The NBA Draft is a couple of days away. The top three picks look to the consensus in any order of Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero. Of course, like any draft, there are and will be surprises. Here is my first edition of the 2022 NBA Mock Draft!
2022 NBA Mock Draft
2022 NBA Mock Draft: Lottery Picks
1. Orlando Magic – Jabari Smith – Forward – Auburn
6-10, 220 lbs 16.9 PPG, 7.4 RBS, 2.0 ASTS, 1.0 BLKS, 1.1 STLS, 42.9 FG%, 42 3P%
The Orlando Magic drafted their guard of the future in Jalen Suggs. I do not think the Mo Bamba is part of the future for the Magic. Jabari Smith brings a much-needed scoring punch to the Magic. Smith brings the ability to knock down the three-point shot and the ability to create his own shot. Of the top three picks, Smith has the highest scoring ceiling.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder – Chet Holmgren – Center – Gonzaga
7-0, 195 lbs 14.1 PPG, 9.9 REBS, 1.9 ASTS, 3.7 BLKS, 0.8 STLS, 60.7 FG%, 39 3P%
It’s time for the Thunder to bring the future of the franchise and they can do that with Chet Holmgren. With Shai-Gilgeous Alexander in the backcourt and Josh Giddey on the wing, Holmgren brings the rim protection and three-point shooting the Thunder need. There are concerns about his frame at the NBA level but that’s an area he can work on at the professional level and time is everything he will have with the Thunder.
3. Houston Rockets – Paolo Banchero – Forward – Duke
6-10, 250 lbs 17.2 PPG, 7.8 REBS, 3.2 ASTS, 0.9 BLKS, 1.1 STLS, 47.8 FG%, 33.8 3P%
The Houston Rockets continue their rebuild post-Harden era. Last season the Rockets drafted guard Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun who they are high on. Now they address their need at the power forward position with Banchero. Possibly the most complete player of the top 3 consensus players, Banchero brings mobility, versatility, and playmaking ability. Banchero does need to work on his 3-point shooting but that is an area he can develop in the NBA.
4. Sacramento Kings – Jaden Ivey – Guard – Purdue
6-4, 195 lbs 14.9 PPG, 4.3 REBS, 2.6 ASTS, 0.6 BLKS, 0.8 STLS, 44 FG%, 32.2 3P%
The Sacramento Kings made the most surprising trade last season by acquiring Domantas Sabonis and sending Tyrese Haliburton to the Pacers. The Kings can take Ivey here to pair with De’Aaron Fox in the backcourt to build for the future. Ivey brings the explosiveness and dynamic play-making ability the Kings need in the backcourt.
5. Detroit Pistons – Bennedict Mathurin – G/F – Arizona
6-6, 210 lbs 14.8 PPG, 5.3 REBS, 2.0 ASTS, 0.2 BLKS, 0.9 STLS, 45.6 FG%, 38.3 3P%
The Detroit Pistons drafted Cade Cunningham last season with the first overall pick. However, Bennedict Mathurin fills in nicely in the backcourt for the Pistons with his ability to knock down the three-point shot. Mathurin can space the floor and operate on the open floor. It gives the Pistons another dynamic guard in the backcourt for much-needed offensive power.
6. Indiana Pacers – Keegan Murray – Forward/Center – Iowa
6-8, 225 lbs 15.8 PPG, 7.0 REBS, 1.0 ASTS, 1.6 BLKS, 1.1 STLS, 54.3 FG%, 37.3 3P%
The backcourt for the Pacers seems intact with Haliburton and Brogdon…for now. The Pacers need frontcourt help and Keegan Murray helps fill that void immediately. Turner’s future is not certain with the Pacers and getting Murray is a great fit next to their guards. Murray can knock down the three-point shot and brings the defensive prowess the Pacers desperately need.
7. Portland Trail Blazers – Shaedon Sharpe – Guard – Kentucky
6-6 200 lbs
The Blazers traded C.J McCollum last season to the Pelicans at the trade deadline. Now the future of Lillard is in question with the Blazers as well. At this spot, they can add a dynamic guard player in the backcourt. Shaedon Sharpe possesses the size and can knock down shots and finish around the basket.
