Lhe Draft ceremony is actually the gateway to a new season. With the arrival of the new rookies in the League, the starting signal for the 2022-23 campaign was also given, when just a few days ago we saw how the Warriors won the 2022 ring. Then the free agent market will come, the transfer operations, the preseason, and the regular league again. And everything will have started, like every year, with the Draft ceremony.
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn celebrates for the ninth time in its history the meeting of the greatest basketball prospects who hope to hear their name as soon as possible. It will be at dawn from Thursday to Friday and, as on all previous occasions, the pools place the favorites in the top positions. Jabari Smith jr. and Chet Holmgren are fighting for the option of being chosen with the number 1. One of the two will be the first to go out to greet Adam Silver.
But, as in all elections, it is convenient to take into account other names that throughout the year will acquire their prominence.
1. Jabari Smith (FW-Pvot)
Auburn University, 2.08
Statistics: 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 blocks, 1.1 steals, 42% shooting, 42% triples.
For much of the year he has been the player who has ranked number 1 in most specialized Draft portals, but much more so when it became known that number 1 would be chosen by the Orlando Magic. He is a great scorer, the best shooter in this Draft, capable of shooting in many different ways, coming off screens or making his own shots. He is a player with an excellent physique who has shown good defensive manners.
2. Chet Holmgren (Flange-pvot/pvot)
Gonzaga University, 2.13
Statistics: 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 3.7 blocks, 0.8 steals, 60% shooting, 39% triples.
For many, he is the favorite to be chosen number 1, although the Magic could opt for Jabari Smith. Called the unicorn of this Draft because of his height, he is a seven-footer, though his weakness is that he barely weighs 200 pounds. He is a modern pvot, one of those who go out to shoot threes and are an outside threat, but he has to acquire pure pvot fundamentals. The problems he had with fouls in the game in which his team was eliminated in the NCAA Final Four, he missed the last three and a half minutes, could take their toll on him in this election. He is a very good defender and distributes the ball very well. He is a player with a great collective mentality.
3. Paolo Banchero (wing-pvot)
Duke University, 2.08
Statistics: 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.9 blocks, 1.1 steals, 47% shooting, 34% triples.
A great defender and more than remarkable attacker, Paolo Banchero has extraordinary footwork that allows him to function very well in the paint. Although in the NBA, more than a five, he is going to have to occupy the ‘4’ position and that is why he must improve his shot at different ranges on the field. Although he was born in Seattle, he is of Italian origin and has already stated that he wants to play for the ‘Azurra’ team.
4. Jaden Ivey (Shooting)
Purdue University, 1.93.
Statistics: 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.6 blocks, 0.9 steals, 46% shooting, 35% triples.
There are forecasts that place him as number 3 in this Draft and others that involve him in transfers such as Keegan Murray’s. He is an electric player who seems to be ready to play in the NBA from minute 1. He is capable of scoring from various outside positions, including three. He is compared, saving the distances, with Dwyane Wade or Ja Morant.
5. Keegan Murray (FW-pvot)
University of Iowa, 2.03.
Statistics: 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.9 blocks, 1.3 steals, 55% shooting, 39% triples.
In the NBA he will become an excellent small ball forward, although his excellent shot will also make him shine as a power forward. Murray is a very solid player capable of doing many things on the court, even if he lacks the talent to move up a few more places in the Draft. he has fluttered all year in the top 5. The fact that the Kings choose in fourth place gives him options gives him options to move up a spot on Draft night with a transfer, for example, with Jaden Ivey.
6. Benedict Mathurin (Shooting)
University of Arizona, 2.00
Statistics: 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.3 blocks, 1.0 steals, 45% shooting, 36% 3-point shooting.
The Canadian has led one of the best scoring teams in the NCAA, which shows his offensive talent, which is a lot. He will have to work, among other things, on his consistency, but it can be a bet that he will contribute soon to the team he falls into.
7. Dyson Daniels (Shooting guard/Forward)
G League Ignite (Australia), 200
Statistics: 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.7 blocks, 1.9 steals, 44.9% shooting, 25.5% triples.
Australian by birth, Daniels will in all likelihood be the first player in this Draft not born in the US, nor raised in college basketball. Coming from the Australian G League, he is a very powerful player for the position he plays. He is a good rebounder for an outside player and rides attacking transitions very well. He has good penetration ability and ability to move in the area traffic.
8. Jalen Duren (Pvot)
University of Memphis, 2.10
Statistics: 12.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 2.1 blocks, 0.8 steals, 59% shooting.
Duren is a physical marvel reminiscent of the young Dwight Howard who came to the NBA, or the Grant Williams who has shone for the Celtics. At 18, he is one of the most interesting prospects in this Draft because of his ability to finish plays and his defensive instincts. It is true that the pure pvots do not have a good poster today, but Duren is a luxury that should not be missed by a team from the middle of the selection. He the youngest of the Draft players.
9. Shaedon Sharpe (Shooting)
University of Kentucky, 1.98
He didn’t play this season as he signed up at Kentucky in January. He is a player who has everything to succeed in the NBA but who is surrounded by a mystery regarding his ability to concentrate and his intensity that make him a risky bet for any team. He is rated as the best outside shooter among the youngest high school projects.
10. Adrian Griffin Jr. (Forward)
Duke University, 1.99
Statistics: 10.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.6 blocks, 0.5 steals, 49% shooting, 44% 3-point shooting.
Athletic, active and very strong, Griffin is a good shooter who can play inside because he handles contact very well. He is a great threat from the arc of 3 and his body seems designed to play in the NBA. He is very talented, but his long history with injuries will make some teams not want to bet on him.
Other names to consider: Jeremy Sochan, Ousmane Dieng, Johnny Davis, Mark Williams and Jalen Williams.