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2022 NBA Draft: Jabari Smith, Jr. to Magic and Chet Holmgren to Thunder reportedly ‘firm’ locks

While the 2022 NBA Draft could feature a great deal of movement as teams trade up, down, and out of the draft, a new report claims that the top three picks in Thursday’s event are set.

There isn’t much of a question on who the top three prospects are in tonight’s event. Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Jr., Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren, and Duke star Paolo Banchero are the three best players in this year’s class. However, over the last few weeks, it has been unclear in what order they will be selected.

Earlier this year, it seemed like Holmgren would be the top overall pick. That has changed recently and became unlikely after reports that he would prefer to land with the Oklahoma City Thunder at two than go to the Orlando Magic with the first selection.

Related: 2022 NBA Draft order, team-by-team picks

In recent weeks, Smith, Jr. has looked like the odds-on favorite to land in Florida when the Magic are on the clock Thursday. However, some doubt crept in Wednesday night when oddsmakers for several top sportsbooks installed Banchero as the new favorite to go first overall.

Top 3 picks at 2022 NBA Draft are firmly set hours before event

2022 nba draft
Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Just hours away from the 2022 NBA Draft, ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojranowski claimed that his sources have told him that the top three teams in the draft know who they are taking Thursday night, and the order for those selections are “firm” locks.

“As team boards finalize today, the 1-2-3 of the NBA Draft is increasingly firm, per sources: Jabari Smith to Orlando, Chet Holmgren to Oklahoma City, and Paolo Banchero to Houston.”

ESPN NBA insider adrian wojnarowski

After the first three picks are off the board things should get very interesting with the Sacramento Kings at four. Several teams have checked in about the selection in an attempt to land the draft’s top guard Jaden Ivey. A report on Wednesday claimed the Kings are likely to wait until they are on the clock to make a final decision on keeping or trading their selection.