NBA Draft 2022: Ranking of the Most Intriguing Teams, from Knicks Trying to Push Through to Blazers Crucial Decision

NBA Draft 2022: Ranking of the Most Intriguing Teams, from Knicks Trying to Push Through to Blazers Crucial Decision

NBA Draft 2022: Ranking of the Most Intriguing Teams, from Knicks Trying to Push Through to Blazers Crucial Decision

The NBA Draft isn’t just about the players that get picked. Sure, we’re all excited to see which franchises get to call home those consensus top three prospects Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero, but there will be a lot more going on behind the scenes leading up to and during Thursday’s draft. .

There is no shortage of potential trades this year as there are several teams looking to buy their picks at the right price. We’ve seen in the past how concept day deals can change the NBA landscape, and with parity at an all-time high, there’s plenty of opportunity to take a big step and shake things up.

However, some franchises have more pressing needs than others, so we thought we’d rank the most intriguing teams heading into the 2022 NBA Draft.

The Blazers must quickly recreate a warring roster around Damian Lillard if they want him to stay long enough to eat Thanksgiving dinner in Portland, and the No. 7 pick in this draft probably won’t add immediate relief. The players in that streak could certainly develop into quality starters or more, but Lillard has stated he wants to win now, knowing the twilight of his prime is fast approaching.

That leaves Portland as a prime trade candidate, as it seems to dangle the pick for some win-now aid, according to NBA Insider Marc Stein. Expect the talk around the Blazers to reach insane levels as the draft gets closer, and if they can’t move the pick before Thursday, it could affect which player they select. While a prospect like Keegan Murray, if available, might be more NBA-ready, Portland might consider attacking someone like Shaedon Sharpe simply because he could be more interesting as a trading ship in the future. The Blazers have a lot of work to do to create a contender for the season, and it starts with how they handle the No. 7 pick.

Aside from a shocking surprise, the top three players in the draft will be Smith, Holmgren and Banchero in order. Most analysts have Purdue’s Jaden Ivey just a notch below that first tier, if not on par with the big men at the top. That poses an interesting conundrum at number 4 for the Kings, who moved all in on the De’Aaron Fox-Domantas Sabonis combination. Do they really want to bring in Ivey, another guard who needs the ball in his hands to fulfill his potential, or would they consider filling their gaping holes on the wing with a player like Keegan Murray or Ben Mathurin?

It doesn’t take much creativity to find the obvious alternative: Sacramento could trade with a team that covets Ivey (perhaps the Indiana Pacers at number 6) to collect a second trump, along with the player who bring them in. † The danger, of course, is that Ivey will turn into a generational superstar — and some reviewers think he could. Can you imagine a franchise that potentially passed one of the greatest players of all time on to a candidate they thought would be a better fit, and then saw that player single-handedly lead his team to the finals of the Western Conference as 23? year old, while missing the playoffs for the 16th consecutive season? No chance of that happening, right?

The unnamed Dallas Mavericks superstar may well be the exact reason the Kings just take Ivey at number 4. one of the most intriguing teams in design.

Most reports indicate that the Magic is leaning towards taking Smith in the draft with the best pick on Thursday, but it’s by no means guaranteed. When the prospects at the top are so close in terms of talent and advantage, you never know what will happen when a team is on the clock. Even if the Magic wants Smith, it would grope them to at least feign interest in Holmgren and/or Banchero. Let’s say the Thunder is in love with Holmgren at number 2 and gets the indication that the Magic could hook him on the first pick, OKC might be willing to give up an trump card to rise a spot and guarantee that they get their man, leaving Orlando takes Smith at number 2.

There are a lot of smoke screens moving towards the draft, so we’ll probably hear before Thursday that Orlando is interested in all three top executives, maybe even Ivey. We won’t know for sure who they’re taking, though, until they’ve made their choice (or one of the news breakers tweets it).

One of those teams in the mix to trade for Ivey is the New York Knicks, who were cited by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski as one that has expressed interest in making a deal with the Kings for the No. 4 pick. The Knicks have long been looking for a point guard, especially after the Kemba Walker takeover failed, and Ivey is considered a potential franchise changer with his skills and athleticism.

Obviously the Knicks would have to include their number 11 pick in the deal, but they would probably also have to give up some of their young talent such as Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes or Cam Reddish. The Kings might also be interested in some win-now help as they desperately try to make the playoffs. Julius Randle doesn’t seem logical, neither financially nor positionally, given the presence of Sabonis, but Alec Burks or Evan Fournier could interest a team with no wing depth.

The Knicks realized last season that their current roster probably isn’t enough to compete in the East, and by trading for a player like Ivey they could potentially get better now while still building the future. However, with a lot of competition from teams looking to rise, the price will be steep.

In terms of NBA-ready potential superstars, this is expected to be a four-player draft. The prospects among them are more regarded as future role players or projects that need a lot of development. Therefore, the real design intrigue at No. 5 begins with the Pistons, who already have a franchise cornerstone in last year’s No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham. They really can go either way — I’ll have them include Mathurin in my mock draft, while our draft experts Gary Parrish and Kyle Boone have them select Murray and Dyson Daniels, respectively. Detroit is in the midst of a remodel, so it will almost certainly not be considered suitable, but instead take the best available prospect on its plate.

Since there is no consensus on number 5, this is another team that might consider trading. Let’s say the Pistons love AJ Griffin, but know they can get him further in the draft. They could potentially find a team that has a crush on a prospect like Shaedon Sharpe, one of the more seductive players in the draft, and fear they won’t be able to get them into their position. That would be a great time for CEO Troy Weaver to dive in, collect an asset to go down, and still get the man they want. Draft Wizardry 101.

Stein reports that the Grizzlies are “trying their best to move up the draft,” which is an intriguing development for a team that finished last season with the second-best record in the NBA. They have their own pick at number 29, as well as the number 22 from Utah, which could be a nice combination for a team in the low lottery or the teens who just aren’t fond of prospects in that range.

Last year, the Grizzlies switched from number 17 to number 10 and made a relatively surprising choice with Ziaire Williams, who started 31 games as a rookie and played crucial minutes in the playoffs. With the young core they already have, adding another lottery talent would make the Grizzlies even scarier — not just next season, but in the future.

Charlotte has the 13th and 15th picks, but they are not expected to keep them both. This team is now looking to compete, as evidenced by their impending coaching change, and will face a massive financial commitment to Miles Bridges and ultimately to LaMelo Ball this summer. That means they probably don’t want to pay two first round picks that might not help right away, so one of them is probably for sale to the highest bidder. Pacers center Myles Turner could be a target with number 15, according to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, but whether it’s Indiana or any other team getting involved, the Hornets will be a team to watch as draft approaches .

If the Wizards keep their pick, it will be fascinating to see who they draft. If they go for a more NBA-ready player like Ochai Agbaji or Mark Williams, it could be an indication that they are committed to the Bradley Beal-Kristaps Porzingis foundation. If they go for a younger player or a project like Ousmane Dieng, that could be an indication that they have one eye on the future.

The Wizards are also intriguing because, like so many other teams, they are said to have made their choice. They’re looking for a guard to put next to Beal and Porzingis, according to Stein, and they’re not afraid to part with number 10 to do it. Any team with a guard left who is interested in moving up the ranks would be wise to contact the Washington front office.