Biggest Winners and Losers from 2022 NBA Draft Night | Bleacher Report

0 out of 8

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    The 2022 NBA draft is on the books, and the night brought many surprises and big moments.

    The first three names called were what we expected, but they came in a different order. Of course there was action. Some players slipped. Others rose.

    Scroll below to see the biggest winners and losers during the celebrations.

1 out of 8

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    For weeks it felt like a foregone conclusion when Jabari Smith went first to the Orlando Magic. Then suddenly sports betting The whole internet dramatically shifted to Paolo Banchero.

    And in contradiction to a report ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who he did earlier in the day, tweeted his final spoiler just before the show started:

    Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

    As I just reported on our NBA Draft Show on ESPN, Duke’s Paolo Banchero has joined Auburn’s Jabari Smith in serious contemplation for becoming the No. 1 franchise, sources said. There is a real chance that the draft boards at the top of the lottery will be blown up.

    Banchero was speechless in his post-selection interview, but his game will speak for itself in Orlando.

    The Magic already had one of the most intriguing young cores in the league, and the insertion of Banchero’s scoring and playmaking only adds to that.

    Assuming Mo Bamba goes free and Wendell Carter Jr moves to the 5, Paolo will fit well as part of a positionless forward trio that includes Franz Wagner and Jonathan Isaac.

    And in lineups that include Jalen Suggs and Markelle Fultz, Orlando will have a wealth of playmaking talent.

    Being able to attack from anywhere on the ground will make the Magic a matchup nightmare on nights when everything clicks.

    Sure, the youth and inexperience mean there will still be plenty of losses and growing pains, but Orlando will be a League Pass favorite in 2022-23.

    And with so many young talents on the list, Banchero could have a slightly softer landing than No. 1 picks in previous years.

2 out of 8

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    The New York Knicks entered the night with the No. 11 pick and left without a first-round rookie to add to the 2022-23 roster.

    In one of the wildest moments of the draft, New York dealt the Oklahoma City Thunder the 11th pick for three future firsts. Then they jumped back in by buying Jalen Duren (the 13th pick) before finally redirecting him (along with Kemba Walker’s salary) to the Detroit Pistons (whoever wants). allegedly Abandonment of Kemba, per Wojnarowski).

    Tim Bontemps @Tim Bontemps

    What the Knicks did tonight:

    NYK trades 11th pick for OKC

    OKC trades 3 firsts (23 DEN, DET, WASH) for NYK

    NYK then trades 23 DEN, 4 seconds to CHA for the 13th pick

    NYK, then 13th pick & Kemba Walker to DET for MKE’s 25 first

    NYK trades 11, Kemba, 4 2nds & gets 3 future 1sts

    do you have all this Phew…

    Now, finding out what the Knicks actually do could take some time, but many analysts are following the breadcrumbs to Jalen Brunson.

    Yes, if New York avoided adding a first-round pick’s salary to make room for Brunson and eventually spurns him, that’s going to look bad.

    The Knicks have a history of chasing (rather than catching) many high-profile free agents. To predict a similar pursuit of Brunson and come up short is going to be embarrassing at the very least.

    But it cannot be taken for granted that this will happen. And even if it does, there may be a silver lining.

    The future picks New York has picked up could represent shots in a draft class the Knicks’ front office may value more than they do, or give the team more leverage over future trades.

3 out of 8

    Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

    Orlando’s curveball up top of the draft opened the door for the Houston Rockets for Smith, who has a good chance of finishing as the pick of the class.

    In his only season with Auburn, Smith averaged 16.9 points and 2.3 threes while shooting 42.0 percent from deep. And he trailed only Chet Holmgren among the freshmen Offensive box plus/minus.

    For a team that has plenty of jabs from Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., as well as follow-up from Alperen Sengun, Smith’s outside shooting fits seamlessly.

    If he fulfills his potential, the defense will be forced to chase him around the three-point line, widening lanes and removing the paint for his aforementioned teammates.

