THE Orlando Magic won the first overall pick in the 2022 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft in Tuesday night’s lottery held in Chicago.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will pick No. 2. The Houston Rockets were No. 3, and the Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons rounded out the top five.
The Magic will pick first overall for the first time since 2004, the year they drafted Dwight Howard.
“It’s so exciting,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said on the ESPN broadcast. “It’s so much to look forward to with this organization, with this group and this fan base. It’s gonna be special.”
The NBA Draft combine is also in Chicago this week, ahead of the June 1 deadline for players to pull out of consideration and return to college. The draft will be held on June 23 in Brooklyn.
Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren, Auburn forward Jabari Smith and Duke forward Paolo Banchero are considered the top three prospects available, without a clear front-runner for No. 1.
Orlando, Houston and Detroit all entered the night with a 14% chance to win the No. 1 pick. Houston posted the league’s worst regular-season record (20-62), followed by Orlando (22-60) and Detroit (23-59).
Oklahoma City had 24 wins last season, giving the Thunder a 12% chance at No. 1 on Tuesday. The Thunder ended up leaping Houston and Detroit. The Kings (30-52) moved up three spots from their pre-lottery position of No. 7.
The Pistons selected Cade Cunningham first overall in 2021. As a bottom-three team, they were guaranteed a top-five pick in the draft under the revised lottery rules — and dropped as far as they could to No. 5.
The Los Angeles Lakers received the No. 8 overall pick, which was sent to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade. The Los Angeles Clippers’ No. 12 pick was sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder as part of the Paul George trade.
The lottery system identified the teams selecting in the top 14. Regular-season records determine the order of selections 15-30. — Reuters