NBA Rumors: Examining Top Reports Entering 2022 Combine

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIMay 18, 2022

NBA Rumors: Examining Top Reports Entering 2022 Combine

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The order for the 2022 NBA draft is now set after the draft lottery was held Tuesday night, and the Orlando Magic were the lucky team that landed the No. 1 overall pick. It marks the fourth time that Orlando will have the top selection.

    There's no consensus No. 1 prospect in this year's draft class, so the Magic could have a tough decision to make when they're on the clock. They've got some time to think it over, though, considering the draft won't take place until June 23.

    Things could change over the next month, too. Some players will have opportunities to boost their stock, such as those who will be participating in the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago this weekend.

    As the combine gets closer, here's some of the latest draft buzz from around the league.

Robinson Set to Stay in Draft Class Ahead of Combine

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    Gary Kazanjian/Associated Press

    On Tuesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Fresno State forward Orlando Robinson is staying in the 2022 draft class and will be hiring an agent. Wojnarowski also tweeted that the 7'0" Robinson will be participating in the draft combine.

    Last year, Robinson considered entering the NBA draft, but he eventually decided to return to the Bulldogs for a third season. It may have been a decision that boosted his stock, as he put together an impressive body of work over his 36 games as a junior.

    Robinson averaged a career-high 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, while shooting 48.4 percent from the field. He also improved from three-point range, shooting a career-best 35.2 percent from beyond the arc.

    Although Robinson isn't featured in most mock drafts, he has time to improve his stock over the next month. And because of his size, athleticism and shooting ability, he could convince an NBA team to use a draft pick on him.

Christie Staying in Draft Class, Participating in Combine

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Another player who recently made a draft decision is Michigan State guard Max Christie. On Tuesday, Wojnarowski reported that Christie is staying in the class and hiring an agent while also noting the former Spartans standout will be participating in the draft combine.

    Christie spent only one season at Michigan State before deciding to enter the draft. He averaged 9.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in 35 games while shooting 38.2 percent from the field. And now, the 19-year-old is preparing for the next stage of his career.

    There's a good chance that Christie hasn't reached his full potential yet, so a team may draft him and then try to develop him over the next few years. The Athletic's Sam Vecenie believes Christie will get selected in the second round, projecting him to go No. 35 overall to the Magic.

    It may take a little bit before Christie makes an impact in the NBA. But he has a lot of talent, so it's possible he'll eventually reach a high level in the league.

Knicks Unlikely to Take Duren in Draft?

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    Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press

    After missing the playoffs for the eighth time in nine years, the New York Knicks are entering an important offseason. They'll be looking to make the necessary moves to get them back to the postseason and to try to win their first playoff series since 2013.

    New York will also aim to keep building through the draft, during which it will first be on the clock at No. 11. And it will likely have plenty of options to consider at that point in the opening round.

    One that the Knicks may not choose? Drafting Memphis center Jalen Duren. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, there are sources who believe Duren would "be too much of a project" for head coach Tom Thibodeau, who may not sign off on the move.

    Berman seems to think New York could be more likely to draft a point guard. That would make sense, considering the team needs to address the position after Kemba Walker didn't work out this past season.