NBA Draft Grades 2022 (Live Draft Tracker + Analysis)

The 2022 NBA Draft is finally here and Lineups.com has you covered with an NBA Draft Tracker, an analysis of each pick, and our draft grades! Even though there has not been an official pick yet, it feels like the draft has already started with Orlando keeping everyone guessing as to its potential selection at No. 1. Interestingly enough, Paolo Banchero’s odds of going first overall have risen as quickly as any player that we have seen in recent memory.

It’s anyone’s guess at this point as to what Orlando will do with the first overall pick, but it seems to be between Banchero and Jabari Smith Jr. Meanwhile, Chet Holmgren looks destined to go second to the Oklahoma City Thunder; however, anything can happen on draft night and nothing is guaranteed until it is announced. Make sure to check out our tracker and analysis below to see which direction your favorite team will go!

Contributors – Braxton Reynolds and Drew Norton

NBA Draft Grades – 1st Round

1. Orlando Magic – Paolo Banchero – F – Duke
Analysis: Paolo Banchero is the most talented player in this draft class and it’s not close. He should bring immediate high-level scoring to the Magic with his impressive isolation game, which Orlando needs desperately. The Magic finished near the bottom in every major offensive statistical category and desperately need a guy who can be an alpha-scorer. Welcome to Orlando, Carmelo 2.0.

Grade: A+

2. Oklahoma City – Chet Holmgren – C – Gonzaga
Analysis: Chet’s 7’0” height and 7’6” wingspan will anchor a frontcourt in desperate need of rim protection. The perimeter defense is excellent, and Holmgren’s interior defense will complete it. His ball handling and outside shooting adds more offensive versatility to a squad that severely lacked the ability to score. Overall, he is a great fit who has arguably the highest upside in this draft.

Grade: A+
3. Houston – Jabari Smith – F – Auburn
Analysis: Jabari Smith could actually be a better fit for the Houston Rockets than Paolo Banchero, even if I don’t value him on that same level. Smith should immediately be a secondary scorer for Houston who can stretch the floor and defend several positions.

Grade: A
4. Sacramento – Keegan Murray – F – Iowa
Analysis: Keegan Murray is an NBA-ready forward who can score, rebound, and play defense. The KIngs are drafting fit over talent (Jaden Ivey) though, which doesn’t make sense considering the roster isn’t a contender. Ivey is a potential superstar, and Murray doesn’t have that ceiling. This pick is terrible considering Sacramento could have traded down for immense value if they wanted Murray.

Grade: D
5. Detroit – Jaden Ivey – G – Purdue
Analysis: Jaden Ivey falling to the fifth pick is a miracle for Detroit. The fact that Sacramento passed up on Ivey and didn’t trade the pick for a win-now player is mind-boggling. Ivey’s explosiveness is on the level of Westbrook and his speed is on the level of John Wall. He even has an impressive and effective three-point shot. Next to Cade Cunningham, this duo could do anything.

Grade: A+
6. Indiana – Benn Mathurin – G/F – Arizona
Analysis: With Ivey off the board, there were only two viable options for Indiana: Dyson Daniels or Benn Mathurin. Mathurin is a slightly better fit for the Indiana Pacers, so they certainly made the right pick. There are few athletes as explosive as Mathurin and his ability to shoot from deep makes him an electric prospect. Solid work, Indiana.

Grade: A+
7. Portland – Shaedon Sharpe – G – N/A
Analysis: Shaedon Sharpe is like a magic 8 ball: shake it up and see whether or not he becomes an All-Star. Sharpe’s fit in Portland could work if he accepts coming off the bench and not immediately being “the guy.” Still, I feel they might move him before the draft is up. We will see. If not, this is still a solid pick.

Grade: B
8. New Orleans (from Los Angeles Lakers) – Dyson Daniels – G – G League Ignite
Analysis: Dyson Daniels is a jumbo playmaker who provides elite perimeter defense. McCollum is best suited as a secondary ball handler and playmaker, so Daniels can pick up some of those possessions. A new Death Lineup is brewing: Daniels, McCollum, Ingram, Jones, Zion. The Pelicans hit a home run with this pick and drafted a player with All-Star potential.

Grade: A
9. San Antonio – Jeremy Sochan – F – Baylor
Analysis: Sochan is a project; he has extremely impressive size and length and his defensive prowess is amongst the top of this class. San Antonio will have to be patient offensively with him as his three-point shot and ball-handling will take time. Still, there are few organizations that are better at developing raw talent.

