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how it works, the order of selections and which players to watch out for

After the title of the Golden State Warriors, who beat the Boston Celtics 4-2 in the Finals and won their fourth ring in the last eight seasons, this Thursday the NBA Draftwhich aims to recruit the best players under the age of 23 coming largely from college basketball in the United States.

It will be held in Barclays Center, multipurpose sports pavilion that works as a stadium for the Brooklyn Nets, in New York. The ceremony will start at 21 (Argentina time) and will be televised on ESPN and Star+. The broadcast will reach 214 countries and will be broadcast in 28 different languages.

Cade Cunningham was the first pick in the Draft in 2021 by the Detroit Pistons. AP/Alex Gallardo.

What is the Draft and what is it for?

The Draft is a system for selecting players under the age of 23 to play in the NBA. It takes place at the end of June, when the season ends and a champion is consecrated, and its objective is to recruit the promises of the future so that they nurture the league and themselves continue with their growth process.

Mostly, they are chosen from college basketball teams in the United States, but also from other countries around the world. This was the case, for example, of the Argentine Leandro Bolmaro, selected by the New York Knicks and then loaned to the Minnesota Timberwolves when he was in Barcelona.

What is sought with this procedure is to equate the different teams, taking as a reference the results of the regular phase of the previous campaign. Therefore, the lower-performing franchises will have a better chance of keeping the most promising players.

There are two rounds in which at least one basketball player can be chosen. Those franchises that did not qualify for the playoffs, which are a total of fourteen, will have priority in the first round of selection.

Nevertheless, This does not mean that the worst placed is the first to choose, but it does mean that the one with the most probabilities issince a draw is made, known as Lottery Draft. Fourteen balls, numbered from 1 to 14, are inserted into a kind of bowling alley, whose combination results in the winner of the first pick. The same goes for the second and third. From then on, the following eleven respect the win-loss record of the previous season, in this case 2021-22.

It is worth clarifying that, to avoid strategies of Tanking, which is when teams lose on purpose to be better placed in the Draft, the chances of the three worst ranked were equalized. All of them have 14%.

Orlando, Oklahoma and Houston, the three favored by the Draft draw.  Photo: NBA.

Orlando, Oklahoma and Houston, the three favored by the Draft draw. Photo: NBA.

Then, the remaining 16 places, which correspond to those who qualified for the playoffs, are distributed following the reverse order of the classification, choosing the best team in the regular phase last. It was as follows:

The 3 players to take into account in the Draft, according to the specialists

​1. Chet Holmgren

Chet​ Holmgren, born in Minnesota a little over 20 years ago, is on everyone’s lips. He is pivot and power forward, he integrates the Gonzaga Bulldogs, team with which he was a finalist for the NCAA Division I Championship in 2021 and was chosen MVP and included in the ideal quintet in the U-19 World Cup that crowned the United States in 2021.

Penny Hardawayformer Orlando Magic star and current coach at the University of Memphis, praised him highly: “I see a Kevin Garnett. Handles the ball, can shoot, is capable of making good passes And I’ve always loved his game. He is a great player. I love every part of the game from him. He is simply a winner. He is able to compete, he can achieve excellence, he is tough. He amazed me”. Big words.

He also stands out for his defensive game, but it is intuited that he will have to work on strengthening his physique, since he weighs 86 kilos, very light being that he is 2.13 meters tall. At the university level they have been known to search with his speed and good mobility, but the NBA is a totally different reality.

Chet Holmgren, the main attraction of the 2022 Draft. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

Chet Holmgren, the main attraction of the 2022 Draft. Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

2. Jabari Smith Jr.

Jabari Smith Jr, A native of Atlanta and son of Jabari Smith Sr, who played in the NBA for much of the 2000s, he is the most complete scorer in the Draft and has a wide variety of resources to score points. He can shoot out of screens, running on the break, with set-backs.

Proof of this is that the eaves of Auburn Tigers, with just 19 turned last May, made 79 3-pointers in 2021–22 season, record for a freshman in terms of number of hits from the perimeter.

Like Holmgren, he has a great defensive game, but he has a significant physical advantage (2.08 meters and 100 kg). He was champion of the FIBA ​​Americas U-16 with the US team and appears as one of the great projects of international basketball.

3. Paolo Banchero

Category 2002,​Paolo Banchero He was born in Seattle, but has Italian nationality on his father’s side and chose to represent the Azzurra. He is part of the Duke Blue Devilsfrom Duke University, and had a true teacher there. Mike Krzyzewskithe winningest coach in NCAA Division 1 history, followed him closely until his retirement at the end of last season.

He averaged 16.7 points in the 2021-22 campaign, always taking a lot of advantage in one on one due to his enormous ability to dribble and becoming strong in the pick and roll. In addition, he has a great capacity in long distance shots, from which he tries very frequently.

He is a very technical player, a great passer, which opens up the possibility that the NBA will see him as an alternative to play in the small forward position. He is physically very powerful at 2.08m, which helps him handle the low post perfectly, but he lacks that burst that elite players have.

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