Final 2022 NBA Mock Draft
After a long wait, the 2022 NBA Draft is down to just a few days away. The rumors are swirling and the trades market is heating up. As each team attempts to gain the competitive edge and maximize value, Thursday is set to be an eventful night. Let’s dive in to see where each name can be expected to come off the board.
Final 2022 NBA Mock Draft
1) Orlando Magic: Jabari Smith- PF Auburn
The feeling surrounding this pick has been it is a lock to be Jabari Smith for quite some time. While there have been some late whispers of a change of heart, it would be surprising if Smith makes it past the top slot. The Auburn product is not the prototypical top prospect but has ridiculous potential. He lacks a strong dribble game and is too reliant on connecting on contested midrange looks, but his 6’10” frame allows him to shoot over just about everyone. The impact Jabari Smith can bring on both sides of the floor will be welcomed in Orlando.
2) Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren- PF Gonzaga
The OKC Thunder are still in the position where they should take the talent with the highest ceiling, and this is undoubtedly Chet Holmgren. The 7-footer has guard-like abilities with the ball in his hand. He can handle, shot create, and is a top-tier catch-and-shooter all while being an elite rim protector on the defensive end. Holmgren’s unique frame has scared off some and certainly makes his positional fit in the NBA interesting, but the talent is certainly there. The Gonzaga product competes much harder than he is given credit and will flourish if given the proper time to develop his body.
3) Houston Rockets: Paolo Banchero- SF/PF Duke
A slight limit in his athleticism has Paolo Banchero’s ceiling considered lower than the top two prospects, but there is a ton to like about the Duke product. The passing ability makes Banchero such an intriguing prospect. He drew criticism on the defensive end, but there are no major holes in his game. Paolo Banchero has an NBA-ready body and can fill up the stat sheet. His ability to score will be utilized in Houston and is sure to be a key part of their long-term future.
4) Sacramento Kings: Jaden Ivey- Guard Purdue
There is a great deal of buzz that the Kings may trade this pick. One way or another it should be expected that Jaden Ivey will be taken with the fourth pick. The 2022 NBA Draft draft has been labeled a “three-player draft” for quite some time, but that is unfair considering what an intriguing talent Ivey is. The Purdue product has game-changing athleticism and is a terror when attacking the basket. The improvements he made on his jump shot elevated his NBA stock by a major margin this year. If the Kings cannot find a trade, they should feel comfortable taking the best talent on the board.
5) Detroit Pistons: Bennedict Mathurin- Guard Arizona
Detroit has a few solid options on the board with the fifth pick, but adding an elite scorer would be ideal next to Cade Cunningham. This is exactly what they will get with Bennedict Mathurin. The Arizona guard is the best pure scorer in the class and fills it up in a variety of ways. Mathurin has shot-creation ability and is also an effective movement or catch-and-shooter. A Cunningham and Mathurin backcourt will put the rest of the NBA on notice for many years to come.
6) Indiana Pacers: Keegan Murray- Forward Iowa
The Pacers made major news at the trade deadline last season by shipping off Domantas Sabonis for Tyrese Haliburton. This move marked a new era for the Pacers. The franchise must be more careful about putting together better-fitting pieces as they build around the youthful core. Keegan Murray would be an excellent complementary piece around Haliburton, Chris Duarte, Myles Turner (though he could be dealt), and the rest of the current roster. He is a terrific transition player who plays with a high motor. Keegan Murray makes a positive impact both on and off the ball and will be a helpful addition.
7) Portland Trail Blazers: Jeremy Sochan- Forward Baylor
The No. 7 pick is another selection that is rumored to potentially be traded as the Trail Blazers continue to focus on winning now. If Portland does elect to stay at this spot in the 2022 NBA Draft, Jeremy Sochan would make an immediate impact. While the long-term development of his offense will determine his NBA ceiling, Sochan’s defense will elevate the Trail Blazers immediately. It is thrown around that guys can guard all five positions too often, but this is truly the case with this 6’9″ forward. The Baylor product plays with a terrific motor and can handle any defensive scheme or task.
8) New Orleans Pelicans: AJ Griffin- Guard Duke
One of the most efficient players in college basketball, AJ Griffin is a safe but effective pick for the Pelicans. The Duke guard relocates well off the ball and is a knockdown catch-and-shooter. He is functionally strong and shot 44.7% on 3-point attempts last season. Griffin’s style is a terrific fit on any NBA team, and he will hit his stride nicely on the Pelicans.
9) San Antonio Spurs: Ousmane Dieng- Wing New Zealand
A 6’9″ wing with intriguing potential, Ousmane Dieng has not gotten as much buzz as he has earned. He spent last season with the New Zealand Breakers where he had an up-and-down season. His 7-foot wingspan and fluid movement are intriguing, and he is a great fit in the modern NBA. Dieng has been a recent draft riser, so it should not be a surprise if he sneaks into the top 10.