Grade: C+
10. Washington – Johnny Davis – G – Wisconsin
Analysis: Johnny Davis is an elite perimeter defender who thrives running the pick and roll. His pull up midrange jumper is excellent, and his strengths complement Bradley Beal. The three-point shooting is a slight concern, but I buy his long term upside. It’s a great pick for Washington, as it hits the intersection of talent and fit.

Grade: A –
11. New York – Ousmane Dieng – F – New Zealand 
Analysis: New York decided that if it couldn’t get Ivey, it would try and add further draft capital. The Thunder traded a few future first-rounders for the No. 11 pick to grab Ousmane Dieng. Dieng is a high-ceiling, playmaking forward. Dieng will be a project, but his upside is undeniable.

Grade: B
12. Oklahoma City (from LA Clippers) – Jalen Williams – F – Santa Clara
Analysis: Jalen Williams is 21st on my Big Board, so this is a reach to me. He’s a great playmaker who can run the pick and roll, but the Thunder already have guys for that role. Griffin’s shooting upside is higher than that of Williams. AJ Griffin was the right move here because of his elite three-point shooting. His catch-and-shoot ability would have complemented this roster well.

Grade: B-
13. Charlotte – Jalen Duren – C – Memphis
Analysis: The Hornets’ center problem has officially been fixed with the 13th pick in the 2022 Draft. Scarcely have those words been uttered in conjunction. Somehow, Duren dropped to the tail end of the lottery and his size, length, and athleticism instantly give LaMelo his new favorite P&R partner. Duren traded to Detroit.

Grade: A+
14. Cleveland – Ochai Agbaji – F – Kansas
Analysis: Agabji is a 3&D guy who can come in right away and contribute immediately. He spaces the floor for a Cavs team that has Jarrett Allen – a non-shooter. His perimeter defense will help compensate for Darius Garland and boost the squad’s balance. The Cavs have Okoro for defense and Markkanen for offense, but Agbaji blends both.

Grade: A
15. Charlotte (from New Orleans) – Mark Williams – C – Duke
Analysis: What a wonderful play from Charlotte; it clearly didn’t expect Jalen Duren to be available, but when he was, it snagged him and then flipped him. Knowing that the Cavaliers wouldn’t take a big with the 14th pick, the Hornets felt comfortable passing up Mark Williams…temporarily. Now, they grabbed Williams and his length, size, and defensive upside/prowess should give Charlotte all it needs to compete in the Eastern Conference and make the playoffs.

Grade: A+
16. Atlanta – AJ Griffin – G/F – Duke
Analysis: AJ Griffin is arguably the best catch and shoot threat in this draft. With Trae, Hunter, Bogdanovic, and now Griffin, Atlanta has a ton of outside shooting. His defensive upside and 7’0” wingspan can help cover for Trae’s deficiencies. He’s also extremely young, so he fits any timeline.

Grade: B+
17. Houston (from Brooklyn) – Tari Eason – F – LSU
Analysis: I love this pick for Houston! Tari Eason is a two-way forward who defends at a very high level. His length, anticipation, and motor will significantly improve the defense. His catch and shoot potential plays well next to Green and Porter Jr. With Jabari and Eason, the forward rotation looks far better than it did before the draft. He also positively affects the culture, which is something the Rockets need.

Grade: A+
18. Chicago – Dalen Terry – F – Arizona
Analysis: Dalen Terry is a  6’7” wing with a 7’1” wingspan. He was an exceptional playmaker who showed potential as a shooter and paint menace. He’s still somewhat raw, but Terry’s potential is one of the highest for the remaining players in this draft.

Grade: A+
19. Minnesota – Jake LaRavia – F – Wake Forest
Analysis: Minnesota selected Jake LaRavia and traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies for 22nd and 29th. It’s a great haul for the Timberwolves here. For Memphis, he’s a great spot up shooter and playmaker who has the potential to be an all-around impact player. Defensively, his quick hands and good rotations will pair well with Jackson Jr. There are concerns about his off the dribble scoring, but that’s not relevant with Morant, Bane, and Brooks in the lineup. Traded to Memphis. 

Grade: A –
20. San Antonio (from Toronto) – Malaki Branham – G – Ohio State
Analysis: I had Malaki Branham 9th on my Big Board because of his immense ceiling and versatility. Branham is a combo guard who can get his own shot off the dribble. His mid range shot is silky smooth, and he spaces the floor for Murray. The defensive upside is questionable, but Murray and Sochan will cover for his mistakes. He was the best player available for him.

