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2022 NBA draft grades for Round 1: Paolo Banchero to Magic gets A-; Jabari Smith and Jaden Ivey get A+

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NEW YORK — The 2022 NBA draft first round featured a few surprises, including the Orlando Magic selecting Duke's Paolo Banchero with the No. 1 overall pick, but mostly went to form of the best available players in this class. Here are our instant reactions and grades for every pick in the first round.

1. Orlando Magic: Paolo Banchero, PF, Duke

Banchero isn't as agile and lacks the lateral quickness Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgren have but he has the most NBA-ready body at 6-foot-10 and 250 pounds. The Duke forward can be plugged in right away alongside Wendell Carter Jr. for some added size and is comfortable starting the offense as a primary ball-handler of missed shots. Grade: A-

2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren, C, Gonzaga

Holmgren in the frontcourt with 7-foot Aleksej Pokusewski will be a sight. General manager Sam Presti knows what he's doing and while Holmgren is a swing-for-the-fences prospect, he's worth the risk with his upside. Grade: A

3. Houston Rockets: Jabari Smith Jr., PF, Auburn

Houston scored big in landing Smith. He's the most versatile big at the top of the draft and will fit in well alongside Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. Smith didn't work out for the Rockets ahead of the draft. He is a huge pickup for the Rockets as an inside-out option and a player who can defend positions 1 though 5. Grade: A+

4. Sacramento Kings: Keegan Murray, SF, Iowa

It was clear that the Kings were zeroing in on Murray at the beginning of the week. He had a strong workout with them leading up to the draft and is a nice complementary piece to Davion Mitchell and De'Aaron Fox. The Kings haven't had much luck drafting bigs but Murray's hybrid role to switch off the wing to the post will bring versatility in the frontcourt. Grade: A

5. Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ivey, SG, Purdue

Ivey falling to No. 5 is the best scenario for the Pistons. Ivey in the backcourt with former No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham is a strong combination and one Pistons fans should be excited about. With the way Cunningham can create off the dribble and Ivey's flashy finishes around the rim, this is a fun, talented duo coming up in Detroit. Grade: A+

6. Indiana Pacers: Bennedict Mathurin, SG, Arizona

Mathurin is a plug-and-play guard who can impact the offensive end of the court with his playmaking and versatility. He's not the best 3-point shooting guard in the draft but he has a high release, and can shoot and pass over the defense with his 6-foot-6 frame. He's a great secondary addition to Tyrese Haliburton and Malcolm Brogdon. Grade: B-

7. Portland Trail Blazers: Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky

Sharpe is the biggest question mark of the draft and will need additional time to adjust to the NBA's pace and spacing after not logging a single minute at Kentucky. If the Trail Blazers are patient, Sharpe might have ended up in the perfect situation playing alongside Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons in the backcourt. Grade: B

8. New Orleans Pelicans: Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite

Daniels grew 2 inches, reaching 6-foot-8 by the end of the G League season. He can add some much-needed size to the Pelicans as a primary ball-handler on the second unit or at the wing position with the starting rotation. Grade: B+

9. San Antonio Spurs: Jeremy Sochan, G/F, Baylor

A dynamic defender, Sochan can guard every position on the court with his length and athleticism. He still needs development on the offensive side of the ball but will see early minutes off the bench for this Spurs team. Grade: A-

10. Washington Wizards: Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin

Davis is one of the most reliable guards in this draft, averaging nearly 20 points and only two turnovers per game during his sophomore season at Wisconsin. The Wizards are finally getting Bradley Beal some help in the backcourt and Davis can be that secondary scoring option at the end of the shot clock. Grade: A-

11. Oklahoma City Thunder: Ousmane Dieng, F, NZ Breakers

Dieng improved tremendously over his season with the NZ Breakers in Australia’s National Basketball League. He’s still a very raw prospect, so the Thunder will have to be patient with his development. In a season or two, Dieng will be a very productive wing with great size at 6-foot-10. Grade: C

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jalen Williams, G/F, Santa Clara

Williams was the biggest riser after the NBA draft combine and brings some size to the wing with his 6-foot-7 frame and 7-foot-2 wingspan. Williams is a little older at 21 years old but has the experience to jump into the rotation right away. Grade: A

13. Detroit Pistons (via trade): Jalen Duren, C, Memphis

Duren is one of the youngest players in this draft class but has a lot of upside with his already built-out frame at 6-foot-10, 250 pounds. Duren provides an immediate presence in the lane. Grade: A+

14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Ochai Agbaji, SG, Kansas

The Cavs need help on the wing with 3-point shooting and Agbaji nicely fills that role. He tested the NBA waters two other times and it paid off in a huge way. He has established himself more as a reliable 3-and-D guy, worked on his body and led the Jayhawks to a national championship. Agbaji is a guy the Cavs can plug in right away with his experience and elite skills at the wing. Grade: A

15. Charlotte Hornets: Mark Williams, C, Duke

The Hornets need some help in the frontcourt and Williams was one of the best rim protectors in the country last season. Williams stands at 7-foot-2 and has an impressive 7-5 wingspan. He has a great frame that he can still grow into and there's a lot of upside to this young center. Grade: A

16. Atlanta Hawks: A.J. Griffin, F, Duke

Griffin is the definition of position-less basketball. He can move between multiple spots with his 6-foot-6, 230-pound frame. Griffin had his fair share of injuries through his young career, so he's a gamble this high in the draft. If he can stay healthy, he might be a missing piece to this Hawks team. Grade: B+

