Now that the lottery is over, the 2022 NBA draft order is set. Certain prospects will start getting tied to specific teams based on projections throughout the year and roster needs.
However, general managers typically ignore buzz and expectations. The draft doesn't always work out the way the media and fans guess it will.
Here, we've picked a deserving but surprising prospect for five lottery teams, even if that player doesn't fill a specific hole or get the same buzz as others.
No. 3: Houston Rockets: Jaden Ivey (Purdue, SG, Sophomore)
Obvious targets: Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero
Some around the league believe that Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero aren't all a lock to go in top three. That's because Jaden Ivey is as high as No. 2 on some scouts' boards.
If the Rockets plan to re-sign Christian Wood after next season or have doubts about a defensive frontcourt with him, Banchero and Alperen Sengun, Ivey could be a surprise pick.
Ivey's improved handles and assist numbers have raised confidence in his potential to operate more on the ball. Between the pressure he can put on defenses with his burst and Jalen Green's self creation and shot-making, the Rockets could envision one of the league's scariest offensive backcourts.
Instead of operating with one pure point guard, the Rockets could see enough playmaking between Ivey and Kevin Porter Jr., who's relatively interchangeable between positions 1 through 3.