8. New Orleans Pelicans – Dyson Daniels – Guard – G League Ignite
6-6, 190 lbs 11.9 PPG, 7.4 REBS, 5.1 ASTS, 0.7 BLKS, 2.1 STLS, 50 FG%, 30 3P%
The Pelicans are quickly on the rise. They should see the return of Zion Williamson paired with Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum. The Pelicans need to surround those players with playmaking and shooting and Dyson Daniels is a perfect fit for that role.
9. San Antonio Spurs – Jalen Duren – Center – Memphis
6-11, 250 lbs 12 PPG, 8.1 REBS, 1.3 ASTS, 2.1 BLKS, 0.8 STLS, 59.7 FG%, 0.0 3P%
The Spurs are loaded with guard and forward talent on this team. The one position they need depth is at the center position. Jalen Duren brings the potential rim protection and guarding the pick-and-roll. Duren also can finish around the basket which makes him a great fit here for the Spurs.
10. Washington Wizards – Johnny Davis – Guard – Wisconsin
6-5, 194 lbs 13.4 PPG, 6.2 REBS, 1.6 ASTS, 0.7 BLKS, 1.1 STLS, 43.1 FG%, 32.5 3P%
The one area that needs to be addressed for the Washington Wizards is the point guard position. Yes, they have Tomas Satoransky and Ish Smith, but Johnny Davis gives them a prospect for the future. Davis moves well without the ball and brings the upside of being a great defender for the Wizards.
11. New York Knicks – AJ Griffin – Guard – Duke
6-6, 222 lbs 10.4 PPG, 3.9 REBS, 1.0 ASTS, 0.6 BLKS, 0.5 BLKS, 49.3 FG%, 44.7 3P%
The New York Knicks need guard play and AJ Griffin is a great option here. Griffin is a great playmaker and can shoot the ball lights out. Griffin gives the Knicks a consistent shooting threat and shot-making. He shot 44.% from beyond the arc for the Blue Devils and that is exactly what the Knicks need.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jeremy Sochan – Forward – Baylor
6-9, 230 lbs, 9.2 PPG, 6.4 REBS, 1.8 ASTS, 0.7 BLKS, 1.3 STLS, 47.4 FG%, 29.6 3P%
The Thunder have plenty of options here and this is a great spot for them to add a two-way player like Jeremy Sochan. Sochan’s versatility gives him the ability to guard all five positions. Offensively, Sochan can handle the handle and can finish around the basket. For a team that is a work in progress, Sochan gives the Thunder a great two-way player.
13. Charlotte Hornets – Mark Williams – Center – Duke
7-0, 242 lbs, 9.7 PPG, 6.3 REBS, 0.8 ASTS, 2.3 BLKS, 0.5 STLS, 70.4 FG%, 0.0 3P%
The Hornets need a center that can provide them rim protection. Mark Williams fills that void nicely for the Hornets. Williams is one of the best rim protectors in the draft. He averaged close to three blocks per game in his sophomore season. The pairing with LaMelo Ball seems like a great fit and with his ability to dunk the ball this seems like a perfect hit.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers – Malaki Branham – Guard – Ohio State
6-5, 180 lbs, 13.7 PPG, 3.6 REBS, 2.0 ASTS, 0.3 BLKS, 0.7 STLS, 49.8 FG%, 41.6 3P%
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in a spot where they need shooting on the perimeter. Malaki Branham fits that void for the Cavaliers. Branham hit 41.6% from three-point land and can guard multiple positions for the Cavaliers. His wingspan gives him the ability to guard multiple positions for the Cavaliers. Branham can contribute right away for the Cavaliers who were on the brink of making the playoffs last season.
2022 NBA Mock Draft: Non-Lottery Picks
15. Charlotte Hornets – Ochai Agbaji – Guard – Kansas
6-5 – 215 lbs, 13.5 PPG, 4.4 REBS, 1.6 ASTS, 0.5 BLKS, 1.0 STLS, 44.8 FG%, 37.3 3P%
The Charlotte Hornets had an up and down season last year. They found their way into the play-in tournament One area the Hornets need to address was shooting and Agbaji fits that nicely. Agbaji shot a career-high 40.9% from beyond the arc. Agbaji can guard multiple positions on the floor and has the potential to be a top 3 and D player for a team who will have a new head coach and look to make the playoffs in a very long time.
