NBA Draft 2022: Date, Selection Order, Lottery Predictions and Top Prospects

Doric SamApril 11, 2022

Auburn forward Jabari Smith plays against Jacksonville State during the first half of a college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday, March 18, 2022, in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
AP Photo/Chris Carlson

The 2021-22 NBA season has come to an end, giving a third of the league the chance to start building toward the upcoming draft. While 20 teams will be gearing up for the playoffs, 10 of them have already turned the page to preparing for the future.

This year's draft class has a strong number of promising players but no consensus top prospect. While the top of the draft order has yet to be finalized, the teams with the best chances to pick in the lottery are already known.

Here, we examine the early draft picture, featuring the pre-lottery draft order, projected lottery prospects and a look at some of the players who could be under consideration for one of the top picks in the first round.

2022 NBA Draft Info

Date: June 23

Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York

Broadcast and Stream: ESPN, ABC (first round only) and WatchESPN

Lottery Date: May 17

Pre-Lottery Draft Order

1. Houston Rockets

2. Orlando Magic

3. Detroit Pistons

4. Oklahoma City Thunder

5. Indiana Pacers

6. Portland Trail Blazers

7. Sacramento Kings

8. New Orleans Pelicans (from LAL)

9. San Antonio Spurs

10. Washington Wizards

11. Portland Trail Blazers (from NO)

12. New York Knicks

13. Atlanta Hawks

14. Charlotte Hornets

15. Oklahoma City Thunder (from LAC)

16. Indiana Pacers (from CLE)

17. Houston Rockets (from BKN)

18. Minnesota Timberwolves

19. Chicago Bulls

20. San Antonio Spurs (from TOR)

21. Denver Nuggets

22. Memphis Grizzlies (from UTA)

23. Milwaukee Bucks

24. San Antonio Spurs (from BOS)

25. Brooklyn Nets (from PHI)

26. Dallas Mavericks

27. Miami Heat

28. Golden State Warriors

29. Memphis Grizzlies

30. Oklahoma City Thunder (from PHX)

Draft order via Tankathon.

Projected Lottery Selections

1. Jabari Smith, PF, Auburn

2. Paolo Banchero, PF, Duke

3. Chet Holmgren, PF, Gonzaga

4. Jaden Ivey, PG, Purdue

5. Keegan Murray, PF, Iowa

6. Shaedon Sharpe, SG, Kentucky

7. Johnny Davis, SG, Wisconsin

8. Jalen Duren, C, Memphis

9. AJ Griffin, SF, Duke

10. Bennedict Mathurin, SF, Arizona

11. Ochai Agbaji, SF, Kansas

12. Dyson Daniels, PG, G League Ignite

13. Jeremy Sochan, PF, Baylor

14. TyTy Washington Jr., PG, Kentucky

Jabari Smith, PF, Auburn

GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA - MARCH 20: Jabari Smith #10 of the Auburn Tigers reacts in the first half against the Miami (Fl) Hurricanes during the second round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 20, 2022 in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Auburn swingman Jabari Smith is far from solidified as the top overall prospect, but he has the skill set to be in consideration by multiple teams at the top of the draft.

A 6'10", 220-pound sharpshooter, Smith connected on 42.0 percent of his three-pointers this past season to go along with averages of 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He is also a versatile defender with a high motor, averaging 1.1 steals and 1.0 block.

Smith didn't start out the season in the conversation for the top pick, but his consistency on both ends of the floor helped move him up draft boards substantially.

"What seemed like flashes of shooting and mid-range scoring early in the season have become regular occurrences for Jabari Smith," B/R's Jonathan Wasserman wrote in January. "Scouts sound totally swayed by his consistent three-pointers and advanced rise-and-fire game inside the arc."

Smith will have to improve on his explosiveness when he gets to the next level instead of overly relying on jumpers. But his elite shooting and strong defense create a coveted combination for teams at the top of the draft.

Paolo Banchero, PF, Duke

Duke forward Paolo Banchero (5) celebrates during the first half of a college basketball game against Arkansas in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA men's tournament in San Francisco, Saturday, March 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Duke's Paolo Banchero is arguably the most polished scorer in this year's class and could challenge for the top overall pick.

At 6'10" and 250 pounds, Banchero has an NBA-ready body that allows him to play a physical style. He's a skilled shot creator who can cause nightmares for opposing defenders. He averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in his lone season as a Blue Devil.

Banchero has the versatility to initiate the offense or be the primary finisher. His guard-like skill set at his size gives him the ability to set up his teammates as well as his own offense.

When Banchero is aggressive in looking for his shot, he has an array of moves he can rely on. From step-back jumpers to pull-up threes to powerful drives, there isn't much he can't do.

However, Banchero's defensive effort is questionable, at best. He has also shown the traits of being a ball-stopper on offense who slows the game down. While his scoring ability sets him apart from the rest of his peers, he has a way to go if he wants to be the top prospect.

Chet Holmgren, PF, Gonzaga

Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren against Arkansas during a college basketball game in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament in San Francisco, Thursday, March 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren might have the highest ceiling of any prospect in this year's class. If he reaches his full potential, he will be the next "unicorn" player who can dominate the NBA for years to come.

For now, however, Holmgren can be a defensive anchor while his offense develops at the next level. He will also need time to develop his 7'0", 195-pound frame.

Holmgren can finish lobs inside or splash shots from beyond the arc. He averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 3.7 blocks while shooting 60.7 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from deep.

While Holmgren will be in consideration for the No. 1 overall pick, it will likely come down to need. If a team at the top of the draft already has a young frontcourt, it will likely look elsewhere. But for the teams that have strong perimeter players in need of a co-star, Holmgren would be the perfect fit.