2022 NBA Draft: Knicks to move to No. 4, Chet Holmgren will have career best among five bold predictions

2022 NBA Draft: Knicks to move to No. 4, Chet Holmgren will have career best among five bold predictions

The Golden State Warriors won the NBA title a week ago, and now all eyes are on the 2022 NBA Draft scheduled for Thursday night. The Orlando Magic own the first pick, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets. That’s for now, of course. There could be a slew of trades before the night is over.

With that in mind, let’s move on to my five draft predictions as we count until the magic hits.

1. The Knicks will trade up to No. 4

It’s been reported that the Knicks are looking to get into the top five and Sacramento is a perfect match. The Knicks have been looking for a combo leader/guard forever, and Jaden Ivey fits the bill. Sacramento already has De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell and is eager to build a playoff roster after trading for Domantas Sabonis.

New York can send rotating plays, this year’s No. 11 pick and a future draft pick for Ivey, who has tantalizing talent, but if you listen to most evaluators, isn’t it a bet so sure Sacramento should totally ignore the positional overlap.

I’m not sure I agree with this decision if it happens. I don’t think New York can send Sacramento anything that will change its playoff fortunes in an absolutely packed Western Conference next season, and the Kings should gather as much talent as possible. Ivey becoming a superstar after the Kings already passed on Luka Doncic partly for appropriate reasons would be an unfathomable disaster.

Also, I don’t think Davion Mitchell is a franchise point guard. It’s a beautiful piece. A Gary Payton II type with a higher score on the rise. He’s a really good player, but good enough for you to trade a pick that could have landed you Ivey? I am not sure. But what I think will happen and what I think should happen are two different things, and I think, at the end of the day, New York has to take this chance, and Sacramento is anxious enough to take a short-term view. , especially if there is a player at No. 11, it pleases.

2. Chet Holmgren will have the best career

Holmgren isn’t the betting favorite to become No. 1 overall (that accolade belongs to Jabari Smith), but the more I think about it, the more I think Holmgren ends up having the best career in this 2022 class. He is a legit seven-footer with guard skills. His defensive impact could be generational as a monster rim protector with what many describe as out-of-this-world instincts.

Additionally, Holmgren has plenty of room to grow. Sometimes he wasn’t even an offensive focal point in Gonzaga. When he starts to lure NBA greats into the arc as a potential 40-plus-percent, 3-point shooter and put the ball on the ground as a space playmaker, combined with his ability defensively, Holmgren’s ceiling starts to look pretty high pretty quickly. .

3. Blazers will trade No. 7 for OG Anunoby

Portland managed to trade for Jerami Grant on Wednesday without giving up the No. 7 pick. Now Yahoo Chris Haynes reports that the Blazers are trying to use that seventh pick to trade for Toronto’s OG Anunoby. I predict this deal will fall. He’s come this far, and Portland will add what they need to push him over the top.

Blazers have to put a competitor on the court next season. Damian Lillard is going to be itchy. They traded in CJ McCollum, Norman Powell and Larry Nance Jr. to arm themselves with the necessary assets to upgrade, especially defensively, and the addition of Grant and Anunoby would be a big step towards divisiveness. It’s too important to be stingy at the last second. That seventh pick does nothing for the Blazers right now, and right now that’s all Portland has to think about.

4. No surprises in the top 3

There’s no real consensus first pick in this class, but that said, most sims have Jabari Smith leading the Magic, followed by Chet Holmgren at the Thunder and Paolo Banchero at the Rockets. There is talk of a trade at the top, but I don’t see that happening. I don’t think Jaden Ivey puts anyone in the top three. I don’t think Holmgren is jumping on Smith as a surprise No. 1, and Banchero was a pretty safe bet to go to Houston the second Christian Wood was traded.

Where there is so much smoke, there is almost always fire. I’d be shocked if Collins wasn’t traded, and considering Atlanta owns the No. 16 pick on Thursday night, that’s a pretty solid package. Once the Hawks make that pick, the actual player becomes less valuable in general. He won’t have the same rank on everyone’s board. Fit/need with certain trade partners will come into play. The Hawks want to win now, and Collins alone isn’t going to pick them up enough as an impact player in return to even be an improvement over Collins himself . Atlanta needs to spice up this package, and the No. 16 pick accomplishes that.

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