16. Atlanta Hawks – Tyty Washington – Guard – Kentucky
6-3 – 197 lbs, 12.5 PPG, 3.5 REBS, 3.9 ASTS, 0.2 BLKS, 1.3 STLS, 45.1 FG%, 35 3P%
Kentucky guards thrive at the next level in the NBA. Tyty Washington got off to a great start in the 1st half of the year for the Wildcats. However, an ankle injury derailed Washington in the second half of the season. Washington is arguably one of the best point guard prospects coming out of the college ranks. The ability to learn from Trae Young will give the Hawks another playmaker off the bench.
17. Houston Rockets – Ousmane Dieng – Forward – NZ Breakers
6-10, 185 lbs, 8.8 PPG, 3.1 REBS, 1.0 ASTS, 0.3 BLKS, 0.61 STLS, 39.8 FG%, 27.1 3P%
This is a great spot for the Dieng to land with the Rockets who can afford to be patient with him. There are rumors of the Houston Rockets potentially trading Christian Wood. Dieng’s size, wingspan, and versatility are needed in the front court. Dieng IQ for the game is an attribute that would be attractive to the front office of many teams.
18. Chicago Bulls – Tari Eason – Forward – LSU
6-8, 216 lbs, 13 PPG, 6.3 REBS, 1.1 ASTS, 1.2 BLKS, 1.6 STLS, 50.4 FG%, 32.7 3P%
Tari Eason gives the Chicago Bulls much-needed rim protection in the front court. The Chicago Bulls have the perimeter players on the roster. However, Eason can give the Bulls the defensive ability they need. Eason is a player who runs the floor and gives the guards a lob threat on the offensive end.
19. Minnesota Timberwolves – Blake Wesley – Guard – Norte Dame
6-5, 185 lbs, 14.4 PPG, 3.7 REBS, 2.4 ASTS, 0.1 BLKS, 1.3 STLS, 40.4 FG%, 30.3 3P%
Blake Wesley gives the Timberwolves a shot creator who can get past the first level of defenses. Though Wesley still needs some polishing to the game but his ability in the open court and collapsing defenses can be an area he could work on with the guards on the roster already.
20. San Antonio Spurs – Nikola Jovic – Forward – Mega
6-11, 225 lbs, 11.8 PPG, 5.5 REBS, 1.0 ASTS, 0.5 BLKS, 0.3 STLS, 55.2 FG%, 40 3P%
It’s no secret that the San Antonio Spurs are not scared to draft international players. The Spurs are in need of front-court depth and this is a great spot for Nikola Jovic to develop his game under Greg Popovich. Jovic possesses skill on the offensive side of the basketball. Despite his defensive liability, the floor is high for Jovic.
21. Denver Nuggets – Jalen Williams – Guard – Santa Clara
6-6, 195 lbs, 12.6 PPG, 3.7 REBS, 2.9 ASTS, 0.5 BLKS, 1.2 STLS, 46.9 FG%, 35.2 3P%
Jalen Williams may be the value play here at this point of the draft. At 21 years old, Williams will be ready to contribute immediately. The Nuggets will see the return of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. next season. Williams with a 7-2 wingspan can guard multiple positions and be a knockdown three-point shooter. Williams is the type of player you would want around the back-to-back regular-season MVP.
22. Memphis Grizzlies –Kennedy Chandler – Guard – Tennessee
6-0, 171 lbs, 13.9 PPG, 3.2 REBS, 4.7 ASTS, 0.2 BLKS, 2.2 STLS, 46.4 FG%, 38.3 3P%
The Memphis Grizzlies can use another guard in the rotation with the possibility of Tyus Jones leaving for free agency. Regardless, Kennedy Chandler emerged as a top guard in SEC in the 2nd half of the year. With his passing ability, ball-handling skills, and defensive ability he is a great fit for the Grizzlies. Chandler led the SEC in steals last season and he would be a great backup to Ja Morant or give them the ability to play multiple guard lineup.
