The 2022 NBA draft is scheduled to take place Thursday, and a number of teams up front in the draft are hoping to attract influential players who can transform their fortunes for years to come.
While there are obviously great players during the draft, many NBA draft pundits believe there is a very defined top 3 list of prospects with Auburn forward Jabari Smith, Gonzaga forward Chet Holmgren, and Duke forward Paolo Banchero.
These three have long been the best prospects in the draft class, and it now appears that there may be a well-defined order in which they are selected.
NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday morning that there was an “increasingly firm” order on how these three prospects would be included. He says Smith is likely going to the Orlando Magic (who won the draft lottery in May, as seen above), Holmgren to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Banchero to the Houston Rockets.
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.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 23, 2022
This report from Wojnarowski differed greatly from the odds originally proposed Tuesday morning, with Sportsbook initially listing Banchero as the -200 favorite to take Magic’s first overall win.
A VERY interesting situation.
Books took Paolo Banchero to -200 to take 1st overall this morning.
minutes later @wospn announces what he believes is the consolidation of the top 3.
Almost all NBA draft markets have been suspended.
— Covers (@covers) June 23, 2022
There’s obviously a lot of merit to those reports and sportsbooks have turned their attention to Smith who is now the overwhelming favorite to be picked with the first overall pick.
NBA Draft Odds 2022:
Number 1 overall pick
Jabari Smith (-3500)
Number 2 of the overall selection
Chet Holmgren (-3500)
Number 3 of the overall selection
Paolo Banchero (-1050)
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 23, 2022
Many are conflicted about Wojnarowski’s reports, believing he shouldn’t have reported it, leaving some tension over who will make which choice.
It’s funny that Woj is ruining the ratings for the NBA draft in his own company
— Jake Asman (@JakeAsman) June 23, 2022
Lol, what’s the point of the draft if they just put Woj and Shams in a ring the day before and let them fight to break the picks
— Aaron West (@oeste) June 23, 2022
Woj is the kid whose parents allowed him to stay out late one school night to go to the midnight premiere of a movie and then spoil it for everyone in class the next day.
— Junior Maruwa (@juniormaruwa) June 23, 2022
“Calm down everyone. No one gets upset if I don’t say so.” pic.twitter.com/uJPXmVZKQ1
— Tyler Parker (@tylerparkr) June 23, 2022
This is boring. Don’t ruin the draft by announcing the selection 10 hours in advance.
— Austin Nelson (@iaustinnelson) June 23, 2022
This trend of picks being spoiled before they’re even seen on TV has been a constant trend throughout the final few years of the NBA draft.
While teams still have time to change their decision, it appears that the top three teams in the NBA draft have made their man with time running out before they have to make their picks.
[Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter; photo from David Banks/USA Today Sports]