Products You May Like
The Whiteboard is The Step Back’s daily basketball newsletter, covering the NBA, WNBA and more. Subscribe here to get it delivered to you via email each morning.
The 2022 NBA Draft Lottery will be held tonight, with a lot of interesting scenarios in play. The Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons and Orlando Magic are tied for the best odds of landing the No. 1 pick, but their combined odds are just 42 percent making it more likely that someone other than those three teams gets No. 1.
There are no picks that will change hands because of the final order, but the Thunder hold two picks, with fourth- and 12th-best odds, respectively of landing at the top. The odds of both of those picks landing in the top four are pretty small (less than four percent) but it’s possible. In addition, the Pelicans hold the Lakers pick and will be looking to add insult to injury with that selection moving up.
While you’re running through the different scenarios, it helps to put names and profiles to some of the possibilities. There is far from an exclusive list but here are a few of the prospects who could fill out the top of the NBA Draft Lottery.
Which prospects could go at the top of the NBA Draft Lottery?
Paolo Banchero, 6-foot-10, 250 pounds, Big
Banchero is a versatile, mobile big man with great mid-range shooting touch, excellent passing vision and the ability to create for himself off the dribble. He’s not a great defender which complicates his projection since he’s probably most valuable as a small-ball 5, but doesn’t do enough as a rim protector to make that viable all the time. Still, his offensive ability and versatility are special.
Chet Holmgren, 7-foot, 195 pounds, Big
Holmgren is as unique a draft prospect as we’ve seen in a while. He’s an elite shot-blocker who has also remarkable dangerous as a creator with the ball in his hands, particularly in the open court. He’s a fantastic outside shooter and a very smart passer. However, his extremely slight frame leaves some questions about what position he’ll play at the next level and how a lack of strength could keep some of his skills from translating.
Jabari Smith, 6-foot-10, 210 pounds, Big Wing
Smith is an elite jumpshooter with deep range and a special defensive prospect with the ability to defend multiple positions and fill multiple defensive roles, including taking bigger wings at the point-of-attack, switching and defending in space or as a small-ball rim protector. His upside may be limited by how much he can create for himself off the dribble but even if he ends up in a 3-and-D role, he’ll be incredibly valuable.
A.J. Griffin, 6-foot-6, 222 pounds, Wing
Griffin is a powerfully built wing with an exceptional jumper, capable of doing damage as a spot-up threat, running off screens or with the ball in his hands. He hit 44.7 percent of his 3-pointers on more than 6.0 attempts per 36 minutes. His upside will be set by how much he can create for himself and others off the dribble but he’s one of the youngest prospects in the class and could turn out to be the best wing scorer.
Jaden Ivey, 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Guard
Ivey is an explosive, powerful guard who wins with speed, strength, athleticism and relentless aggressiveness. He wasn’t a great shooter off the dribble and looks like more of a combo guard than someone who would play pure point guard at the next level. But if he becomes a reliable shooter and consistently applies himself on defense he could be a future star.
Keegan Murray, 6-foot-8, 225 pounds, Big Wing
Murray is a hyper-efficient tweener who can do a bit of everything. He was extremely effective as a post-scorer and should be able to win matchups against smaller players. He’s also a good shot-blocker, good on the glass and has the quickness to defend in space. Murray also shot better than 40 percent on 3s and projects to be an excellent spot-up shooter at the next level. His upside is not as high as some of the players ahead of him but his versatility at both ends of the floor could make him a very useful piece for a contending team.
Shaedon Sharpe, 6-foot-6, 200 pounds, Wing
Sharpe graduated from high school and joined Kentucky for the spring semester but never played a game, preparing for the following season instead. He’s a hyper-athletic wing with a high motor and a smooth jumpshot. He could be this year’s version of Jalen Green.
Dyson Daniels, 6-foot-6, 170 pounds, Wing
Daniels put up a healthy 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game with the G League Ignite team and his versatility should be a big asset. He’s not an outside shooter at this point but can finish around the rim, create for himself and teammates off the dribble and looks like a high-level wing defender. He may not be a future star but he can do a lot of useful things at both ends of the floor and still has a lot of room to develop.
Jalen Duren, 6-foot-11, 250 pounds, Big
Duren is a massive and massive athletic big man with the potential to be a defensive anchor at the next level. His leaping ability, quickness and huge wingspan make him a terror as a rim protector and incredibly disruptive in the middle of the floor. Right now his offensive game is fairly limited but he should be an excellent vertical spacing and lob threat and has flashed the ability to be a dangerous passer from the middle of the floor.
Bennedict Mathurin, 6-foot-7, 195 pounds, Wing
Mathurin is an explosive leaper and strong shooter who his 38.3 of more than 300 3-point attempts across two seasons at Arizona. His percentages should even go up when he’s playing in a situation with less primary creation responsibilities. He looks like a very good complementary scorer and if he can continue to develop as a defender he could be an extremely high-level role player.
Other NBA stories:
The Mavericks made their way through thanks to Luka Doncic, but also by targeting Chris Paul in a way he’s never been targeted before.