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Friday, June 21, 2024

1-And-Done Freshmen Have Even More To Gain At 2022 NBA Draft

  • This could be the first time since 2017 that freshman are taken with the first three picks.
  • ESPN reports that Orlando, OKC, and Houston are "firm" in their decisions.
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Every NBA Draft rightfully focuses on youth — but the 2022 edition is skewing historically young.  

Adrian Wojnarowski’s “firm” expectation is that Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero will be the first off the board — marking the first time since 2017 and only the seventh ever that the three top picks are one-and-done freshmen

Whether they end up in Orlando, Oklahoma City, or Houston, all three are slated for huge paydays on an increased rookie pay scale.

  • The No. 1 overall pick will earn $9M in Year 1 and $28.5M over three years. 
  • No. 2 overall will make $8.1M in Y1 and $25.5M over three years.
  • No. 3 will get $7.3M in Y1 and $23M over three years.

Of course, this year’s salary drama is somewhat overshadowed by the introduction of NIL earnings — the effects of which have benefited the top three prospects in different ways.

Even projected No. 1 Smith — who was ineligible for an NIL deal because he signed his letter of intent before the legislation went into effect — has his own signature collection with 2 Commas. 

In any event, the top three picks won’t have to worry too much about their finances after tonight — only the pressure and hype that comes with an NBA rookie season.

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