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NBA Draft - US Sports: The Review

24 June 2022 10:12:04 EST
The 2022 NBA Draft took place overnight on Thursday

The 2022 NBA Draft took place overnight on Thursday and it is fair to say there were a few twists and turns during the biggest event of the offseason.


 
Orlando Magic surprised everyone with their first pick, while there were plenty of rumoured trades and moves that just didn't happen.

Don't worry if you missed the action unfold because we've put together this handy recap!

Magic swerve Smith and plump for Banchero with No 1 2022 NBA Draft pick

Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith Jr and Chet Holmgren were always going to be the first three players selected, and most pundits thought they had the order in which that was going to happen locked in as well.

Orlando had the No1 pick and after courting Smith over the last few weeks he seemed certain to end up in Florida - although some analysts thought Holmgren, who spent one season with Gonzaga before declaring for the draft, could be their preferred option - but instead the Magic went for Duke product Banchero.

Banchero didn't work out with the Magic before the draft and as such many felt he simply wasn't on their radar.  Whether or not they were always planning to select the 19-year-old, or if this was a last-minute call, will perhaps never really be known - but Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman indicated he was indeed the player they were targeting.

"When you're playing poker, you don't put your cards on the table, right?" He said, as reported by Sky Sports.

OKC take Holmgren, as Houston land Smith

Holmgren always looked the best fit for Oklahoma City Thunder and they selected him with their No 2 pick, before Houston went for Smith.

The Rockets may well have thought Banchero would be their big capture, but Smith has plenty of attributes that should see him fit in well with the Rockets, even if he isn't perhaps as polished as the player who ultimately ended up being the first selected.

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Kings make surprise Murray move

After the big three names were gone, Sacramento Kings were widely expected to select Jaden Ivey but instead they moved for Keegan Murray.

Ivey was clearly the best guard available but the Kings seem to feel they have enough backcourt talent already so instead they opted for Murray.

Ivey wasn't necessarily a great fit for the Kings anyway and perhaps they feel Murray is a player who could become a key man in their team.  However, Ivey would have been a useful bargaining chip in any potential trade talks over the summer and as such it is a surprise that they avoided the Purdue product.

The fifth pick then went to Detroit and they went for Ivey, which was no surprise to anyone given their public interest in the 20-year-old.

British representative in the 2022 NBA Draft top 10

San Antonio Spurs used their No 9 pick to bring in Jeremy Sochan after one season with Baylor.

Sochan was born in Oklahoma but spent much of his life in England before committing to Baylor, and he joins a franchise in the middle of a rebuild under the guidance of the NBA's longest serving coach Gregg Popovich.

Fairly quiet on the trade front

There were some huge deals expected to happen during the draft but in the end it was a quiet night for the league's established stars.

Rudy Gobert was thought to be heading for a move away from Utah Jazz and in the build-up he removed any mention of the Jazz from his Instagram profile, a sure sign a trade could have been on the cards.  
 
As it stands, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year is still a Utah player, but chances are he won't be when the new campaign gets underway.

Other names who could have moved on include Julius Randle, Malcolm Brogdon and even Kyrie Irving but they are still with the teams they were contracted to last season.

That does mean free agency could be more entertaining, however, with Randle widely expected to leave New York Knicks, Brogdon could be used as a makeweight by the Indiana Pacers as they bid to improve their roster, while it remains to be seen if Irving will try and force his way out of Brooklyn or stick around for another shot at the championship with Kevin Durant.

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