Posts Tagged ‘First Overall Selection’

With the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic have selected Duke standout Paolo Banchero.

“When you’re playing poker, you don’t put your cards on the table, right?” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said regarding the surprise pick, according to team writer Dan Savage.

Banchero is the latest one-and-done prospect to come out of the Blue Devils’ program. The 6-foot-10 forward was the lead option of an explosive Duke offense, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 boards, and 3.2 assists over 39 appearances last season. Banchero finished fourth in the ACC in free-throw attempts (188) and 10th in blocks (36).

His strong regular season earned him ACC Rookie of the Year honors and an All-ACC first-team nod. Banchero elevated his game in the NCAA Tournament, helping Duke earn another Final Four berth. The former five-star recruit posted 18.8 points on 50% shooting, including a sizzling 52.6% mark on nearly four triples per game.

Bio

Position: Forward
School: Duke
College experience: Freshman
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 250 lbs
Wingspan: 7-foot-1
Max vertical: N/A

Strengths

  • Mix of quickness and strength creates mismatches for opposing big men
  • Has assortment of back-to-the-basket moves
  • Finishes well through contact
  • Efficient mid-range scorer
  • Uses crafty footwork to create his own shot
  • Great passer for his size
  • Solid ball-handling skills allow him to initiate fast breaks or pick-and-roll

Weaknesses

  • Drives recklessly to rim at times
  • Defensive effort and focus fluctuate too often
  • Needs to improve off-hand finishing
  • Coughs up the rock frequently, registered fifth-most turnovers in ACC last season

College basketball season ended almost three months ago, the NBA draft lottery was more than a month ago and the draft itself is later this week.

Seems like the process should be winding down.

Orlando Magic President Jeff Weltman sees it differently.

“I tell you, it’s still early in the process,” Weltman said Monday.

Translated: The Magic haven’t decided yet what they’ll do on Thursday night, when the draft rolls around and they have the No. 1 pick. Other teams have called to gauge what the asking price would be if they want to trade for that selection, and the Magic have evaluated all the top candidates.

But Weltman sees no reason to decide anything before it’s absolutely necessary, especially given the opportunity that Orlando has by holding this No. 1 pick.

“Dialogue is always ongoing,” Weltman said. “But, most importantly, we get to do what we want. That’s the real benefit of having the No. 1 pick.”

The top candidates for the pick are well-known: Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. worked out for Orlando earlier this month, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren met with the Magic for multiple days last week and Duke’s Paolo Banchero has been working out with former Magic guard Mike Miller.

Weltman wouldn’t say that those are the only three candidates Orlando would consider at No. 1.

“It’s confirmed that there are a lot of talented players at the top of this draft, that’s for sure,” Weltman said.

This is the fourth time that Orlando will be making the No. 1 pick. The Magic took Shaquille O’Neal with the top selection in 1992. Chris Webber was the No. 1 pick by Orlando in 1993, and he got traded that same night for Penny Hardaway and a package of future picks that were eventually turned into Vince Carter and, later, Miller. And in 2004, the Magic selected Dwight Howard with the first pick.

The No. 1 pick on Thursday will join a young core in Orlando that already includes 2017 top pick Markelle Fultz, a pair of top-eight picks from the 2021 draft in Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs, and Cole Anthony — the No. 15 pick in the 2020 draft.

Orlando also has the No. 6 picks from the 2017 and 2018 draft, Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba. It’s possible that when next season starts Orlando could have as many as six lottery picks, nine top-16 selections and 12 first-rounders on its roster.

This is all part of the challenge for the Magic — who also have the No. 32 and No. 35 picks this year — going into Thursday: Finding more youth that fits with the current core, finding ways to be better next season and sustainably better for years to come.

“We do want to get better but not at the expense of rushing back to mediocrity,” Weltman said. “And we do want to have something sustainable. But you have to elevate the standard to do that. You can’t just stay at the basement level, you know, interminably. So those are conversations that we’re having, which players do that for us.”

Shane Wright wants to be the first overall pick taken by the Montreal Canadiens in next month’s NHL draft. He also knows it’s not his call.

“I have my own opinion on where I believe I should go, but at the end of the day, it’s out of my control now. What my opinion is, what I say, what I think, it doesn’t matter now. It’s in the hands of Montreal and their management,” Wright said in a meeting with media before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday. “Obviously, I’d like to be the first overall pick. But at the end of the day, it’s not my decision.”

The Canadiens hold the first overall pick, having won last month’s draft lottery. Whoever goes first overall, it’ll be an extraordinary moment in Montreal, as the draft is scheduled on July 7 at Bell Centre — the first time since 1985 that the host city also holds the top pick.

