The Orlando Magic select Duke Forward Paolo Banchero with the first pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. (2:24)
In the weeks leading up to the draft, Smith had been widely expected to land the top selection. But the Magic turned things upside down by taking Banchero, who sported a bright purple suit with sequins, along with even brighter shoes, as he took to the stage and shook hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Banchero said on ESPN’s draft broadcast. “I can’t believe what just happened. Honestly.”
The 6-foot-10 forward from Duke averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game across 39 games for the Blue Devils, who reached the Final Four before losing to their forever rivals in North Carolina. Banchero, who might be the most NBA-ready prospect in this draft, will now be looked to as the anchor of Orlando’s nascent rebuild, which includes guards Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony, forwards Franz Wagner and Jonathan Isaac and center Wendell Carter Jr.
While Banchero was a surprise at No. 1, Holmgren was always expected to go to Oklahoma City with the second pick. A 7-footer from Gonzaga, Holmgren flashed a wide array of skills in his lone season in college, averaging 14.1 points on 60 percent shooting overall and 39 percent from 3-point range while grabbing 9.9 rebounds and blocking 3.7 shots in 26.9 minutes across 32 games.
Oklahoma City, which entered the night with a second lottery selection (12th overall) and with multiple firsts in each of the next several drafts, now has an interior anchor to go with its promising young backcourt of rising star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Australian Josh Giddey, the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft and a first team All-Rookie selection.
Smith, a sweet-shooting 6-foot-10 forward, averaged 16.9 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 42 percent from behind the 3-point arc.
After drafting Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher and Usman Garuba in the first round of last year’s draft, the Rockets — who also entered the evening with the 17th selection — continued their rebuild in the wake of moving on from franchise icon James Harden at the start of the 2021-22 season by selecting Smith.
Murray had a breakout sophomore season at Iowa, averaging 23.5 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 55.4 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from 3-point range. He will now join a Kings team that is trying to end a 16-year playoff drought and retool itself around guard De’Aaron Fox and big man Domantas Sabonis under new coach Mike Brown.
Ivey, who had publicly said going to Sacramento wouldn’t be the “worst” thing to happen to him, will team him with last year’s top overall pick, Cade Cunningham, in the Pistons backcourt. Like Murray, Ivey had a breakout sophomore season, averaging 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists at Purdue while showing off breathtaking athleticism and straight-line speed.