DISCLAIMER: The NBA season just tipped off. The college basketball season hasn’t even started yet. If you’re reading this months later and things look a lot different, it’s because… well, things will be a lot different by then.
We’ll continue to pump out scouting reports and updated mock drafts and big boards for the 2022 NBA Draft, just as we did for the 2021 NBA Draft.
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Note: The order for this will be determined based on projections of the standings at this point.
These picks will be a combination of what I think would happen, how teams draft, and what I think should happen, all blended together.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren- C, 7’0″ (Gonzaga)
Holmgren would be an awesome addition to OKC’s young core and fill a need to add some size and shot-blocking in the interior. Sign me up for a lineup of Giddey-SGA-Dort-Poku-Chet. Gonzaga has another loaded squad led by Holmgren, and I expect nothing short of Chet solidifying himself as a top-3 when it’s all said and done.
2. Houston Rockets: Paolo Banchero- F, 6’10” (Duke)
Banchero joining Houston’s young core of Jalen Green, KPJ, Sengun, and Garuba (among others) would be electrifying. He’s my number one ranked prospect and someone that I believe has two-way star potential.
3. Orlando Magic: AJ Griffin- F, 6’6″ (Duke)
Orlando has a glut of guards and a few bigs as well, so adding a wing probably makes the most logical sense here. They’re going to be in a very interesting position from a depth perspective when making these picks due to how young and deep their core is.
4. Detroit Pistons: Jalen Duren- F/C, 6’10” (Memphis)
The Pistons adding Duren would solidify their interior scoring and give Cade an outlet for easy buckets in transition and as a rim runner. Duren joins a stacked Memphis team this season and should qualify as must-see TV on a nightly basis.
5. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jaden Hardy- SG, 6’4″ (G League)
Cleveland already has a million bigs and Okoro on the wing. They could use a scoring punch and may need to find a Sexton replacement if they aren’t invested in keeping him long-term. Insert Jaden Hardy, THE premier tough shot maker in this class.
6. New Orleans Pelicans: Caleb Houstan- W, 6’8″ (Michigan)
Houstan is a plug-and-play 3&D prototype that should be able to help New Orleans right away while simultaneously offering some long-term upside. The Pelicans could use a steady presence that can impact the game in multiple ways, so I like this fit a lot.
7. San Antonio Spurs: Yannick Nzosa- C, 6’10” (Malaga)
Nzsoa thrown into the Spurs’ young group would make them a fascinating team, especially on the defensive end with the versatility and length they already possess. He is an elite rim protector and rim runner that has All-NBA Defense type of potential, possibly even DPOY material. The pairing of him and Jakob Poeltl down low would give them a duo of elite rim protectors.
8. Washington Wizards: Patrick Baldwin Jr.- F, 6’10” (Milwaukee)
Baldwin would fit right into the Wizards’ uptempo, spread the floor offense quite seamlessly. A 6’10” shot creator and floor spacer is an interesting archetype in today’s NBA, tough to see him not going top 10.
9. Toronto Raptors: Jaden Ivey- G, 6’4″ (Purdue)
The Raptors already have a ton of exciting wings and forwards that can put the ball on the deck, so adding an electric guard that can play both on and off-ball would be more than ideal. I’d love an Ivey-FVV backcourt with Barnes, OG, and Siakam wreaking havoc on both ends.
10. Indiana Pacers: Jabari Smith- F, 6’10” (Auburn)
Smith is a very intriguing forward/wing that could fit the Indiana mold in many ways. Eventually, it feels like the Pacers will decide between Turner and Sabonis, and when the time comes Smith figures to be a fairly decent pairing with either of those two bigs.
11. Minnesota Timberwolves: Peyton Watson- F, 6’7″ (UCLA)
Minnesota takes the best player available here and adds a wing they could use to pair with Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels when talking about their young core. Watson joins a loaded UCLA team, so he may not get a chance to put up a ton of counting stats right away, but the talent should be apparent immediately.
12. Sacramento Kings: Bennedict Mathurin- W, 6’6″ (Arizona)
This is how the Kings win. Really though, they desperately need another wing and Mathurin would be a terrific fit on both ends with his floor spacing and defensive versatility. Any of him, Watson or Jabari Smith (the previous two selections) would be ideal fits for Sacramento.
13. Charlotte Hornets: Nikola Jovic- F, 6’10” (Mega Bemax)
Jovic would be an electric fit in a very fun Charlotte offense led by LaMelo Ball. If they continue this hot start and keep stacking the wins they could play themselves out of Jovic’s range. But for now, I still have them as the top backend play-in team (9 seed) which puts them in the late lotto range.
14. Chicago Bulls (via POR): Roko Prkacin- F, 6’9″ (Cibona)
The Bulls have a pair of top 20 picks in this mock, so taking a swing on a strong international prospect that fits well with their core like Prkacin makes sense here. Behind Ivey and Mathurin, Roko is one of the top “returners” after withdrawing from the 2021 NBA Draft.
The Rest of the 1st Round
- 15. Boston Celtics: Jean Montero- PG, 6’2″ (Overtime Elite)
- 16. OKC Thunder (via LAC): Dyson Daniels- SG, 6’5″ (G League)
- 17. Memphis Grizzlies: Ousmane Dieng- F, 6’9″ (NZ Breakers)
- 18. New York Knicks: Jabari Walker- F, 6’9″ (Colorado)
- 19. Dallas Mavericks: TyTy Washington- G, 6’3″ (Kentucky)
- 20. Chicago Bulls: JD Davidson- PG, 6’3″ (Alabama)
- 21. Philadelphia 76ers: Allen Flanigan- G/W, 6’6″ (Auburn)
- 22. Golden State Warriors: Keegan Murray- F, 6’8″ (Iowa)
- 23. Memphis Grizzlies (via LAL): Daimion Collins- F/C, 6’10” (Kentucky)
- 24. Atlanta Hawks: Julian Champagnie- F, 6’7″ (St. John’s)
- 25. Houston Rockets (via BKN): Marcus Bagley- F, 6’8″ (Arizona St.)
- 26. Denver Nuggets: Ochai Agbaji- W/F, 6’6″ (Kansas)
- 27. OKC Thunder (via PHX): Kennedy Chandler- PG, 6’0″
- 28. Miami Heat: Andre Curbelo- PG, 6’1″ (Illinois)
- 29. Milwaukee Bucks: Mark Williams- C, 7’0″ (Duke)
- 30. MEM Grizzlies (via UTH): Terrence Shannon Jr.- W, 6’6″ (Texas Tech)
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