NBA Draft grades 2022: Live results & analysis for every pick in Round 1

The 2022 NBA Draft is here.

Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr., Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero indeed were the top three picks as expected, but there was a bit of a curveball in the order with the Magic picking Banchero at No. 1.

The draft moves fast, and it can be hard to digest each pick and understand how the prospects selected fit with their new team. That’s where we come in.

MORE: Watch the 2022 NBA Draft live with Sling in US

The Sporting News is here to provide live updates, analysis and a grade for each pick, diving deeper into every first-round selection to explain how prospects fit with their new team.

Stick with us throughout the night as we give you more insight into every selection below.

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NBA Draft grades 2022: Live picks, analysis for Round 1

1. Orlando Magic: Paolo Banchero, Duke

And just like that, the chaos begins. It took the Magic all the way up until moments before the draft to make their decision but they ended up going with, in my opinion, the best player in this class. Banchero is the most NBA-ready prospect with extremely polished skills for a 6-10 freshman. He can create his own shot and score from all three levels of the floor. He’s one of the best passers in this class despite being a true power forward. Banchero will give Orlando the No. 1 option and franchise player its been seeking since Dwight Howard left.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

This pick remains according to plan, with the Thunder selecting Holmgren at No. 2. The Gonzaga freshman gives Oklahoma City’s future core the interior presence it was missing. Holmgren has a case as the best shot blocker in this class, he’s a walking mismatch for opposing bigs on the perimeter and his ability to stretch the floor as a shooter adds to his intrigue. Holmgren’s unique skill set will thrive alongside playmaking guards like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey.

3. Houston Rockets: Jabari Smith Jr., Auburn

The Rockets are likely shocked that this pick ended up being Smith instead of Banchero, but the fit still works. Smith gives Houston a versatile power forward and core frontcourt piece for the future of the franchise. Even at 6-10, he’s one of the best perimeter shooters in this draft class and can score inside and out. He can anchor a defense and protect the rim, but he also has the quickness and agility to defend on the perimeter. If he develops as a shot creator, he will turn into an ideal secondary scorer alongside last year’s No. 2 pick, Jalen Green.

4. Sacramento Kings: Keegan Murray, Iowa

This pick was long expected to be Purdue’s Jaden Ivey but instead, the Kings go with Murray. Murray adds a level of defensive versatility that Sacramento could use in its frontcourt and its efficient and effortless three-level scoring will fit nicely with playmakers like De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. I still think the Kings should have taken the best player on the board here, but they certainly fill a need by drafting a forward like Murray.

5. Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ivey, Purdue

The Pistons are the way-too-early winners of this draft, landing the best guard in this class at No. 5. Ivey’s burst, explosiveness and athleticism is already at an NBA level. He’s a true combo guard and can play the 1 or the 2 alongside last year’s No. 1 pick, Cade Cunningham. With this selection, Detroit has solidified it’s backcourt of the future – and it will be one of the best backcourts in the entire NBA sooner rather than later.

6. Indiana Pacers: Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona

The Pacers were rumored to be open to trading Malcolm Brogdon and now they have the freedom to do so after selecting Mathurin. The Arizona product is an ideal backcourt mate for a playmaker like Haliburton, as Mathurin just might be the best off-ball scorer in this draft. Mathurin is an elite shooter both off the bounce and off the catch and he’s an advanced shot creator who attacks the rim with a vengeance. His attitude and winner’s mentality is exactly what Indiana needs to get back to playoff contention.

7. Portland Trail Blazers: Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky

It was reported by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony that Damian Lillard liked Sharpe’s potential and the All-Star guard gets his wish. Even though the Blazers are in win-now mode and Sharpe has not played competitively since high school, there is no better player for Sharpe to learn from than Lillard. Sharpe already has an NBA-caliber bag of moves to create his own shot and he’ll give Portland a microwave scorer off the bench from Day 1.

8. New Orleans Pelicans: Dyson Daniels, G League Ignite

The Pelicans land a perfect piece for their up-and-coming core in Daniels at No. 7. Daniels is arguably the best perimeter defender in this draft and he can guard up and down the positional chart with his 6-foot-8 size and length. He’s a savvy playmaker who can take some pressure off of CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram and after playing professionally for the Ignite this past season, he’s as NBA-ready as any prospect. The Pelicans were already knocking on the door of being a competitor in the West upon Zion Williamson’s return. This selection only helps them take another step forward.

9. San Antonio Spurs: Jeremy Sochan, Baylor

This could be seen as a reach by some, but I love what Sochan brings to the Spurs. The Baylor forward is one of the most versatile defenders in this draft with the size to hold down the paint but the agility to guard on the perimeter. He’s an active cutter who will play perfectly off of a playmaker like Dejounte Murray and his length, mobility and athleticism gives San Antonio an exciting frontcourt alongside Keldon Johnson.

10. Washington Wizards: Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

The Wizards probably wish a true point guard was available here, but they get a quality backcourt mate for All-Star guard Bradley Beal. Davis is a three-level scorer who has the size, strength, speed and athleticism to give the Wizards a perimeter defensive stopper. Beal will likely have to play point guard, but Davis is a strong running mate who can start right away in Washington.

11. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Knicks): Ousmane Dieng, NZ Breakers

The Thunder have reportedly acquired this pick from the Knicks for “multiple first-round picks.” Dieng is a 6-9 forward with a ton of upside potential, but he is far from an NBA-ready product. There is intrigue around his ability as a fluid scorer and passer at that size, and the Thunder can afford to be patient, but giving up multiple picks for Dieng feels like a lot.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jalen Williams, Santa Clara

The Thunder are reportedly not including this pick in the deal with the Knicks, so Williams is headed to Oklahoma City. Williams was one of the biggest winners at the NBA Draft Combine, going from fringe first-round pick to 12th overall. The offensive-minded forward caught the eye of scouts with a jaw-dropping 7-2 wingspan. He’s a strong scorer and playmaker who can play any perimeter position. He makes for a fun core of the future alongside Gilgeous-Alexander, Giddey, Holmgren and Dieng.

13. Detroit Pistons (from Hornets): Jalen Duren, Memphis

The Pistons have reportedly acquired this pick in a three-team deal with the Knicks and Hornets, but the details are still being ironed out. Detroit lands a physical frontcourt presence in Duren as they continue to build a young roster around their backcourt of the future in Cunningham and Ivey. Duren is mobile and athletic, a monster on the glass and an intimidating rim protector. It will be interesting to see how the Pistons deploy him and last year’s draft pick Isaiah Stewart, though.

14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

The Cavaliers needed wing help and they get that in a senior forward like Agbaji. Agbaji is ready to contribute to an NBA rotation immediately as an upperclassmen who just helped lead Kansas to the National Championship. His improvements as a 3-point shooter over his four seasons in college has elevated his potential as a 3-and-D prospect. Agbaji is an ideal player to help the Cavaliers build on their surprising momentum from last season.

15. Charlotte Hornets:

To be announced.

16. Atlanta Hawks:

To be announced.

17. Houston Rockets:

To be announced.

18. Chicago Bulls:

To be announced.

19. Minnesota Timberwolves:

To be announced.

20. San Antonio Spurs:

To be announced.

21. Denver Nuggets:

To be announced.

22. Memphis Grizzlies:

To be announced.

23. Philadelphia 76ers:

To be announced.

24. Milwaukee Bucks:

To be announced.

25. San Antonio Spurs:

To be announced.

26. Houston Rockets:

To be announced.

27. Miami Heat:

To be announced.

28. Golden State Warriors:

To be announced.

29. Memphis Grizzlies:

To be announced.

30. Denver Nuggets:

To be announced.

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