23. Brooklyn Nets – Jaden Hardy – Guard – G League Ignite
6-4, 198 lbs, 21.2 PPG, 4.1 REBS, 3.9 ASTS, 0.0 BLKS, 1.2 STLS, 40 FG%, 30 3P%
Jaden Hardy’s skillset is thru the roof. He has the firepower and the ability to create his own shot. Hardy can give the Nets a much-needed scoring punch off the bench behind Durant and Irving. The biggest question for Hardy is his defense and at times his shot selection. But his scoring ability can give the Nets bench a much-needed boost.
24. Milwaukee Bucks- Walker Kessler – Center – Auburn
7-1, 245 lbs, 8.2 PPG, 5.8 REBS, 0.6 ASTS, 2.9 BLKS, 1.1 STLS, 60.1 FG%, 20.4 3P%
Walker Kessler comes into the Bucks organization and provides much-needed paint and rim protection. In his lone year at Auburn, Kessler averaged 4.6 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. The Bucks possess all the perimeter players they need. However, they lack rim protection. Kessler is one of the best rim protectors in the draft and would be a great fit for the Bulls.
25. Jake LaRavia – San Antonio Spurs – Forward – Wake Forest
6-8, 235 lbs, 12.2 PPG, 6.3 REBS, 2.6 ASTS, 1.0 BLKS, 1.2 STLS, 52.4 FG%, 37.1 3P%
Jake LaRavia has a great feel for the game and a trait that the Spurs organization can benefit from. LaRavia has great instincts on both ends of the floor. He can be a knockdown corner 3-point shooter for the Spurs. He has great ball-handling abilities and play-making skills.
26. Dallas Mavericks – MarJon Beauchamp – Forward – G League Ignite
6-6, 199 lbs, 15.1 PPG, 5.8 REBS, 1.6 ASSTS, 1.5 STLS, 50 FG%, 30 3P%
MarJon Beauchamp story is inspiring. He chose to skip college and worked his way into the G League. Beauchamp’s ability to cut to the basket and play off the ball is a great asset to have with Luka. Beauchamp’s wingspan will make him a great asset on the defensive end for the Mavericks. The Mavericks were one of the better defensive teams and his ability to switch and crash the glass will them great depth.
27. Miami Heat – EJ Lindell – Forward – Ohio State
6-7, 240 lbs, 14.1 PPG, 6.1 REBS, 1.6 ASTS, 1.6 BLKS, 0.5 STLS, 48 FG%, 34.1 3P%
The conversation for the Miami Heat in the offseason will be getting another star player to pair with Jimmy Butler. But the Miami Heat need depth at the forward position. Currently, the Heat have PJ Tucker and Dwyane Dedmon at the forward and center position. Lindell provides the Heat with a knockdown shooter at the forward position and much-needed depth.
28. Golden State Warriors – Patrick Baldwin Jr. – Forward – Milwaukee
6-9, 220 lbs, 12.1 PPG, 5.8 REBS, 1.5 ASTS, 0.8 BLKS, 0.8 STLS, 34.4 FG%, 26.6 3P%
Patrick Baldwin Jr. may be the biggest wild card in the NBA Draft this year. But the size Baldwin Jr. possesses can help the Warriors in the frontcourt. Despite not having a great season in Milwaukee in his freshman year, Baldwin Jr. can develop with the Warriors where he won’t be needed to contribute immediately.
29. Memphis Grizzlies – Dalen Terry – Guard – Arizona
6-7, 195 lbs, 6.6 PPG, 4.2 REBS, 2.9 ASTS, 0.3 BLKS, 1.0 STLS, 47.7 FG%, 35 3P%
This position gives the Memphis Grizzlies the flexibility to add depth to the roster. Terry gives the Grizzlies a great option at the three with Kyle Anderson expected to enter free agency. Additionally, we could see Tyus Jones leaving in free agency. Terry’s length, unselfishness, and commitment on the defensive side fit into the Grizzlies’ culture.
30. Oklahoma City Thunder – Wendell Moore Jr. – Forward – Duke
6-5, 213 lbs, 10.7 PPG, 4.9 REBS, 3.2 ASTS, 0.2 BLKS, 1.2 STLS, 45.9 FG%, 35.8 3P%
Wendell Moore Jr. gives the Thunder and young 3 and D they need in their organization. Moore Jr. is a smart cutter and a player that can knock down the three-point shot. Moore Jr. can also run the floor for the Thunder with a young core group.