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The Draft - NBA: All You Need to Know

The NBA Draft is one of the most iconic days in the basketball calendar and we have answered all the burning questions ahead of this year's edition.

(This article was originally published on 12.05.2022) 

We may be no closer to knowing which team will be NBA Championship winners for the 2021/22 season, but the thoughts of many, certainly off court, have already turned to this year's draft.

With the NBA Draft Lottery and the Combine to come ahead of the draft itself, there are plenty of key dates to look out for before we find out who this year's No.1 pick will be.

When is the NBA Draft 2022?

This year's draft will be held on 23rd June, 2022, returning to its usual slot in the calendar after being delayed in each of the last two years.

The draft is not the only key date to look out for, with the NBA Draft Lottery taking place on 17th May, while the Combine will be held from the 16th-22nd May.

What is the NBA Draft Lottery?

The NBA Draft Lottery is a draw that determines the order of picks 1-14 for the draft itself, with the 14 teams that did not make this season's playoffs all involved.

Only the top four picks are drawn from the lottery, with the teams that finished with the worst records during the 2021/22 season having a greater chance of being handed a top pick.

The Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons all have a 14 percent chance of receiving the No.1 pick, while the Cleveland Cavaliers are the outsiders with only a 0.5 percent hope of landing that honour.

Once the four top picks have been drawn, the remaining picks (5-14) are allocated based on each team's record from 2021/22, with the worst team yet to be drawn taking pick five all the way through to the highest-ranked team left taking pick 14.

What is the Combine?

The NBA Draft Combine is a multi-day showcase where draft hopefuls will undergo a series of tests in front of coaches, general managers and scouts from the NBA.

This is an opportunity for players heading into the draft to showcase their talents and prove they are up to the rigours of the NBA, with their performances in the Combine potentially affecting their draft status, salary and career prospects.

There is also a G League Elite Camp held during the opening two days of the Combine where players yet to be confirmed for the draft will get an opportunity to earn their place.

Previous players that have gone on to compete in the NBA after coming through the G League Elite Camp include Jose Alvarado, Terance Mann, Alex Caruso, and Max Strus.

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Where is the NBA Draft 2022?

This year's draft will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, while the NBA Draft Lottery, the Combine and the G League Elite Camp will take place at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

Can I watch the NBA Draft 2022?

This year's draft will be available for UK viewers to watch on Sky Sports Main Event or alternatively by purchasing an NBA League Pass.

How many times has the NBA Draft taken place?

The NBA Draft has been held on 75 previous occasions since it was first introduced in 1947, with the first player ever to be drafted being Clifton McNeely, who was selected as first pick by the Pittsburgh Ironmen.

Other notable first overall picks in the draft include Magic Johnson, who joined the LA Lakers in 1979, Allan Iversen, who was snapped up by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996, and current NBA star LeBron James, who began his journey with the Cleveland Cavaliers 19 years ago.

Who is expected to be the No.1 pick in the NBA Draft 2022?

Last year there was a clear consensus that Cade Cunningham was the top player available in the draft and he ultimately received the first overall pick, joining the Detroit Pistons.

However, this year there is no obvious front runner for the No.1 pick, with four players currently considered as leading candidates, with a lot depending on the result of the NBA Draft Lottery.

Jabari Smith is 10/11 to be first overall pick, with the power forward having impressed with his natural defensive instincts and elite shot making during his time in college basketball with the Auburn Tigers.

Centre Chet Holmgren is also a leading contender at 31/20, the 7ft Gonzaga Bulldogs star helped the United States to gold in the 2021 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup.

Duke Blue Devils power forward Paolo Banchero is perhaps considered the most NBA-ready player in the draft, but that won't automatically guarantee him first overall pick at 15/4.

Jaden Ivey is perhaps the outsider of the four at 33/1, but the Purdue Boilermakers guard has been described as the most electric player in college basketball and could be a future star in the making in the NBA.

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