Since 1947, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has had an annual draft where teams from the league can select players who are eligible and want to play for them.
These are typically college basketball players, although overseas players can sometimes be selected too, and are always players who have never played in the NBA before.
A strong group of international talent was present at the draft, which got underway a week after the Golden State Warriors won their fourth NBA championship in eight years.
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is the NBA Draft?
The draft typically takes place near the end of June, during the NBA offseason.
Since 1989, the draft has consisted of only two rounds; much shorter than the entry drafts of the other major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.
Teams take turns choosing players, and when a team chooses a player, it is called a pick.
For example, if a player is chosen second, people will say that he was taken with the second pick in the draft.
There are 30 picks in each round, making a total of 60 picks in the draft. Each team is allowed one pick per round, however occasionally a side will choose more than once or not at all.
This is because teams can trade draft picks for players, for money, or for other draft picks.
The NBA gives less performant teams the opportunity to choose their picks ahead of teams with better records (i.e., teams who won more games) the previous season.
This enables worse teams to select quality players and improve. The first 14 teams to choose are always the 14 teams from the previous season that did not advance to the playoffs.
The order of these first 14 picks is assigned through a special draft lottery (ping pong balls with numbers printed on them are used in the NBA’s current system), so that clubs won’t purposefully lose games to acquire higher picks.
What happened in this year’s draft?
Paolo Banchero was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic in the NBA Draft on Thursday (23 June) at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York.
After the Magic’s disappointing 22-60 season, Banchero, who averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 39 starts during his one year at Duke University, will try to revive the team.
Even though surprises on draft night are uncommon, Banchero himself was taken aback by Orlando’s selection, as some experts had anticipated Jabari Smith - who instead went to the Houston Rockets - to grab the top place.
Gonzaga Bulldogs centre Chet Holmgren went to the Oklahoma City Thunder; the seven-footer promised to use his height to the Thunder’s advantage, who finished 24-58 the previous year.
The Detroit Pistons selected Purdue’s Jaden Ivey, and the Sacramento Kings selected Iowa forward Keegan Murray to complete the top five.
The Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers respectively selected Bennedict Mathurin and Shaedon Sharpe from Canada as the sixth and seventh picks.
Australian Dyson Daniels was taken eighth by the New Orleans Pelicans, American-born Polish player Jeremy Sochan was chosen ninth by the San Antonio Spurs, and Frenchman Ousmane Dieng was chosen eleventh by the New York Knicks, before being transferred to the Thunder.
The full 2022 NBA draft first-round selections:
- 1) Paolo Banchero,PF, Orlando Magic
- 2) Chet Holmgren, C/PF, Oklahoma City Thunder
- 3) Jabari Smith Jr, PF, Houston Rockets
- 4) Keegan Murray, PF, Sacramento Kings
- 5) Jaden Ivey, SG, Detroit Pistons
- 6) Bennedict Mathurin, SF, Indiana Pacers
- 7) Shaedon Sharpe, SG, Portland Trail Blazers
- 8) Dyson Daniels, PG/SG, New Orleans Pelicans (from Lakers)
- 9) Jeremy Sochan, PF, San Antonio Spurs
- 10) Johnny Davis, SG, Washington Wizards
- 11) Ousmane Dieng, SF, New York Knicks (traded to Thunder)
- 12) Jalen Williams, SG, Oklahoma City Thunder (from Clippers)
- 13) Jalen Duren, C, Charlotte Hornets (traded to Pistons via Knicks)
- 14) Ochai Agbaji, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers
- 15) Mark Williams, C, Charlotte Hornets (from Pelicans)
- 16) AJ Griffin, SF, Atlanta Hawks
- 17) Tari Eason, PF, Houston Rockets (from Brooklyn)
- 18) Dalen Terry, SG, Chicago Bulls
- 19) Jake LaRavia, SF, Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to Grizzlies)
- 20) Malaki Branham, SG, San Antonio Spurs
- 21) Christian Braun, SG, Denver Nuggets
- 22) Walker Kessler, C, Memphis Grizzlies (from Jazz, traded to Timberwolves)
- 23) David Roddy, SF, Philadelphia 76ers (traded to Grizzlies)
- 24) MarJon Beauchamp, SG, Milwaukee Bucks
- 25) Blake Wesley, G, San Antonio Spurs (from Celtics)
- 26) Wendell Moore, SF, Dallas Mavericks (traded to Timberwolves)
- 27) Nikola Jovic, SF, Miami Heat
- 28) Patrick Baldwin Jr, PF, Golden State Warriors
- 29) TyTy Washington, PG, Memphis Grizzlies
- 30) Peyton Watson, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder (from Suns)
Who is top pick Paolo Banchero?
Forward Paolo Banchero, who is 19-years-old, had 39 starts for the Duke University Blue Devils, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists last season.
“I don’t even know what to say. I can’t believe what just happened,” said Banchero. “I wanted to be in the NBA but I didn’t know I would be here.”
The Orlando Magic are placing a significant amount of their future on Banchero, who, according to Spotrac, will sign a two-year, $22.3 million (£18.9 million) contract with two team options that could bring the total value of the agreement to $49.4 million (£40.3 million) over four years.
Banchero joins a youthful team in Orlando that already contains Markelle Fultz, the top pick in 2017, and Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs, two picks in the top eight in the 2021 draft.
Thursday night was the fourth time that Orlando made the first pick; Shaquille O’Neal was selected first by the Magic in 1992 - the franchise will have made a wise choice if Banchero and its other young players are even remotely as successful.