NBA Draft: Orlando Magic take Paulo Banchero as first pick, Britain's Jeremy Sochan taken at No.9
Following the NBA Draft on Thursday night, we look at who was picked up in the first round, including Orlando Magic's surprise first pick.
As usual, the NBA Draft caught a few by surprise on Thursday night, with Orlando Magic opting for an underdog first pick.
The projected top three were the first three snapped up, although the order wasn't quite as expected.
The first pick of the 2022 NBA Draft went to Orlando Magic, who picked up Paulo Banchero even though he hadn't worked out with the side.
Magic were predicted to pick Auburn's Jabari Smith Jr. or Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren, but opted for the 19-year-old Banchero, who enjoyed a superb lone college season at Duke.
He averaged 17.2 points in his lone college season, along with 7.8 rebounds and was a third-team All-American.
Now an NBA first pick, Banchero is expected to sign a two-year $22.3 million contract that includes two team options which top the deal out at $49.4 million over four years.
Banchero looked as surprised as anyone at the pick, and immediately embraced his mother - Rhonda Smith-Banchero, a former WNBA player - after the news broke.
"I can't believe what just happened, honestly," Banchero said.
"I wanted to be in the NBA, but I didn't know I would be here, man," he added. "I really, honestly, didn't."
After the pick left many fans and pundits stunned, Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman explained the choice by saying: "When you're playing poker, you don't put your cards on the table, right?"
Chet Holmgren was picked up second by the OKC Thunder. The 7-footer from Gonzaga averaged 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds and ranked fourth nationally with 3.7 blocks per game for the Zags.
He also shot 61 per cent from the field and 39 per cent from 3-point range last season, making him one of the deadliest finishers in the draft.
Rounding off the top three was Jabari Smith Jr., who was picked up by the Houston Rockets.
A power forward from Auburn, Smith Jr. averaged 16.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and two assists per game to win SEC freshman of the year, All-SEC first-team and second-team All-American honours.