Shocking Stats Show Just How Impressive The Top Of The 2022 NBA Draft Class Has Been Despite Chet Holmgren Injury

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Oklahoma City Thunder was once considered the crown jewel of the 2022 NBA Draft class. Holmgren was the prohibitive favorite to go No. 1 to the Orlando Magic for much of the year. He eventually slid to the Thunder at No. 2 and had fans proclaiming his greatness after just one Summer League game.

Unfortunately, Holmgren suffered a foot injury in an exhibition game and will miss the entirety of the 2022-23 NBA season.

But that hasn’t slowed down what’s looking like a potentially historic draft class from getting off to an unbelievable start in the NBA.

Paolo Banchero, Bennedict Mathurin Leading Incredible NBA Rookie Class

Rather than take Holmgren, the Orlando Magic selected Duke product Paolo Banchero with the top pick. And the 6-foot-10 has immediately repaid their confidence.

Sure, the Magic still stink. Their 3-9 record to start the season is the third-worst in the entire NBA. But that hasn’t been Banchero’s fault at all.  The rookie ranks 19th in the league in scoring at 23.5 points per game. And he’s doing so efficiently as well. Banchero shoots 46.1 percent from the field and is getting to the line an astonishing 8.3 times per game. That’s the ninth-most free throw attempts per game in the league.

Beyond that, Banchero averages 8.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. But he’s not the only rookie lighting things up.

The Indiana Pacers selected Arizona product Bennedict Mathurin with the sixth overall pick and the Canadian has been nothing short of incredible. Mathurin put a target on his back before the season even began with bold comments about LeBron James. But he’s since just about backed them up.

Mathurin is the only player in the entire league averaging over 18 points per game in less than 30 minutes per game. The 20-year-old averages 20.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game in 28 minutes. He’s also shooting an astonishing 43.7 percent from 3 on 6.5 attempts per game. That’s 10th-best in the league for players taking more than five attempts per game.

Elsewhere, fourth and fifth-overall picks Keegan Murray and Jaden Ivey have impressed with the Kings and Pistons respectively. While No. 2 pick Jabari Smith continues to settle into his role with the Houston Rockets.

A draft class that some thought was underwhelming could well turn out to be one of the best in recent history.