2022 NBA Draft: Debating case for Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith or Jaden Ivey as No. 1 prospect

Who’s the No. 1 prospect within the 2022 NBA Draft?

We’ll discover out on Thursday night time who the Orlando Magic worth because the No. 1 decide as they choose first general for the primary time since 2004 – however there’s removed from a consensus view on the prime of this draft amongst NBA entrance workplaces. And ditto for our staff of specialists. In our ultimate prime 100 rankings comprised of a consensus taken from rankings by CBS Sports activities specialists Gary Parrish, Matt Norlander, David Cobb and myself, together with Adam Finkelstein and Travis Branham of 247Sports, there have been 4 completely different gamers who earned votes at No. 1.

So who’s the No. 1 prospect within the 2022 NBA Draft?

The scouts have their opinions however our math within the consensus rankings decided Chet Holmgren was deserving of the dignity – however under every of us have acknowledged our instances for our alternative because the No. 1 professional prospect on this 12 months’s draft. Here is who every of us had within the prime spot, and why, as we barrel in the direction of Thursday night time’s draft with a variety of views concerning the prime of the category.

Need extra evaluation of the highest prospects within the NBA Draft? Hear under and subscribe to the Eye on School Basketball podcast the place we take a deep dive on the highest gamers heading to the following stage.

The case for Chet Holmgren

I perceive the arguments for Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero and even Jaden Ivey to go first general within the 2022 NBA Draft. I do not assume any of them are ridiculous choices. However I nonetheless genuinely imagine Holmgren is the most effective prospect out there this 12 months, and that’s why I additionally imagine Orlando ought to take him with the No. 1 decide. He is an elite rim-protector on protection who can float on offense, bounce it, shoot and usually exploit matchups.

If a conventional large guards him, he can probably go round him. If a smaller participant guards him, he can undoubtedly shoot proper over him. Am I involved concerning the slight body? Positive, on some stage, I assume. However as ESPN’s Jonathon Givony famous on a current podcast, what number of nice prospects have fallen wanting greatness strictly as a result of they’re too skinny? He could not consider any. Neither can I. So I am simply going to imagine Holmgren’s distinctive skill-set will permit him to beat his distinctive body and ultimately emerge as the most effective participant from this draft. – Gary Parrish

Holmgren has the best ceiling within the draft for my part. He modifies the sport on each ends of the ground. There simply aren’t many 7-footers, wherever on the planet, who can defend the rim, stretch the ground, and nonetheless present such an environment friendly inside ending presence. He is even a greater ball-handler and passer than I feel some persons are giving him credit score for. However on prime of all of that, I’m only a large believer in his mentality and that inner-toughness. I do know he has to construct up his physique, but when there’s one factor that NBA groups have all discovered how you can do at an exceptionally high-level, it is that. Adam Finkelstein

We all know all the world is questioning his physique however the reality is, Holmgren has by no means had a historical past of accidents or proven that his lack of power is an precise hindrance. You will not have the ability to throw him on the Joel Embiids of the world, however nobody can throw something at him. In 4 to 5 years, we may legitimately be speaking about him being one of many faces of the League together with his potential to dribble, go and shoot in contrast to any now we have seen at his dimension and size together with the truth that he’s an elite defender and rim protector. Travis Branham

I perceive the attract of Smith and Banchero, however to me Holmgren’s upside is a notch above. Smith lacks playmaking potential – Holmgren can blossom superbly in that division. Banchero’s suspect as a 3-point shooter and on protection – Holmgren has a candy stroke and is among the greatest rim-protecting prospects we have ever seen. I do not purchase the boisterous ravings concerning the distinctive physique sort, both. Holmgren’s been capable of maintain his personal in opposition to stronger gamers his whole life, and the NBA guidelines will proceed to evolve in his favor. He is already confirmed that he can carry out on the highest ranges of novice basketball, and he additionally has essentially the most room to enhance any of the highest three prospects. Add all of it up, and that definitely appears like the most effective participant within the draft class. Colin Ward-Henninger

The case for Paolo Banchero


Be it for CBSSports.com, on Eye on School Basketball or on CBS Sports activities HQ, I’ve defined my place on having Banchero No. 1 on my large board many instances in current weeks. However right here, proper up in opposition to the draft, as soon as extra, with feeling. Banchero is essentially the most smart decide of any participant on this class as a result of he is essentially the most developed and confirmed expertise. His numbers at Duke, with a number of different first-rounders within the beginning lineup, had been past passable: 17.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.2 apg for the top-rated offensive staff within the nation, per KenPom.com.

Banchero was a 52.% 2-point shooter and 33.8% from 3-point vary. No person on this draft has Banchero’s mixture of dimension + talent + contact + passing potential + play-creation + rebounding prowess + aggressive edge. He has an above-average deal with, can work the put up, shoot from past the arc, and is not a black gap. The hesitation with him at No. 1 stems from the truth that he isn’t as probably damaging of a 3-point shooter as Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren and even Jaden Ivey are. However he can nonetheless shoot it. Defensively, he is bought extra floor to make up. Nobody is as able to play within the NBA tomorrow like Banchero, although, and I feel that he’ll finally show to be a multiple-time All-Star by the tip of his second contract. – Matt Norlander

The case for Jaden Ivey


There are safer prospects on the prime of this class (Smith Jr.) and greater increase / bust propositions, too (Holmgren), however nobody possesses the uncommon mixture of explosive athleticism and creation potential that Ivey has on this draft. He is a human firecracker who can pop to the rim. He has the potential to become a real lead guard on the subsequent stage if he continues to develop and enhance as a decision-maker.

At worst he could be a change-of-pace initiator whose dynamic explosiveness helps ease the burden of a staff’s No. 1 initiating choice. I would take him No. 1 over everybody on this class on the prospect his playmaking improves even marginally, if not considerably, and his enchancment as a shooter over the past 12 months portends very properly for him as a blossoming star getting into the NBA. Kyle Boone

The case for Jabari Smith Jr.


What most clearly separates Smith from Banchero, Holmgren and others as the most effective decide at No. 1 within the 2022 NBA Draft is his elite outdoors capturing. At 6-10 and with a 42% 3-point mark on 5.5 makes an attempt per recreation in his lone season at Auburn, Smith tasks as a superb long-term shooter on the subsequent stage. Whereas Banchero and Holmgren every flashed some vary from the perimeter of their lone faculty seasons, neither tasks as elite in any aspect of the sport fairly like Smith does as an out of doors shooter.

Provided that Smith additionally boasts wonderful defensive upside and a blossoming shot-creation portfolio offensively, he’s the most secure guess of the group to someday be an NBA All-Star. With promising younger guards like Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony distributing the basketball in Orlando, Smith would make a superb addition to the Magic’s core group. Although it could take years for Smith to succeed in his full potential, it is easy to see him turning into the Magic’s main scorer early in his profession because of the feathery capturing contact he’ll convey into the league on day one. David Cobb

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