NBA Draft 2022: Former scout reveals who he considers best prospect, compares him to Jaa Morant

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2022 NBA Draft Only a day away and the top picks in this year’s event are still in the news.

Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, Auburn’s Jabari Smith and Duke’s Paolo Banchero are all among those who could possibly be taken No. 1 Overall When Orlando Magic Go on the clock on Thursday.

A former NBA scout believes Purdue standout Jaden Ivey is the best player in the draft.

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“I think the person I’d pick at No. 1 is Jaden Ivey,” said Michael Vandegaarde, who worked as a scout. Philadelphia 76ers for 18 yearstold Fox News Digital in a recent interview.

Jaden Ivey #23 of the Purdue Boilermakers dribbles the ball against the Texas Longhorns during the second round of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament held at the Fisher Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 20, 2022.
(Ben Solomon/NCAA Photo via Getty Images)

“Jaden Ivey is everything (Memphis Grizzlies guard) Ja Morant is and was the same age, except he’s bigger, taller, and he could be even more athletic and Ja Morant is a freak. I tell you Jaden Ivey …and he shot it so much better this year. He improved every aspect of the game dramatically. He’s by far the closest thing I’ve seen to Russell Westbrook or Jay Morant I’ve ever seen Yes. I absolutely love her.

“I’d consider him the No. 1 pick, and I’m excited to have him, obviously in the top five, but if I’m staring at No. 1 I’m totally considering him. And if I have to pick today Was, I’d say Jaden Ivey. If I’m staring at (number) 2 or 3, he might get selected there. I wouldn’t be surprised if (Oklahoma City Thunder) took him to two. I guess No matter where you get (him), you’ve got to be absolutely the best player on either end of the floor, and he’s the most dynamic athlete in this draft bar.

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Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on against the Golden State Warriors in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals of the NBA Playoffs at Chase Center on May 7, 2022 in San Francisco, California.

Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on against the Golden State Warriors in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals of the NBA Playoffs at Chase Center on May 7, 2022 in San Francisco, California.
(Theron W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Ivey was a consensus second-team All-American in 2022 and first-team All-Big Ten Conference following his sophomore season with the Boilermakers. He played 36 games and averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists before deciding to go pro.

Holmgren, Smith and Banchero also had solid careers for their respective schools.

The 7-footer Holmgren was the 2022 West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, averaging 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game. It is rated at the top of some fake drafts.

Smith was named the winner of the Wayman Tisdale Award in 2022 for being the most outstanding freshman men’s basketball player. He ended his lone year at Auburn with 16.9 points and an average of 7.4 rebounds per game.

Jaden Ivey #23 of the Purdue Boilermakers celebrates with assistant coach Terry Johnson after defeating the Texas Longhorns 81-71 in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Fisher Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 20, 2022.

Jaden Ivey #23 of the Purdue Boilermakers celebrates with assistant coach Terry Johnson after defeating the Texas Longhorns 81-71 in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Fisher Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 20, 2022.
(Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Banchero was the 2022 ACC Rookie of the Year. He averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for Duke

Vandegaard said he thought Shadon Sharp could grow into a formidable NBA player. He was a five-star shooting guard when he graduated early to play for kentucky, However, he did not play for the Wildcats and decided to turn pro.

“There are some really high-level people out there,” he told Fox News Digital. “I’d go to Shadon Sharp too. I’ve seen him for the past three years. He’s a bit of a wildcard. But I’ll tell you if, when I saw him two years ago and did some scouting for him, he’s going to be Kobe Bryant.” I saw that one I watched as a junior in high school. I absolutely love him. (But) there are some major question marks. We haven’t seen the game at the highest level, but I absolutely love that kid. “

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As a potential underdog selection, Vandegarde mentioned Caleb Houston as a potential solid pick later in the first round. He played in 34 games as a freshman in michiganAn average of 10.1 points and 4 rebounds per game.

“Not an elite athlete,” Vandegaard said of Houston, “but he was an elite shooter in high school for many years. Michigan probably didn’t have his elite season, but sometimes some of these guys who were in high school Were amazing, turned into a much better player.”

Shadon Sharp #21 of the Kentucky Wildcats looks on during halftime against the Florida Gators at Roop Arena on February 12, 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky.

Shadon Sharp #21 of the Kentucky Wildcats looks on during halftime against the Florida Gators at Roop Arena on February 12, 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky.
(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The Draft is set to begin at 8 p.m. ET at Barclays Center in Brooklyn home of nets, The draft will be broadcast on ESPN.

While Vandegaard has been out of basketball for some time, he joins a handful of former coaches who have have joined coachtube, The digital platform provides online sports coaching and training from people who were experts in their respective fields.

Vandegarde told Fox News Digital that they’ve had a great response from those who use it.

“It’s been amazing. I think Coach really likes to get his name out there. Obviously, the world has changed in the last eight to 10 years. You used to have to sell videos on the shelves at Walmart, and now everything That has changed in a digital age and the response has been amazing,” he said.

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“I think that for someone who lives in a certain part of the world or even a certain part of the United States, you don’t have access to gym facilities and elite level training. And Coachtube, I think, really fits that void.”