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2022 NBA Draft: Biggest Losers from Draft Night

2022 NBA Draft

(Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

2022 NBA Draft
(Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

2022 NBA Draft: Biggest Losers from Draft Night

The 2022 NBA draft produced its fair share of winners and losers. Here’s a look at who came out on the losing end of draft night.

Sacramento Kings

This has nothing to do with Keegan Murray. I think the Iowa forward can produce a lengthy NBA career with his solid two-way play. Needless to say, Sacramento was put in a very tough position with the No. 4 overall pick. Jaden Ivey was the near-consensus No. 4 prospect in this draft class, but the Kings have a jam-packed backcourt at the moment and Ivey all but said he had zero interest in going to Sacramento. They probably could have traded down to No. 5 and still gotten Murray plus some extra assets. Interest in Ivey was extremely high, with teams still calling Detroit after they made the pick to try and work out a deal for the Purdue star.

Maybe Sacramento should have drafted Ivey anyway considering the other guards currently on their roster. It was a tough situation and I don’t think they made the most of it. Keegan Murray has a relatively high floor as an NBA player, but I do not think his ceiling is nearly high enough to justify taking him there.

New York Knicks

The New York Knicks owned the No. 11 overall pick in this year’s draft before they decided to trade out of it for three heavily protected 2023 first-round picks. This comes after a 2021 draft in which the Knicks traded out of two other first-round picks. If you look at the state of this Knicks team and you don’t come away thinking they could really use a lottery pick on that roster, I’m not sure you know what you’re looking at. It was so bad the team president had to release a statement on Twitter about their draft strategy. All-time damage control.

Yikes.

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers didn’t have a 2022 draft pick until they traded into the second round during the draft to select Michigan State guard Max Christie at No. 35 overall. I’ve watched a good amount of Max Christie, and the idea that any team would trade into a draft to take him is unbelievable to me. Especially with guys like Bryce McGowens, Jaden Hardy, Kennedy Chandler, and EJ Liddell still on the board. I think this was a really bad idea by Los Angeles. Christie just isn’t that guy.

Max Christie

Max Christie also walks away as one of the big draft losers. The Los Angeles Lakers are not a franchise that prioritizes developing young talent. They operate on a short timeline and would rather use their energy and resources to attract big-name free agents or trade assets for established veterans. That strategy often results in the marginalization of young players.

Let’s think of all the young talent that got better after leaving the Lakers. Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Josh Hart, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma. All those guys got better once they were traded by the Lakers because this is not a franchise that puts any more resources than necessary into youth development. A project like Max Christie would benefit from being with a team that will give attention to his development. The Lakers are not that team.

Overtime Elite

Really tough scene for Overtime Elite as both Jean Montero and Dominick Barlow went undrafted. If OTE wants to be a competitor with G League Ignite as an alternative to college for top prospects, they have some catching up to do. Clearly NBA GMs didn’t have a super high view of OTE on draft night. The Thompson twins should be locks to get selected in 2023, and it looks like they’ll have to be the proof-of-concept for the fledgling pathway.

Fringe Draft Prospects

This year’s NBA Draft was a little bit different in that there were 58 picks instead of the usual 60. That’s because the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat forfeited their second-round picks due to some shady trade activities. However, this punishment does less to hurt two contending teams than it does the top undrafted players who missed out on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear their name called on draft night.

Fans Who Muted Twitter Notifications

General draft night procedure is to make sure that Woj and Shams are muted on Twitter so the picks aren’t spoiled before they happen. That might have worked this year if Woj didn’t go on ESPN’s live coverage to spoil the picks on air. Pretty lame of him to do that.

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