2022 NBA Draft lottery winners and losers: Auburn’s Jabari Smith may benefit after Magic win No. 1 pick

The ping-pong balls? you fell And the draft order? Well that is officially discontinued After a wild Tuesday night at the 38th annual draft lottery, which picked the Orlando Magic for the first time since 2004, she will take first place overall in the 2022 NBA draft.

Orlando had a 14% chance of winning the lottery and had the highest odds with the Pistons and Rockets before their big offseason win was announced by NBA Assistant Commissioner Mark Tatum in Chicago. It’s the fourth time since the lottery that the franchise has held the top pick. And get this: Two of the previous three No. 1 picks were inducted into the Hall of Famers — while Dwight Howard could potentially join them later. (No pressure, Chet Holmgren or Jaden Ivey or Jabari Smith or Paolo Banchero. But also: some pressure!)

As such, the Magic are the biggest and most obvious winners on lottery night, although they’re certainly not the only ones who had a good night. So also the thunder and the kings. Conversely…it was a tough night for the Pistons, whose 14 percent odds of winning the lottery only earned them the fifth pick. The Trail Blazers, Pacers, Rockets and – as usual – the New York Knickerbockers are also likely to be licking some post-lottery wounds.

Here’s a look at the winners and losers as the dust settles.

Winner: Jabari Smith could be Magic’s man

For months, this draft has been considered strong at the top as there is no clear No. 1 but four potential Tier 1 talents, meaning team fitness and current roster composition could ultimately determine who comes off the board to pick who to start the draft. Now we’re going to find out which of the group’s prospects Magic prefers. This is a front office that craves length – they were part of the regime that drafted Giannis – so Chet Holmgren would do it seemingly great fit. But Jabari Smith seems to be the early leader after a month, which is Orlando’s preference, and personally I’m not ruling out Paolo Banchero here either. It’s a huge stroke of luck to have the first trick at the top every year, but this year feels particularly big — especially for a franchise that’s got some really fun bits with 2021 lottery picks Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner Has.

Winner: Kings rise

The news that the Portland Trail Blazers owned the #7 draft signaled that the Sacramento Kings had moved into the top four of this year’s draft. They were in seventh place based on lottery odds, but moved up three spots – more than any other team this year – to become No. 4. Newly-won big man Damontas Sabonis, the team’s Chicago representative, could only manage a mischievous grin after the stunning turn of events. Depending on which direction Sacramento goes, he has a chance to play alongside a potential Day 1 difference maker – assuming they keep the pick.

Loser: Jaden Ivey’s chances for 1st place

Gary Parrish and I concluded this week that more than last year, the number 1 will be decided based on which team won the lottery. And one thing seems clear when the lottery fog clears: It probably doesn’t bode well for Jaden Ivey’s No. 1 prospects. Orlando drafted a guard in Cole Anthony two years ago when he was 15, and then did it again with a top- 10 pick last year at Jalen Suggs. It’s hard to imagine them doing it again, especially with the promise those two picks have shown. I wouldn’t rule Ivey out of the race entirely, but the falling lottery order was better news for the big ones at the top of the draft than a potential lead guard in Ivey based solely on the Orlando roster lineup.

Winner: Thunder can speed up reboot

Around this time last year during the lottery, OKC had a chance to walk away with two top 5 picks and instead walked away with just one pick: No. 6. But that pick became a fundamental piece in Josh Giddey and Boy, Oh Boy, did this team’s rebuild hit a gas pedal on Tuesday as they went upstairs to snag the No. 2 pick.

This is a custom draft for OKC – a team that needs depth on the apron – to snap up either a Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero or Chet Holmgren, depending on who Orlando takes No. 1. Not a bad choice here. Whoever the pick is should find immediate success as a likely starter in a young team full of potential. I’m all here for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey and one of Holmgren, Banchero or Smith growing together over the next half decade.

Losers: Portland, Pacers drop a point

Portland led the NBA in back-to-back losing games to end the 2021-22 NBA season, but its brazen attempt to build a late-season tank went unrewarded as it fell from 6th in the lottery order to 7th , signaling Sacramento’s move into the top 4. Indiana also had its own stinger that night, dropping the pre-lottery ranking from No. 5 to No. 6 after the lottery. With 10.5% and 9.0% odds of winning the top pick, respectively, both teams have good (but not great) picks in a draft that sees a significant drop in talent after #4.

Winner: Pelicans live the best of both worlds

New Orleans is the only NBA team that can claim a lottery pick in this year’s draft and Secure a spot in this year’s playoffs, this pick came over the Lakers after the trade that sent Anthony Davis to LA

The Pelicans scouting team has spent money drafting Herbert Jones in the second round and bringing in Jose Alvarado as an undrafted free agent in recent years and To take on a generational talent with Zion – even if he was injured at the beginning of his career. That choice for her (ranked at No. 8) could help keep her in the playoff hunt and potentially jump another notch up in the West, especially if Zion returns in full health next season.

Loser: Pistons don’t fire, slip over

The Pistons were the anti-Kings on Tuesday, like them fell more than any other lottery team. Based on the pre-lottery odds, their 14% chance of taking home the top pick was a tie, but they walk away with the fifth overall pick instead.

wump wump.

There are fabulous options at #5 for Detroit, so I don’t want Motor City to be upset too much of about it. But the difference between picking #1 and #5 – heck, even #4 and #5 – is pretty significant in this design. We hope this front office can identify a stallion from this position to pair alongside 2021 No. 1 Cade Cunningham.


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