Wright has been considered the top prospect in this draft class for several years. He was granted exceptional player status for the 2019-20 Ontario Hockey League season as a 15-year-old, becoming just the sixth player allowed early entry into the league. Among the others were NHL stars Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and John Tavares of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

But as the draft draws closer, there has been some doubt about Wright going first overall. He isn’t considered to be a franchise-level talent the way McDavid or Auston Matthews were. There are other intriguing players at the top of the draft, such as Slovakian winger Juraj Slafkovsky and center Logan Cooley of the U.S. National Development Program.

What was once a sure thing is a little less so for Wright, with the New Jersey Devils at No. 2 and the Arizona Coyotes at No. 3.

“I’ll embrace whatever market I get drafted into. It’s the NHL. I’m happy with whatever situation I end up in, whatever team drafts me,” Wright said.

One thing Wright said he isn’t doing: reading the many mock drafts being published leading up to draft.

“I don’t put too much thought into those. They don’t really … It’s hard saying they don’t matter, because people spend a lot of time on them and there’s a lot of thought process that go into those. But personally, for me, I feel like they don’t matter too much to what I’m doing,” he said.

Prospect Matthew Savoie has played against Wright since the two were 12 years old. While Wright plays it cool, Savoie said going first overall matters to him.

“I think he really wants to be the top pick,” he said. “There’s been a lot of talk, a lot of speculation. But he’s a great player all around. He works hard, plays the right way. Whichever way Montreal goes, it’ll be a good pick.”

With Dolphins coach Brian Flores’ allegation that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wanted him to lose games intentionally for better draft picks, the subject of tanking has gained renewed scrutiny in the NFL. But another professional football league has decided to take a simple step to prevent tanking at the end of its season.

The USFL changed its rules this week so that the team with the worst record will no longer get the first overall pick in the draft. Instead, it will be the winner of Sunday’s game between the two worst teams in the league — the Michigan Panthers and Pittsburgh Maulers — who gets the first pick in the 2023 USFL draft.

USFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Daryl Johnston explained that the rule change was put into place this week to ensure that both the Panthers and Maulers were playing to win.

“We’ve got an unusual situation in our final week of the regular season in the USFL. The 1-8 Michigan Panthers are playing the 1-8 Pittsburgh Maulers. Under normal circumstances, the loser of this game would be awarded the first draft pick in the upcoming draft. But we’re going to change the rules right here, so this weekend whoever wins the game actually gets not only the first pick in the 2023 draft but the first pick in every round of the 2023 draft,” Johnston said. “Making sure there’s no shenanigans going on.”

Of course, no one even knows yet whether there will be a 2023 USFL draft because the USFL may not even stay in business into 2023. So this is as much a marketing ploy to get people to watch the USFL this weekend as it is a real attempt at ensuring competitive integrity.

Still, the NFL should take notes: Incentivizing losing at the end of the season results in a lot of bad football games being played between two teams that are already out of playoff contention. If the NFL instead changed its draft order so that the non-playoff team that won the most games after being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs got the first overall pick, late-season games between losing teams would be a lot more meaningful, and a lot more exciting to watch. The USFL may be on to something.

First overall pick Travon Walker has agreed to terms on his rookie contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, sources told NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport.

Walker will receive a fully guaranteed four-year deal worth just over $37 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The contract will also include a standard fifth-year option.

The Georgia product is the Jaguars’ second consecutive No. 1 pick after the club selected quarterback Trevor Lawrence in last year’s draft.

The Jaguars have finished last in the AFC South in each of the past four seasons and also hold a 4-29 record since 2020. The organization hired former Super Bowl champion Doug Pederson as its head coach this offseason.

The Montreal Canadiens won the draft lottery Tuesday and will get the No. 1 selection in the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft hosted in Montreal.

The Canadiens haven’t drafted first overall since the club selected Doug Wickenheiser in 1980.

New Jersey moved up to second overall after entering Tuesday with the fifth-best odds of winning the lottery.

Here are the full results:

PICKTEAM
1Montreal Canadiens
2New Jersey Devils
3Arizona Coyotes
4Seattle Kraken
5Philadelphia Flyers
6Columbus Blue Jackets (via Chicago)
7Ottawa Senators
8Detroit Red Wings
9Buffalo Sabres
10Anaheim Ducks
11San Jose Sharks
12Columbus Blue Jackets
13New York Islanders
14Winnipeg Jets
15Vancouver Canucks
16Buffalo Sabres (via Vegas)

Shane Wright has for years been the consensus No. 1 pick for the 2022 draft. He was granted exceptional-player status in the OHL as a 15-year-old for the 2019-20 season. Wright posted 94 points in 63 games with the Kingston Frontenacs during the 2021-22 campaign.

This will be the Devils’ fourth pick in the top five of the draft since 2017. The club selected Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes first overall and Luke Hughes fourth overall over that period.

Forwards Logan Cooley and Juraj Slafkovsky are projected to round out the top three picks of this year’s draft.