4 out of 8

    Agency Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images

    Houston is a winner because he landed it, and slipping a bit on the board might be good motivation, but coming in third after hearing you’d be first for weeks must be tough for Smith.

    As early as the morning of the draft, Wojnarowski had the order set as Smith, Holmgren and Banchero. And that’s basically how it’s been since Magic won the lottery.

    Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

    With today’s team boards finalized, the NBA draft’s 1-2-3 is getting tighter, according to sources: Jabari Smith to Orlando, Chet Holmgren to Oklahoma City, and Paolo Banchero to Houston.

    And while 10 minutes isn’t a lot of time by and large, it probably felt like an eternity for Smith anxiously perusing Banchero and Holmgren’s announcements.

    With the ESPN show repeatedly showing a dejected Smith in the green room, it was hard not to sympathize with him.

5 out of 8

    Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

    The Oklahoma City Thunder had a monstrous first round, and it wasn’t just due to the addition of Chet Holmgren at No. 2 (although he’s certainly the headliner).

    Track this pickup redeem Some of their future assets of landing Ousmane Dieng and somehow sticking with No. 12 to draft Jalen Williams give them an absurd amount of playmaker.

    OKC already has Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey (6.4 assists as a 19-year-old) and Aleksej Pokusevski (5.9 assists in his last 10 games) on the roster. They now have a 6’10” teenager who has blitzed pasships (Dieng), a winger with playmaking ability (Williams) and perhaps the most unique all-around prospect of the draft (Holmgren).

    The puzzle pieces might not fit perfectly (not yet, anyway), but the Thunder suddenly have what might be the most interesting combination of size and playstyle in the league. And if the altruism everyone has shown at lower levels continues, OKC could be around the corner sooner than expected.

6 out of 8

    Sarah Bull/Getty Images

    Barely lacking in stars, the Sacramento Kings have become something of a tradition for the NBA draft, according to the tragic graphic handed to ESPN.

    moonlight @ClaireMPLS

    that is justifiably amazing

    The chances of Jaden Ivey having a career like Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard or Klay Thompson are slim, but passing on him had to bring some flashbacks to some fans.

    It was long thought he was the next guy after the top 3’s of Paolo, Chet and Jabari and not hearing his name at number 4 came as a bit of a shock.

    However, this doesn’t feel like Marvin Bagley III over Luka. Even the most casual of observers outside of Phoenix, Sacramento and Atlanta knew that Luka was one of the safest things in the history of the event. Ivey isn’t, and Murray doesn’t have to be Bagley.

    Murray played on an Iowa team with far less NBA talent than Bagley’s version of the Duke Blue Devils, and he still had one of the best offensive seasons of all time.

    In fact, Zion Williamson is the only NCAA player with one higher Offensive boxing for a season plus/minus than the 13.0 Murray fielded in 2021-22.

    He scored 23.5 points on just 15.8 shots, hit 39.8 percent of his three-pointers, and put up strong steal and block rates to boot.

    With Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox, Murray could be the perfect Playmaking 4 to play between them.

7 out of 8

    Agency Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images

    The Detroit Pistons started earlier this week by trading Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers for a slew of draft picks, including a 2025 first-rounder. That signaled a desire to lean a little more heavily on a young core that suddenly feels like one of the deepest in the league.

    Detroit brings back Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart, and now comes Jaden Ivey (who slipped a bit when the Sacramento Kings took Keegan Murray) and Duren (who took a detour via the draft night route to the Pistons).

    Kevin O’Connor @KevinOConnorNBA

    Piston core is insane. They nailed the draft tonight. Jalen Duren couldn’t end up in a better place than with Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. They all fit together, rare for a young team that fits so well together. Gosh, the pick and rolls they’re going to run together.

    Given the height of Cunningham and Ivey (6’6″ and 6’4″, respectively), the Pistons should have no problem playing these two together. And having multiple playmakers on the floor should make life easier for both of them (and their teammates).

    If the guards can develop into reliable shooters, Detroit will be tough cover.

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