Grade:
21. Denver – Christian Braun – G/F – Kansas
Analysis: Christian Braun is an elite three-point shooter who will thrive next to Jokic’s passing. He’s an underrated athlete who can run in transition. Braun is a clean fit for the Nuggets offense, and his defense isn’t terrible. Overall, the Nuggets made a very solid pick here.

Grade:
22. Memphis (from Utah) Traded To Minnesota – Walker Kessler – C – Auburn 
Analysis: Walker Kessler is an elite rim protector who has tried to increase his range, but he doesn’t offer much upside. It’s a confusing move for Minnesota, as they have Towns already there. It doesn’t make sense to take a backup center at 22nd when there are more talented players at a position of need.

Grade: D
23. Philadelphia – Traded To Memphis – David Roddy – F – Colorado State
Analysis: David Roddy shined at Colorado State and showed a great three-point shot. He’s solid defensively and will contribute on that end of the floor. He’s not the player Melton is, but this trade means Memphis likely keeps Tyus Jones. Memphis saves some cap space, but they lost an impact player.

Grade: C+
24. Milwaukee – MarJon Beauchamp – G – G League Ignite 
Analysis: MarJon Beauchamp is a hyper-athletic wing who can thrive in transition. He has credible upside as a defensive stopper, which is terrifying next to Giannis. His outside shot is inconsistent, but the Bucks are great at developing this area. Overall, it’s a good pick for Milwaukee.

Grade: B+
25. San Antonio (from Boston) – Blake Wesley – G/W – Notre Dame
Analysis: Blake Wesley is an athletic guard who can play on or off-ball. His acceleration on drives is excellent, and he plays hard on defense. His shooting is streaky, but Wesley can get red-hot from three. San Antonio gets a guy who needs a year or two to develop, but he is a potential steal.

Grade: B+
26. Houston (from Dallas) – Wendell Moore Jr. – F – Duke
Analysis: Wendell Moore is an all-around 3&D player who developed as a playmaker this past season. He fits very well with their core as he is effective off-ball. He won’t take touches from Edwards and Towns, which is crucial. Moore’s wing defense is solid, and he will help with rotations. His potential isn’t boundless, but he’s a win-now player who can help them compete.

Grade: B
27. Miami – Nikola Jovic – F – Serbia
Analysis: I had Nikola Jovic at No. 12 on my personal Big Board, so this is an absolute steal. Miami still needs a replacement point guard for Kyle Lowry, but that can wait for a little bit. Jovic is an offensive spectacle and stands at just shy of seven feet tall; his athleticism for his height is unprecedented. This is a wonderful upside pick at the end of the first round.

Grade: A
28. Golden State – Patrick Baldwin Jr. – F – Milwaukee
Analysis: Patrick Baldwin Jr is 6’9” tall and has incredible length at his position. His subpar shooting and unreliable ball-handling is a bit of a question mark, but Baldwin’s frame and potential traits make him an upside pick. He won’t help the Warriors win immediately, which should have been the focus given their core is aging.

Grade: C+
29. Memphis Traded To Minnesota – TyTy Washington – Kentucky
Analysis: TyTy Washington is a player that I thought Houston might look at with the No. 17 pick. Instead, the Rockets were able to grab him at the end of the first round and still land Tari Eason and Jabari Smith Jr. This is an incredible grab for Houston; it needs a player who can handle lead guard duties and off-load some of the point guard responsibilities from KPJ.

Grade: A+
30. Oklahoma City (from Phoenix) Traded To Denver – Peyton Watson – F – UCLA
Analysis: Peyton Watson struggled to gain traction as a freshman at UCLA, but the 6’8” G/F has plenty of potential. It’s interesting that Denver makes a high upside play here, yet it makes sense given they drafted an established player at 21. Overall, it’s a decent but not amazing pick. With Michael Porter Jr not panning out at the moment, they select a player who is somewhat similar.

Grade: B-

2nd Round

31. Indiana (from Houston via Cleveland) – 
Analysis: As a prospect, I love Andrew Nembhard; he’s a floor general with a high IQ. For the Pacers, I’m not sure what they are doing. They already have Tyrese Haliburton and if they are planning to move Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner, then a frontcourt player would have made the most sense at No. 31.

