NBA Draft Preview: Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero Expected First Picks

The NBA draft is less than a week away. With the NBA season ending and the Golden State Warriors cementing themselves as a league dynasty, it’s time to take a closer look at who the stars of the future will be in the league.

Jabari Smith Jr. seen on the court during an LSU Aubrun game on Dec. 29, 2021. The Orlando Magic’s first overall pick is expected to go for the Auburn alum. (Image: Ashton Scott/ The Auburn Plainsman)

The Warriors, led by Stephen Curry (7th overall pick), Andrew Wiggins (1st overall pick), Klay Thompson (11th) and Draymond Green (35th overall pick), claimed the team’s fourth championship in the last eight years. Now the league will be flooded with new stars looking to create their own history and lead their teams to championship glory.

Here is the list of the top players available in the 2022 NBA Draft. The following odds have been provided courtesy of Fanduel and represent each player’s odds as a first overall pick.

Jabari Smith Jr. – Orlando Magic (-170) 

With the first overall pick, the Orlando Magic are expected to take Auburn power forward Jabari Smith. At 6-foot-10, he already has an elite shot from anywhere on the court.

Though he has struggled at the rim in the past, his overall skill set has him ranked as the top prospect coming into this year’s draft.

Chet Holmgren – Oklahoma City (+125)

With a bunch of drafts picks at their disposal for the next several seasons to come, the Oklahoma City Thunder are hoping to turn the fate of their franchise around. At number two, expect the Thunder to go with Gonzaga freshman and center Chet Holmgren.

At 7 feet tall but weighing under 200 pounds, there is concern that Holmgren’s skinny frame could get in the way of the player developing. However, it’s on the defensive end where Holmgren will earn his paycheck for years. His ability to block and alter shots will likely lead him to become a defensive stalwart for the Thunder for the foreseeable future.

Paolo Banchero – Houston Rockets (+1400)

With the third overall pick, expect the Houston Rockets to not reach far and take Duke freshman Paolo Banchero. Banchero will make his money on the offensive end. He will be another star to go with is Jalen Green, whom they drafted second overall last year.

Now with a one-two punch on offense, the Rockets should likely take off this season.

Jaden Ivey – Sacramento Kings (+20000)

Look for the first non-freshman to fall off the board at the number four spot when the Sacramento Kings take sophomore Jaden Ivey of the Purdue Boilermakers. This pick could go several ways, but getting a player like Ivey who can slide in beside De’Aaron Fox, and the Kings could have the league’s speediest backcourt.

Dyson Daniels – Detroit Pistons (+20000)

Last year at this point, the Detroit Pistons were number one on the clock, and they went with Cade Cunningham. Now, as the team improves and the search for complementary players continues, it’s time for the Pistons to find a running mate for Cade. Enter Dyson Daniels, the shooting guard from the G-League Ignite.

Daniels is a lock-down defender who will get plenty of opportunities to score on a young Pistons team led by Cunningham.

The post NBA Draft Preview: Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero Expected First Picks appeared first on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

New Casinos
Unlock endless excitement with Unibet Casino's unbeatable bonuses and elevate your gaming to thrilling new heights.
Stars Casino: Get $100 bonus cash + 200 bonus spins
Ocean Casino: 200% match bonus up to $500 + 20 bonus spins
1 Free Spin credited for every $1 deposit. Up to $100 + 100 Spins
Monte Casino: Get 10 no deposit spins + $100 Bonus