With just a little more than two weeks to go until the 2022 NBA Draft it's time for another mock draft. I will be doing weekly updates to the mock from here on out as more information about workouts, agent meetings, etc... comes out.
1. Orlando Magic – Jabari Smith Jr. | 19 | Auburn| Forward | 6’10 | 220
If the rumor mill and recent reports are to be believed the Magic are locking in on Chet Holmgren as the pick here. Despite that information leaking a few anonymous NBA GMs have suggested it’s a smoke screen and think Smith will ultimately be the pick. Smith is a more developed scorer and a better fit for the current roster in Orlando, so I stick with Smith as my prediction.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder – Chet Holmgren | 20 | Gonzaga | Big | 7’0 | 195
Not much changes for OKC with this pick. If Holmgren is still on the board Sam Presti won’t be able to resist.
3. Houston Rockets – Paolo Banchero | 19 | Duke | Forward | 6’10 | 250
I’m still a little skeptical of the fit in Houston for Banchero but the word is that Jalen Green has already shown significant improvement on his catch-and-shoot jumper this off-season which will be crucial to Banchero and his ability to play off each other.
4. Sacramento Kings – Jaden Ivey | 20 | Purdue | Guard | 6’4 | 195
I still believe this is the most likely spot we could see a trade within the top 8 picks. While Ivey and Fox could play together in the same backcourt and have success I don’t think it is the ideal situation for either player. Ivey played mostly off the ball at Purdue but his most effective path in the NBA is on-ball. I don’t predict trades because there is just too much unknown but I think regardless of who ends up making this pick the gap between Ivey and the next tier of prospects is too big to pass up.
5. Detroit Pistons – Bennedict Mathurin | 20 | Arizona | Wing | 6’6 | 210
Detroit knows they have a couple more years before they are a playoff contender in earnest so they take a swing on getting their “Robin”. Mathurin’s high-level catch and shoot ability makes him a rotation-ready player from day one and he has enough upside as a secondary shot creator that he could be the # 2 option for a contender down the line.
6. Indiana Pacers – Keegan Murray | 21 | Iowa | Wing | 6’8 | 225
Murray gives the Pacers a potential replacement for TJ Warren in the lineup and is someone who should be able to step in and be pretty effective from Day 1 with his ability to score from all over the floor.
7. Portland Trail Blazers – Dyson Daniels | 19 | G-League Ignite | Guard | 6’6 | 199
This is another spot where a trade still seems like it is very much on the table. Portland is in shit or get off the pot mode with Damian Lillard and any developments in that relationship between now and the draft will decide what route the Trail Blazers take with this pick. No matter the situation the Blazers find themselves in Daniels would make a lot of sense with this pick. Daniels is versatile enough offensively that fitting with Lillard isn’t an issue and his size and upside on the defensive end would actually make him a perfect backcourt mate for an aging Dame.
8. New Orleans Pelicans – AJ Griffin | 18 | Duke | Wing | 6’6 | 225
Nothing changes here for New Orleans. With the pillars of their franchise already in place a guy like Griffin just makes too much sense.
9. San Antonio Spurs – Jalen Duren | 18 | Memphis | Big | 6’11 | 250
With Jakob Poetl headed into the final year of his contract, it would make a lot of sense for the Spurs to go ahead and get his potential replacement now. Quite frankly, Duren is still a project who is at least 2 years away from being an effective starter. With that being said it is impossible to ignore his physical tools. Duren’s feel for the game needs to improve significantly but there is no organization better at development than San Antonio.
10. Washington Wizards – Johnny Davis | 20 | Wisconsin | Guard | 6’5 | 196
Nothing changing in this spot. Having Beal alongside him will allow Davis to become more efficient offensively as he won’t have to carry as much of the load as he did at Wisconsin and the defense speaks for itself. Wizards hit a home run here.
11. New York Knicks – Shaedon Sharpe | 19 | Kentucky | Guard/Wing | 6’6 | 200
The Knicks are still looking for their next superstar and the ceiling of Sharpe is just too high to pass up. Sharpe may be the biggest boom or bust prospect in this class just because so little of him has actually been seen. The flashes of potential are there but a lot of projecting him going forward is using your imagination.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Ousmane Dieng | 19 | New Zealand | Forward | 6’10 | 200
Another proto-typical Sam Presti pick. By all accounts the Thunder have no intention on being competitive next season, with Victor Wembanyama on the horizon, so why not take another long-term development guy?
13. Charlotte Hornets – Mark Williams | 20 | Duke | Big | 7’0 | 242
14. Cleveland Cavaliers – Malaki Branham | 19 | Ohio State | Guard | 6’5 | 180
The Cavs are potentially in the market for a replacement for Collin Sexton and Branham is the guy. His offensive game is a much better fit with Garland than Sexton’s was and Branham brings a high level of shot-making that Cleveland desperately needs.
15. Charlotte Hornets – Tari Eason | 21 | LSU | Forward/Wing | 6’8 | 215
16. Atlanta Hawks – Jalen Williams | 21 | Santa Clara | Wing | 6’6 | 209
Williams is shooting up boards in the pre-draft process and Atlanta is in dire need of better wing play. His ability to shoot off the catch makes him an ideal fit with Trae Young and he can run the offense for spells to give Young a breather.
17. Houston Rockets – Jeremy Sochan | 19 | Baylor | Wing | 6’9 | 230
Houston would be thrilled if Sochan fell this far into their lap. They need an elite defensive wing and Sochan slots as that guy.
18. Chicago Bulls – Dalen Terry | 20 | Arizona | Guard/Wing | 6’7 | 195
19. Minnesota Timberwolves – TyTy Washington | 20 | Kentucky | Guard | 6’3 |197
20. San Antonio Spurs – Jaden Hardy | 20 | G-League Ignite | Guard | 6’4 | 205
21. Denver Nuggets – EJ Liddell | 21 | Ohio State | 6’7 | 243
22. Memphis Grizzlies – MarJon Beauchamp | 21 | G-League Ignite | Wing |6’6|199
23. Brooklyn Nets – Walker Kessler | 20 | Auburn | Big | 7’0 | 245
24. Milwaukee Bucks – Blake Wesley | 19 | Notre Dame | Guard/Wing | 6’5 | 185
25. San Antonio Spurs – Max Christie | 19 | Michigan State | Wing | 6’6 | 189
26. Dallas Mavericks – Bryce McGowens | 19 | Nebraska | Wing | 6’7 | 179
27. Miami Heat – Ryan Rollins | 19 | Guard | Toledo | 6’3 | 180
28. Golden State Warriors – Ochai Agbaji | 21 | Wing | Kansas | 6’5 | 214
29. Memphis Grizzlies – Jake LaRavia | 20 | Wake Forest | Forward | 6’8 | 235
30. Oklahoma City Thunder – Nikola Jovic | 19 | Serbia | Forward | 6’10 | 209