2022 NBA Draft Lottery Winners and Losers: Auburn’s Jabari Smith May Benefit After Magic Win No. 1 Pick

The ping pong balls? They have fallen. And the draft order? Well, that is officially established after a wild Tuesday night in the 38th annual draft lottery that determined the Orlando Magic, for the first time since 2004, will pick the top pick in the 2022 NBA draft.

Orlando had a 14% chance of winning the lottery, tied for the highest odds with the Pistons and Rockets, before NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum announced his big offseason win in Chicago. It is the fourth time since the lottery that the franchise has owned the top pick. And get this: Two of the previous three No. 1 picks have become Hall of Famers, while Dwight Howard could join them in the future. (No pressure, Chet Holmgren or Jaden Ivey or Jabari Smith or Paolo Banchero. But also: a little pressure!)

As such, the Magic are the biggest and most obvious winners of the lottery night, though they certainly aren’t the only ones who had a good night. So did the Thunder and the Kings. On the contrary … it was a tough night for the Pistons, whose 14% chance of winning the lottery only got them the fifth pick. The Trail Blazers, Pacers, Rockets and, as usual, the New York Knickerbockers are probably licking some post-lottery wounds, too.

Here’s a look at the winners and losers as the dust settles.

Winner: Jabari Smith could be the Magic’s man

For months, this draft has been considered strong at the top with no clear No. 1, but four potential Tier 1 talents, meaning team fit and current roster construction could ultimately dictate who gets out of the draft. board to start the draft. Now we’re about to find out which prospect the Magic favors of the bunch. This is a front office that covets length – they were part of the regime that recruited Giannis, so Chet Holmgren apparently be a great fit. But Jabari Smith appears to be the early favorite a month away from being Orlando’s go-to, and personally I’m not ruling out Paolo Banchero here either. It’s a huge windfall to get the first stab at the top in any year, but this year in particular feels big, especially for a franchise that has some really fun set pieces with 2021 lottery picks Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner.

Winner: Kings Raise

When it was announced that the Portland Trail Blazers owned the No. 7 pick in the draft, it indicated that the Sacramento Kings had moved into the top four of this year’s draft. They were in seventh place according to lottery odds, but moved up three spots, more than any other team this year, to earn the fourth pick. Newly acquired center Damontas Sabonis, the team’s available draft representative in Chicago, could do nothing but flash a sly smile after the surprising turn of events. He’ll get a chance to play alongside a potential game changer on Day One depending on which direction Sacramento goes, assuming he gets the pick.

Loser: Jaden Ivey’s No. 1 pick chances

Gary Parrish and I concluded this week that the No. 1 pick would be decided, more than in years past, based on which team won the lottery. And one thing seems to be clear as the lottery turmoil settles: It’s probably not going to be good for Jaden Ivey’s No. 1 pick prospects. Orlando drafted a 15-year-old guard two years ago in Cole Anthony and then did so again with a top-10 pick last year in Jalen Suggs. It’s hard to imagine them doing it again, especially with the promise both sides have shown. I wouldn’t totally rule Ivey out of the running, but the lottery order drop was better news for the big boys at the top of the draft than a possible top point guard in Ivey just based on roster construction for Orlando.

Winner: Thunder can speed up the reboot

This time last year during the lottery, OKC had a chance to get two top-five picks and instead walked away with just one pick: No. 6. But that pick became a pivotal piece in Josh Giddey. and go! , this team’s rebuilding hit the gas on Tuesday as they advanced to take the second pick.

This is a tailor-made draft for OKC, a team that needs depth up front, to nab Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero or Chet Holmgren, depending on who Orlando picks at No. 1. No bad choice here. Whatever the choice, he should find instant success as a potential starter in a young team brimming with potential. I’m here for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, and one of Holmgren, Banchero, or Smith growing up together for the next half decade.

Losers: Portland, Pacers drop one spot

Portland led the NBA in consecutive games lost to finish the 2021-22 NBA season, but its brazen attempt at a season-ending tanker went unrewarded as it fell from No. 6 in the lottery order to No. 7, marking the Sacramento move. among the top four. Indiana also had its own sting on the night by falling in the pre-lottery order from No. 5 to No. 6 after the lottery. With 10.5% and 9.0% chances, respectively, of winning the top pick, both teams have good (but not great) picks in a draft where there’s a significant drop in talent after No. 4.

Winner: Pelicans living the best of both worlds

New Orleans is the only team in the NBA that can boast of securing a lottery pick in this year’s draft. Y securing a playoff spot this year, this pick comes from the Lakers after the trade that sent Anthony Davis to Los Angeles.

The Pelicans scouting team has made money in recent years by drafting Herbert Jones in the second round, grabbing Jose Alvarado as an undrafted free agent. Y taking on a generational talent at Zion, even if he has been plagued by injuries early in his career. This pick for them (at No. 8) could help them stay in the playoff hunt and potentially move up another notch in the West, especially if Zion returns to full health next season.

Losers: pistons fail, order slides down

The Pistons were the anti-Kings on Tuesday, as it fell more than any other lottery team. Based on pre-lottery odds, their 14% chance of taking home the first pick was tied for best, but they walked away with the fifth overall pick instead.

Womp Womp.

There are terrific options at No. 5 for Detroit, so I don’t want the Motor City to worry. too Beyond this. But the difference between picking No. 1 and No. 5 — heck, even No. 4 and No. 5 — is pretty substantial in this draft. Here’s to the hope that this front office can identify a stallion from this position to pair with 2021 No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham.

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