The Orlando Magic won the draft lottery, earning them the first pick in the 2021 NBA draft. The Sacramento Kings jump into the top 4.
The Magic ended the regular season with the second-worst record in the league (22-60) and tied with the Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, and Oklahoma City Thunder for the best chances for the top pick (14 percent each). Oklahoma City will pick second after falling to sixth last year. Houston, on the other hand, falls two places but has a top-three pick for the second year in a row.
For the Magic, it’s the fourth time the franchise has gotten the first pick. In 1992, the Magic moved Shaquille O’Neal, the following year the Florida franchise took Chris Webber, but Orlando immediately traded him to the Golden State Warriors and got Penny Hardaway instead. The Magic last drew first 18 years ago, when Dwight Howard went straight from high school to the NBA.
Orlando is currently still being rebuilt, last year the Magic with Jalen Suggs (#5) and Franz Wagner (#8) won the lottery twice and will continue to build around the core Cole Anthony, Suggs, Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr .
The Sacramento Kings made the biggest leap from seventh place before the lottery to fourth place. OKC was up two spots, while the Rockets and Pistons – both down two spots – were the draw’s biggest losers.
It was also unclear what would happen to the Los Angeles Lakers pick. Since he stays in eighth place, the New Orleans Pelicans will get to pick. But if the pick had fallen in eleventh place, Memphis would have had the right to choose.
NBA Draft 2022: The order of the first round
|2||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|7||Portland Trail Blazers|
|8||New Orleans Pelicans (von LA Lakers)|
|9||San Antonio Spurs|
|11||New York Knicks|
|12||Oklahoma City Thunder (von L.A. Clippers)|
|15||Charlotte Hornets (von New Orleans)|
|17||Houston Rockets (von Brooklyn)|
|20||San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto)|
|22||Memphis Grizzlies (von Utah)|
|25||San Antonio Spurs (from Boston)|
|28||Golden State Warriors|
|30||Oklahoma City Thunder (von Phoenix)|
* At this point, Brooklyn could also move. The Nets haven’t yet decided whether they want the Sixers pick this season or a year later.
NBA Draft 2022: Who will be the first pick?
There is no clear favorite for the first pick this season, such as Zion Williamson in 2019. There are doubts as to whether there is a real franchise player in this class, but that does not mean that it is a weak class.
Four players are associated with the first pick, led by Chet Holmgren. Gonzaga’s Big Man is an elite shot blocker, despite being seven feet tall and weighing in at less than 200 pounds. The 20-year-old also has good skills on the perimeter and could possibly also be used as a forward.
Big forwards are also Jabari Smith (Auburn) and Paolo Banchero (Duke), who can also hope to have their names called first. Both are real scorers, unlike Holmgren. Smith shines with his pull-up game and athleticism, Banchero above all with his accuracy from the middle distance and a good understanding of the game.
On the other hand, Jaden Ivey, who made a big leap in his sophomore year of college and is compared to Ja Morant because of his athleticism, has outsider chances. However: Morant was already a great playmaker in college, Ivey is still missing this component at the moment.