The 2022 NBA Draft is set to take place on Thursday, and a number of teams at the top of the draft will hope that they can bring in impact players that can change their fortune for years to come.
While there are obviously excellent players throughout the draft, many NBA Draft experts believe that there is a very defined top-three list of prospects in Auburn forward Jabari Smith, Gonzaga forward Chet Holmgren, and Duke forward Paolo Banchero.
These three have long been the top prospects in the draft class, and it now appears that there may be a clearly defined order that they will be selected.
NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Thursday morning that there is an “increasingly firm” order for how these three prospects will be taken. He says Smith will likely be headed to the Orlando Magic (who won the draft lottery in May, as seen above), Holmgren to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Banchero to the Houston Rockets.
As team boards finalize today, the 1-2-3 of the NBA Draft is increasingly firm, per sources: Jabari Smith to Orlando, Chet Holmgren to Oklahoma City and Paolo Banchero to Houston.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 23, 2022
This report from Wojnarowski was far different than the odds initially suggested Tuesday morning, with sportsbooks initially listing Banchero as a -200 favorite to go first overall to the Magic.
A VERY interesting situation.
Books moved Paolo Banchero to -200 to go 1st overall this morning.
Minutes later @wojespn announces what he believes is the solidification of the top 3.
Almost all NBA draft markets have been suspended.
— Covers (@Covers) June 23, 2022
These reports obviously carry a ton of merit, and sportsbooks have flipped to Smith now being the overwhelming favorite to be selected with the first overall pick.
2022 NBA Draft Odds:
Number 1 Overall Pick
Jabari Smith (-3500)
Number 2 Overall Pick
Chet Holmgren (-3500)
Number 3 Overall Pick
Paolo Banchero (-1050)
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 23, 2022
Many are conflicted regarding Wojnarowski’s reports, believing that he should not have reported this and left some suspense as to who will be taken at what pick.
Hilarious that Woj is ruining ratings for the NBA Draft at his own company https://t.co/KjCqr9cMr0
— Jake Asman (@JakeAsman) June 23, 2022
Lol what is even the point of the draft anymore, should just stick Woj and Shams in a ring the day before and let them fight to break the picks https://t.co/moQ33m41LL
— Aaron West (@oeste) June 23, 2022
Woj is that kid whose parents would let them stay out late on a school night to go to the midnight premiere of a movie then spoil the whole thing to everyone in class the next day. https://t.co/8WXP2elrsi
— Junior Maruwa (@juniormaruwa) June 23, 2022
— Tyler Parker (@tylrparkr) June 23, 2022
This is lame. Don’t ruin the draft by announcing picks 10 hours before it even happens. https://t.co/QPVtTUIJnP
— Austin Nelson (@iaustinnelson) June 23, 2022
While there is still time for teams to change their decision, it appears that the top three teams in the NBA Draft may have their guy decided on with time counting down before they need to make their selection.
[Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter; photo from David Banks/USA Today Sports]