The NBA calendar continues to roll along as the 2022 NBA Draft is set for Thursday, June 23 from Barclays Center. Almost 10 years since they drafted Dwight Howard first overall in 2004, the Orlando Magic will select first once again in the 2022 NBA Draft. Following the results of the NBA draft lottery, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets will select second and third overall respectively.
While the top prospects will hear their names called early on there are opportunities to add quality pieces throughout the first round. For the following teams, they have the opportunity to bolster their rosters given the luxury of having multiple first-round draft selections:
- San Antonio Spurs (3)
- Houston Rockets (3)
- Oklahoma City Thunder (2)
- Charlotte Hornets (2)
- Memphis Grizzlies (2)
- Denver Nuggets (2)
The Spurs and Rockets hold the most picks in the first round, and their acquisitions came by way of significant trades involving key players. The trade that sent Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors gave them the 20th overall pick, while a February trade deadline deal for Derrick White garnered the Boston Celtics’ first-round selection (25th overall) in return. The Rockets’ additional first-round selection at number 17 was part of the blockbuster trade deal in January 2021 that sent James Harden from Houston to the Brooklyn Nets. They also got the No. 26 pick after dealing Christian Wood to the Dallas Mavericks.
The Thunder also held three first-round picks before dealing one to the Nuggets in exchange for a future first and JaMychal Green. They now have two selections, although Oklahoma City is still holding plenty of draft capital for years to come.
The Hornets' additional first-round selection stems from last season’s three-team trade that sent Devonte Graham to the New Orleans Pelicans for a 2022 protected first-round pick (15th overall). The Grizzlies’ 22nd overall pick comes by way of the Utah Jazz, and was included back in the 2019 trade that sent Mike Conley from the Grizzlies to the Jazz, securing the starting point guard position for Ja Morant.