17. Houston Rockets: Tari Eason, F, LSU

Eason is one of the best wing rim runners in this draft class and specializes in chase-down blocks, challenging guards at the rim and even dropping down with his 7-foot-2 wingspan to guard power forwards. He's a raw, athletic wing who loves to play above the rim and will add excitement to this already young, fast-paced Rockets team. Grade: A

18. Chicago Bulls: Dalen Terry, G, Arizona

Terry elected to stay in the draft, surprising a lot of scouts. His upside is clear. He's a long, athletic wing at 6-foot-7 and is a player who could be impactful on this Bulls roster after a year or two of development. The Bulls got a great second-round pick last year with Ayo Dosunmu and Terry can step in alongside Dosunmu on the second unit. Grade: B+

19. Memphis Grizzlies: Jake LaRavia, G/F, Wake Forrest

LaRavia is a solid role player and can play the stretch four and has all the tools to be a solid role player in the NBA. The Grizzlies have a set roster and took a safe, reliable wing in LaRavia. Grade: B

20. San Antonio Spurs: Malaki Branham, G, Ohio State

Branham has great size at 6-foot-5 and was the most improved player from the start of the college season to the end. He averaged 13.7 points, two assists and only 1.7 turnovers per game. Expect Branham to be in the secondary group off the bench to start the season but with his size and the way he sees the floor, Branham could see some minutes early with the starting unit. Grade: A

21. Denver Nuggets: Christian Braun, G, Kansas

Braun was an integral part in Kansas' championship run this past season. He's more than a 3-point shooter and has proven he has the athleticism to be an effective NBA guard. Grade: C-

22. Minnesota Timberwolves: Walker Kessler, C, Auburn

Kessler was the leading shot-blocker in college basketball this past season and moves well with his 7-foot-1 frame. The Cavs had success last year with both Isaiah Mobley and Jarrett Allen in the lane, and Tm Connolly is making a similar move in his first year as president of basketball operations in Minnesota. Grade: B

23. Memphis Grizzlies: David Roddy, PF, Colorado State

Roddy moves better for his size and has a decent outside shot for the power forward position. He's a hard worker that will give decent minutes off the bench behind Stephen Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr. He's one of the older players in the draft and will bring high energy to this Grizzlies squad. Grade: B-

24. Milwaukee Bucks: MarJon Beauchamp, G/F, G League Ignite

A great 3-and-D guard with good size at 6-foot-7. Beauchamp continues to develop his 3-point jump shot and has a significant advantage entering the league, after playing a season with the G League Ignite team. Grade: B+

The 2022 NBA draft class from left to right: Blake Wesley, Walker Kessler, Jaden Hardy, Tari Eason, Jalen Williams, Jalen Duren, AJ Griffen, Dyson Daniels, Johnny Davis, Jabari Smith, Bennedict Mathurin, Chet Holmgren, Jaden Ivy, Paulo Banchero, Shaedon Sharpe, Jeremy Sochan, TyTy Washington, Keegan Murray, Ochai Agbaji, Ousmane Dieng, Malaki Branham, Mark Williams, Marjon Beauchamp, Nikola Jovic.
The 2022 NBA draft class from left to right: Blake Wesley, Walker Kessler, Jaden Hardy, Tari Eason, Jalen Williams, Jalen Duren, AJ Griffen, Dyson Daniels, Johnny Davis, Jabari Smith, Bennedict Mathurin, Chet Holmgren, Jaden Ivy, Paulo Banchero, Shaedon Sharpe, Jeremy Sochan, TyTy Washington, Keegan Murray, Ochai Agbaji, Ousmane Dieng, Malaki Branham, Mark Williams, Marjon Beauchamp, Nikola Jovic pose for a group onstage at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, on June 23, 2022. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

25. San Antonio Spurs: Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame

Wesley is the first one-and-done in Notre Dame history and even though he was a little inconsistent during the season, he's improved his jumper and added nine pounds of muscle mass during the pre-draft process. Wesley is an underrated passer and has great body control around the rim. Grade: A

26. Minnesota Timberwolves: Wendell Moore Jr., G, Duke

Moore Jr. tested the NBA waters last year and elected to return for one more season, working on his body and footwork. It paid off in a big way and he was the floor general for a very good Duke team. Moore Jr. will carry that leadership to Minnesota and should be a decent backup. Grade: B

27. Miami Heat: Nikola Jovic, G/F, Mega Basket (Serbia)

Jovic is a great shooter and hit 13 straight corner 3-pointers during his pro day in Chicago. He'll need some work adjusting to the pace of the NBA game and needs to work on his pick-and-roll reads to develop outside of being just a designated shooter. Grade: C

28. Golden State Warriors: Patrick Baldwin Jr., PF, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The Warriors obviously have the luxury to draft a player here they can stash and develop. Baldwin Jr. looks the part of an elite NBA player with his 6-foot-10 frame. He handles and shoots the ball like a guard but there are concerns if he can stay healthy. Baldwin Jr. only played 11 games this past college season due to an ankle injury and was plagued with injuries in high school. Again, the Warriors can stash and develop him but it's still a risky pick. Grade: C-

29. Houston Rockets: TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky

Washington played off the ball at Kentucky and developed further as a secondary ball-handler and is one of the quickest players in this draft. Grade: B+

30. Denver Nuggets: Peyton Watson, G, UCLA

Watson didn't see a lot of minutes in his one year at UCLA after Mick Cronin returned almost his entire Final Four team. Watson's upside is undeniable as a 6-foot-8 guard and he'll need a year or two of development before he starts to see consistent rotational minutes. Grade: C

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