Grade: C+
32. Orlando
Analysis: Caleb Houston struggled his freshman year, but the talent is undeniable. He has catch and shoot potential at 6’8” and defensive versatility. His future as an impact player is far from certain, but Houston can be a great value pick for a Magic team not trying to contend.

Grade: B
33. Toronto (from Detroit via San Antonio, Washington and Chicago)
Analysis: Toronto could use another guard, but the center position is also lacking a little bit. Christian Koloko is a high-upside center who can protect the rim and operate in the pick and roll. He has great size and length, so this is a good fit for him. This is good value, as Koloko should have gone off the board before this pick.

Grade: B+
34. Oklahoma City
Analysis: The Thunder got a 6’10” forward to add to the frontcourt in Jaylin Williams. He’s a good interior scorer who can crash the glass. He also showed some playmaking potential, which adds even further to the offensive versatility of the Thunder. Overall, the frontcourt looks revamped and dangerous now. 

Grade: A-
35. Orlando (from Indiana via Milwaukee)
Analysis: Max Christie may not help the Lakers immediately, but he does provide a solid long-term prospect who can shoot the ball and create a bit for himself. His efficiency was subpar overall for Michigan State, but he still could develop into a wonderful player.

Grade: B-
36. Detroit (from Brooklyn, swap Portland)
Analysis: Gabriele Procida is an athletic wing who possesses an elite three-point shot. His athleticism and transition game will work well next to Cade/Ivey/Bey. He doesn’t have the highest upside, but Procida can be a solid wing who knocks down threes and defends his position. 

Grade: A-
37. Dallas (from Sacramento)
Analysis: Jaden Hardy is an offensive specimen; had it not been for a rough year for the G-League Ignite, he would have been a surefire lottery pick. Still, he scored at a high level in a difficult league for a teenager to play in. This is a superb pick for Dallas, who traded two future second-rounders to swoop in and grab him.

Grade: A+
38. Memphis (from San Antonio, via Los Angeles Lakers via Chicago and Washington)
Analysis: The Spurs traded the pick to Memphis, who is selecting Kennedy Chandler. He’s a pick-and-roll threat who can set up his teammates for good shots. If he wasn’t 6’0” tall, Chandler would have been drafted already. The defensive limitations are concerning, but Memphis gets a backup point guard who replaces Melton. 

Grade: A

39. Cleveland (from San Antonio via Utah)
Analysis: Khalifa Diop is a high-ceiling project. Luckily, Cleveland can afford to take a flier on a player like this, because it does have a roster that is loaded with talent. Diop won’t get tick from the get-go, but maybe down the line, he could turn into a decent propsect for the Cavs. He has extremely long arms and shot-blocking potential.

Grade: C+
40. Minnesota (from Washington via Cleveland)
Analysis: The Timberwolves traded 40th to the Hornets, and they are selecting Bryce McGowens. He’s a combo guard with off-the-dribble scoring potential. McGowens is a streaky shooter, but his driving ability and defensive upside are tantalizing. The Hornets got a steal here!

Grade: A
41. New Orleans
Analysis: Liddell is a first-round talent that mysteriously dropped from the first round all the way to the Pels at No. 41. He is a huge value for a team that could compete as soon as next year. The likely reason he dropped this far is due to his age and size; however, that should not keep him from being productive in the league. 

Grade: A-
42. New York
Analysis: Trevor Keels is a combo guard with a big frame who can guard 1-3. He has very good shooting range, but doesn’t offer much beyond perimeter shooting and driving. Overall, he’s a solid 3&D prospect, which is always a great prototype to select in the draft. 

Grade: B+
43. LA Clippers
Analysis: Moussa Diabate is a 6’11” forward from Michigan who operated as a post-up player. He excelled as a roll man and was an active cutter. His playmaking and shooting limitations are real, but the Clippers add some size here. There were better options for a team trying to win now though. 

Grade: C+
44. Golden State
Analysis: Ryan Rollins flashed as an all-around player who could score, rebound, and act as a beneficial playmaker. He can thrive in the pick and roll and act as a backup facilitator for the Warriors. He had some trouble defending spot up shooters, but he held up as an on-ball defender. 

Grade: A-
45. Charlotte
Analysis: Josh Minott is a 6’8” guard/forward with elite athleticism. His transition game is tremendous, as he threw down some thunderous dunks. His defense is great due to timely closeouts and his athletic tools. The shooting is questionable, but I buy his form long-term. 

