Hot Take: Grading The 2022 NBA Draft Picks For Each NBA Team
Basketball players everywhere dream of making it to the NBA, but only a special few are drafted. Every team is looking for the players that will make an immediate impact on their future NBA championship aspirations. These are our draft grades for all 30 NBA teams.
The Brooklyn Nets (F)
Brooklyn was handcuffed and unable to draft anyone on draft day, earning a failing grade. The Brooklyn Nets have off-season drama and uncertainty involving their biggest stars, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant, plus several other notable pending free agents.
Brooklyn’s future depends on where their superstars start the season.
The Orlando Magic (B+)
All debate over who should go first in the 2022 NBA Draft ended when the Orlando Magic picked Paolo Banchero (Duke) with their #1 pick.
At 6’8″, 220lbs, Banchero’s frame, and some polish offensively, should give Orlando desperately needed size, an excellent upgrade that will make an immediate impact.
The Phoenix Suns (F)
Unable to add picks in the 2022 NBA Draft due to recent season and playoffs success, picks lost by acquiring the “Point-God” Chris Paul, and center Deandre Ayton’s free-agency circus, hurt the Phoenix Suns .
Ayton has signed a new max money contract leaving nothing for other free agents.
The Utah Jazz (F)
Swirling trade rumors surrounding superstar Donovan Mitchell to the New York Knicks, and trading away center Rudy Gobert, leaves holes and doubt about the future of the Utah Jazz.
Utah has had many disappointing playoff performances after strong regular seasons, prompting Gobert’s trade, the Mitchell gossip, and a possible rebuild.
The Oklahoma City Thunder (A-)
Yes, Chet Holmgren, picked #2 by the Oklahoma City Thunder, is skinny. Holmgren’s slender frame aside, OKC added a real live unicorn to their young roster.
Holmgren is a 6’11” forward who handles the ball like a guard, has a decent jumper, blocks shots, and rebounds the basketball.
The Houston Rockets (B)
A 6’10” three-point threat with a 7 foot wingspan is what the Houston Rockets get with the #3 draft pick, Jabari Smith (Auburn).
Basketball pundits had Smith as their #1 because of his rebounding, shot-blocking, and shooting ability at his size. Smith’s quickness needs to carry over to defense.
The Detroit Pistons (B+)
Jaden Ivey’s speed and explosiveness are two of the reasons why the Detroit Pistons drafted Jaden Ivey as the 5th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Ivey adds some three-point shooting (36%) depth to Detroit. Ivey and Cade Cunningham, last year’s #1 overall pick, should be a dynamic duo.
The Washington Wizards (B+)
Washington Wizards’ #10 overall draft pick Johnny Davis brings tenacious defense with him. Davis’ slashing ability will help cover up his developing three-point shooting.
Davis’ instincts defensively plugs one of the many holes of Washington. Davis still has to work on his passing and develop his jumper.
The Boston Celtics (B+)
The Boston Celtics drafted guard J.D. Davison to increase their depth at the position. Davison has good bounce, but needs to step up his perimeter shooting.
Boston guard Marcus Smart is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year but struggled offensively when Boston lost the 2021 NBA Finals.
The Indiana Pacers (C+)
Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona) is a work in progress handling the ball but shoots an average 37% from three and 77% at the foul line.
Mathurin is athletic, 6’6″, weighs 205 lbs, and with improved dribbling, would be unstoppable. Should Mathurin use his size more, it immediately improves his offensive attack.
The Golden State Warriors (C)
Winning the 2021 NBA Finals, did not stop the Golden State Warriors from picking prospect Patrick Baldwin Jr. 28th overall for his size and potential.
Baldwin stands 6’10” and fills a void for Golden State, which is a forward that can shoot, but Baldwin does need work on defensive positioning.
The Sacramento Kings (D-)
It is puzzling that a team that has not made the playoffs since 2005, a first round loss, would draft a role player.
That is exactly what the Sacramento Kings got when they picked Keegan Murray (Iowa) at #4. Murray’s length and defensive versatility make him a future project.
The Portland Trail Blazers (B-)
Oh Canada! The Portland Trail Blazers drafted Canadian Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky) with the 7th overall pick. The 6’5″ guard can create his own shots and attacks the rim aggressively.
Portland desperately needs to give star guard Damian Lillard some support so that defenses cannot gameplan for him only.
The New Orleans Pelicans (B)
Dyson Daniels is an excellent pick for the New Orleans Pelicans at #8. The 6’7″ Aussie guard’s size and experience playing internationally helps bolster an already potent offensive roster, providing some defense too.
New Orleans is high on Daniels’ close-out ability on shooters and sense of urgency defensively.
The San Antonio Spurs (A)
Jeremy Sochan was the 9th pick overall by the San Antonio Spurs. Sochan, originally from Poland, is a product of Baylor and looks like he is physically NBA ready.
