The best player on the board, or the best fit right now? It's a timeless draft question that has vexed personnel executives and scouts for time immemorial, and one that will loom over the 2022 NBA draft to be held June 23rd at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (8 p.m. ET, ESPN and ESPN App).
Each of the NBA's 30 teams will approach the question from a different angle. Some teams are seeking that final missing piece and would prefer to fill a need. Some are trying to replace a player they expect to lose in free agency. Many others will take a longer-term view of the proceedings, selecting on the basis of potential and attempting to identify the player who can serve as a future linchpin of the franchise, or at a minimum can develop into his potential.
Meanwhile, an undeniable factor coloring these decisions relates to the people making them: How immediately does each team's general manager or scouting department need to see a return on their June 23rd investment? Though front-office personnel tend to downplay this component, it's one that must be considered. With that in mind, we projected all 58 picks of the 2022 NBA draft along two tracks: the best available player a team could take when it's on the clock, and the available player who could fit in the team's lineup right now.