Grade: A-
46. Portland (swap Detroit)
Analysis: Ismael Kamagate is an athletic rim-runner who sets efficient screens. He’s shown flashes of a mid-range game while also being a lob threat. Kamagate also makes the right reads and passes out of the double team. His mobility and shot-blocking skills make him a solid bench center at a minimum. He lacks three-point range, but it’s not an essential piece for his game. 

Grade: B+
47. Memphis (from Cleveland via New Orleans and Atlanta)
Analysis: Vince Williams is one of the most unique 3-and-D prospects in the draft. His age is a huge deterrent for certain teams, but he could contribute on a team in the right situation. Williams is a big-time athlete with a solid stroke from deep; he should also have the size and length to guard at least two different positions. Solid grab for Memphis.\

Grade: B+
48. Indiana (from Minnesota)
Analysis: How in the world did Kendall Brown fall this far in the draft? Most experts projected him as a late first-rounder or early second-rounder; however, NBA teams did not feel the same way. Brown has great mobility for his size (6-foot-8), but he is still very raw offensively. This is a pure upside pick, but something that Indiana can afford to take a risk on.

Grade: B
49. Sacramento (from Chicago via Memphis and Detroit)
Analysis: Isaiah Mobley is now paired with his brother Evan. Isaiah is a solid spot-up player who was able to run the court in transition. Defensively, he has solid footwork and balance. He defended multiple areas of the court well. Overall, he’s a solid but not spectacular prospect. 

Grade: B-
50. Minnesota (from Denver via Philadelphia)
Analysis: Spagnolo is a crafty, entertaining 6’5” point guard. He has excellent court vision and a tight handle. Spagnolo can pull up from mid-range, but he’s also a good three-point shooter. His defense needs work, and Spagnolo needs to improve his off-ball movement. However, Minnesota got a reliable bench guard who can run the pick and roll. 

Grade: B+
51. Atlanta (from Golden State, via Toronto and Philadelphia)
Analysis: Tyrese Martin was a four-year collegiate player, but was highly effective for the UCONN Huskies during his senior year. This is a bit of a reach, in my opinion; however, his athletic upside and skill set is impressive.

Grade: C+
52. New Orleans (from Utah)
Analysis: Matkovic was a late-riser in the 2022 NBA Draft, shocking NBA execs due to his incredible athleticism off of one foot at 6-foot-11. Karlo’s jump shot is inconsistent, to say the least, and his offensive game still has a ways to go; however, he could be a future contributor to this team. It will take a few years, though.

Grade: B
53. Boston
Analysis: JD Davison flashed some serious playmaking potential, but his carelessness and poor decision making is worth noting. He has poor outside range, and the defensive questions are real. With Hugo Besson – a lights-out shooter – on the board, this pick was questionable at best, 

Grade: D
54. Washington (from Dallas)
Analysis: Yannick Nzosa is a mobile 6’11” center who thrives around the rim. He has a great hook shot and rolls to the basket effectively after setting the pick. Nzosa is aggressive inside and attacks the basket with purpose after catching the pass. Given some time to develop, Nzosa’s ceiling is a decent starting center. The Wizards can let him develop, so it’s a good landing spot for him. 

Grade: B
55. Golden State
Analysis: Gui Santos has a slick game and terrific size for his position; he can handle the ball a bit and even shoot off the catch-and-shoot, or off the dribble. Santos still needs a period of time to develop, but this is a decent pick towards the end of the second round.

Grade: B
56. Cleveland (from Miami via Indiana)
Analysis: Travers is a crafty guard with pro experience who can finish around tough rim protectors due to his timing and hesitation. He may not be a player that sees the floor for a few years, but if he continues to develop, could find his way into a rotation. Regardless, there were 5-7 players on the board that I liked more, so I can’t give this a super high grade.

Grade: C
57. Portland (from Memphis via Utah)
Analysis: Jabari Walker had a fantastic output in college, averaging nearly 15/10 with a 35% mark from deep. Walker’s upside is somewhat limited; however, he is a solid basketball player and could eventually contribute off the bench.

Grade: B-
58. Milwaukee (from Indiana, via Phoenix)
Analysis: Mr. Irrelevant? Hardly. Hugo Besson is an exceptionally talented offensive player, whether it’s shooting from the perimeter, handling the ball, or facilitating to teammates. Besson’s upside will be determined by his ability to fit into an organization and do the small things and his will to commit on the defensive end of the floor.

Grade: A

*Two picks in the second round were forfeited by Milwaukee and Miami

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Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at Lineups.com, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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