The Montreal Alouettes selected Syracuse linebacker Tyrell Richards with the first overall pick in the 2022 CFL Draft.

Montreal acquired the pick by trading the fourth overall selection and the rights to offensive lineman Carter O’Donnell to the Edmonton Elks.

“We are extremely happy to have moved up for tonight’s draft,” general manager Danny Maciocia said. “We will select a high-quality player without having to pay the big price.”

The native of Brampton, Ontario, ranked third on the CFL’s final scouting bureau list, behind wide receiver John Metchie and linebacker Jesse Luketa. Both Metchie (Houston Texans) and Luketa (Arizona Cardinals) were taken in the 2022 NFL Draft last weekend.

The 6-foot-3, 232-pound defender racked up 24 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks over eight games during the 2020 season. Richards finished his Syracuse career with 54 tackles (9.5 for a loss) and six sacks in 31 games.

Richards spent last year training and coaching his former high school after considering several options following his transfer from Syracuse.

Despite not playing a game in 2021, Richards impressed evaluators with his testing numbers at the CFL combine in March. He posted a 37-inch vertical jump, 19 reps on the bench press, and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.60 seconds.

The Alouettes doubled down on Syracuse defenders on Tuesday, also selecting defensive lineman Kingsley Jonathan with the first pick in the CFL Global Draft earlier in the day.

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Georgia edge rusher Travon Walker with the first overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Jaguars were believed to be considering Walker, Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal, and NC State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu before making the pick.

Walker had only 9.5 career sacks at Georgia, but his stock rose ahead of the draft because of his physical attributes. He drew comparisons to Minnesota Vikings star Danielle Hunter in the pre-draft process in light of his minimal sack production in college paired with his athletic traits.

The 21-year-old Walker will head to a Jaguars team that recorded only 32 sacks last season, which ranked 27th in the NFL. Josh Allen led the club with 7.5 sacks in 2021.

Walker is Jacksonville’s second No. 1 overall pick in as many years. The Jaguars selected former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the top selection in 2021.

Scouting profile: Travon Walker

SCHOOLHEIGHTWEIGHT40 TIME
Georgia6’52724.51

Walker is an absolute freak of nature. His 6-foot-5, 272-pound build and 35 1/2-inch arms make it easy to see why evaluators might fall over their chairs for him. On the field, he’s still extremely raw as a pass-rusher but has all the tools needed: length, power, explosiveness – you name it. He’s a brick wall in run defense, insanely strong, and has shown the ability to drop into coverage. When it comes to Walker’s ceiling, the plain truth is that he doesn’t have one – though it’ll be up to his NFL coaching staff to get the most out of him.

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke said Friday that he hasn’t received any trade calls for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

“We’re willing to listen, but no, nobody’s called directly,” he said.

This is the second consecutive year Jacksonville owns the first overall pick. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was a virtual lock to be the first name off the board in 2021, but Baalke and head coach Doug Pederson have yet to decide who they’ll select on April 28.

“It’s still a work in progress,” said Baalke, who added the team is considering four players for the No. 1 choice.

“We still have several meetings to go through, a lot of discussion between the coaching staff, the personnel staff, we’re continuing to dig up and do research on these guys. The pick doesn’t have to be made today … We’re ahead of last year’s schedule in terms of preparation.”

He continued: “There’s so much that goes into these decisions. It’s not just the film, it’s all the other things that go into that guy having success or not having success. Most of the time, they don’t fail because they’re not physically gifted. They fail for other reasons.”

Several prospects have been linked to the Jaguars at No. 1. Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson is the favorite to go first, but many experts also consider Georgia edge rusher Travon Walker a strong candidate. Offensive tackles Evan Neal (Alabama) and Ikem Ekwonu (NC State) have also had their names tied to the first selection.

“Aidan is a good football player,” Baalke said. “There’s other good football players in this draft. Who’s gonna be the best player when it’s all said and done? Heck, if we knew that, we’d go to Vegas and lay the money down.”

Jacksonville owns 12 picks in this year’s draft, tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for the most selections.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will pick first overall again in 2022.

Jacksonville upset the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday but the team still clinched the top selection in the 2022 NFL Draft thanks to the Detroit Lions‘ 37-30 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

The Jaguars, who selected quarterback Trevor Lawrence last year, are the sixth team since 1967 to have back-to-back first overall picks and the first since the Cleveland Browns (2017-18).

Jacksonville snapped an eight-game losing streak with its 26-11 win over Indianapolis to finish the season 3-14. The Jaguars have now posted a 4-29 record over the last two years.

Detroit trailed Green Bay until running back D’Andre Swift scored the go-ahead touchdown with under two minutes left in the fourth quarter, improving the Lions to 3-13-1.

The Houston Texans will pick third overall.

The 2022 NFL Draft is scheduled to be held April 28-30 in Las Vegas.