Meanwhile, not everyone has bought into Griffin, offering more than just shooting. In 39 games with Duke, he had a total of 38 assists, 20 steals and 53 free throw attempts. That has raised questions about his lack of bursts and heavier feet to create, blow-by, or defend.
While we haven’t received a word about Griffin’s medics raising red flags, his injury history in high school is widely known. Having Griffin on the board if the New York Knicks pick 11th place sounds possible.
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Some believe Ousmane Dieng will be considered by lottery teams and a select few even make the top 10.
It is viewed as a high-risk, high-reward pick, so believers may see tempting upside potential in a range where most prospective roleplayers are projecting.
Dieng’s idea, a 6’9″ winger with guarding skills, was always more compelling than his performance. But in the second half of his season in the NBL, he chalked up an impressive streak of goals and shots on goal that fueled optimism about his Development.
It sounds like the earliest Dieng could go to is the 8th-ranked New Orleans Pelicans or the 9th-ranked San Antonio Spurs.
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Teams expect the Sacramento Kings to discuss trades until they are ranked 4th.
At this point, the price for choice #4 is believed to be high, although it would normally be days ahead of the draft. This price is likely to drop as we approach 8pm on Thursday.
While Jaden Ivey is widely considered the draft’s fourth-best pick, teams also say they should never expect anything when it comes to Sacramento. Shaedon Sharpe is viewed as a sleeper option if the Kings stay, although Keegan Murray is believed to be considered as well.
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– Rival teams continue to believe 2nd-ranked Jaden Ivey is a sleeper for the Oklahoma City Thunder, especially with Jabari Smith first. Despite Holmgren being considered at No. 1, scouts still seem to share nerves over his physique and limited creation for a top pick. Nobody seems hesitant when it comes to Ivey. He wouldn’t be an ideal fit for an OKC team that already has Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, so believing he’s a 2nd-rank option may be more related to a certain lack of confidence in Holmgren.
– Jake LaRavia was invited to practice for several seconds. The guess is that he’s somewhere in his 20s. The general consensus is that he is a highly skilled, intelligent forward whose versatility ticks all the right boxes in today’s NBA.
– Andrew Nembhard could be creeping into his 20s after winning teams during the NBA combine. Although it was just a scrimmage, he dominated the prospects in the second round with more freedom than Gonzaga.
– A common belief has Johnny Davis’ #10 draft floor. Most expect the Washington Wizards to pick him if he’s on the board and there isn’t another surprise case.
– Scouts look to teams making their picks in the Teen and 20’s Draft. Next year’s draft is expected to be one of the best in recent memory, so some non-lottery teams may be fully committed to their 2022 pick if they can add another first-rounder next year.
– Dalen Terry is believed to be a first-round pick and word has spread that he is allaying concerns about his shot counts during practice. Standing at 6ft 7in with a wingspan of nearly 7ft 1in, he is a unique player having played point guard and defending wings. Once the big names are off the board, the uniqueness in this design could add value.