The 2022 NBA Draft took place on June 23, following a highly competitive regular season. How did every NBA team do in the first round?
2022 NBA Draft: Evaluating the 1st-Round for all 30 teams: Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are coming off a disappointing 2022 campaign where they were expected to compete for a championship after reaching the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals. They are currently in search of a trade package to ship John Collins to another team.
With Collins being on the trade block, a forward was the best pick for Atlanta. With the 16th pick, they drafted Duke’s AJ Griffin, who is widely regarded as the best shooter in the draft. Griffin shot 46% from behind the arc in his freshman season. He also has extremely long arms, which will be beneficial for the Hawks’ defense that struggled last season.
Drafting another player who can put the ball in the basket and be a defender for them places the Hawks in a much better position than last season.
2022 NBA Draft: Evaluating the 1st-Round for all 30 teams: Boston Celtics
The future is bright in Boston, but they didn’t have a pick in this year’s first round.
2022 NBA Draft: Evaluating the 1st-Round for all 30 teams: Brooklyn Nets
This offseason is not about the draft for the Nets, as they did not have a pick in the first round. Rather, they are focused on contract negotiations with Kyrie Irving and the consequences that will come from the results.
2022 NBA Draft: Evaluating the 1st-Round for all 30 teams: Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte has shown flashes of being one of the better, up-and-coming teams in the league currently. However, they lost in the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament for the second-consecutive season, which shows that they are missing a key piece that will take them to the next level in the East.
The Hornets are in need of a two-way big who can play above the rim by catching lobs and play lockdown defense on the interior, as they finished in the bottom third of the league in opponent interior scoring. For this reason, they drafted Duke’s Mark Williams with the 15th pick, after trading away their 13th pick to the Pistons for a protected first-round pick (via MIL).
2022 NBA Draft: Evaluating the 1st-Round for all 30 teams: Chicago Bulls
The Bulls had a much improved season after acquiring Lonzo Ball, Demar Derozan, and Nikola Vucevic, as they made the playoffs for the first time since 2017. However, with Ball and Caruso going down with injuries, they relied more on Derozan’s and Zach Lavine’s scoring ability to carry the team.
Chicago needed insurance behind Lonzo Ball, so they drafted Arizona’s Dalen Terry with the 18th pick. They are very similar, as players who are versatile on both sides of the court.