2022 NBA Draft: Top Prospects, Location & More
With the 2022 NBA Draft less than a month away, now is a good time to dive into the process of how a player from the NCAA turns professional.
Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga), Paolo Banchero (Duke), Jabari Smith Jr.(Auburn) and Jaden Ivey (Purdue) round out the top prospects in this year’s class. Scouts have been paying close attention to the 2022 draft prospects for a while now.
Kansas Jayhawks star Ochai Agbaji, who led the school to a national championship this year, is widely expected to be a top-20 selection in this year’s draft. The 2022 Big 12 Player of the Year and Consensus first-team All-American selection is one of the best pure shooters in this draft, having shot 47.5 percent from the field last year. Agbaji also knocked down an impressive 40.9 percent of his three-point attempts in his final collegiate season.
Mobile and online sports betting is widely expected to launch in “The Wheat State” soon, and there’s hope that it will be ready in time for the start of the NFL season. If it goes live, BetMGM Kansas will be one of the many sportsbooks available in the state. BetMGM Kansas will also offer new customers risk-free bets of up to $1,000.
Even with Agbaji set to leave the program, the Jayhawks remain one of the main favorites to win the 2023 National Championship. At FanDuel, only Houston (+950), Kentucky (+1200) North Carolina (+1200) and Duke (+1300) have higher 2023 championship odds than the Jayhawks (+1400).
The 2022 NBA Draft will be held at the Barclays Center (home of the Brooklyn Nets), on June 23. The Orlando Magic hold the top selection in this year’s draft.
It’s simple: The best NCAA players in any given year who are draft eligible will be followed closely by the scouts of all 30 NBA teams.
An eligible player has until a specific date to declare for the NBA draft; the date is usually in late April.
Like the other major professional sports leagues in North America (NHL, NFL and MLB), the NBA holds a Draft Combine for its prospects. Players eligible for the given year’s draft class can only attend the combine by invitation.
The combine allows all NBA teams to get a good evaluation of the prospects. The players perform a variety of physical exercises, including bench press, vertical jump and a lane agility drill.
Teams then have the opportunity to interview the prospects. This is an important test for players, as teams use the interview process to closely examine qualities of a player’s character and maturity level.
The combine process also grants NBA teams the opportunity to put together a final list of their draft prospect rankings, giving them a firm idea as to which players they think could best fit their system and culture.
The NBA draft order for the 14 non-playoff teams is determined via draft lottery. The NHL also uses this format, and Major League Baseball will commence a draft lottery system in the 2023 season.
Welcome To The NBA
Once the NBA Draft Combine is completed, the draft prospects can sit back and relax. The hard part is over, and now they just have to await hearing their names called on draft day.
The 2022 NBA draft lottery was held on May 17. As previously noted, the Magic were the lucky winners of this year’s lottery. This date will have given them more than a month to evaluate the prospects before they decide who they’d like to take first overall.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets hold the No. 2 and No. 3 picks, respectively. Rather than spend all this time hoping the Magic don’t take the No. 1 player on their boards, the front offices for Oklahoma City and Houston will put together their own prospect rankings.
Of course, draft day trades have never been rare in the NBA. In many cases, two or more teams will have reached a deal in advance, where one club will draft a specific player with the intention of flipping him to a different franchise soon after.
Take 2018, for example. The Atlanta Hawks drafted future superstar Luka Dončić third overall but quickly dealt him to the Dallas Mavericks in a blockbuster deal that brought fellow future star Trae Young (the No. 5 selection) to Atlanta.