NBA Draft Rumors: Latest Trade Rumblings on Potential 2022 Picks and Prospects
The wait for the 2022 NBA draft is almost over.
Do you know which direction your favorite team is headed yet?
While no one can be certain of what will happen Thursday night, the rumor mill is bursting at the seams with talks of trades, team targets and more. We'll break down all the latest draft buzz here.
Houston Leaning Toward Paolo Banchero
The Houston Rockets sound ready to take their pick to the podium—even though the draft is two nights away and two teams are selecting in front of them.
Still, if the board breaks as expected with Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgren being the top two selections, then "signals are pointing stronger and stronger" at Houston using the No. 3 pick on Duke scoring forward Paolo Banchero, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
It's worth noting the Rockets already shipped out one high-scoring big man with last week's trade of Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks, so the path has been cleared for Banchero's arrival.
He is the best scorer in this draft, making him an intriguing partner for last year's No. 2 pick, Jalen Green. Houston's defense could be disastrous early on, but Banchero has the tools to eventually help on that front.
Memphis Mulling Major Move Up Draft Board
Between Ja Morant's superstar ascension and the collective rise of the roster around him, the Memphis Grizzlies are way ahead of schedule.
That has them uniquely positioned as a contending team with the draft and prospect collection of a rebuilder. It also gives them a chance to buy big this offseason, and it sounds as if they are interested in exploring that possibility.
Marc Stein reported that the Grizzlies are among the teams considering a trade with the Sacramento Kings for the No. 4 pick.
Memphis reportedly has eyes on Purdue guard Jaden Ivey, and Stein opined this type of trade could cost the Grizzlies someone like Dillon Brooks or Brandon Clarke. Ivey is an interesting target, since he has drawn some comparisons to Morant, but a backcourt featuring both would be hyper-electric and potentially as productive as they come.
Blazers Shopping No. 7 Pick
The Portland Trail Blazers need a rapid recovery this summer from their (self-induced) second-half swoon.
The No. 7 pick might be their best hope for getting Damian Lillard more help, and that doesn't necessarily mean bringing a rookie to Rip City.
"The Trail Blazers continue to explore the market for this pick," SI.com's Jeremy Woo reported, "... with the Thunder and Hawks primarily linked to this spot as potential trade partners."
While the Atlanta Hawks have a wealth of win-now talent to trade Portland, the Oklahoma City Thunder aren't exactly overflowing with it. It's tempting to assume, then, that Portland could seek a player like Lu Dort and the No. 12 pick from Oklahoma City in exchange for the No. 7 selection.