In just three weeks, every team in the NBA will be looking to improve their futures with the 2022 NBA Draft.
This year’s draft is scheduled for June 23, and the Orlando Magic have a lot of talent on the draft list, and they will scrutinize the No. 1 overall pick they won through the NBA draft lottery last month.
This year, there doesn’t appear to be a “clear” favorite for who is the best overall prospect in the draft class, but the Magic are eyeing Jabari Smith Jr. from Auburn, sources told SI Fastbreak.
At about 6-foot-10 and with a wingspan that’s close to 7-2, Smith has a unique ability to score and the potential to defend just about any position.
Arguably the most talented scorer at the top of the draft, Jabari Smith has the opportunity to quickly develop into the All-Star offensive talent in the league that Orlando desperately needs at any forward position right now.
Several league executives expect the Magic to prioritize Smith within a few weeks, opening the door to the possibility of a move in the draft.
If Jabari Smith does become the first player in the 2022 NBA draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder will face a battle between Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Paul Banchero Big decision in the draft.
Every player has fans in the Thunder’s frontcourt, and Holmgren fulfills more of this team’s current frontcourt needs. If Oklahoma City ends up getting Chet Holmgren’s No. 2 overall pick, the Houston Rockets will get everything they’ve always wanted for Duke’s Paul Banchero throughout the draft process.
Banchero has been on Houston’s radar for a long time, and if they end up with the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery, multiple NBA scouts say the Rockets would strongly consider putting Paul Banchero first , not Smith and Holmgren.
While anything could change in the coming weeks leading up to the 2022 NBA draft, the Magic, Thunder and Rockets all seem to have a clear idea of who their top pick is.
For the Magic, Jabari Smith Jr. now checks more boxes for them, which is why he’s expected to be the third overall pick in Orlando Magic history.
Sacramento Kings draft plan
This year’s draft is expected to start with the No. 4 overall pick currently held by the Sacramento Kings.
Finding ways to build now and potentially make the playoffs in 2022-23, ending what is now a 16-year playoff drought, the Kings are expected to aggressively buy their picks ahead of the 2022 NBA draft, sources said.
Talented players such as Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana Pacers), Julius Randle (New York Knicks), John Collins (Atlanta Hawks) and Jerami Grant (Detroit Pistons) In league circles with the Kings and their fourth overall pick in this Finals. year’s draft. As of now, no formal trade offers have been made for the draft pick involving any of the aforementioned players.
Kings general manager Monte McNair is expected to work closely with newly hired head coach Mike Brown after the 2022 NBA Finals to understand how the organization needs to build their roster this offseason. Sacramento already has a blueprint of plans that focus on De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, and they’re not afraid to make big moves, either before or during the draft.
As of now, all players except De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and Davene Mitchell are said to be available for trade talks with the Kings.
There was a recent mention of the New York Knicks as a team that is very interested in advancing in the draft, which likely has something to do with their interest in Purdue’s Jaden Ivey.
If New York is proactive in this year’s draft, Sacramento will definitely be interested in an offer from the Knicks, especially if Randle comes up in trade discussions.
Fallout Continues to Form in Utah
Years of lack of success in the playoffs have begun to take a toll on the Utah Jazz as an organization. Not only does All-Star Donovan Mitchell hang in the balance with the team’s long-term future, but the futures of All-Star center Rudy Gobert and head coach Quin Snyder hang over the heads of Jazz front office.
While some in Utah’s front office have questioned Gobert’s longevity alongside Mitchell and his ability to potentially elevate the Jazz to Western title contention, the current league-wide expectation is that Utah will keep it all — unless the general manager Manager Justin Zanick and owner Ryan Smith have had a dramatic change in the otherwise star talent.
The focus of this team is on head coach Quin Snyder and whether he will actually be the Jazz head coach heading into the 2022-23 season. Not much has been said about Snyder’s thoughts, but the possibility of him leaving the Jazz next season is very real.
From a league-best record in 2020-21 to a first-round playoff loss this year, it has put a lot of pressure on everyone associated with the Utah Jazz, and Snyder has been at the forefront of the discussion.
Utah wants to keep their head coach, though, and ESPN reports that the team did offer their head coach a new extension recently. No decision has been made and negotiations are expected to continue into the offseason.
As for what this roster will look like next year, the Jazz are expected to find ways to surround Donovan Mitchell with other capable scorers and facilitators. Veteran point guard Mike Conley is said to be on the trade market, but the 34-year-old has received little interest across the league, especially since he will receive a portion of $22.7 million in 2022-23 that guarantees him a 2023 deal. – Clause has been added to the deal for season 24.
Royce O’Neal and Rudy Gay are two veterans who are likely to move to teams that currently have trade exceptions that add up to the value of their respective contracts.
The Jazz have no picks in the upcoming 2022 NBA draft and are already projected to be a tax-paying team, while they currently have a roster heading into the offseason.
Additional notes and rumors from the NBA:
boston celtics – Third-year forward Grant Williams is looking to renew his rookie contract this offseason and he wants to stay in Boston long-term, sources told SI Fastbreak. Williams has been a breakout contributor off the bench for the Celtics in the playoffs.
Dallas Mavericks – Jaylen Brunson and the Dallas Mavericks have a mutual interest in reaching a new deal this offseason. Dallas can offer the most money for Brunson when he hits free agency this summer, and they’ve proven they’re a serious threat in the Western Conference this season.
Miami Heat – Team president Pat Riley and the Miami Heat’s front office have already begun preparing for what they see as an offseason that is critical to the franchise. The Heat still believe their All-Star trio of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry can make it to the NBA Finals, but many in the league are expecting Miami to ask Washington Wizards All-Star Blair Deli Beale and Utah Jazz All-Star Availability – Offseason star Donovan Mitchell.
Philadelphia 76ers – The Sixers front office has no interest in moving former first-round pick Tyrese Maxey at this time, even if Philadelphia could acquire another All-Star in a trade to pair with James Harden and Joel Embiid. However, interest in Bradley Beal from 76ers management remains high.
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