NBA pundits thought they had blocked the top picks in the draft, but a few late moves resulted in a shocking pick for number 1.
The 2022 NBA Draft is here and there have already been some clashes within the top 10 picks at the Barclays Center in New York.
The Orlando Magic ran into trouble after they were linked with 19-year-old Jabari Smith Jr, but made a shocking last-minute move to sign Duke star Paolo Banchero.
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For Australian fans, Dyson Daniels came in eighth, joining the likes of Luc Longley, Andrew Bogut, Ben Simmons and Josh Giddey in an elite group of nine other Australians to be selected in the top 10 of their class.
‘Insane potential’: Aussie takes 8th place
Dyson Daniels became the 10th Australian to be selected in the top 10 NBA Draft picks since 1969 and only the 23rd Australian to be selected overall.
Originally, he was expected to be seventh for the Portland Trail Blazers.
But now he will go to New Orleans, where he will play alongside Zion Williamson.
And having been talked about as a potentially elite defensive star, fans are enjoying Dyson’s fit in the Pelicans.
Daniels followed the G-League’s path to the NBA Draft and impressed enough to be considered one of the top 10 selections in the Draft.
OKC make moves
Having already picked Chet Holmgren with the second pick in the NBA Draft, Oklahoma made a great move. according to Adrian Wojnarowski.
After a brilliant selection with Josh Giddey last year, the Thunder are looking to define their future as the franchise also had the 12th pick in the Draft.
With that selection, the Thunder chose Jalen Williams.
Shock #1 ‘Blasted’ the NBA Draft
It was strongly believed that Jabari Smith Jr. would be first in the NBA Draft, but that’s not how things turned out.
Just minutes before the start of the draft, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Duke’s Paolo Banchero was considered for the number 1 pick.
“As I just reported on our NBA Draft Show on ESPN, Duke’s Paolo Banchero has joined Auburn’s Jabari Smith under serious consideration to be the franchise’s first overall pick, sources said. There is a real chance recruitment committees will explode on top of the lottery,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
“Magic kept their final decision tight, but Banchero emerged as a significant possibility to be chosen as No. 1 overall, sources said.”
And as always, Woj was right on the money.
After the decision, Banchero was surprised. “I don’t even know what to say, I can’t believe what just happened.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski sent a message to Banchero, calling the youngster “the most versatile player in the Draft, you can play anywhere and you’re a winner.”
Banchero smiled at the sight of his former coach.
He said: “Coach K really taught me to really be a man. Being so far from home, he was there for me. Whether criticizing me, telling me when I was screwing up, or praising me, letting me know when I was doing well. He is the greatest coach I have ever had.”
The shocking move did not change the expected number 2 pick as 213cm giant Chet Holmgren headed to Oklahoma City where he will be joined by Australian Josh Giddey.
And already Holmgren is saying the right things to please the Aussie fans.
“I feel like I could fit in with almost anyone,” Holmgren said earlier in the week.
“But especially a point guard like Josh Giddey…he would make my life easier. With Shai, he doesn’t need anyone’s help. He’s a hell of a player.”
Smith Jr May was pulled from first place, but was picked by the Houston Rockets with the third overall pick.
Keegan Murray’s fourth pick was expected to be fifth, but it was won early.
213cm NBA scares the next ‘Kevin Durant’
The 213 cm giant Chet Holmgren took second place in 2022 and will join Australian Josh Giddey in the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But the biggest question marks in the draft appear to be around University star Gonzaga, who first rose to prominence against Steph Curry in a singles game in 2020.
The 20-year-old Bulldogs standout also offers a combination of elite ball handling and footwork, as well as being a shot blocking specialist.
Holmgren averaged 14.1 points per game with 9.9 rebounds for Gonzaga.
James Jones, assistant coach for the US national team at last year’s Under-19 World Cup, in which Holmgren played, describes him as a “Kevin Durant-type player”.
“He has great instincts. He’s the kind of guy who can do a lot of different things,” Jones told AFP.
“He’s not a player type, he can do a lot of different things, very versatile.
“As a kid, a leader, a hard worker, a great person, very friendly, very outgoing and very dedicated to becoming the best basketball player he can.
“He’s a Kevin Durant-type player in terms of his skill level, to be able to do some of those things. He’s obviously not Kevin Durant. But he has that skill, a similar skill set.”
But doubts still surround Holmgren, who weighs 86kg and has a bean physique. Whether he can survive the rigors of the NBA will remain the biggest question mark over whether Holmgren will be successful.
2022 full draft order
1. Paolo Banchero (Orlando)
2. Chet Holmgren (Oklahoma City)
3. Jabari Smith Jr. (Houston)
4. Keegan Murray (Sacramento)
5. Jaden Ivey (Detroit)
6. Benedict Mathurin (Indiana)
7. Shaedon Sharpe (Portland)
8. Dyson Daniels (New Orleans — Los Angeles Lakers)
9. Jeremy Sochan (San Antonio)
10. Johnny Davis (Washington)
11. Ousmane Dieng (Oklahoma City, traded from New York)
12. Jalen Williams (Oklahoma City — LA Clippers)
13. Jalen Duren (Detroit, later traded from Charlotte, then to New York)
14. Ochai Agabaji (Cleveland)
15. Mark Williams (Charlotte — from New Orleans)
16. AJ Griffin (Atlanta)
17. Tari Eason (Houston — from Brooklyn)
18. Dalen Terry (Chicago)
19. Jake LaRavia (Memphis, traded from Minnesota)
20. Malaki Branham (San Antonio — from Toronto)
21. Christian Braun (Denver)
22. Walker Kessler (Minnesota, Memphis Commerce—from Utah)
23. David Roddy (Memphis, traded from Philadelphia)
24. Mar Jon Beauchamp (Milwaukee)
25. Blake Wesley (San Antonio — from Boston)
28. Golden State
30. Oklahoma City — from Phoenix
31. Indiana — from Houston via Cleveland
33. Toronto — from Detroit via San Antonio, Washington and Chicago
34. Oklahoma City
35. Los Angeles Lakers — from Orlando via Indiana and Milwaukee
38. San Antonio — from the Los Angeles Lakers via Chicago and Washington
39. Cleveland — from San Antonio via Utah
40. Minnesota — from Washington via Cleveland
41. New Orleans
42. New York
43. LA Clippers
46. Detroit — from Brooklyn
47. Memphis — from Cleveland via New Orleans and Atlanta
49. Cleveland – from Sacramento via Chicago, Memphis and Detroit
50. Minnesota – from Denver via Philadelphia
51. Golden State — from Toronto via Philadelphia
52. New Orleans — from Utah
54. Washington — from Dallas
55. Golden State
56. Cleveland — from Miami via Indiana
57. Portland — from Memphis via Utah
58. Indiana — from Phoenix
Originally published as 2022 NBA Draft Live: Shock No. 1 pick ‘explodes’ the expected order