Last week, the Golden State Warriors produced a top-quality Game 6 performance to defeat the Boston Celtics in Massachusetts to claim their fourth NBA Championship title in eight years.

After a topsy turvy series, which saw both teams win at home and on the road in the opening four games, it was the Warriors crucial win in Game 5 that set them up for an opportunity to claim the title with one win from the final two games of the seven-game series.

Fired up by a superb performance from Draymond Green on defence combined with Steph Curry once again hitting plenty of points (34 and an average of over 31 points in the Finals series) and ably supported by the likes of Gary Payton II, Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney, the Warriors took the title at the first attempt  by a 103-90 scoreline for a 4-2 series win.

Unsurprisingly, it was Curry that was named the Finals Series MVP after a stellar series of performances saw him play a key role in the Dubs victory.

The Warriors win came just two seasons after they finished with the worst record in the NBA, a year after they lost NBA Finals 4-2 to the Toronto Raptors. A defeat that saw them heavily criticised.

This victory not only confirms their return to the top level in the NBA, but also means that the Warriors dynasty continues for one more season at least.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, Bet365 Sport have the Warriors as the current 5/1 favourites to repeat their success this season in the NBA Finals next year, with the beaten finalists Boston Celtics next at 6/1 ahead of the Brooklyn Nets at 13/2, Los Angeles Clippers at 7/1 and Milwaukee Bucks at 15/2.

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NBA Draft Very Much On The Horizon

While the Warriors playing squad will be enjoying the fruits of their success, their management team will have already turned their attention to one of the key dates in the NBA diary every year.

That is the forthcoming 2022 NBA Draft, which is set to take place later this week, on Thursday night in the United States and in the early hours of Friday morning for people based in the UK.

Now followers of American sports in the UK may well be familiar with the US draft system, where professional teams can sign up the best college talent each year, but the NBA Draft is slightly different to the NFL Draft, which is arguably the most familiar one to UK-based fans.

  • Key Differences With NBA Draft Compared To NFL Draft

There are a number of key differences with the NBA Draft when you compare it to the NFL Draft.

First off, in the NFL, teams are handed draft picks based on their performances during the season and these do not change unless the team trades away their pick. So each year the worst performing NFL team is awarded the first pick (usually the Jacksonville Jaguars, sorry Jags fans!) and the Super Bowl winning team receives the final pick in each round (32nd).

However, in the NBA, the worst performing teams each season are entered into a pre-draft lottery, which is drawn to determine where at the top of the draft each team will pick. This means that a team with the worst record may not pick first in the NBA Draft, but they do stand the best chance of doing so as the draw is handicapped to give the worst teams more chance of landing the top picks.

This may seem unusual, but it does stop teams ‘tanking’ their season to ensure that they get a top draft pick, which helps keep the season competitive.

Furthermore, the NBA Draft rankings are based on a team’s regular season performance only, not their performance in the subsequent NBA Playoffs. This is why the Phoenix Suns were given the 30th Draft pick in each round (though the Suns traded that pick to Oklahoma) and not the NBA Finals winning Golden State Warriors (who pick 28th).

The other key thing to note is that the NBA Draft is only for two rounds and a total of 60 picks, although this year the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat have forfeited their Second Round picks, so there will be just 58 selections made at the NBA Draft.

NBA Draft 2022 – Selection Order

Here is how the teams have been drawn in the first two rounds of the draft for 2022.

The Orlando Magic were the winners or the Draft lottery, meaning they will pick first.

NBA Draft 1st Round

  1. Orlando Magic
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder
  3. Houston Rockets
  4. Sacramento Kings
  5. Detroit Pistons
  6. Indiana Pacers
  7. Portland Trail Blazers
  8. New Orleans Pelicans (from Los Angeles Lakers)
  9. San Antonio Spurs
  10. Washington Wizards
  11. New York Nets
  12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Los Angeles Clippers)
  13. Charlotte Hornets
  14. Cleveland Cavaliers
  15. Charlotte Hornets (from New Orleans Pelicans)
  16. Atlanta Hawks
  17. Houston Texans (from Brooklyn Nets)
  18. Chicago Bulls
  19. Minnesota Timberwolves
  20. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto Raptors)
  21. Denver Nuggets
  22. Memphis Grizzlies (from Utah Jazz)
  23. Philadelphia 76ers
  24. Milwaukee Bucks
  25. San Antonio Spurs (from Boston Celtics)
  26. Houston Rockets (from Dallas Mavericks)
  27. Miami Heat
  28. Golden State Warriors
  29. Memphis Grizzlies
  30. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix Suns)

NBA Draft 2nd Round

  • Indiana Pacers (from Houston, via Cleveland)
  • Orlando Magic
  • Toronto Raptors (from Detroit via San Antonio, Washington & Chicago)
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Orlando Magic (from Indiana via Milwaukee)
  • Portland Trail Blazer
  • Sacramento Kings
  • San Antonio Spurs (from Lakers, via Chicago & Washington)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (from San Antonio, via Utah)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (from Washington via Cleveland)
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • New York Nets
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • Atlanta Hawks
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Detroit Pistons (from Brooklyn Nets)
  • Memphis Grizzlies (from Cleveland via New Orleans & Atlanta)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Sacramento Kings (from Chicago via Memphis & Detroit)
  • Minnesota Timberwolves (from Denver via Philadelphia)
  • Golden State Warriors (from Toronto via Philadelphia)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (from Utah)
  • Boston Celtics
  • Washington Wizards (from Dallas Mavericks)
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Cleveland Cavaliers (from Miami via Indiana)
  • Portland Trail Blazers (from Memphis via Utah)
  • Indiana Pacers (from Phoenix Suns)

*Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat have forfeited their second-round picks, which would have been made at 54 and 55, meaning that there are just 58 picks in this year’s draft.

Who Are The Top Draft NBA College Stars Predicted To Go Early In The Draft?

Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga) – A once in a generation player, tall (7ft), rangy and as effective on offense as he is on defense. Has long been projected as one of the top two picks in the draft and is believed to be visiting with the Orlando Magic this week.

Jabari Smith (Auburn) – Strong power-forward who is the standout on a very talented Auburn team that plays in an SEC division stacked with potential NBA-calibre talent. He is the main rival to Holmgren as the number 1 pick according to many.

Paolo Banchero (Duke) – The star man of a stacked Duke team to reach the NCAAB Championship Finals. Rated as one of the ‘big three” in this year’s draft and it is believed he is likely to be picked third after the two stars outlined above.

Other college stars rated to go highly in the draft this week are Jaden Ivey (Purdue), Keegan Murray (Iowa), Benedict Mathurin (Arizona), Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky), Jalen Duren (Memphis), AJ Griffen (Duke), Johnny Davis (Wisconsin), Jeremy Sochan (Baylor), Ochai Agbaji (Kansas), Mark Williams (Duke), Malaki Branham (Ohio State), TyTy Washington Jr. (Kentucky), Tari Eason (LSU) and Jalen Williams (Santa Clara).

There are also a number of players from outside college that could go high in the draft including Dyson Daniels (G League Ignite), Ousmane Dieng (NZ Breakers), Jaden Hardy (G League Ignite), Marjon Beauchamp (G League Ignite) and Nikola Jovic (Mega Mozzart).

The bookies seem to favour Jabari Smith being taken first, with Holmgren (20/29) odds on to be picked second and Banchero (2/11) likewise to be picked third.

Remember to tune in to the NBA Draft on Thursday Night/Friday early hours, to see which college stars of today, may turn into the NBA Superstars of tomorrow.