The 2022 NBA Draft featured several influential trades. With the benefit of hindsight, let’s grade each move that was made.
The 2022 NBA Draft introduced several future stars into the league. Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 pick, is already the centerpiece of the Orlando Magic rebuild. Chet Holmgren is about to accentuate and elevate a burgeoning contender in OKC. Then there’s Jalen Williams, Jaden Ivey, Jabari Smith, Keegan Murray — all players who feel destined for long, successful NBA careers.
Of course, the NBA Draft is shaped not only by the picks made — but by who makes them, and how. Trades are commonplace on draft night. More often than not, they’re rampant. The 2023 NBA Draft will be no different, with speculation already bubbling up around Portland with the No. 3 pick and Houston with the No. 4 pick.
While the 2022 NBA Draft didn’t feature any high-profile trade swings of that magnitude, there were several noteworthy players moved around. Rebuilds were reshaped, contenders shed salary, and cash considerations made their famous annual appearance on the NBA red carpet.
Let’s go through all the significant NBA Draft night trades and re-grade them with the benefit of hindsight.
NBA Draft trade grade: Warriors-Hawks swap 2nds
Both Tyrese Martin and Ryan Rollins appeared in fewer than 20 games for their respective teams and shot below 40 percent from the field. Both being second-round picks on contenders, neither was expected to contribute much — and neither gained much traction during the regular season. This feels like a wash.
NBA Draft trade grade: Grizzlies trade for Kennedy Chandler
A few months ago, this trade grade would have heavily favored the Grizzlies, who received Tennessee’s Kennedy Chandler — a first-round caliber of prospect — in exchange for cash and a future pick that may or may not be anything.
Well, the Grizzlies cut Chandler in April to make room for undrafted free agent and G-League star Kenneth Lofton. So the Spurs are the winners here by default, whether that future pick becomes anything or not.
NBA Draft trade grade: Mavericks trade for Jaden Hardy
Jaden Hardy emerged as a real asset for Dallas late in the season. With their depth depleted after the Kyrie Irving trade, the Mavs leaned on Hardy’s shot-making talent in the second unit. The former G-League Ignite guard answered the call and looked like one of the more promising rookies from outside the lottery.
We can never really know the outcome until the Kings use those future picks, but Dallas spent practically nothing for a legitimate rotation player. Hard not to chalk that up as a win.