2022 NBA Lottery Teams Preparing to Split Crossroads

The NBA Playoffs will soon crown a champion, and it’s time to take a look at the offseason.

On May 17, the league’s 2022 Draft Lottery determined the order of the top 14 picks in this year’s draft. The Orlando Magic deserves the right to do that First Vote after holding one of the three highest odds.

Here are all 14 lottery teams.

How has the draft lottery affected the draft prospects for the lottery teams? Here are five of the key insights that could have the biggest impact on the 2022 NBA draft.

The choice of magic determines everything

Orlando fans were pretty happy as the Magic won the top pick in the draft for the first time since choose Dwight Howard in 2004.

Since Howard Left The team in 2012, the Magic, has won two playoff games, finished nine seasons under .500 and never won more than 42 regular season games.

Orlando’s recent design history in the post-Howard era is shaky at best. Designed the magic Players who never broke out (Victor Oladipo 2013 and Aaron Gordon 2014), youngsters with questionable futures (Jonathan Isaac 2017 and Mo Bamba 2018) and total flameouts (Mario Hezonja 2015).

Now the Magic have a chance to select a true franchise cornerstone.

Per Jonathan GivenyThe Magic is expected to bring Auburn first pick, but Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero round out the top three picks in this year’s draft.

All three are predominantly high-top forwards that could slip into middle position. However, the Magic already has a number of young players in both forward and centre.

Wendell Carter Jr. is just 22 years old (15.0 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.8 APG) and had one breaking out Season with the Magic after being acquired by the Chicago Bulls last year featured rookie Franz Wagner (15.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.9 APG). promise as a consistent two-way player Mo Bamba (10.6 PPG, 8.1 RPG and 1.7 BPG) took massive jumps in his fourth year, and Chuma Okeke offered crucial defensive promise in his sophomore season. The aforementioned Isaac was a reliable defensive anchor before missing the entire 2021-2022 season with persistent knee problems.

The Magic are definitely in to need of more offensive firepower after finishing 29th in points per game and 30th in offensive ratings last season. Smith, Holmgren and Banchero could provide that punch on offense and play big minutes as rookies. However, Orlando needs to figure out which of these three youngsters fits best into an already crowded apron.

Speaking of fit…

Fit Matters Most for Consensus Top-3

The Magic, Thunder, and Rockets would all be pretty good targets for Smith, Holmgren, and Banchero.

However, every team is stuck in the basement of the NBA when it comes to regular-season and playoff success.

The Rockets finished last season 20-62, theirs worst Record since 1983. Houston already has a starting center and a promising climber in Christian Wood (17.9 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 2.3 APG). Alperen Sengun. Banchero and Smith could slot right in at the power forward’s spot, but unless the Rockets trade with Wood, Holmgren could struggle to move next to a leaderboard spot last on defense and does not have a traditional pass first point guard.

The Thunder (24-58 last season) would be a perfect fit for any of them Smith, Holmgren, and Banchero. OKC ranked 30th in points per game and are in dire need of some frontcourt depth after bringing out a mix of past veterans and unqualified youngsters. Rookie star Josh Giddey (12.5 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 6.4 APG) and All-Star Caliber Guard in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (24.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 5.9 APG) bid Experience and stability for this year’s top prospects.

Portland’s strategy to rebuild around Dame uncertain

The Trail Blazers face a dilemma: What’s the best way to build franchise superstar Damian Lillard?

Lillard’s score and efficiency submerged in limited action before Lillard was sidelined for the remainder of the season with an abdominal injury. Lillard, returning fully healthy, can easily return to his All-NBA form, but there are concerns his game could falter in his 32-year season.

At his best, Lillard is a top 3 guard who can shoot anywhere within 35 feet, keeps defense honest, and anchors an elite NBA offense. The Blazers (27-55) finished with theirs worst Record in the Lillard era and could use a second star with CJ McCollum gone.

The real question is how Portland will acquire this player.

With the seventh pick in the 2022 draft, the Trail Blazers may choose to pair a young pick with Lillard. Will Portland take an NBA-eligible prospect or someone who offers higher potential but more time to develop?

They could also package the election along with other salaries to bring in a more established veteran who could complement Lillard.

At this point, the Blazers could use all the help they can get. Portland finished in the bottom five in points per game and points allowed per game in the past season.

The retooling clock around Lillard is ticking, and Portland doesn’t have much time to make more mistakes.

Don’t count out the Spurs

The Spurs will have the ninth, 20th, and 25th picks in the 2022 NBA draft. San Antonio isn’t known for making big strides, but this year could be different.

Spurs boast a roster of all-star contender Dejounte Murray (21.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 9.2 APG) surrounded by young talent like Keldon Johnson (22), Devin Vassell (21), Lonnie Walker IV (23), Zach Collins (24 years) and Joshua Primo (19 years).

But the Spurs desperately need a true superstar.

San Antonio hasn’t made a big draft-day trade since they traded George Hill for the rights to pick Kawhi Leonard in 2011. Leonard became an All-NBA superstar, continuing the Spurs dynasty as Tim Duncan began to age.

They can either pick three different prospects with each of their first-rounders, or pack them up to move up the draft.

After a long history of not doing much, the 2022 draft could be the right time for Spurs to make a splash.

Pelicans and Kings are this year’s wild cards

Not Sacramento reached the postseason since 2006 — the longest active playoff drought in the league.

The Kings made headlines when they traded youngster Tyrese Haliburton (14.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 7.4 APG) for All-Star Domantas Sabonis (18.9 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 5.8 APG), to with De’Aaron Fox (23.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 5.6 APG).

But the Kings still finished outside the play-in (and playoff) picture.

This year’s NBA draft will be murky after the top 3 picks, with several prospects for Sacramento to take on. The kings must decide whether to box their No. 4 pick to acquire experienced talent or pick an intriguing prospect. Sacramento also has the flexibility to trade down and acquire more young assets to build around Fox and Sabonis.

The Pelicans got off to a rough start before entering the eighth seed of the playoffs and leading Phoenix to six games in the first round. New Orleans has still available a winning record since the team drafted in 2020 Zion Williamson, who missed all of last season with a foot injury.

Williamson (27.0 PPG, 7.2 RPG and 3.7 APG in 2021), Brandon Ingram (22.7 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 5.6 APG) and CJ McCollum (24.3 PPG, 4, 5 RPG, 5.8 APG) are an intriguing trio set in New Orleans heading into 2022-23. Much like royalty, pelicans must decide whether to accept a prospect or trade the choice for someone more established.

New Orleans has a crucial decision to make when it comes to this year’s draft wWith the Western Conference coming next season, things will be more competitive.

The 2022 NBA Draft is taking place on Thursday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m. EST on ESPN and ABC.

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