There usually aren’t too many surprises in the NBA Draft in this day and age, but Thursday night started out with a major one as the Orlando Magic selected Duke forward Paolo Banchero with the No. 1 overall pick. For weeks, the expectation had been that they would take Jabari Smith out of Auburn, and it’s still unclear if that was all an elaborate smokescreen or they changed their mind at the last minute.
The Magic reportedly never hosted Banchero for a formal workout or interview in Orlando, which suggests it could be the latter.
In any case, the Oklahoma City Thunder then took big man Chet Holmgren out of Gonzaga as expected, while the Houston Rockets went with Smith to round out the top-three. The Rockets had likely been planning on Banchero, but Smith should still fit in nicely as a sharp-shooting forward to pair with Jalen Green.
Of course, no draft could be complete without the Sacramento Kings doing something out of the box, and they took Keegan Murray with the No. 4 overall pick despite almost all prognostications suggesting that Purdue’s Jaden Ivey was the clear fourth-best player. Perhaps they truly believe in Murray, or perhaps they were wary of taking a guard with their first pick for the third straight year.
It’s a busy night around the NBA, and we’ll have you covered with all the action right here..
Follow below the picks for updates, trades and analysis of the 2022 NBA Draft.
2022 NBA Draft order
* – reported trade