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 total for the primary time since 2004 — however there’s removed from a consensus view on the high of this draft amongst NBA entrance places of work. And ditto for our group of consultants. In our closing high 100 rankings comprised of a consensus taken from rankings by CBS Sports activities consultants Gary Parrish, Matt Norlander, David Cobb and myself, together with Adam Finkelstein and Travis Branham of 247Sports, there have been 4 totally 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 consideration — however beneath every of us have said our circumstances for our alternative because the No. 1 professional prospect on this 12 months’s draft. Here is who every of us had within the high spot, and why, as we barrel in direction of Thursday night time’s draft with a variety of views concerning the high of the category.

Need extra evaluation of the highest prospects within the NBA Draft? Pay attention beneath and subscribe to the Eye on Faculty Basketball podcast the place we take a deep dive on the highest gamers heading to the following degree.

The case for Chet Holmgren


I perceive the arguments for Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero and even Jaden Ivey to go first total within the 2022 NBA Draft. I do not assume any of them are ridiculous choices. However I nonetheless genuinely consider Holmgren is the most effective prospect obtainable this 12 months, and that is why I additionally consider 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 customarily exploit matchups. 

If a conventional large guards him, he can probably go round him. If a smaller participant guards him, he can positively shoot proper over him. Am I involved concerning the slight body? Positive, on some degree, I assume. However as ESPN’s Jonathon Givony famous on a latest podcast, what number of nice prospects have fallen in need of 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 finally emerge as the most effective participant from this draft. — Gary Parrish

Holmgren has the very best ceiling within the draft for my part. He alters the sport on each ends of the ground. There simply aren’t many 7-footers, wherever on the earth, who can shield 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 high of all of that, I am 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 the whole 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 along with his capacity to dribble, cross and shoot not like any we’ve seen at his measurement 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 likely one of the greatest rim-protecting prospects we have ever seen. I do not purchase the boisterous ravings concerning the distinctive physique kind, both. Holmgren’s been in a position to maintain his personal towards stronger gamers his total 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 newbie basketball, and he additionally has essentially the most room to enhance of any of the highest three prospects. Add all of it up, and that actually appears like the most effective participant within the draft class. Colin Ward-Henninger

The case for Paolo Banchero


Be it for, on Eye on Faculty Basketball or on CBS Sports activities HQ, I’ve defined my place on having Banchero No. 1 on my large board many instances in latest weeks. However right here, proper up towards the draft, as soon as extra, with feeling. Banchero is essentially the most wise 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 group within the nation, per 

Banchero was a 52.% 2-point shooter and 33.8% from 3-point vary. No one on this draft has Banchero’s mixture of measurement + talent + contact + passing capacity + play-creation + rebounding prowess + aggressive edge. He has an above-average deal with, can work the submit, 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 doubtlessly 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 in the end show to be a multiple-time All-Star by the top of his second contract. — Matt Norlander

The case for Jaden Ivey


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

At worst he generally is a change-of-pace initiator whose dynamic explosiveness helps ease the burden of a group’s No. 1 initiating possibility. 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 coming 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 exterior taking pictures. At 6-10 and with a 42% 3-point mark on 5.5 makes an attempt per sport in his lone season at Auburn, Smith tasks as a superb long-term shooter on the subsequent degree. Whereas Banchero and Holmgren every flashed some vary from the perimeter of their lone school seasons, neither tasks as elite in any side of the sport fairly like Smith does as an outdoor shooter. 

On condition that Smith additionally boasts wonderful defensive upside and a blossoming shot-creation portfolio offensively, he’s the most secure wager of the group to in the future 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 simple to see him turning into the Magic’s main scorer early in his profession as a consequence of feathery taking pictures contact he’ll convey into the league on day one. David Cobb

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