After an exciting first round of selections, there were still many notable names on the board for teams to choose from in Thursday's 2022 NBA Draft. The disparity in prospect rankings from teams showed face in this draft in a major way. Finding a second-round gem can make a major impact on a franchise if they get the selection right. While most of these late-round players are unable to secure successful NBA careers, finding the diamonds in the rough can drastically alter a franchise's outlook.
The future of these players is still to be determined, but here are some early grades for the second-round prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft.
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2022 NBA Draft Grades For 2nd Round
31)Pacers- Andrew Nembhard
An accomplished player who spent two years at Florida and two years at Gonzaga, Andrew Nembhard has a real argument for the best passer in the draft class. The 6'5″ point guard can effectively run an offense and averaged 11.8 points, 5.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.6 steals this past season. Nembhard also shot 38.3% on 3-point attempts. Considering the potential of a Malcolm Brogdon trade, this is an excellent pick from a need and talent perspective.
32)Magic- Caleb Houstan
A 6'8″ wing from Michigan, Caleb Houstan underwhelmed in his lone college season. The Monteverde Academy product averaged 10.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists on the season. His upside is as a 3-point shooter as he shot 35.5% on 5.0 3-point attempts per game. He is not a great athlete and lacks self-creation ability which limits his ceiling. Houstan has the frame of an NBA prospect but the production has not quite been there yet.
33)Raptors- Christian Koloko
The Toronto Raptors did not have a player over 6'9″ on their roster last season. Khem Birch served as their primary big man as the franchise embraced positionless basketball. The addition of Christian Koloko gives them another tool in their lineup flexibility. The 7'1″ center averaged 12.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game last season. Koloko played on a very talented Arizona team the past three seasons and is a great selection for the Raptors.
34)Thunder- Jaylin Williams
While it is certainly confusing that the Thunder selected Jalen and Jaylin Williams in the 2022 NBA Draft, there is hope for both guys. In fact, there is a real chance that the second-round Jaylin Williams ends up making more of an impact. He is a high-effort defender who does the little things on offense. Williams loves taking charges and doing all the dirty work. He has intriguing playmaking potential and averaged 10.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks. He is an exciting player to watch and makes his presence felt.
35)Lakers- Max Christie
A long and lanky scorer with big-time ability. Max Christie is a capable shooter off screens or with his dribble. He stands 6'5″ but needs to fill out his frame. His shot selection was not great, but he also showed flashes of being a solid passer. He uses his 6'9″ wingspan to disrupt on the defensive end and showed success in this area. The Michigan State product averaged 9.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists while shooting 31.7% on 3-point attempts. Max Christie will provide a needed splash of youth to this Lakers roster.
Another 35th pick from Michigan State. History says he’s going to be an All-Star 🤷🏿♂️
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) June 24, 2022
36)Trail Blazers (traded to Pistons)- Gabriele Procida
A springy 6'7″ wing from Italy, Gabriele Procida is a solid second-round addition. He is extremely active on the court and comes up with hustle plays regularly. Procida has a good basketball IQ and finds himself in the right spot. He is capable of throwing down ferocious dunks and is a solid 3-point shooter. The 20-year-old will need to add some weight to his frame, but his playstyle will translate to the NBA.
37)Kings (traded to Mavericks)- Jaden Hardy
Flashback a year ago and the expectation was that Jaden Hardy would be a top-five pick. The former No. 2 recruit elected to play for the G League Ignite last season rather than any of the college options in front of him. He averaged 19.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals but did so on inefficient shooting splits. Hardy shot just 37.9% from the field and 30.9% on 3-point attempts. The potential is still there and he can get a bucket in bursts. This is an excellent low-risk and high-reward selection.
38)Spurs (traded to Grizzlies)- Kennedy Chandler
His 6-foot height and slender frame likely scared away some teams, but there is a lot to like about Kennedy Chandler. The Tennessee product averaged 13.9 points, 4.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.2 steals in his lone college season. He also shot 38.3% on 3-point attempts. Chandler makes use of his 6'5″ wingspan to get in passing lanes and was a high pedigree recruit. He has a high IQ and makes things happen with the ball in his hands. He needs to add weight and clean up some turnovers but holds terrific second-round value.
