It’s not often that NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski gets his info wrong. He, much like every other pundit,was in the dark on Thursday’s No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft pick.
For most of Thursday, ESPN’s top basketball reporter had Jabari Smith Jr. as the top selection by the Orlando Magic. Then, about 30 minutes before the pick was made, Woj pivoted to Paolo Banchero, who wound up going No. 1.
At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Banchero was +300 to go first overall. 5 minutes later, Woj said on ESPN’s live coverage that Banchero was “in the mix” for the Magic.
At 7:40 p.m. he tweeted Banchero was “under serious consideration” by the Magic to go first. By 7:44 p.m. Banchero was a -200 favorite to go first.
Shortly thereafter, the Duke product did indeed go No. 1.
Perhaps more shocking than Wojnarowski’s obscured draft info is that Smith, the originally reported favorite to go first, didn’t go until No. 3 — Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren who went to the Thunder at No. 2 with Smith sliding to the Houston Rockets at three.
The biggest question is, how was one of the NBA’s biggest insiders wrong for so long? At 8:41 a.m. on Thursday, Wojnarowski reported the top three in the draft was becoming “increasingly firm,” with Smith first, Holmgren second, and Banchero third.
It’s impressive the amount of sway Woj has on the NBA world. His late reporting shifted the line by 500 points, probably losing some folks a lot of money.
There’s still time for Woj to get correct picks, as the NBA draft continues on ESPN.