There's only one way to enjoy the 2022 NBA Draft — expect the unexpected.
At the last minute, Paolo Banchero ended up being the No. 1 overall pick to the Orlando Magic. Chet Holmgren went to the Thunder and Jabari Smith who was the odds-on favorite to be the first off the board fell to the Rockets at No. 3.
The Kings opted for Iowa standout Keegan Murray and Detroit landed a perfect backcourt mate for Cade Cunningham with Jaden Ivey at No. 5.
The Bulls took the biggest swing by selecting Dalen Terry who was ranked No. 31 according to the Sporting News' big board. Jaden Hardy fell to the 37th overall pick to the Sacramento Kings.
Ohio State standout E.J. Liddell fell to the No. 41 pick to the Pelicans. He had a first-round grade and has fallen into the second round. Duke's Trevor Keels dropped right in the laps of the Knicks at No. 42 overall. Baylor's Kendall Brown was expected to hear his name called in the first or early second round, he has to wait until the No. 48 pick.
For the complete list of players picked in the draft see the full draft tracker.
For the players who didn't hear their names called on Thursday, attention now shifts to the undrafted free agency pool. Here are the names who will look to sign with a team after the draft has concluded.
- Justin Lewis
- Dereon Seabron
- Michael Foster
- Dominick Barlow
- Jean Montero
- Alondes Williams
- Ron Harper Jr.
- Trevion Walker
NBA Draft prospects 2022: Best players still available in Round 1
The rankings below reflect original positions on Sporting News' big board of top 60 overall players. All analysis is from TSN's Kyle Irving.
Tier 1: The Big Four
1. Paolo Banchero, F, Duke (6-10, 235 lbs)
While he likely won't go first or second, Irving has Banchero as the number one player on his big board.
From Irving's evaluation:
At 6-10, 235 pounds, he has the perfect blend of an NBA-ready body and polished skill set, able to create his own shot and make plays for others. Banchero is a matchup nightmare with the potential to play the five in today's evolving outside-in NBA.
His biggest question mark is on the defensive end of the floor. If he can lock in to become a two-way player, Banchero has every opportunity to become a big-time star.
Tier 2: Likely top-10 picks
|Rank||Player||Position||Age||Class||Height/Weight||Team||Plays Like|5. Keegan Murray, F, Iowa (6-8, 215 lbs)
Irving has Murray as the headliner of this tier. Murray will certainly be in play for the likes of the Kings, Pistons or Pacers when they're on the clock. Murray has the skill set to fit in any system and could be a plus defender on day one in the NBA.
6. Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky (6-6, 200 lbs)
Sharpe may be the biggest question mark in the draft but his tools and skills are hard to deny. Irving likens Sharpe to last year's No. 2 overall pick Jalen Green. Sharpe could end up being a bucket early in his NBA tenure.
7. Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite (6-6, 180 lbs)
Irving calls Daniels the prospect who could be the best perimeter defender in the class. Length, energy, size and a year of seasoning with the G League Ignite could help Daniels come off the board early.
Tier 3: Rounding out the lottery
|Rank||Player||Position||Age||Class||Height/Weight||Team||Plays Like|10. Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin (6-5, 194 lbs)
We'll see the Taco Bell commercial featuring Davis quite a few times on ESPN tonight. Irving believes he can end up being a high-end role player on a championship team one day. Whoever selects Davis seems to be getting a ready-made pro.
13. Mark Williams, C, Duke (7-0, 245 lbs)
Irving likens Williams to Cavs big man Jarrett Allen, who is coming off a year where he was named an All-Star. There will be some interesting teams around this section of the draft who may be rushing to the podium with the Duke big man's name on a draft card.
14. Malaki Branham, F, Ohio State (6-5, 180 lbs)
Khris Middleton may be the most underrated player in the NBA today. Does that mean Branham is the most underrated prospect in the draft? The Ohio State wing was a late riser but could be the best scorer in this class.
Tier 4: Mid-to-late first-rounders
TyTy Washington, Nikola Jovic, Jaden Hardy and E.J. Liddell are names NBA fans are likely going to be accustomed to hearing next season. The mid-to-late tier on Irving's big board could have the league's next diamond in the rough.
Tier 5: Borderline first round picks
For the teams drafting late in the first round and early in the second, value will be the overused term on the draft telecast. Christian Braun is coming off a national championship with Kansas. Will he hear his name called in this range? Auburn's Walker Kessler plays like a young Brook Lopez according to Irving. Will that be enticing to a team looking for a rotational big?
Best of the rest
Canadians Andrew Nembhard and Caleb Houstan came into the college season with a lot of hype. Will they make an NBA front office look smart for getting value in the second round? Peyton Watson failed to live up to the expectations that were placed on him in his freshman year at UCLA. Will more space in the pros help him stand out?
Patrick Baldwin Jr.'s season at Milwaukee wasn't headline-worthy. Will he regain form in the league?
|40.||Justin Lewis||F||19||FR||6-7, 245 lbs.||Marquette||Nassir Little|
|42.||Dereon Seabron||F||22||SO||6-7, 180 lbs.||NC State||Gerald Green|
|47.||Michael Foster||F||19||–||6-9, 220 lbs.||G League Ignite||JaMychal Green|
|49.||Dominick Barlow||C||18||–||6-9, 214 lbs.||Overtime Elite||Precious Achiuwa|
|51.||Jean Montero||G||18||–||6-2, 170 lbs.||Overtime Elite||Dennis Schroder|
|52.||Alondes Williams||G||22||SR||6-5, 210 lbs.||Wake Forest||Delon Wright|
|54.||Ron Harper Jr.||F||22||SR||6-6, 245 lbs.||Rutgers||Nicolas Batum|
|55.||Trevion Williams||C||21||SR||6-10, 255 lbs.||Purdue||Xavier Tillman Sr.|