39)Cavs- Khalifa Diop
A 7-foot center from Senegal, Khalifa Diop lacks tape against high-level competitors but shows some polish in his game. He has a massive frame and is naturally well built. Diop is a high-level rebounder who is comfortable shooting some mid-range jump shots. He is a good shot blocker and has solid overall basketball instincts. There are some limits to his athleticism, but he has NBA size. Adding another big man was far from a need for the Cavs, however, Khalifa Diop has intriguing upside.
40)Timberwolves (traded to Hornets)- Bryce McGowens
It likely will take him a few years to put the pieces together on a consistent basis, but Bryce McGowens is an intriguing prospect. He had some impressive flashes as a scorer during his sole year at Nebraska. McGowens notched 16.8 points per game but shot just 40.4% from the field and 27.4% on 3-point attempts. The 6'6″ guard also needs to add some weight as he was often thrown off by more physical defenders. If the Hornets develop him in the G League for a few years it could pay off.
41)Pelicans- E.J. Liddell
EJ Liddell will likely turn out to be the steal of the draft. The Ohio State product was expected by some to be a lottery pick but fell all the way to the mid-second round. Liddell plays with terrific effort and energy. He considered declaring for the draft last year but was not given a lock to be selected. The 6'7″ forward improved on each area that was critiqued and made his game look much more NBA-ready. Liddell averaged 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.6 blocks while shooting 37.4% on 3-point attempts. He is a notoriously hard worker and high-character guy who projects well as a modern-day stretch forward. Expect him to make an impact in the Pelicans' rotation sooner rather than later.
42)Knicks- Trevor Keels
Trevor Keels is an incredibly unique prospect. He has the tools of a lottery pick but lacks consistency in a major way. The 6″4″ guard is well-built and oftentimes uses his strength when driving to the basket. He can be careless at times and needs to improve as a shooter. Keels shared the floor with a talented Duke team but was unable to distinguish himself well enough. It is still to be determined if he can put the pieces together but it is worth an upside swing.
43)Clippers- Moussa Diabate
A one-and-done out of Michigan, Moussa Diabate averaged 9.o points, 6.0 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks in 24.9 minutes per game. He was a five-star recruit coming out of Paris and showed some impressive flashes at the combine. Diabate recorded the lowest body fat percentage at 2.7% and ranked near the top in many of the combine drills. Diabate moves like a wing but stands 6'11” and is built like a center. There is much more hope for upside than evidence of progression at this point, but his style could fit at the NBA level.
44)Hawks (traded to Warriors)- Ryan Rollins
A 6'3″ combo guard out of Toledo, Ryan Rollins averaged 18.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.7 steals last season. His 3-point shooting was somewhat disappointing as he shot just 31.1% on 3-pointers. There are limits to his athleticism, but if Rollins can improve as a shooter he could find a way to stick. His ability to be effective with or without the ball would be a nice rotational fit. He likely is more NBA-ready than the Warriors' first-round pick, Patrick Baldwin Jr.
45)Hornets (traded to Timberwolves)- Josh Minott
The Timberwolves are certainly swinging for upside, but there is a great deal of intrigue with Josh Minott. He played just 14.6 minutes per game and averaged 6.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.7 blocks. Minott stands 6'8″ with a 6'11” wingspan and plays with a high motor. He has elite athleticism and loves getting out in transition. There are some major concerns with his shooting ability, and he has a tendency to get out of control at times. The 19-year-old is still several years away from contributing but is an intriguing long-term project.
46)Pistons (traded to Nuggets)- Ismael Kamagate
A 6'11” center from France, Ismael Kamagate moves extremely well. He is a rim-running and shot-blocking big man with a good motor. The highest upside in his game is on the defensive end as he has the potential to grow into a true defensive anchor. There is not a lot of optimism surrounding his shot, but he can carve a career out in a more minimal role.
47)Grizzlies- Vince Williams Jr
A 6'6″ wing from VCU, Vince Williams is a stellar shooter and playmaker. He has a well-rounded style of play but does not particularly excel in any area. Williams is not a particularly elite athlete and lacks experience against top talents. The hope would be for him to develop into a 3-and-D type role player. He has flashed some decent moments on the defensive end but is also prone to lapses.
48)Timberwolves (traded to Pacers)- Kendall Brown
The 48th pick is terrific value for Kendall Brown. The Baylor product is an elite athlete who was the 10th-ranked prospect in his high school recruiting class. He is a reluctant shooter and will need to speed up his shot at the NBA level. Brown lacks shot creation and needs to tighten up his handle, but this likely will not be his role. The 6'8″ wing plays with great energy and is a versatile defender. He is an active cutter and a constant lob threat. While his one-and-done season did not go as planned, Kendall Brown can absolutely stick at the NBA level.
