That's it, folks...
Well, not quite. There is the second round, which may have the next Nikola Jokic/Khris Middleton/Isaiah Thomas, but to claim I have any familiarity with any of the second round draft class is simply not true.
Thank you, and good night!
That's the first 30!
What are your thoughts so far? Here are three things that have surprised me:
1. Banchero taking the first pick
2. Oklahoma trading away picks and seemingly preparing to develop what they have
3. Portland going from what looked like a rebuild, to a Lillard-Sharpe-Grant trio
Final picks of the 1st round
#23 - David Roddy to Memphis (traded from 76ers)
#24 - MarJon Beauchamp to Bucks
#25 - Blake Wesley to Spurs
#26 - Wendell Moore Jr to Dallas
#27 - Nikola Jovic to Miami (read it again - and yes, he is Serbian!)
#28 - Patrick Baldwin Jr to Golden State
#29 - TyTy Washington Jr to Memphis
#30 - Peyton Watson to Oklahoma
Hopefully these players will make solid contributions to their respective teams, but perhaps more as role players.
One notable selection here is Golden State, taking Patrick Baldwin Jr. This is a surprise pick, but we know that they like to take the unusual options in the draft, and to-date it has paid off (Steph, Klay, Dray, ...).
The first picks outside the lottery
#15 - Mark Williams to Charlotte
#16 - A.J. Griffin to Atlanta
#17 - Tari Eason to Houston
#18 - Dalen Terry to Chicago
#19 - Jake LaRavia to Minnesota
#20 - Malaki Branham to San Antonio
#21 - Christian Braun to Denver
#22 - Walker Kessler to Memphis
I like the 15-22 range, because you normally get one or two players that shine and make it big in the NBA. I've got my eyes on Mark Williams and A.J. Griffin here.
Another Jalen taken in the draft
After being drafted at #13 by the Charlotte Hornets, Memphis prospect Jalen Duren has been traded to the Detroit Pistons for a 2025 first-round pick.
Soon after, the Cavaliers selected Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji at #14.
Have Oklahoma won tonight's draft already?
OKC to take picks #11 and #12?
Frenchman Ousmane Dieng is taken by the Knicks. OKC take Santa Clara's guard Jalen Williams (who, by the way, has such a big wing-span it was measured 13 times at the draft combine). OKC plans to trade multiple first-round picks for Dieng. Is this a sign that Oklahoma is finally ready to start building their young team rather than breeding through multiple picks in the draft?
Picks 11-14 predictions
11. Jalen Duren - New York Knicks
12. Mark Williams - Oklahoma City Thunder
13. A.J. Griffin - Charlotte Hornets
14. Ochai Agbaji - Cleveland Cavaliers
Two overseas picks made by NOLA and Spurs, Wizards pick young PG
Dyson Daniels sweeped up by New Orleans at #8
Jeremy Sochan taken by San Antonio at #9
How well do you think these overseas prospects will perform next year?
Meanwhile, in what has so far been a frontcourt-heavy draft, Washington take Wisconsin's young point guard Johnny Davis at #10.
Where are the trades?
After several trade rumours including the likes of Kyrie Irving, Rudy Gobert and OG Anunoby, there have not been any trades yet. Do you also find this surprising?
Good company for Banchero
Pacers and Blazers make their picks
Indiana take Bennedict Mathurin at #6, and the Blazers select Shaedon Sharpe at #7. These are exactly the two prospects I think GMs are sleeping on (see below!).
One for the UK fans!
It's not common to see British players make it to the NBA, but MK-raised Jeremy Sochan looks to be one of the best overseas prospects in this NBA draft.
Picks 6-10 predictions
6. Dyson Daniels - Indiana Pacers
7. Bennedict Mathurin - Portand Trail Blazers
8. Shaedon Sharpe - New Orleans Pelicans
9. Johnny Davis - San Antonio Spurs
10. Jalen Duren - Washington Wizards
Ivey selected at #5 by Detroit
This is scary. Detroit possess quite some athleticism having picked up Jaden Ivey to partner up with the #1 pick from last year, Cade Cunningham.
Will the Magic and Thunder end up regretting their decisions?
Kings select Keegan Murray with pick #4
This is perhaps a surprising choice, as most were expecting the Kings to select Ivey (who will now almost certainly be picked next). But the Iowa sophomore has a lot to offer to the organisation, and it has been rumoured he already has a good rapport with now-teammates Fox and Haliburton.
As expected, Smith goes at #3
The Houston Rockets select Jabari Smith Jr with the third pick. After trading away Christian Wood, he could really be a central piece for the organisation, and we could see the new dynamic duo with Jalen Green.
Thoughts about Paolo
I did not expect to see Banchero going to the magic, but I think it demonstrates the team want to provide an offense-first play style. Banchero is a Carmelo Anthony-esque player. I think the magic could be formidable under the direction of Jamahl Mosley, especially if Jonathan Isaac can make a return to the NBA anytime soon.
The unicorn Chet Holmgrem is selected by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Let's see if he can withstand the physicality of the NBA.
Banchero goes #1
The magic select Paolo Banchero out of Duke University! It will be interesting to see what he can offer to the team.
On the clock: Orlando Magic
Adam Silver has set the timer for the magic. They have five minutes, possibly to alter their future for the better and put the past decade of failures in the shadows.
Picks 1-5: predictions
These may not come as a surprise!
1. Jabari Smith Jr - Orlando Magic
2. Chet Holmgren - OKC Thunder
3. Paolo Banchero - Houston Rockets
4. Jaden Ivey - Sacramento Kings
5. Keegan Murray - Detroit Pistons
Five minutes to go!
It's almost time to put the speculation to rest and see who will be leading the franchises of the future.
The illusive top three
I like this take. One thing is for certain: magic will not be taking a guard and they are looking at the "big three", Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr and Paolo Banchero. Among the bookies, NBA analysts, and casual fans at large, I have seen every permutation of these three names and they change every minute. But there is only one player who seems to present no major weakness, and that is Jabari Smith Jr.
A look at this year's prospects
Great question, Curtis. The drafts of late have all have consensus number one picks. If you look at Cade Cunningham, Anthony Edwards and Zion Williamson, you see not only that they have already made their name known in the pros, but they have established themselves as the focal point of their respective rosters.
(Yes, I know Zion has been out for a while, but take a look at some of his recent media!)
This year, the theme seems to be unpredictability. Just as one example, Chet Holmgren has a ceiling as high as Kevin Durant's, yet he could easily be a bust.
Who do I think GMs are sleeping on? A couple of names pop out to me: Bennedict Mathurin; Shaedon Sharpe. Mathurin is a work-horse. He's reportedly been (pleasantly) surprising every team he has worked out for. Sharpe is a recent draftee, having initially intended to redshirt for Kentucky and play college ball for a year. Most teams are worried whether or not he's NBA-ready yet. But if he is, he could easily be a dark-horse candidate for Rookie of the Year.
Excitement and anticipation
Indeed, I am. I have my magic hat on, and am excited to find out who else will be putting on a cap for Orlando. Will it be Chet? Will it be Jabari? Or might Paolo lace up and put on the pinstripes? Let me know what you think.
And the countdown begins...
Under an hour to go now until we tip off the NBA Draft 2022. I will be covering the build-up, the trades, the selections and all of the other craziness that this night will have to offer.