As the NBA draft lottery came to a close, the Orlando Magic struck gold and were awarded the first overall selection in the 2022 draft. The Oklahoma City Thunder pick second and the Houston Rockets pick third. Having first-round draft picks for rebuilding teams is a dream come true, as these prospects may be the help your franchise has needed. Today, we take a look at the best fits for the top three teams in the 2022 NBA draft.
Orlando Magic-Chet Holmgren
When you look at the Orlando Magic’s roster, you’ll notice that they’ve filled many of the gaps where they need the greatest support. Last year, they upgraded their guard and forward positions by picking Gonzaga shooting guard, Jalen Suggs, and Michigan small forward, Franz Wagner.
The year before, they drafted North Carolina point guard Cole Anthony. The biggest thing they are lacking is a rim protector to pair with Wendell Carter Jr. That is where Gonzaga center, Chet Holmgren. The former Bulldog averaged nearly four blocks per game and can also hit a jumper when necessary.
Prepare for excitement at the Amway Center when you reunite him with his former AAU teammate Suggs. Orlando has a great history when it comes to drafting big men number one overall, and Holmgren could be the next player on that list.
Oklahoma City Thunder- Paolo Banchero
If you look at the Thunder roster; it’s overflowing with young, hungry talent, such as Shai Gilgeous Alexander and Josh Giddey. The two form a young, skilled backcourt combo for Oklahoma City. Because they want a fast-space offensive style, Paolo Banchero, who is speedy, should be a player to watch at second overall. When combined with their young core, the former Blue Devil will generate highlight reel-level offense.
He would quickly fit in with the youthful nucleus, forming a starting five capable of developing into one of the top teams in the league. Banchero could demonstrate his full versatility on a team like the Thunder.
Houston Rockets- Jabari Smith
When it comes to acquiring talent, the Houston Rockets have hit gold. They acquired the uber-talented Kevin Porter Jr. through trade, drafted shooting guard Jalen Green, and signed Christian Wood two years ago. While their team is nearly complete, they are missing one piece to complete the full rebuild.
The primary concern with their roster is the power forward position. Auburn’s Jabari Smith is the solution to those issues, bringing size, scoring, and rebounding skills.
Combining him with Woods will open up the offense and offer a variety of opportunities. Not only can he stretch the floor, but he can also drive to the hoop for a layup or a posterizing dunk. Fans will be jumping out of their seats in the Toyota Center if he is picked in June.