The 2022 NBA Draft order has finally been set, and the Orlando Magic will have the first overall pick. The franchise will have its choice in a top-heavy, star-studded draft class, and they’re widely expected to choose one of three players with their top pick.
Below, we’ll take a look at the current odds for the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, as well as our best bets for who will go off the board first and more.
2022 NBA Draft No. 1 Pick Odds
All NBA gameday odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook and current as of Wednesday, June 22, at 3 p.m. ET.
- Jabari Smith Jr. (-280)
- Paolo Banchero (+280)
- Chet Holmgren (+550)
- Jaden Ivey (+15000)
- Shaedon Sharpe (+25000)
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2022 NBA Draft: No. 1 Pick Best Bets
Jabari Smith Jr.: No. 1 Pick (-280)
Jabari Smith Jr. is widely considered the favorite to go first overall in the 2022 NBA Draft, and it’s not hard to see why. The 19-year-old Auburn product offers a unique blend of size and skill, shooting 42% from three-point range as a 6-foot-10-inch forward.
Shooting is not all he can do either. Smith is a strong perimeter defender with a 7-foot-1-inch wingspan. He’s a productive rebounder, averaging 10.3 per 40 minutes in college, and an efficient scorer at all three levels. His playmaking could use some work, as he posted a 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio at Auburn, but he can improve on that over time.
As for his fit with the Magic, the franchise could certainly use someone who can reliably get you buckets and space the floor. Orlando ranked dead-last in offensive rating and third-worst in three-point percentage in 2021-22. He would help form an exciting, young group alongside Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, Franz Wagner, and Wendell Carter Jr.
Paolo Banchero: No. 1 Pick (+280)
Paolo Banchero is a terrific prospect and potentially the best fit for the Magic. The 19-year-old averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game in his lone season at Duke. He’s more than capable of creating shots for himself and others, which is something that can’t be said for Smith or Holmgren.
Banchero still has the large frame as well. At 6-foot-10-inches and 250 pounds, he has the size and strength to compete right away, especially on the offensive end. He lacks the same two-way talent that Smith and Holmgren have, and he also isn’t especially efficient from deep, converting just 33.8% of his looks on 3.3 attempts per game.
With that said, Banchero is a player that the Magic can trust to be their primary creator and score without being set up first. That’s a special skill to have, and his offensive ability would inject this team with something it currently lacks: a go-to guy.
Chet Holmgren: No. 1 Pick (+550)
Perhaps the most intriguing prospect in this year’s class, Chet Holmgren is as close to a unicorn as it gets. The seven-footer averaged 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds in 32 games at Gonzaga, which is not unheard of for a center. However, he also sank three-pointers at a 39% clip and blocked 3.7 shots per game despite weighing in under 200 pounds.
Holmgren can do just about everything. He has incredible skill and basketball IQ. The main concern, though, is his frame. He lacks physical strength and may struggle to hold his own against some of the more imposing bigs in the NBA. However, should he be able to add some muscle and continue to hone his skills, he could certainly become a special talent.
It may take some time for Holmgren to adapt to the league. He’s not as NBA-ready as some of his peers, but the Magic aren’t exactly in win-now mode, either. That, coupled with the fact that he was high school teammates with Suggs, who was Orlando’s 1st-round pick in 2021, is good reason to believe Holmgren will be the top pick in this year’s draft.
2022 NBA Draft: No. 1 Pick Sleepers
Shaedon Sharpe: No. 1 Pick (+25000)
There’s always an element of mystery present with the NBA Draft, and Shaedon Sharpe is the best example of that. The 6-foot-6-inch wing and former No. 1 overall recruit didn’t play at Kentucky this past season, instead choosing to prepare for his future in the NBA.
The biggest draw here is Sharpe’s absurd athleticism. He unofficially recorded a 49-inch vertical leap in early May, which is one inch higher than Michael Jordan’s and a would-be NBA record. That’s something you can’t teach, and Sharpe’s explosive leaping ability would make him a nightmare for opposing teams to defend.
Sharpe is also incredibly young. He won’t turn 20 until May 2023. He could still grow, and he could still be younger than some rookies when he signs his second contract. However, his inexperience is also something of concern as we’ve never seen him play against college-level talent.
Rolling the dice on Sharpe would be a massive gamble, and it’s one that Orlando shouldn’t consider taking.