The 2022 NBA Draft is officially in the books, as a surprise selection at No.1 stunned the league and two Aussies had their names called.
We were also promised trades ahead of the event and we certainly got them, although one left everyone confused.
In a stunning twist, the New York Knicks traded former All-Star Kemba Walker to the Detroit Pistons along with Jalen Durenwho they acquired from the Charlotte Hornets (13th pick).
In return, the Hornets received a 2025 first-round pick from the Pistons but it was not immediately clear what the Knicks got out of the move.
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Attempting to bring clarity to the situation, NBA insider Marc Stein reported that the move was part of New York’s bid to lure Jalen Brunson away from the Dallas Mavericks.
By trading away Walker and the 11th overall pick, the Knicks are reportedly set to generate $16 million ($A23m) in cap space that will be put towards their Brunson chase.
New York had also been linked to Kyrie Irving although it would need to clear even more space to land the Nets superstar should he not come to an agreement with Brooklyn.
For Walker, it brings an end to a short stint at the Knicks, having signed on a two-year, $18 million deal after the 2020-21 season.
Walker and the Knicks came to an agreement earlier in the year that he would sit out the remainder of the season and address his ailing knee ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Now though he will be on a rival team as the Knicks made a big move to bolster their search for a real solution at point guard.
As for Walker, he is expected to discuss a contract buyout with the Pistons that will allow him to become a free agent.
As for the draft itself, the Orlando Magic surprised plenty early after selecting Duke University’s Paolo Banchero with the first overall pick.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had reported early Friday morning that the top three picks were expected to go as planned, with the Magic selecting US college star Jabari Smith.
Instead, the Magic went for Banchero in a move that Wojnarowski described as “one of the great stealth operations” and reported would see “everybody’s draft boards blown up”.
Banchero averaged 17.2 points while taking Duke to the Final Four, although interestingly reports emerged earlier in the week that he had continually pushed back workouts scheduled with the Magic.
“If Paolo felt he had a chance to go one, he wouldn’t have pushed back his workout with Orlando again and again and again,” draft expert Jonathan Givony said on The Lowe Post.
Bleacher Reports Jake Fischer tweeted that Banchero had a scheduled visit to Orlando on Tuesday [AEST] but canceled it too, eventually getting on the phone with the Magic instead.
Gonzaga University’s Chet Holmgrenwho stands an imposing 7ft tall, was taken by the Oklahoma City Thunder with the second overall pick.
He will join the Thunder as Australian Josh Giddey’s new teammate in Oklahoma City’s rebuild.
“I feel like I could fit in with almost anybody,” Holmgren said earlier in the week.
“But especially a point guard like Josh Giddey… he would make life easy for me. With Shai, he doesn’t need any help from anybody. He’s a hell of a player.”
As for the 19-year-old Smithwho excelled for Auburn University’s Tigers this year during his only season as a college player, he was taken with the third pick by the Houston Rockets.
As for Australian DysonDanielswill go to the New Orleans Pelicans after being drafted with the eighth overall pick.
Daniels has the ability to guard four of five positions and is a genuine two-way threat who will add to the core trio of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum.
Daniels wasn’t the only Aussie drafted, as the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Luke Travers with the 56th pick.
Travers spent the 2021/22 NBL season with the Perth Wildcats.
Elsewhere, despite speculation they would trade down to get a veteran, the Sacramento Kings used their fourth pick to draft Iowa’s Keegan Murray.
Jaden Iveywho averaged 17.3 points per game for Purdue, was taken by the Detroit Pistons with the fifth pick.
the Indiana Pacers took Bennedict Mathurin with the sixth pick while the Portland Trail Blazers took a swing on the biggest mystery of the draft — Shaedon Sharpe.
Jeremy Sochan (Spurs) and Johnny Davis (Wizards) rounded out the top-10 while the Thunder then made a big move to trade up to the No. 11 spot and draft Ousmane Dieng.
The New York Knicks initially had that pick and will receive three conditional first-round picks in return.
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2022 NBA draft order
1. Orlando Magic—Paolo Banchero
2. Oklahoma City Thunder — Chet Holmgren
3. Houston Rockets — Jabari Smith
4. Sacramento Kings—Keegan Murray
5. Detroit Pistons—Jaden Ivey
6. Indiana Pacers — Bennedict Mathurin
7. Portland Trail Blazers—Shaedon Sharpe
8. New Orleans Pelicans (from Los Angeles Lakers) — Dyson Daniels
9. San Antonio Spurs — Jeremy Sochan
10.Washington Wizards—Johnny Davis
11. Oklahoma City Thunder (from New York Knicks) — Ousmane Dieng
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Los Angeles Clippers) — Jalen Williams
13. Charlotte Hornets — Jalen Duren (traded to Detroit Pistons)
14th Cleveland Cavaliers—Ochai Agabaji
15. Charlotte Hornets (from New Orleans) — Mark Williams
16. Atlanta Hawks — AJ Griffin
17. Houston Rockets (from Brooklyn) — Tari Eason
18. Chicago Bulls—Dalen Terry
19. Minnesota Timberwolves — Jake LaRavia (traded to Memphis Grizzlies)
20. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto) — Malaki Branham
21. Denver Nuggets — Christian Braun
22. Memphis Grizzlies (from Utah) — Walker Kessler
23. Memphis Grizzlies (from Philadelphia 76ers as part of De’Anthony Melton deal) — David Roddy
24. Milwaukee Bucks—MarJon Beauchamp
25. San Antonio Spurs (from Boston) — Blake Wesley
26. Minnesota Timberwolves (Houston Rockets via Dallas Mavericks) — Wendell Moore
27. Miami Heat — Nikola Jovic
28. Golden State Warriors — Patrick Baldwin
29. Memphis Grizzlies — TyTy Washington
30. Denver Nuggets (from Oklahoma City) — Peyton Watson