NBA

NBA Draft 2022 Winners and Losers: Pistons handed productive night while Knicks make interesting choices

By Sports Desk June 24, 2022

It always feels somewhat presumptuous to talk about an NBA Draft in the immediate aftermath and judge who did well and who did not. Surely, we have to wait to see how things play out and whether players with immense potential are able to fulfil it?

However, what you can do is judge those who, on paper at least, seem to have struck gold and those who appeared to stumble through their Thursday evening and may well have come away disappointed with their haul.

The night started off delightfully chaotically as the Orlando Magic went against the widely predicted number one pick of Jabari Smith Jr and instead brought in Paolo Banchero.

Now the dust has settled after an interesting night, Stats Perform has taken a look at the potential winners and losers of the draft.

Winners

Houston Rockets

The Rockets could probably not believe their luck when the Magic decided to opt for Banchero. The Italian-American would have still been a fine first-round pick, but given the choice it seems like Houston would rather have taken Smith Jr, and they had the chance to do just that.

The youngster was a disruptive defender for Aubern, and clearly has sound fundamentals, a result no doubt of growing up in and around basketball, with his father Jabari Smith Sr a former NBA player himself.

Smith Jr averaged 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists while shooting 42.9 per cent from the floor and 42 per cent from the three-point line in 2021-22, and should dovetail nicely with Alperen Sengun, a first-round pick from last year.

The Rockets also took Tari Eason, a breakout star at LSU, and TyTy Washington, a high-quality and versatile option who was expected to be picked up earlier in the night.

Detroit Pistons

A very similar moment of fortune fell for the Pistons as their top choice Jaden Ivey was surprisingly still available when it came to their number five pick, with the Sacramento Kings instead taking Keegan Murray.

In two seasons at Purdue, Ivey showed himself to be a top-five prospect with a well-rounded game, though questions persist about the consistency of his shooting. He averaged 17.3 points per game last season, though, with a field goal percentage of 46.0.

Detroit were also involved in a three-way trade with the Charlotte Hornets and the New York Knicks. This ended with them procuring Jalen Duren and Kemba Walker in exchange for their 2025 first-round pick, having acquired it as part of the Jerami Grant trade to the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in the week.

Walker is expected to be bought out of his contract and become a free agent, so it looks like sound dealing to essentially trade a first-round pick to get Duren through the door, who averaged 12.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game for the Memphis Tigers last season.

San Antonio Spurs

Nothing outrageous from the Spurs, but on the face of it, they ended the night with three solid picks.

Jeremy Sochan became the first British player to be picked in NBA Draft in over 10 years. As a freshman at Baylor, Sochan averaged 9.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in 25.1 minutes per game, making 47.4 per cent of his field goal attempts.

As that average suggests, one aspect to his game that could be improved is his shooting, but San Antonio's Chip Engelland is one of the best shooting coaches in the game and could well help the young man who was raised in Milton Keynes, England.

Malaki Branham looks a smart choice as the number 20 pick from Ohio State, with his one college season seeing him average 13.7 points on 49.8 per cent shooting, while Blake Wesley from Notre Dame also has the potential to also be a valuable arrival.

Losers

New York Knicks

After a poor season that felt like it would at least set them up for a productive draft, the Knicks appeared to overthink things at the draft, or underthink them depending on your viewpoint.

They decided to trade their number 11 pick for three future first-round picks, though none that really hold any value.

They managed to get Walker's contract out the door to the Pistons to free up some salary space, seemingly putting all their eggs in the Jalen Brunson basket, or potentially even Kyrie Irving. However, they only saved $9.2m from Walker's contract, which is not a lot considering they gave up one of their first-round picks. 

Who knows if it will pay off, but Knicks fans were almost certainly expecting more.

Washington Wizards

There was nothing particularly wrong with the picks from the Wizards, but as harsh as it may sound, they are in danger of becoming the NBA's dullest team.

A win percentage of 0.427 was down from 0.472 in 2020-21, and it felt like they might need to take a bit of a risk in the draft with their number 10 pick.

Johnny Davis is a fine player, averaging 19.7 points per game for the Wisconsin Badgers last year, the 25th highest in the college game, but someone like Duren could have been a roll of the dice for something to boost that win percentage sometime soon.

Who knows? It could be a sound strategy, but to be frank, it is a strategy that has not been working for the last few years in Washington.

Sacramento Kings

There is some sympathy with the situation the Kings were put in as the extremely obvious pick at four was Ivey, who had expressly said he did not want to go to Sacramento, so they went with Murray instead.

Murray is a fine prospect himself, and arguably a better fit than Ivey for the Kings, but the latter felt like an opportunity to at the very least have significant trade leverage.

Murray did average the fourth-highest points per game average last year with 23.5 for Iowa, while also adding 8.7 rebounds per game, so comes in as a promising addition.

Ivey will inevitably feel like the one who got away if he does what many think he will at Detroit, though, which could bring back memories of when Sacramento failed to take on Luka Doncic in 2018.

Related items

  • Xavi ranks Pedri alongside Iniesta as Barcelona go eight points clear with Betis win Xavi ranks Pedri alongside Iniesta as Barcelona go eight points clear with Betis win

    Xavi singled out Pedri for praise after Barcelona went eight points clear at the top of LaLiga by beating Real Betis, comparing the midfielder to Spain's "greatest talent" Andres Iniesta.

    Goals from Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski boosted Barca's title bid as they clinched a 2-1 win at the Estadio Benito Villamarin on Wednesday, with the Blaugrana hanging on after Jules Kounde's late own goal.

