A few weeks into the 2021-22 NCAA Division I men’s basketball season, there were two young men favored to be selected with the first pick in the 2022 NBA entry draft. Those players were Duke’s Paolo Banchero and Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren.
In the early stages of the season, Banchero was a clear favorite to be picked first overall. With a good portion of the season in the rearview mirror, Holmgren is now the favorite for the first overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft.
Odds to be first pick in 2022 NBA draft
|To Be Drafted 1st in 2022|
|Patrick Baldwin Jr.||+2000|
Chet Holmgren is the new favorite
In November, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren was listed at +105 to go first overall in the 2022 NBA entry draft. There were — and still are some concerns about Holmgren’s frame and his ability to play in the NBA, but those worries seem to not be as substantial as they were before the season. Holmgren is 7-feet tall and he weighs 190 pounds. However, Holmgren has impressed in his play with the Bulldogs, who are the No. 2 ranked team according to the most recent AP poll. Holmgren has averaged 13.6 points per game with 8.5 rebounds and 3.4 blocks for Gonzaga.
Gonzaga freshman Chet Holmgren first 11 Games:
🏀 12.7 PTS, 8.5 REB, 3.7 BLK, 62.1 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 68.8 FT %
Last 6 Games:
🏀 15.3 PTS, 8.7 REB, 2.7 BLK, 61.2 FG%, 50.0 3P%, 79.3 FT% #NBADraft
— No Ceilings (@NoCeilingsNBA) January 22, 2022
If an NBA team wants a big man who can play well on defense, Holmgren is a strong candidate.
Paolo Banchero slips
Duke’s Paolo Banchero was the -105 favorite to go first in the 2022 NBA draft in November. He has slipped a bit to +105, but he could still be the first pick depending on the wants of the team with the first overall selection.
Banchero leads the Blue Devils, who are the No. 9 team in the latest AP poll, in scoring with 17.9 points per game and 7.9 rebounds.
— ACC Men's Basketball (@accmbb) January 24, 2022
Banchero is six-foot-10 and 250 pounds, so he shouldn’t have any issues with playing a physical game in the NBA. The one thing that might hold Banchero back is his passing and his lack of assists. His 2.7 assists per game puts him fourth among Duke players. NBA teams will want to see that number improve.
Jaden Hardy holds
In November, Jaden Hardy was the only NCAA player outside Banchero and Holmgren who is under +1000 to go first in the 2022 NBA Draft. He is still the only player under +1000 not named Banchero or Holmgren. The 6-foot-4-inch 19-year-old did not go the NCAA route. Instead, he is playing in the NBA G League where he has averaged 17.7 points per game with a field goal percentage of 35.1 percent.
— Tyler Rucker (@tyler_rucker) January 22, 2022
The G League saw two players taken in the first 10 picks of the 2021 NBA Draft with Jalen Green going at No. 2 and Jonathan Kuminga going at No. 7.
This largely depends on what a team is looking for. If the club who wins the 2022 NBA draft lottery wants defense first, then they will probably go with Holmgren. If the team is looking for a potential offensive star, then Banchero will be the likely pick.
See below a list of reliable sportsbooks and choose the best one for you.