The 2022 NBA rookies are anticipated to take the 2022-23 season by storm. The NBA 2022 Draft saw a real quality on June 23, 2022, where teams found plenty of extremely talented rookies to fill their weak voids.
The list of exciting prospects is very long and promises bottom-seed teams from the 2021-22 season a strong fight against the front-runners in the upcoming campaign.
Global brands have already been eying the top NBA prospects to endorse and create a future marketing base for themselves after analysing the NBA Summer League performance, for some even before the draft. Even the players will be excited to sign with their favourite sneaker and apparel brands, something they must have dreamt of as a teenager.
In this article, we take a look at the NBA 2022 rookie lineup players who are most likely to become the faces of popular businesses in the upcoming years.
Also Read – World’s 10 highest-paid athletes 2022
10. Cole Swider
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Contract: Two-way (will play in both NBA and the G-League)
The only undrafted rookie on this list, Cole Swider signed a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was added to the Lakers’ Summer League squad and turned out to be one of the best players on the team, averaging 15.4 PPG, 50 FG%, 50 3P%, and 4.2 RPG.
The Lakers are anticipated to give Swider a considerable amount of minutes next season if he carries on his form from the Summer League.
Because of his high-level performance, along with an underrated contract, Swider will be under the limelight whenever he plays in the NBA next season alongside LeBron James and Co. Brands might target Cole to get their NBA and G-League attractions together next season.
9. Johnny Davis
Team: Washington Wizards
The 10th overall pick of the NBA 2022 Draft, Johnny Davis will be the Washington Wizards’ new trump card to cover the perimeter for the team and win contested drives. Even after averaging low Summer League stats of 8.3 PPG, 27.6 FG%, 33 3P%; Davis has a knack for flashy plays and fast transition plays. The guard scored 100% of his free throws in the league and made plays to remember.
By being among the top 10 picks from the draft, Davis is expected to fill John Wall’s shoes and become the new face of the Wizards. Brands will be waiting for Davis to get into his expected playing form before they make their move, which won’t be much awaited, considering the hype he has created.
Davis signed a contract with Jockey along with Jordan Davis during his time as a Sophomore athlete.
8. Shaedon Sharpe
Team: Portland Trail Blazers
Shaedon Sharpe might be the hidden gem that the Portland Trail Blazers picked up in the NBA Draft. He has very little college experience compared to his other mates. What, then, makes him a prospect? Sharpe is an explosive athlete who oozes confidence and is a self-assertive individual, exactly what fans love and hence, a brand favourite.
Sharpe is expected to play up to his hype and become Portland’s golden ticket to the finals. Ever since his high-school days, he has been in the limelight and might bag big endorsements early in his career.
Sharpe signed a sneaker deal with SoleSavy in January 2022.
7. Jabari Smith Jr.
Team: Houston Rockets
Jabari Smith Jr. is one of the best shooters in his class and is very threatening because of his height and 7’1’’ wingspan. The 6’10” forward has great decision-making, mid-range and beyond-the-arc shooting. Most importantly, Smith is a very quick and effective defender on the perimeter. If he keeps improving at this rate, the 19-year-old could become the NBA’s biggest nightmare in the coming years.
The new Houston Rockets beast can end their awful run over the years and get them back into the Playoffs. His strong personality and notable stats will definitely have brands aiming for the 19-year-old. If the 3rd overall pick in the NBA 2022 draft won’t take the spotlight, who will? The way he shoots over defenders, Smith might go above his competitors to sign with the big brands.
6. Tari Eason
Team: Houston Rockets
The 17th overall pick impressed the basketball world more than most of the top 10 picks, in the NBA Summer League. Eason averaged 17.2 PPG, 10.2 RPG, and 44.7 FG%. He is a defensive genius with the athleticism to dominate rebounds, and even on offence he selects shots effectively. Eason is one of the silent bombs that the Rockets will definitely use in their upcoming campaigns to develop a strong side.
Eason is considered the most mature among the 2022 rookie lineup who will attract brands through his stats, fan attraction, and marketable personality. The 6’8” forward will tip-toe his way into the spotlight over the years, and brands are definitely noticing that capability.
5. Bennedict Mathurin
Team: Indiana Pacers
Bennedict Mathurin is considered the most improved rookie since the start of his college career. He is a raw talent who has improved his game from an under-scoring freshman to the 6th overall pick in the NBA 2022 Draft.
The Indiana Pacers were seen as lacking a good athlete who could bring the ball into the paint; Mathurin is the answer to that. He is fast, intelligent, and knows exactly how and when to use picks.
The calm, patient and confident 6’6” forward can become a fan and brand favourite over the years if he can play up to his hype. The Canadian will be a good marketing target for the brands, which could widen the publicity horizon for the endorser.
4. Chet Holmgren
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
The 2nd overall pick of the 2022 NBA Draft could be the riskiest and as well as the biggest pick of the year. The lean 7-foot centre is anticipated to play good minutes in the upcoming campaign and is keeping the fans in suspense as to whether he can compete against big and strong centres of the league.
Holmgren is no doubt a great defender and shooter who knows how to control a transition play through great passing vision. He didn’t play much in the NBA Summer League, so he is yet to show the world his full potential.
The #2 pick will obviously be a brand favourite and has been receiving a lot of popularity prior to the NBA 2022 Draft. Holmgren is not shy to claim that he’ll be “the best in the league” after his career starts, and brands will certainly have a strong eye on him.
Holmgren signed an underwear brand partnership with Ethika earlier this year in June. He also signed a deal with Topps, which Forbes marked as the “Largest NIL Deal yet”.
3. Jaden Ivey
Team: Detroit Pistons
The 5th overall pick of the 2022 NBA Draft was considered a big steal for the Detroit Pistons by some experts who rank the 6’4” guard higher than the top 4 picks. Ivey didn’t play the entire Summer League but still showed critics that his athleticism could be a dominant trait on the court.
The 20-year-old is a flashy entertainer who is frequently compared to the likes of Ja Morant and Anthony Edwards, which is a great sign. Ivey is exactly what fans love to see and will certainly feature on multiple Detroit Pistons highlight reels. Brands will be eager to sign the young gun as soon as he gets on the court and shows the world his true potential.
2. Keegan Murray
Team: Sacramento Kings
The MVP of the NBA Summer League is of course anticipated to dominate the league and write his name among the bigs early in his career. The Sacramento Kings signed a wing expert which they urgently needed for their upcoming campaign, and Murray proved them right in his first competition. Averaging 23.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 40 3P%, and 50 FG%, he cleared all the doubts about him being an absolute bucket.
After the NBA Summer League, Keegan is already among the fan favourites to arrive in the next season, and brands have also been following that. His physical gameplay and shooting ability will keep him on the radar at all times, and the big brands might approach him very early in his career.
1. Paolo Banchero
Team: Orlando Magic
The #1 overall pick has started his NBA career by being the absolute fan favourite. Despite playing only two games in the NBA Summer League, Banchero was one of the most watched players in the whole competition. The 19-year-old going into his senior career has already made his hype with his young career at Duke.
Banchero signed an early deal with Jordon soon after the 2022 NBA Draft, which shows how soon he is going to compete with bigs on and off the court. The #1 pick has the personality and poise to become a brand favourite before any other rookie this year.
After all, a US$50 million rookie deal and a shoe deal with the great Michael Jordan is a dream start for any NBA player.