The NBA Draft gives teams a chance to fill needs and develop prospects with the hope of finding a player who can stick with the franchise long-term.
It doesn’t always work out that way, though.
As we’ve seen plenty of times in the past, franchises can swing and miss on a prospect who never pans out or reaches their ceiling, leaving the team regretful for passing on a player who could have changed their fate for the better.
Every year, there are a few players who, if they improve one or two skills, fill out their body or correct a few minor flaws, could turn into franchise-altering talents. But if those skills remain unrefined or the player doesn’t fit in the situation they’re selected into, their talent and potential can fall by the wayside. That’s the risk of the draft.
On the flip side, there are always a handful of players who could be deemed “safe” picks because of how their skillset translates to the next level, they already have a body that is ready for the NBA or their flaws aren’t as pronounced.
These are the six players I believe are the safest selections in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Paolo Banchero, Duke
What makes him a safe pick: This one is simple. Banchero is a 6-foot-10, 235-pound forward who can not only create his own shot, but can also create for others with advanced playmaking skills. In today’s increasingly positionless NBA, it would be a massive advantage to have a playmaking shot-creator with his size who can play alongside virtually anyone.
Banchero has an NBA-ready body, can score from all three levels of the floor, has a solid handle, great court vision and the tools to be a versatile defender. I couldn’t be more confident that he is going to succeed at the next level, regardless of where he is drafted.