Sochan is 6’9″, 230 lbs, guards multiple positions, and San Antonio hopes he brings his championship (Baylor) pedigree with him.
The New York Knicks (D) >(The Oklahoma City Thunder)
The New York Knicks selected Ousmane Dieng 11th overall in the 2022 NBA Draft and then traded him to the OKC Thunder.
The 6’10 Frenchman joins the Thunder’s #2 pick Chet Holmgren providing instant length. Dieng’s length could potentially be an offensive weapon but has to improve his shooting.
The Charlotte Hornets (B) >(The Detroit Pistons)
Jalen Duren was picked #13 overall by the Charlotte Hornets, who then promptly traded him to the Detroit Pistons.
Only time will tell who won the trade between Charlotte and Detroit, but the Pistons are getting a player who stands at 6′ 11″, 250 lbs, and has great leaping ability.
The Cleveland Cavaliers (A)
Ochai Agbaji represents a rare occurrence because he spent 4 years in college before being drafted 14th by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Agbaji is built for the NBA physically and will be a dangerous scoring threat every night, particularly with his excellent spot-up shooting.
The Atlanta Hawks (A)
A.J. Griffin comes is a Duke product, bringing Coach K’s influence with him to the Atlanta Hawks as the 16th pick in the draft.
Much of Griffin’s off-ball game is due to playing with Paolo Banchero at Duke. Griffin’s size, strength, and versatility upgrades Atlanta’s perimeter defense.
The Chicago Bulls (C)
The Chicago Bulls selected guard Dalen Terry (Arizona) 18th overall in the NBA draft not for his offense, but for his versatility and size.
Terry is not a dynamic scorer, and his shot lacks consistency, but his 7-foot wingspan and height will allow him to disrupt the opponents’ offense.
The Minnesota Timberwolves (C-)
The Minnesota Timberwolves received Walker Kessler, the 22nd pick overall via a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Before playing a game, Kessler was traded again, to the Utah Jazz. Minnesota is already deep at center after acquiring center Rudy Gobert from Utah, and they have All-Star center Karl Anthony Towns.
The Denver Nuggets (C+)
Injuries to key players have plagued the Denver Nuggets, perhaps influencing their selection of forward Christian Braun at #21 in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Braun is a work-in-progress on offense, but his tremendous leaping ability should fit perfectly with the back to back MVP, Nikola Jokic, who loves to pass.
The Memphis Grizzlies (B)
Wake Forest product Jake LaRavia was picked initially 19th by the Timberwolves, then dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies.
LaRavia has a consistent jump shot, great basketball instincts, and has incredible passing ability. While LaRavia continues to get stronger defensively, his offense joins a Grizzlies squad already loaded with shooters.
The Philadelphia 76ers (F)
Assigning an ‘F’ to the Philadelphia 76ers for their 2022 draft pick may seem harsh, but Philly traded their #23 pick David Roddy, for nothing in return, to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Superstar 76ers’ guard James Harden took less money resigning so that the team could add more talent and contend.
The Milwaukee Bucks (B+)
MarJon Beauchamp represents security and depth as the Milwaukee Bucks’ pick at #24. Giannis Antetokounmpo missed his major running mate forward Chris Middleton to a significant injury that kept him out of the playoffs.
Beauchamp brings intensity when attacking on offense, but has to work on his defensive fundamentals.
The Dallas Mavericks (A-)
Getting drafted (Sacramento Kings) and traded in the second round 37th to the Dallas Mavericks, instantly put a chip on the shoulders of Jaden Hardy.
Dallas gets an aggressive scorer in Hardy who should have a little extra offensively for every team that passed on him, especially the Sacramento Kings.
The Miami Heat (A+)
One of the sneakiest great picks in the 2022 NBA Draft was the Miami Heat selecting forward Nikola Jovic at #27. Jovic is already a dangerous threat from the three-point line.
Jovic presents matchup nightmares for Heat opponents with his size and ability to score anywhere on the court.
The Toronto Raptors (A)
Masai Ujiri, President of the Toronto Raptors, has an impeccable drafting record. Ujiri picked forward Christian Koloko (33rd) overall. Koloko’s 7.5 foot wingspan, brings Toronto sorely needed rim protection.
Ujiri drafted Pascal Siakam (27th), O.G. Anunoby (23rd), and guard Fred VanVleet (undrafted), all major parts of the 2019 NBA championship.
The Los Angeles Lakers (C)
Taxes and Los Angeles Lakers rumors are two guarantees in life. Los Angeles picked guard Max Christie (Michigan State) at #35 to give some backcourt help to star Lebron James.
Christie gives the Lakers short-range, spot-up shooting, but defensively has been dominated physically, which will improve by bulking up.
The Los Angeles Clippers (B-)
43rd overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Moussa Diabate has NBA-ready size and length, and should make an immediate impact on both ends of the floor for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Diabate’s perimeter shot has to increase and grow from his college days which will help the Clippers’ offensively.