The Orlando Magic were the second-worst team in the NBA this season with just 22 wins and 60 losses, but they finally hit a streak of good fortune when they won the #1 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery. The Oklahoma City Thunder will be the second pick in the upcoming draft and will have two first-round picks in the top 12 thanks to a trade with the LA Clippers.
The Magic will now crunch the numbers and watch loads of video to determine if they want to select Jabari Smith from Auburn or Chet Holmgren from Gonzaga with the #1 pick in the NBA Draft.
The consensus top-six players include Smith, Holmgren, Paolo Banchero (Duke), Jaden Ivey (Purdue), Keegan Murray (Iowa), and Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky). Arizona’s Bennedict Mathurin saw his draft stock slip in the last month or so, but he’s still considered a top-10 selection.
|2022 NBA Draft Lottery Results|
- Orlando Magic
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Houston Rockets
- Sacramento Kings
- Detroit Pistons
- Indiana Pacers
- Portland Trail Blazers
- New Orleans Pelicans (via LA Lakers)
- San Antonio Spurs
- Washington Wizards
- New York Knicks
- Oklahoma City Thunder (via LA Clippers)
- Charlotte Hornets
- Cleveland Cavaliers
The Thunder were awarded the second pick in the NBA Draft and also have the #12 pick. The Houston Rockets posted the worst record in the NBA this season at 20-62, but slipped and only secured the #3 pick.
The 2022 NBA Draft will take place at Barclay’s Center in downtown Brooklyn on June 23.
Kings snag #4 pick, Thunder with dual first-rounders
The Sacramento Kings will have a shot at adding a premier player to their roster. The Kings went 30-52 and failed to qualify for the Play-In Tournament when they finished 12th overall in the Western Conference. They recently hired Mike Brown, currently an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, as their new head coach. Brown will be tasked with trying to end the NBA’s longest postseason drought as the Kings haven’t made a playoff appearance since 2006.
The Thunder went 24-58 last season as the second-worst team in the Western Conference. They’re in great shape heading into the draft with a pair of first-round picks, including the second overall pick and #12. They already have an exciting roster loaded with young talent, including rookies Josh Giddey and Tre Mann. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the veteran on the Thunder and their floor general turns 24-years old this summer. The Thunder also have a frontline that includes Darius Bazley, Isiah Roby, and Lug Dort.
The Thunder will obviously pick whoever the Magic pass on between Smith and Holmgren. There’s always more pressure on the team with the #1 pick, which the Thunder don’t have to sweat.
Bottom Feeders: Magic, Rockets, Pistons
The Magic (22-60) were the worst team in the Eastern Conference, but they also have an exciting young roster with future stars like Cole Anthony, Franz Wagner, and Jalen Suggs. Plus, Markelle Fultz returned from a knee injury late in the season.
The Rockets (20-62) had some awful stretches last season, including a couple of horrendous losing streaks. They lost 15 in a row at the start of the season, dropped 12 in a row midseason, and ended the season on a seven-game skid. With the #2 overall pick last year, the Rockets selected Jalen Green, who had a solid rookie season averaging 17.3 ppg.
The Pistons (23-59) had the #1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and selected Cade Cunningham. After a slow start, he had a strong finish and was the team’s second-best scorer, averaging 17.4 ppg. The Pistons have the fifth pick in the upcoming draft, so they have a shot at one of the five best collegiate players.