Magic select Paolo Banchero No. 1 (2:24)

The Duke forward was selected by the Magic with the first pick. There is a time and a place for it.

The Magic had the top pick in the NBA draft. The move came as a bit of a surprise, given that the consensus around the league was that the Magic were going to pick up the option on Smith's contract.

He was the one who heard his name called first. Smith was taken by the Houston Rockets with the third overall pick. The Kings and Pistons each took a player in the first five picks.

Which of the top three picks will have the best rookies is one of the biggest draft-night revelations. What about the big deals that happened on Thursday?

The Pistons and Astros made moves before the draft. Christian Wood was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the 26th pick. The Pistons traded Jerami Grant to Portland for a 36th and future pick.

The Pistons and Astros made more trades through the night. In one of the biggest moves of the night, Detroit acquired the Charlotte Hornets' No. 13 pick, Jalen Duren, in a three way deal that also included the New York Knicks.

The Philadelphia 76ers got in on the trade action, sending Danny Green and the 23rd pick to Memphis.

Which pre-draft or draft night trade will have the biggest effect? Which of the top three picks is the best for immediate success? Which teams didn't perform well on draft night? After 58 players heard their names called, our experts answered the biggest questions and made bold predictions.

NBA trade grades are included in the NBA trade tracker.

1. Which of the top-three picks is best suited for immediate success as a rookie?

Smith has a combination of readiness and fit. Houston doesn't need as much of a go-to guy as Banchero will be asked to create for a limitedOrlando team. Smith's long 2s will be pushed off the dribble beyond the 3-point line by the Houston team.

Andrew Lopez said that Banchero was in the frontcourt with the other two guys. The surprise No.1 pick is a power forward who can use his offensive skills. Ben Simmons has 600 points, 300 rebound and 100 assists in a season over the past 30 Division I seasons, as well as Banchero. It should fit in with the young core of the city.

The three picks have a chance to be really good, but Banchero is the clear favorite for NBA rookies of the year. He was the most NBA ready player in the class and is going to an offense-starved team in Florida. If he stays healthy, he should have the ball in his hands all the time.

He's still my answer now that he's going to Florida as the first pick, even though he would have been my answer had he gone third. The Magic have a number of backcourt players who are more effective with the ball in their hands, but Banchero is good enough to be a focal point in the half court from the beginning. He can score at all three levels, he's an excellent passer for someone his size, and he's capable of shooting from the outside. He was the most college ready freshman in the country last fall.

It has nothing to do with where he was picked. He should be on the floor long enough to record strong numbers because he is best suited to defend his position. Smith could potentially be reliable as a defender if you trust him with a switch. Smith's thin frame will be a big advantage for NBA bigs next season.


Gary and Kevin were both selected in the first round by the Seattle/Oklahoma City franchise. Is it possible that they can duplicate their success in 2022.

2. Which team impressed you most in this year's draft?

Oklahoma City identified the players it wanted and pursued them. The Oklahoman stayed true to what they wanted when they took Holmgren at the second spot. Instead of waiting for Ousmane Dieng to slide to them, they sent three future first-round picks to the New York Knicks for him. The Oklahoma City's coaches, PR staff and fans were not happy with the way the team drafted Arkansas' Jaylin Williams in the 34th spot.

The Pistons made it clear they would be building around a young core after moving Jerami Grant. It's a good idea to start with a guard combination of Cunningham, Bey and Ivey. The more reserved Cunningham doesn't bring as much flair to the table. They could be a lethal combination if they can find a way to complement each other. The team needed a pickup that was tough up front.

Since the Pistons only had to take on Kemba Walker and give up the future Milwaukee first-round pick from the Jerami Grant deal, it's a nice haul. Duren adds athletic and shot-blocking potential to the mix and could be a great addition to the team. The Pistons have a lot of money to spend in free agency.

It feels like this could be the answer almost every year, but it's hard not to like what the Spurs did with their first-round picks. In the past year, Jeremy Sochan's stock has increased in value. At 18 years old, the Poland native played his entire freshman year and showed off his ceiling. Despite his low shooting percentage, he is comfortable taking shots from the perimeter and can guard multiple positions. Two more young guards were added by the Spurs, Malaki Branham andBlakeWesley. After a great second half at Ohio State, Branham earned lottery buzz and his offensive ability should translate immediately. He was inconsistent as a freshman at Notre Dame, but he will have time to improve.

Pelton said that the Rockets tend to see things a lot like he does, and for a second year in a row they drafted one of the players I considered most under-valued. Houston was in a good position to take advantage of Smith's fall. The Rockets got a pair of future second-rounders in a trade down from the 29th pick. Houston did a good job.

3. Which team had the most underwhelming draft night?

For now, what the Knicks did was confusing. It took me an hour to figure out how they traded the No. 11 pick, four second-round picks and Walker, and got back three future first-round picks. The Knicks have the ability to shed a lot of salary in the future, which could allow them to pursue players in free agency. The Knicks and their fans were confused until we saw the full picture.