    While Pedri missed two decent opportunities before Raphinha's opener, the 20-year-old created two chances and managed a game-high 30 passes in the final third during an impressive display.

    Speaking after Barca piled more pressure on title rivals Real Madrid – who host Valencia on Thursday – Xavi heaped praise on the diminutive midfielder.

    "He is a player who is on another level, I have seen very few like him," Xavi said. "He is talented, he is at the level of Iniesta, but Andres had a continuity to the point that he is still playing. 

    "Andres is the greatest talent I've seen in Spanish football but Pedri is very similar to him. He can make a difference, he is already doing it."

    Pedri was not the only young player to shine for Barca, as Alejandro Balde recorded his fourth assist of the season from left-back to tee up Raphinha's goal.

    Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala (six) is the only player aged under 20 to create more goals for team-mates in Europe's top-five leagues this term, leaving Xavi excited by the teenage full-back's potential.

    "I'm very happy for Balde, he has tremendous potential both in defence and in attack," Xavi said. "He gives us superiority by driving and that is very difficult to see in football.

    "He has to exploit his potential even more, we encourage him to be transcendent, he is both a full-back and a winger at times. 

    "Luckily we have three spectacular full-backs in Marcos [Alonso], [Jordi] Alba and Balde. He's so young and has this capacity, it is a joy to see him play." 

    Barca's victory took them to 50 points after 19 games of the campaign. The Blaugrana have brought up a half-century of points by the season's midway mark on five previous occasions (in 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2017-18), only failing to win the title once when doing so (in 2013-14).

    However, Betis coach Manuel Pellegrini felt his side matched the leaders and had been undone by a free-kick being taken from the wrong position in the build-up to the opener.

    "It was a balanced game that anyone could win and it was decided by two set-pieces. The first goal is controversial," the former Manchester City boss said.

    "First it was a foul on Aitor Ruibal and it was not given, then they took the foul 20 metres further forward than they should have and caught us off guard."

  • El-Shahat joins Ronaldo, Messi and Bale in exclusive club as Al Ahly progress at Club World Cup El-Shahat joins Ronaldo, Messi and Bale in exclusive club as Al Ahly progress at Club World Cup

    Hussein El-Shahat matched the exploits of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale by scoring at a third Club World Cup as Al Ahly beat Auckland City 3-0 in the first round.

    El-Shahat opened the scoring with a low 25-yard drive on the stroke of half-time in Tangier on Wednesday, before neat one-on-one finishes from Mohamed Sherif and Percy Tau made Al Ahly's victory safe.

    The winger's effort took him to three goals in three editions of the tournament, having also found the net for Al Ain in 2018 and with his current club in 2021.

    Ronaldo, Messi and Bale are the only other players to net at three separate Club World Cups, while Ronaldo is the competition's all-time top scorer with seven goals.

    Ronaldo is also the only player to score for two separate champions at the tournament, doing so for Manchester United in 2008 and Real Madrid in 2016 and 2017, while Messi found the net during Barcelona's triumphant 2009, 2011 and 2015 campaigns.

    Wednesday's game was also notable for referee Ma Ning announcing the rationale for his decision to send off Auckland's Adam Mitchell to the crowd after being sent to the VAR monitor, as part of a 12-month trial across FIFA tournaments.

    Al Ahly's reward for their comprehensive win is a second-round tie against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday, the winners of which will face European champions Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

    Morocco's Wydad Casablanca will face Al Hilal in the other second-round fixture, with the victors going on to face Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo for a spot in the final.

  • Montpellier 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain: Messi among goals as champions win despite Mbappe injury Montpellier 1-3 Paris Saint-Germain: Messi among goals as champions win despite Mbappe injury

    Paris Saint-Germain overcame an injury to Kylian Mbappe as goals from Fabian Ruiz, Lionel Messi and 16-year-old Warren Zaire Emery saw them beat Montpellier 3-1 in Ligue 1 at the Parc-des Princes on Wednesday.

    Mbappe had already missed a penalty, and its subsequent retake for a Montpellier encroachment, before coming off in the 21st minute with a worrying-looking injury, clutching his hamstring as he went straight down the tunnel.

    But after Messi and Achraf Hakimi both saw goals chalked off for offside, Fabian poked home in the 55th minute before Messi added a second to put Christophe Galtier's men in control.

    Arnaud Nordin pulled one back only for Zaire Emery to come off the bench to score his first senior goal, sealing a victory that is PSG's first in three league games and puts their hopes of lifting a ninth title in 11 seasons back on track.

    PSG were awarded a penalty after just seven minutes when Christopher Jullien hauled down Sergio Ramos from a free-kick into Montpellier's box.

    Mbappe's initial spot-kick was saved by Benjamin Lecomte, but a Montpellier encroachment prompted a retake, only for the France international to see his second attempt tipped onto the post by Lecomte before sending the rebound over the bar.

    After Mbappe and Sergio Ramos (head) were both forced off with injury, Messi thought he had put PSG in front with a clever chipped finish, though a VAR review ruled him offside to send the game into the break goalless.

    Messi blasted into the side-netting following half-time before Hakimi saw a wonderful strike from distance ruled out, again for offside in the build-up.

    But PSG's wait to break the deadlock ended shortly after, Hugo Ekitike nodding across for Fabian to stab home from close-range.

    Messi added a second with 18 minutes to play as he coolly dinked into the bottom corner from Fabian's perfectly weighted throughball, though Nordin caused some anxiety for the visitors by finding the bottom corner in the 89th minute.

    Substitute Zaire Emery ended any hopes of a Montpellier comeback though by blasting home a third in the dying seconds.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.