10) Washington Wizards: Shaedon Sharpe- Wing Kentucky
Shaedon Sharpe is the biggest question mark in this draft class. The former top-ranked prospect did not play a game at Kentucky after reclassifying to join the team. The lack of tape against legitimate competition makes him difficult to evaluate, but his frame and style of play are intriguing. Sharpe could very well end up being a draft steal, but there is too many much left to the imagination with the 19-year-old for him to go off the board sooner. The Wizards should focus on taking the best available talent, and this is certain to be Sharpe.
Shaedon Sharpe: "I see myself as one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball." pic.twitter.com/BCxqAPemXQ
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) June 18, 2022
11) New York Knicks: Johnny Davis- Guard Wisconsin
One of the best players in college basketball this past season, Johnny Davis has just about everything you could hope for in an NBA prospect. The 6’5″ guard defends hard, is a great rebounder, and can flat out get a basket. Davis averaged 19.7 points and 8.2 rebounds while having one of the highest usage rates across college basketball. He would add an interesting splash to the Knicks’ offense.
12) Oklahoma City Thunder: Dyson Daniels- Wing G League Ignite
There is a chance Dyson Daniels will be off the board sooner than this, but his shooting struggles will likely make teams hesitant. Daniels is an extremely high-IQ player who defends well and does all the little things. He averaged 11.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2.0 steals per game this season with the G League Ignite. The shooting is a real concern as he shot just 30% on 3-point attempts and 53.3% at the free-throw line. The Thunder will not be shy to take the upside swing, and there is a real chance they are rewarded for it.
13) Charlotte Hornets: Jalen Duren- Center Memphis
If Jalen Duren is on the board at the 13th pick, the Hornets will be ecstatic. The monstrous big man from Memphis has a massive catch radius and is an elite shot blocker. He plays with a high motor and gets out in transition. Look for Duren to dominate the defensive side of the ball and create some highlight-reel dunks alongside LaMelo Ball. The 18-year-old has little offensive game outside of putbacks and dunks at this point, but he likely won’t be asked to do more than this.
14) Cleveland Cavaliers: Malaki Branham- Guard Ohio State
An 18-year-old guard who outplayed expectations at Ohio State, Malaki Branham plays a polished brand of basketball. The 6’5″ guard has a solid pull-up game, plays at his own pace, and has good touch around the basket. He lacks some explosion and has some defensive concerns, but will make an impact off the bench immediately.
15) Charlotte Hornets: Tari Eason- Wing LSU
There have been talks of Tari Eason falling in the draft due to some poor workouts, but he has too much talent to drop past the 15th pick. The LSU product is an elite defender who can guard any position. He is elite in transition and has intriguing shot creation. Eason will be an immediate impact player on any team, and the sky is the limit if he can cut down on turnovers and fouls and put all the pieces together.
16) Atlanta Hawks: Ochai Agbaji- Wing Kansas
Despite his accomplished college resume, the four-year Kansas standout has not been able to climb the draft rankings. Agbaji averaged 18.8 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 40.5% on 6.5 3-point attempts per game last season. He projects well as a 3-and-D prospect and will make an excellent member of the supporting cast around Trae Young.
17) Houston Rockets: E.J. Liddell- Forward Ohio State
The Ohio State product is one of the hardest workers in the draft and can help change a culture in an organization. E.J. Liddell flirted with the draft last year but was told he was not good enough to earn a first-round guarantee. Liddell improved on all of his weaknesses and took his game to a new level as a junior. He projects well as a modern-day stretch forward and will also be capable of guarding wings. He would be a terrific long-term addition to the Rockets’ young core.
18) Chicago Bulls: Mark Williams- Center Duke
The Duke center has the talent to go off the board much higher but will be welcomed by the Chicago Bulls. He has a massive frame as a lob threat and shot blocker. Willimas averaged 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game. He also led all of college basketball in dunks this past season. His game is limited right now, but the potential to add more is there.
19) Minnesota Timberwolves: TyTy Washington Jr.- Guard Kentucky
Another Kentucky guard with major potential to outperform his draft slot. TyTy Washington has a fairly polished game and can do a little bit of everything. The 6’4″ guard has the best floater in the class and an impressive overall in-between game. He also set the Kentucky record for most assists in a game this past season with 17 assists against Georgia. Washington is capable of running an offense and has some scoring potential. Adding another ball handler to the Timberwolves would further provide them with flexibility.