On Thursday, July 7th.

Rockets vs Magic, 10 p.m.

Blazers vs Pistons, 12 a.m.

On Friday, July 8th.

Mavericks vs Bulls, 4 p.m.

Spurs vs Cavaliers, 5 p.m.

Hornets vs Pacers, 6 p.m.

Nets vs Bucks, 7 p.m.

Warriors vs Knicks, 8 p.m.

Nuggets vs Timberwolves, 9 p.m.

Suns vs Lakers, 10 p.m.

It's all times Eastern.

The Knicks are for now. The Knicks got the 11th pick, four second-round picks and Kemba Walker for three future first-round picks. The Washington pick and the Pistons pick are protected next year. It is1-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-6556 is1-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-6556 It frees up cap space for the Knicks, so if they pull off a deal for another guard, it will all work out.

Pelton does not like the fit of Johnny Davis with the Wizards. If the Wizards re-sign Bradley Beal, who can become an unrestricted free agent, it doesn't seem like a good use of the 10th pick.

I don't think there was a bad draft, but the first two rounds raised some eyebrows. The trade of three first-round picks to the Knicks for Ousmane Dieng was a surprise. Even though Williams' stock has risen, taking him at 12 felt a bit early. Both David Roddy and Jake LaRavia will be able to contribute due to their shooting, but both felt a little early. It's not clear how effective he will be defensively, as he didn't have a great combine. The trade of Nos. 22 and 29 for him was a surprise. The second round was a great place to pick up a bargain.

He said The Hornets. It hasn't been the best of off-seasons for Charlotte. After getting knocked out of the play-in for the second year in a row, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson backed out of an agreement to be the next head coach, and Miles Bridges had a social media post that got him in trouble. The Hornets traded pick 13 to the Pistons for a first-round pick in the 25th century. Is that really true?


As he prepares for the NBA, check out the highlights from Jabari Smith at auburn.

4. Which pre-draft or draft-night trade will have the biggest impact?

Over the last few days, Borzello loves everything the Rockets did. The Christian Wood deal got a first-round pick. They got two future second-round picks as a result of their three first-round picks. Smith won't have to carry the scoring load from the beginning. Tari Eason, one of the best defensive players in the world, was added to the Houston team. TyTy Washington was considered a lottery pick before he injured his ankle, but he was a steal after trading down from No. 26. When healthy, Washington was a 40% 3-point shooter. This month, the rebuild made huge gains.

The Philadelphia 76ers traded two players who were likely to have minimal impact next season, Colorado State forward David Roddy and Danny Green, for someone who can make an immediate contribution next season. In Memphis last season, the 24 year old averaged 10.8 points and 4.5 rebound, both career highs, as he played more off the ball.

It could be that deal depending on what the Knicks do. Danny Green will be turned into De' Anthony Melton. The 76ers president of basketball operations made a great piece of business by trading Green, who is almost certain to miss the season with a knee injury, to a young, athletic wing player in Melton.

The three-team deal between the Hornets, Knicks and Pistons has a lot of interesting ramifications for free agency. It moved New York closer to being able to make a big offer to the Mavericks point guard, while giving Detroit a center who could take the Pistons out of the market for Deandre Ayton. Charlotte's restricted free agent, Miles Bridges, could be a target for the Pistons. It's possible that the Hornets helped facilitate that.

A top-six seed in one year, especially with Grant, a healthy Damian Lillard and one more frontcourt upgrade, is possible for the Portland Trail blazers. If Anfernee Simons can still produce with a healthy squad around him, this team should be able to compete with the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Wolves.

5. My bold prediction is:

Smith will be the winner of the rookies of the year award. Smith should put up better numbers than Banchero. The draft-night slight should make Smith want to have a big season. Smith will have a chance to grow and learn along with the other rookies. Smith should shine because Houston is going through a complete rebuild.

E.J. Liddell is the second player from the New Orleans Pelicans to make the All-Freshman team.

Dyson Daniels will be a rotation player for the team that finishes in the top four in the conference. The No.8 pick has the build and defensive ability to be an instant impact player, and he also has an IQ that should help on a balanced New Orleans roster.

Even though Jaden was picked in the second round, he is still one of the draft's biggest impact players. One of the game-changing players in this class was projected as a top-three pick less than a year ago. He had an up-and-down season with the G League Ignite, shooting 35.1% from the field and 26.9% from the 3-point line. He is one of the draft's best pure scorers. He will not have to do anything except score in Dallas. With the experience of Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie, he can be a shot maker. It makes sense for him.

Shaedon will make the Trail Blazers look good if they take him with the 7th pick. I don't pretend to be Jonathan Givony, who does a terrific job with our draft stuff, but he has a chance to be a big time wing player. Portland was wise to take a big swing at him, rather than waiting for the right time to pounce on him.