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 evening who the Orlando Magic worth because the No. 1 choose 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 places of work. And ditto for our workforce of consultants. In our last prime 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 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 distinction – however under every of us have said our instances for our selection because the No. 1 professional prospect on this yr’s draft. This is who every of us had within the prime spot, and why, as we barrel in the direction of Thursday evening’s draft with a variety of views in regards to the prime of the category.

Need extra evaluation of the highest prospects within the NBA Draft? Pay attention under and subscribe to the Eye on School Basketball podcast the place we take a deep dive on the highest gamers heading to the subsequent 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 consider Holmgren is the very best prospect accessible this yr, and that’s why I additionally consider Orlando ought to take him with the No. 1 choose. He is an elite rim-protector on protection who can float on offense, bounce it, shoot and customarily exploit matchups.

If a standard massive guards him, he can doubtless go round him. If a smaller participant guards him, he can positively shoot proper over him. Am I involved in regards to the slight body? Certain, 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 very best participant from this draft. – Gary Parrish

Holmgren has the very best ceiling within the draft in my view. He alters the sport on each ends of the ground. There simply aren’t many 7-footers, wherever on this planet, 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 prime of all of that, I’m only a massive 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 tips on how to 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 energy is an precise hindrance. You will not be capable of 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 capability to dribble, move and shoot in contrast to any now we have 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 fantastically in that division. Banchero’s suspect as a 3-point shooter and on protection – Holmgren has a candy stroke and is among the finest rim-protecting prospects we have ever seen. I do not purchase the boisterous ravings in regards to the distinctive physique sort, both. Holmgren’s been capable of maintain his personal in opposition to stronger gamers his complete 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 beginner 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 feels like the very best 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 massive board many occasions 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 choose 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 workforce 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 measurement + talent + contact + passing capability + play-creation + rebounding prowess + aggressive edge. He has an above-average deal with, can work the publish, 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 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 larger increase / bust propositions, too (Holmgren), however nobody possesses the uncommon mixture of explosive athleticism and creation capability 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 generally is a change-of-pace initiator whose dynamic explosiveness helps ease the burden of a workforce’s No. 1 initiating choice. I might take him No. 1 over everybody on this class on the possibility his playmaking improves even marginally, if not considerably, and his enchancment as a shooter over the past yr 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 very best choose at No. 1 within the 2022 NBA Draft is his elite outdoors 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 stage. Whereas Banchero and Holmgren every flashed some vary from the perimeter of their lone school seasons, neither tasks as elite in any aspect of the sport fairly like Smith does as an outdoor shooter.

Provided that Smith additionally boasts wonderful defensive upside and a blossoming shot-creation portfolio offensively, he’s the most secure wager of the group to at some point 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 taking pictures contact he’ll convey into the league on day one. David Cobb

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