The Case for Jaden Ivey as the No. 1 pick

Will Ivey play his way to the top of the NBA draft class?

Can a deep NCAA Tournament run catapult Jaden Ivey to being the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft? 

Here’s why I believe so.

For the majority of this college basketball season, the contest to be the first player selected in the June 23 NBA Draft has been considered a three-man race. Chad Ford was the first person I saw publicly flirting with the idea of Ivey being the top pick, and I’ll admit I had my doubts.

Freshmen sensations Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith have each taken turns atop my personal draft board, and Ivey has been ranked fourth for a large chunk of the season. While Duke’s Banchero currently is my personal favorite to go No. 1, I believe a deep tournament run by Purdue fueled by exceptional play from Ivey could propel him to the top spot, both for me and for NBA decision-makers.

Jaden Ivey (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Ivey in the NCAA Tournament

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