20) San Antonio Spurs: Nikola Jovic- Wing Serbia
A high-level passer who excels in transition, Nikola Jovic is a polished NBA prospect. The Serbian wing teases shot creation potential and possesses a high IQ. His 6’10” size makes him a matchup nightmare for opponents. The San Antonio Spurs would be a perfect landing spot for the 19-year-old.
21) Denver Nuggets: Jalen Williams- Wing Santa Clara
The Santa Clara product has been a massive draft riser over the past few weeks. His 7’2″ wingspan and Kawhi-sized hands give him an intriguing physical profile. Williams took a massive step forward in his third season in college. He is a solid catch-and-shooter with intriguing playmaking ability and is a willing cutter. Williams projects as an excellent rotational piece and will fit well with the Nuggets.
22) Memphis Grizzlies: Jaden Hardy- Guard G League Ignite
Following a disappointing season with the G League Ignite, Jaden Hardy’s draft stock has greatly fallen. He is a pure hooper who can score the basketball but lacks efficiency. The former top-five prospect still has sky-high potential and is worth a gamble. The Grizzlies were rewarded by their high-risk pick of Ziaire Williams last year, and this would be a similar mindset to adding Hardy.
23) Philadelphia 76ers: Dalen Terry- Wing Arizona
Despite averaging just 8.0 points per game this past season, Dalen Terry is one of the exciting prospects in this 2022 NBA Draft class. He was overshadowed by a talented Arizona roster and served as more of a connector to the team. Terry has intriguing playmaking ability and was able to score when it was his time to shine. The biggest impact that Dalen Terry will bring is on the defensive end. He is capable of covering multiple positions and possesses infectious energy. His intensity and athleticism will provide immediate impact to the 76ers as it is a roster that is greatly starved of both.
24) Milwaukee Bucks: Blake Wesley- Guard Notre Dame
He is still fairly raw in his development, but Blake Wesley has some impressive NBA tools. His 6’5″ frame and ability to score the basketball are sure to make an impact at the NBA level. The Notre Dame product has an impressive handle, is a good shot creator, and possesses playmaking potential. He will be a nice addition to the Milwaukee bench with the potential to grow into a larger role moving forward.
25) San Antonio Spurs: Jake LaRavia- Forward Wake Forest
A high-IQ player with and without the ball, Jake LaRavia projects well at the NBA level. The 20-year-old transferred to Wake Forest after two seasons at Indiana State and took the next necessary steps in his development. The lack of athleticism and shot creation will limit him, but LaRavia has the feel of a productive NBA role player moving forward.
26) Houston Rockets: Kendall Brown- Forward Baylor
The path to the NBA has not gone exactly as planned for Kendall Brown. Despite being a highly ranked recruit he was outplayed by his teammate Jeremy Sochan at Baylor who played a similar role. Brown is a switchable defender with a ton of athleticism. He stands 6’8″ with intriguing cutting ability and transition play. If the shot translates at the NBA level, he could be a real problem.
27) Miami Heat: MarJon Beauchamp- Wing G League Ignite
The shooting efficiency and 21-year-old age have held back the hype surrounding MarJon Beauchamp. The G League Ignite wing struggles with his shot but has the potential to be an elite defensive prospect. His 7’1″ wingspan allows him to swallow up smaller defenders, and he can guard positions 1-4. Beauchamp still finds ways to assert himself offensively even without a great shot, and if he can continue developing offensively, he could be a very high-impact player.
28) Golden State Warriors: Max Christie- Guard Michigan State
A 19-year-old prospect from Michigan State who can flat-out score the basketball. He needs to add some weight to his lanky 6’5″ frame, but athletically he holds up well. Max Christie would be a terrific fit in the Warriors’ system and would benefit greatly from playing alongside Steph Curry and Jordan Poole. Giving Christie time to develop could provide some great results in the long run.
29) Memphis Grizzlies: Bryce McGowens- Guard Nebraska
Another guy who is early in his development but has an extremely high potential, Bryce McGowens is a fun player to watch play. He had some very intriguing moments this season and averaged 16.8 points per game on the season. The efficiency of his scoring is the greatest concern, but he does not lack self-confidence. This is another high-upside swing for the Grizzlies, but McGowens is a deserving late first-round pick.
30) Denver Nuggets: Walker Kessler- Center Auburn
Adding a long-term backup to Nikola Jokic is a solid target at this stage in the 2022 NBA Draft. Walker Kessler is an intriguing prospect due to his massive size and elite shot-blocking ability. The Auburn prospect stands 7″1″ and swatted a ridiculous 4.5 blocks per game this past season. He did not show great success but attempted some perimeter shots and has the potential to develop as a shooter. Kessler lacks some footspeed when switched onto guards, but the rebounding ability and interior defense would be a helpful addition.