2022 NBA Draft: Knicks to climb to number 4, Chet Holmgren to have best career out of five bold predictions

The Golden State Warriors won the NBA title a week ago and now all eyes are on the 2022 NBA Draft set for Thursday night. Orlando Magic owns number 1 pick, followed by Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets. This is for now, of course. There may be a series of exchanges before the night is over.

With that in mind, let’s come to my five draft predictions as we count down for the upcoming Magic.

1. The Knicks will be traded up to number 4

There have been reports of Knicks looking to make it into the top five and Sacramento is an ideal match. The Knicks have been looking for a franchise leader / combo guard seemingly forever, and Jaden Ivey fits the bill. Sacramento already has De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell and is looking forward to putting together a playoff roster after swapping for Domantas Sabonis.

New York may send a few pieces in rotation, choice no. 11 this year and a future draft pick to level up for Ivey, who has a tempting talent but if you listen to most raters, it’s not a sure bet that Sacramento has to ignore positional overlap entirely.

I’m not sure if I agree with this move if it happens. I don’t think New York can send Sacramento anything that will change its playoff fortunes in an absolutely charged Western Conference next season, and the Kings should garner as much talent as possible. Ivey turning into a superstar after the Kings have already killed Luka Doncic in part for the right reasons would be an unfathomable disaster.

Also, I don’t think Davion Mitchell is a franchise point guard. It is a beautiful piece. A Gary Payton II type with a better score on the upside. This is a really good player, but good enough to trade a pick that could have knocked you down Ivey? I’m not sure. But what I think will happen and what I think should happen are two different things, and I think, ultimately, that New York needs to take this opportunity, and Sacramento is anxious enough to have a short view, especially if there is a player at the No. . 11 likes.

2. Chet Holmgren will have the best career

Holmgren is not the betting favorite to make it to number 1 overall (this distinction belongs to Jabari Smith), but the more I think about it the more I think Holmgren ends up having the best career of this 2022 class. He stands seven feet tall with guard skills. His defensive impact could be generational as a brim protector monster with what many describe as out-of-the-box instincts.

Plus, Holmgren has a lot of room to grow. Sometimes he wasn’t even an offensive focal point to Gonzaga. When he starts pulling the NBA bigs out as a potential 40 percent plus 3-point shooter and putting the ball down as a playmaker in space, combined with his defensive ability, Holmgren’s ceiling starts to look pretty high pretty quickly. .

3. Blazers will trade the number 7 with OG Anunoby

Portland managed to trade with Jeram Grant on Wednesday without giving up on choice # 1. 7. Yahoo Time Chris Haynes is reporting that the Blazers are looking to use that seventh pick to trade with Toronto’s OG Anunoby. I predict this deal will go up in smoke. It has come this far and Portland will add what it needs to push it over the top.

The Blazers to have to field a contender next season. Damian Lillard will be itchy. They traded CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, and Larry Nance Jr. to arm themselves with the resources to upgrade, particularly defensively, and the addition of Grant and Anunoby would be a huge step in the direction of contention. It’s too important to get stingy at the last second. That seventh pick does nothing for the Blazers right now, and that’s all Portland has to think about right now.

4. No surprises in the top three

There’s no real winning pick in this class, but that said, most of the teasing sees Jabari Smith going to # 1 on the Magic, followed by Chet Holmgren at Thunder and Paolo Banchero at Rockets. There is talk of an exchange at the top, but I don’t see that happening. I don’t think Jaden Ivey skips anyone in the top three. I don’t think Holmgren skips Smith as a surprise number 1, and Banchero was a pretty safe bet to go to Houston the second Christian Wood was traded.

Where there is a lot of smoke there is almost always fire. I would be shocked if Collins didn’t get traded, and being that Atlanta owns pick number 16 on Thursday night, that’s a pretty strong package. Once the Hawks make that choice, the real player becomes less valuable overall. He won’t rank equally on everyone’s scoreboard. He will come into play suitability / necessity with certain business partners. The Hawks want to win now, and Collins alone won’t get them to take enough of an impact player in exchange for being even an improvement over Collins himself. Atlanta needs to spice up that package and the No. 16 does.

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