7 Sleepers in the 2022 NBA Draft

It’s still very early in the Draft process, but here are some prospects that have stood out to me early on and could play their way a lot higher than where they are currently projected. Sleepers? Maybe not anymore… let’s call them “risers”.

Here are the 7 players that have caught my eye early on this season, starting out in the incredibly fun NBL.


Hugo BessonGuard- 6’3″ (NZ Breakers)

He may not be the most under-the-radar guy after his breakout opening night performance for the Breakers (followed by another strong outing), but he certainly deserves your undivided attention. I had him penciled in on this article before those games as I put this list together, so the strong start to his NBL career certainly boosts his case as a 1st round prospect.

Scoring 25 & 26 points in consecutive games while shooting 50 percent from three (11-for-22) on the young season is quite impressive. He and Osumane Dieng are both projected first-rounders on the NZ Breakers, so keep an eye out for them throughout this NBL season.

Tari Eason Forward, 6’8″ (LSU)

Eason is another prospect that is rapidly rising up NBA Draft boards due to a strong start to his sophomore season for the Tigers. I finally caught up on some LSU film and oh boy I can see why. The 6’8″ SEC Player of the Week has been a menace defensively, generating 3.5 stocks per game. At this moment in time, he leads all college basketball players in box plus/minus.

Along with the disruptive defense, he’s found a way to offer value offensively through his slashing. He’s currently shooting 60% on two-point field goals. While the long-distance jumper hasn’t been there yet (6-of-22 from three) he impacts the game enough in other areas for you to live with that for the time being. He put the red-hot Michael Devoe in a straightjacket after all. I’m thinking late lottery respectfully.

Jeremy Sochan– F/C, 6’10” (Baylor)

Initially, I viewed Sochan as a 2023 prospect, but he’s played so well for Baylor that it’s impossible to ignore his impact. The buzz he’s created for the number 1 ranked defending camps has him right in the thick of things for a late-1st round or early 2nd round selection. Between him and Kendall Brown, Baylor has a pair of absolute tanks that are not your typical freshmen and fit the Baylor mold to a tee.

His well-rounded game combined with the hustle and defensive intensity scream useful role player at the next level with room to blossom into more. Baylor’s suffocating defense has been very fun to watch and Jeremy Sochan has been a major reason why.

Hyunjung Lee W/F, 6’7″ (Davidson)

Sleep on the versatile floor spacing swingman from Davidson at your own risk. Lee has it all from a shooting perspective. Size, efficiency, volume, consistency, and he has improved his counters offensively to the defense running him off the three-point line. The junior’s career shooting splits are insane, as he’s shot 41% from three and 88% from the free-throw line over the course of three seasons.

The South Korean sensation has a chance to post his second straight 50-40-90 season. If he’s not already, put him on your NBA radar.

 

Colby Jones SG, 6’5″ (Xavier)

Jones has been one of the most impressive sophomores this season and has received very little buzz thus far. The 6’5″ sophomore’s numbers are up dramatically across the board, impacting the game on both ends. He reminds me a bit of Josh Hart with his plus rebounding for his size, secondary playmaking, and all-around feel for the game. He’s just a really well-balanced player that plays a winning brand of basketball.

I’m not sure where he is on NBA radars just yet, but he’s certainly on mine.

Christian Braun G/W, 6’6″ (Kansas)

Braun has quietly been on the NBA radar for some time now, but this year both he and Ochai Agbaji have seemed to take that leap to solidify themselves as pros. We all know he can shoot, but the most impressive part of his game has been the finishing, as he’s shot 72% on twos, and has a TS% of 68.8.

The stocks are also up this year, showing he’s truly a versatile guard/wing that can impact the game in multiple ways. Keep an eye out for Braun and the Jayhawks as they look to make a Final Four run this season.

Jaden Shackelford- G, 6’3″ (Alabama)

Alabama’s offense is a joy to watch, and a major reason for that is their stellar guard play led by their veteran backcourt in Jahvon Quinerly and Jaden Shackelford along with newcomer JD Davison. Shackelford is a bonafide bucket that can score in a variety of ways, and when he gets hot he can swing an entire game as we saw against Gonzaga.

Teams looking for instant offense off the bench should take a swing on Shackelford in the 2nd round.

Honorable Mentions

  • Taran Armstrong- PG, 6’5″ (Cal Baptist)
  • Trevion Williams- F/C, 6’10” (Purdue)
  • EJ Liddell- F, 6’7″ (Ohio St.)

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