The 2022 NBA Draft Lottery is officially in the books. From current NBA stars Damian Lillard and Domantas Sabonis to legends like David Robinson and Richard Hamilton, the televised event provided plenty of good entertainment. And now, the Orlando Magic are officially on the clock ahead of the June 23rd draft. Who will go first?
Will it be Jabari Smith? The 6’10” forward out of Auburn University has been penciled into the No. 1 spot for months now after bursting onto the scene during his 2021-22 freshman season. It’s easy to see his fit and the potential immediate impact he could have playing alongside Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs on the Magic. Smith has Tipico Sportsbook’s shortest odds (-105) to go first overall in the draft.
The same goes for Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, whose odds are only slightly longer than Smith’s (+130). Standing at 7’0” with a 7’6” wingspan, Holmgren offers a slightly different style of play than the few other players that have realistic chances to be drafted ahead of him. He ranked 4th in the NCAA in blocks per game (3.66) during his only collegiate season and brings a higher upside as a defender than arguably anyone else in the draft.
Paolo Banchero rounds out the top-3 shortest odds (+300). Maybe not the sure-thing No. 1 pick that he was entering the 2021-22 college basketball season, Banchero still has solid odds at going first. He’s drawn comparisons to guys like Blake Griffin, Julius Randle, and David West, which should give you an idea of Banchero’s skill, athleticism, and physical gifts.
The list of potential No. 1 picks grows longer in odds from there, with Purdue’s Jaden Ivey being next in line (+3000). A lot could change between now and June 23rd, but it seems that Magic’s first overall pick could land one of three players.