The NBA is already back! Did you miss it? The 2022 NBA draft is 8 p.m. ET Thursday, a week after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. The win gave the Warriors their fourth championship in the last eight seasons, removing all doubt as to whether they deserve to be called a dynasty.
How was that dynasty built? The NBA draft, of course. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson all joined the Warriors via the draft.
For every other team, the opportunity to build their own dynasty starts tonight. Who will the Orlando Magic select to lead their franchise to the promised land?
We’re excited to find that out with you. Consider this live tracker your one-stop shop for all things related to the 2022 NBA draft. Below, we’ll provide analysis and commentary on the event in real time.
Want to know how a player fits on their new roster, or who showed up to the draft with the best outfit? We’ve got you covered.
• Yahoo Sports’ final NBA mock draft: Draft analyst Krysten Peek gives her predictions.
• NBA draft live board: Up-to-date analysis on the latest moves by every team.
• NBA draft buzz: What our experts are hearing as draft day approaches.
• Draft sleepers: These players could prove a lot of teams wrong.
• NBA draft podcast: Where will the biggest names land?
• NBA draft odds: Jabari Smith is the favorite to go No. 1
Will Houston trade up to take Paolo Banchero?
The Vegas line shifted drastically earlier this week in anticipation Paolo Banchero could go No. 1. With no clear-cut overall pick, much speculation is swirling around as to what the Orlando Magic will do when they’re on the clock later Thursday.
Jabari Smith still makes the most sense for the Magic at No. 1, and if the Houston Rockets worry that Oklahoma City Thunder will take Banchero at No. 2, they’ll need to make a move up.
The Rockets aren’t showing their cards, but Banchero spoke highly of his time in Houston for his workout during his media availability and said he could see himself fitting in nicely alongside Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr.
This could all be last-minute smoke from Orlando to entice Houston into a trade and sweeten the deal if they drop down to No. 3. — Krysten Peek
Jabari Smith: ‘I’ll be surprised if I’m not taken No. 1’
NEW YORK — The No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA draft belongs to the Orlando Magic. And at this point, it is no secret whom they plan to select Thursday night.
“I’ll be surprised if I’m not taken No. 1,” Jabari Smith Jr., the consensus top overall pick out of Auburn, told Yahoo Sports. “It’s just my competitive nature mixed with my unselfishness and my ability to just shoot the ball, defend multiple positions and care about winning. I don’t care about stats. I feel I can help any team right away. But I feel I’m the No. 1 pick.” — Chris Haynes
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl confident Jabari Smith will go No. 1 and ‘make Orlando win’
NEW YORK — The day is finally here. If they keep the pick, all signs point to the Magic selecting Auburn’s Jabari Smith with the No. 1 overall pick.
Smith, a 6-foot-11 forward, played one season at Auburn and head coach Bruce Pearl knows exactly the kind of player the Magic are getting if they take him with the first pick.
“What makes him No. 1? For his size, he’s the best jump shooter I’ve seen in college in over 20 years,” Pearl told Yahoo Sports. “He’s about as ready, as far as a one-and-done, than I’ve ever seen and he is going to make Orlando win.” — Krysten Peek
Tari Eason, who could be the Scottie Barnes of this class, can ‘definitely see the comparisons in our games’
NEW YORK — This time last year, Tari Eason was in the middle of making a decision that would change the trajectory of his career. After a disappointing freshman season at Cincinnati, where he averaged only 7.3 points and 5.9 rebounds in 18 minutes, Eason decided to enter the transfer portal and eventually landed at LSU.
At the time, Will Wade had sent only three players to the NBA draft (most notably Cam Thomas to the Brooklyn Nets at No. 27 in 2021), but Eason liked the freedom the offense provided and the idea of playing in a new conference.
“There was a learning curve and it was a new team, new season, new league and I was just adjusting to everything,” Eason told Yahoo Sports. “Through that, I just got more comfortable in the game and that’s when things just started to open up.” — Krysten Peek
Jalen Williams getting lottery buzz
The 6-foot-7 junior out of Santa Clara shot up draft boards after his strong showing at the NBA draft combine and solidified himself as a first-round pick. After working out for a handful of teams, Williams’ stock has continued to rise heading into the draft and there are late rumblings that Williams could sneak into the lottery, anywhere from No. 8 (New Orleans Pelicans) to No. 19 (Minnesota Timberwolves).
“This process has just been a blessing,” Williams told Yahoo Sports. “I’m from a smaller school,…