One of the biggest and clear winners of the 2022 NBA draft without a doubt has to be the Detroit Pistons. The Detroit Pistons have struggled over the past decade, but are beginning to build a young and exciting core.
The Pistons finished with the third-worst record in the league at 23-59, which granted them the fifth pick in the draft. The Pistons were extremely lucky that despite having picked five they arguably could have gotten the best player in the draft.
Jaden Ivey out of Purdue University fell to Detroit at pick five. This was a steal for the Pistons as many fans believed the Kings messed up drastically by selecting Keegan Murry over Ivey.
At Purdue, the 6,4 guard was able to put up numbers of 17 points per game, 4.9 assists, and 3 rebounds all while shooting 46 percent from the field. Ivey’s speed and athleticism will set him up for great success in the league.
This is not the only draft move Detroit made on Thursday, they traded for the draft rights of Jalen Duren, center out of the University of Memphis, from the New York Knicks. This gives the exciting young backcourt of Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, a young talented big man. This trade also included them receiving veteran point guard, Kemba Walker, who will most likely be bought out by the team.
Another clear winner of this NBA draft is the Houston Rockets. The Rockets have been on a downward spiral since the departure of James Harden. Having the worst combined record over the last two seasons, this team finished dead last in the league with a record of 20-62.
The Rockets were able to get the second pick in the 2021 draft, selecting Jalen Green. This year the draft lottery granted them the third overall pick but were able to draft Jabari Smith who should have arguably been the number one pick in this year’s draft.
Fans were shocked to see Jabari Smith fall to three as almost every analyst’s mock drafts had him going number one to the Orlando Magic. In Jabari Smith’s freshman year at Auburn, the 6,10 forward was able to compile 16.9 points per game, 7.4 rebounds, and 2 assists while shooting 42 percent from the field as well as from three.
The Houston Rockets are heading in the right direction with this pick as they have one of the youngest teams in the league, it should be exciting to watch how Jabari fits in with the young Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr.
The Biggest Loser
The biggest loser of the draft was undeniably the New York Knicks as their front office looked like a deer in headlights during the first round. The Knicks were originally selected 11th overall but later traded it for more picks. The Knicks were able to trade for the 13th pick, which ended up being the selection over Jalen Duren who later was traded to the Pistons.
The Knicks draft night was nothing but confusing and left New York fans extremely unhappy as they traded their picks for future picks. As a fan, I would be unhappy as the Knicks missed the playoffs last year and are desperate to get new young talent.
Read more about the NBA draft losers.
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