2022 NBA Draft: Knicks trades for No. 4, Chet Holmgren has career best of five bold predictions

The Golden State Warriors won the NBA title a week ago and now all eyes are on Thursday night’s 2022 NBA Draft. The Orlando Magic have the No. 1 pick, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets. That’s natural for now. A slew of trades can take place before the end of the night.

With that in mind, let’s move on to my five draft predictions as we count down until the Magic is on the clock.

1. Knicks Traded to No. 4

There are reports that the Knicks want to move into the top five and Sacramento is an ideal partner. The Knicks are seemingly forever looking for a franchise leader/combo guard, and Jaden Ivey fits the bill. Sacramento already has De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell and is eager to put together a playoff roster after trading for Domantas Sabonis.

New York may send some rotating pieces, this year’s No. 11 pick and a future draft pick to go on for Ivey, who has enticing talent, but if you listen to most reviewers, it’s not so sure Sacramento it should completely ignore the positional overlap.

Not sure if I would agree with this step if it happens. I don’t think New York can send Sacramento anything that will turn its playoff fortune into an absolutely charged Western Conference next season, and the Kings should muster as much talent as possible. Ivey becoming a superstar after the Kings already partially passed on Luka Doncic for good reasons would be an unfathomable disaster.

Plus, I don’t think Davion Mitchell is a franchise point guard. He is a beautiful piece. A Gary Payton II type with a better scoring advantage. That’s a really good player, but good enough that you trade a pick that could have gotten you Ivey? I’m not sure. But what I think will happen and what I think should happen are two different things, and ultimately I think New York should seize this opportunity, and Sacramento is grumpy enough to watch it briefly, especially if there’s a player is at number 11 likes it.

2. Chet Holmgren will have the best career

Holmgren isn’t the gambling favorite to be overall No. 1 (which is accolade from Jabari Smith), but the more I think about this, the more I think Holmgren will ultimately have the best career in this class of 2022. He is legit seven feet with guard skills. His defensive impact can last for generations as a monster edge protector with what many describe as off-the-chart instincts.

In addition, Holmgren has plenty of room to grow. Sometimes he wasn’t even an offensive focal point at Gonzaga. When he starts pulling NBA bigs to the arc as a potential 40 percent-plus three-point shooter and puts the ball on the ground like a playmaker in space, coupled with his defensive prowess, Holmgren’s ceiling starts to look pretty high pretty quickly. to see .

3. Blazers will trade No. 7 for OG Anunoby

Portland managed to trade for Jerami Grant on Wednesday without giving up the number 7 pick. Now Yahoo’s Chris Haynes reports that the Blazers are trying to use that seventh pick to trade for Toronto’s OG Anunoby. I predict this deal will not go through. It’s come this far and Portland will add whatever it takes to push it over the top.

The Blazers to have to put a contender on the floor next season. Damian Lillard is going to itch. They traded CJ McCollum, Norman Powell and Larry Nance Jr. to arm themselves with the resources to upgrade, especially defensively, and adding Grant and Anunoby would be a huge step towards combat. It’s too important to get stingy at the last minute. That seventh pick doesn’t do anything for the Blazers right now, and at this point, Portland just has to think about it.

4. No surprises in the top three

There’s no real consensus top pick in this class, but that said, most mocks have Jabari Smith as #1 to the Magic, followed by Chet Holmgren to the Thunder and Paolo Banchero to the Rockets. There is talk of a trade at the top, but I don’t see that happening. I don’t think Jaden Ivey jumps anyone in the top three. I don’t think Holmgren beats Smith as a surprise No. 1, and Banchero was pretty sure he would go to Houston if Christian Wood was traded a second time.

Where there is so much smoke, there is almost always fire. I’d be shocked if Collins doesn’t get traded, and considering Atlanta owns the No. 16 roster on Thursday night, that’s a pretty strong package. Once the Hawks make that choice, the actual player generally becomes less valuable. He won’t score the same on everyone’s board. Fit/need with certain trading partners will play a role. The Hawks now want to win, and Collins alone won’t make them enough of an impact player to be even such a big upgrade over Collins himself. Atlanta needs to spice up that pack, and the number 16 pick achieves that.

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