0 of 6
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images
We’re just days away from the 2022 NBA draft, which means teams are talking, rumors are spreading and information is being exchanged.
There is still a lot of discussion about who the Orlando Magic will take with the first overall pick. New questions about Chet Holmgren have also been raised.
Trades are also being discussed, starting with the Sacramento Kings at No. 4.
It’s not typical to hear anything concrete before draft week, so the next few days should include a lot more gossip.
1 of 6
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Since lottery night, opposing teams have largely predicted that the Orlando Magic will favor Jabari Smith at No. 1. However, over the past week, we’ve heard that the Magic are looking into Chet Holmgren. The idea that Orlando is considering him has gained traction.
Smith also trained for the Oklahoma City Thunder and spent several days with them. That suggests the Magic haven’t given him any guarantees of drafting him first.
Smith also worked out in Orlando.
There have also been questions about Holmgren’s willingness to undergo an NBA physical and heart. It’s unclear if he plans to do it or just has it for specific teams, but the idea that he’s trying to get closer to (or away from) certain teams is out there.
2 of 6
AP Photo/Denis Poroy
Teams don’t expect Bennedict Mathurin to overtake the New Orleans Pelicans at No. 8. Most people in the league think he’ll be off the board by then at the latest.
Strong and explosive at 6’6″ (in shoes) and a good shooting punch, Mathurin presumably looks great in a training environment. He’s more proven than Shaedon Sharpe, much more athletic than AJ Griffin and the scorer /more dangerous shooter compared to Dyson Daniels.
The Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers could all see Mathurin fitting in at the 2/3 spots. His range looks like numbers 4-7.
3 of 6
NCAA Handout/Photos via Getty Images
With Keegan Murray, Dyson Daniels and Bennedict Mathurin seemingly stuck in the top eight, AJ Griffin is thought to be vulnerable to slippage.
Even though Shaedon Sharpe never played a minute at Kentucky, most assume he offers too many upsides for teams to pass up in the 6-10 number range.
Meanwhile, not everyone has bought Griffin by offering more than shooting. In 39 games at Duke, he totaled 38 assists, 20 steals and 53 free throw attempts. That has raised questions about his lack of flurry and heavier feet to create, pass or defend.
While we haven’t received any word on Griffin’s medicals, his high school injury history is widely known. Griffin is on the board when the New York Knicks’ selection at No. 11 looks possible.
4 of 6
Paul Kane/Getty Images
Some believe that Ousmane Dieng is receiving consideration from lottery teams, with some even making the top 10.
He’s being viewed as a high-risk, high-reward pick, so believers may see an attractive upside at a range where most prospects project as role-players.
The idea of Dieng, a 6-foot-9 forward with shooting guard skills, was always more compelling than his production. But during the second half of his NBL season, he stringed together a series of touchdowns and shots, leading to al optimism about its development.
It seems the soonest Dieng could go is to the New Orleans Pelicans at No. 8 or the San Antonio Spurs at No. 9.
5 of 6
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images
Teams expect the Sacramento Kings to be discussing trades until they’re on the clock at No. 4.
At this stage, the price of the No. 4 pick is supposed to be high, although it would normally be days before the draft. That price is likely to drop as we get closer to 8pm on Thursday.
While Jaden Ivey is widely considered the fourth-best prospect in the draft, teams also say they should never expect anything when it comes to Sacramento. Shaedon Sharpe is thought of as a sleeper option if the Kings stay, though Keegan Murray is also presumed to gain consideration.
6 of 6
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
– Rival teams continue to think Jaden Ivey is a sleeper pick at No. 2 for the Oklahoma City Thunder, especially if Jabari Smith goes first. Even though Holmgren was considered No. 1, scouts still seem to share nerves about his body and his limited build for a No. 1 pick. Nobody sounds hesitant when it comes to Ivey. He wouldn’t be ideal for an OKC team that already has Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, so the belief that he’s an option at No. 2 may be more tied to a lack of confidence in Holmgren.
– Jake LaRavia has been invited back for several second workouts. The assumption is that he’s going somewhere in the ’20s. The general consensus is that he’s a highly-skilled, intelligent forward whose versatility ticks all the right boxes in today’s NBA.
– Andrew Nembhard could sneak into the 20s after winning teams during the NBA Combine. Although it was only one fight, he easily dominated second-round prospects with more freedom than Gonzaga.
– A shared belief has Johnny Davis on the draft floor at No. 10. Most expect the Washington Wizards to take him if he’s on the board and there isn’t another surprise drop.
– Scouts are hoping that teams drafting in their teens and 20s will make their picks available. Next year’s draft is expected to be one of the best in recent memory, so some non-lottery teams may go all-in on their 2022 picks if they can add another first round next year.
– There is an assumption that Dalen Terry will be a first-round pick, and word got out about him, allaying concerns about his shooting numbers during workouts. At 6’7″ with a wingspan of almost 7’1″, he is a unique player given the fact that he played point guard and defends the wings. Once the big names are off the board, being unique could have added value in this draft.