49)Cavs- Isaiah Mobley
The brother of Cavs big man Evan Mobley, Isaiah spent three seasons at USC before making his NBA leap. He averaged 14.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists this season. Mobley has some concerns with his free-throw shooting as he shot 68.2% from the line this year, which was his best average out of the three years. He stands 6'10” but lacks disruption on the defensive end. The positional fit is a major concern at the NBA level. While it will be cool for him to reunite with his brother, Isaiah Mobley lacks the refined skills and impact of his brother.
50)Timberwolves- Matteo Spagnolo
A 6'4″ guard from Italy, Matteo Spagnolo is a solid shooter who can create at times. He is a decent athlete and rebounds fairly well for his size. Spagnolo is somewhat turnover prone and lacks some athleticism. He is an agile and skilled combo guard but must improve his decision-making if he wants to survive at the NBA level.
51)Warriors (traded to Hawks)- Tyrese Martin
A strong and physical wing who fits the prototype for a 3-and-D wing, Tyrese Martin could be a surprise player in this draft. The UConn product stands 6'6″ and took a massive step forward as a shooter this season. After shooting 32.1% or worse in his first three seasons, Martin connected on 43% of his 3-point attempts this year. He has good athleticism and competes on the defensive side of the ball.
52)Pelicans- Karlo Matkovic
A 6'10 forward from Serbia, Karlo Matkovic was teammates with Miami Heat's first-round pick Nikola Jovic. He is a solid post scorer who likes to get involved in off-ball motion plays. Matkovic is a pretty good shot blocker and rebounder. He has decent athletics and is a solid finisher around the basket. The Serbian struggles to guard quicker players and may not have an NBA-defining skill.
53)Celtics- JD Davison
An impressive athlete out of Alabama, JD Davison would have benefited from returning to college. In his lone one-and-done year, he averaged 8.5 points 4.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and a steal. He is an effective transition player with breakaway speed and the ability to rise up at the rime. Davison competes hard and was a former five-star recruit, however, he lacks the ability to shoot and turns the ball over too much. There is a lot of development that still needs to be done, but the 19-year-old has an appealing overall skillset.
54)Wizards- Yannick Nzosa
A 6'11” big man from the Congo, Yannick Nzosa has impressive size and a 7'6″ wingspan. He has a dominant left hand and good coordination for his size. Nzosa is a good athlete who plays with a high motor and can be used in pick-and-roll sets offensively. He needs to add a great deal of weight to his frame because he is thrown off by more physical defenders. He is a hustle player who competes and is still oozing with potential at 18 years old.
55)Warriors- Gui Santos
A 6'6″ wing from Brazil, Gui Santos is a slashing athletic wing with a good frame. He has decent passing instincts and is a willing playmaker. Santos lacks vertical pop and needs to show more shooting consistency. He is a below-average finisher around the rim and needs to tighten the handle. There is optimism about his shooting and whether or not he can be an effective shooter will likely make or break his NBA or NBA G League hopes.
56)Cavs- Luke Travers
A smooth off-ball guard with 6'8″ size, Luke Travers is a smart passer who is good with the ball. He makes quick decisions with the ball and attacks the basket well. He plays with great confidence and has surprising athleticism. Travers is not a great shooter and needs to take some strides forward on the defensive side of the ball. He likely will be stashed in Australia but is already 20 years old.
57)Trail Blazers- Jabari Walker
A combo forward who impressed during his time at Colorado. After playing limited minutes as a freshman, Walker averaged 14.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists this past season. He shot 34.6% on 3-point attempts, which was a step back from the 52.3% rate he connected as a freshman. He plays with good energy and loves to score the basketball. While he is a bit of a tweener in terms of position, he is fairly versatile in his ability. If he cleans up his turnovers and finds an NBA role, he could tick around.
58)Pacers (traded to Bucks)- Hugo Besson
A score-first combo guard with good size at 6'6,” Hugo Besson plays with great confidence and basketball IQ. He moves fluidly and finishes well around the basket. Besson is a capable spot-up shooter, which has become an increasingly important part of his game. The Frenchman is turnover prone and has some lapses on the defensive side of the ball. He also plays smaller than his frame. Besson can get tunnel vision with the ball at times. The 21-year-old is still a microwave scorer who could find a way to stick if he gets hot.