NBA 2022 Draft: Debate Case for Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith or Jaden Ivey as Prospect No.

Who is the # 1 potential customer in the 2022 NBA Draft?

We’ll find out on Thursday night who the Orlando Magic are value as the # 1 pick as they select the overall top spot for the first time since 2004, but there is far from a consensus view at the top of this draft among NBA front offices. And the same goes for our team of experts. In our final top 100 rankings Consisting of a consensus drawn from the charts of CBS Sports experts Gary Parrish, Matt Norlander, David Cobb and myself, along with Adam Finkelstein and Travis Branham of 247Sports, there were four different players who scored at number 1.

So who is the # 1 prospect in the 2022 NBA Draft?

Scouts have their own opinions but our math in the consensus rankings determined that Chet Holmgren deserved the honor – but under each of us he declared our cases for our choice as pro prospect No. 1 in this year’s draft. Here’s who among us had the top spot and why, as we approach Thursday night’s draft with a wide range of views on the top of the class.

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The case of Chet Holmgren

I understand the arguments that Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, and even Jaden Ivey would have gone first overall in the 2022 NBA Draft. I don’t think any of these are ridiculous options. But I still sincerely believe that Holmgren is the best prospect available this year, which is why I also believe Orlando should take him with pick number 1. He is an elite circle protector in defense who can float on offense, bounce, pull and generally exploit matchups.

If a traditional big man protects him, he can probably get around it. If a smaller player protects him, he can definitely shoot him. Am I worried about the light frame? Sure, on some level, I suppose. But as ESPN’s Jonathon Givony noted on a recent podcast, how many great prospects have failed to achieve greatness just because they’re too skinny? He couldn’t think of anyone. Me neither. So I assume Holmgren’s unique abilities will allow him to overcome his unique structure and ultimately emerge as the best player from this draft. – Gary Parrish

Holmgren has the highest ceiling in the project, in my opinion. Change the clearance on both ends of the floor. There are simply not many 7 feet anywhere in the world that can protect the rim, stretch the floor and still provide such an efficient interior finishing presence. He is also a better ball manager and passer than I think some people give him credit for. But beyond all this, I’m just a big believer in his mentality and that inner toughness. I know he has to build his body, but if there’s one thing that all NBA teams have figured out how to do at an exceptionally high level, it’s that. Adam Finkelstein

We know the whole world is questioning his physique, but the truth is that Holmgren has never had a history of injuries or has shown that his lack of strength is a real hindrance. You won’t be able to throw it at the Joel Embiids of the world, but no one can throw anything at it. In four or five years, we could legitimately refer to him as one of the faces of the League with his ability to dribble, pass and shoot unlike any we’ve seen due to his size and length coupled with the fact that he’s a defender. elite and rim protection. Travis Branham

I understand the allure of Smith and Banchero, but for me Holmgren’s lead is a notch above. Smith lacks directing potential: Holmgren can blossom beautifully in that department. Banchero suspicion as a 3-point shooter and in defense: Holmgren has a sweet shot and is one of the best circle protection prospects we’ve ever seen. I don’t even understand the boisterous delusions about the one-body type. Holmgren has been able to stand up to the strongest players throughout his life and the NBA rules will continue to evolve in his favor. He has already shown that he can perform at the highest level in amateur basketball and also has more room to improve in the top three potential customers. Add it all up, and that definitely sounds like the best player in the draft class. Colin Ward-Henninger

The case of Paolo Banchero


Whether it’s on, Eye on College Basketball, or CBS Sports HQ, I’ve explained my stance on having Banchero No. 1 on my big board in the past few weeks. But here, right against the project, once again, with feeling. Banchero is the most sensible choice of any player in this class because he is the most developed and proven talent. His numbers at Duke, with several other first rounds in the starting lineup, were beyond satisfying: 17.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.2 apg for the nation’s top-rated offensive team, according to

Banchero was a 2-point shooter by 52,% and a 3-point shooter by 33.8%. No one in this draft has Banchero’s combination of size + skill + touch + passing skill + game creation + rebounding skill + competitive advantage. He has an above average handle, he can work the pole, shoot from over the arc and he’s not a black hole. The hesitation with him at # 1 stems from the fact that he’s not potentially harmful to a 3-point shooter like Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, and even Jaden Ivey are. But he can still shoot him. In defense, he has more ground to make up for. No one is ready to play in the NBA tomorrow like Banchero, though, and I think he’ll eventually prove himself to be an All-Star multiple times by the end of his second contract. – Matt Norlander

The case of Jaden Ivey


There are more confident prospects at the top of this class (Smith Jr.) and even bigger boom / bust propositions (Holmgren), but none possess the rare combination of explosive athleticism and creation skills that Ivey has in this draft. It is a human firecracker that can burst to the edge. He has the potential to become a true top guard to the next level if he continues to develop and improve as a decision maker.

At worst it can be a rhythm change initiator whose dynamic explosiveness helps to alleviate the burden of start option No. 1 of a team. I’d take him number 1 out of everyone in this class if his directing improved even marginally, if not substantially, and his improvement as a shooter over the past year bodes very well for him as a flowering star entering the NBA. Kyle Boone

The case of Jabari Smith Jr.


What most clearly separates Smith from Banchero, Holmgren, and others as the top pick at number 1 in the 2022 NBA Draft is his elite outside shot. At 6-10 and scoring 3 points of 42% on 5.5 attempts per game in his only season at Auburn, Smith projects himself as an excellent long-term shooter to the next level. While Banchero and Holmgren each showed a range from the perimeter in their solo college seasons, neither project as elite in any aspect of the game, much like Smith does as an outdoor shooter.

Given that Smith also boasts an excellent defensive upside and a flowering portfolio in creating attacking shots, he’s the safest bet of the bunch to someday become an NBA All-Star. With promising young guards like Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony distributing basketball in Orlando, Smith would make an excellent addition to the main Magic group. While it may take years for Smith to reach his full potential, it’s easy to see him become the Magic’s top scorer early in his career thanks to the light touch he’ll bring to the league on day one. David Cobb

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