ESNY releases its latest 2022 NBA Mock Draft for the first weekend of college basketball season
1. New Orleans Pelicans
Paolo Banchero, PF, Duke (2002)
Paolo Banchero is a physical presence at 6-foot-10, but he has the fluidity of a guard. He posted an effortless 18-point, 12-rebound triple-double in his college debut against Kentucky. Banchero is going to be a sure thing at the next level with major superstar potential.
2. Houston Rockets
Chet Holmgren, PF/C, Duke (2002)
Chet Holmgren was our No. 1 pick in our first 2022 NBA Mock Draft and even though he’s falling, it’s through no fault of his own. Holmgren put up 14 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and seven blocks in his college debut.
3. Detroit Pistons
Jaden Hardy, G, G League Ignite (2002)
There won’t be a college debut for Jaden Hardy, who chose the G League path to the pros. After seeing Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga go top-10, expect Hardy to follow in their footsteps.
4. Orlando Magic
Jabari Smith, PF, Auburn (2003)
Jabari Smith is a big who can stretch the floor with his jumper. He projects as a high-level scorer who should develop into a strong defender. The Magic will take talent at any position and Smith is the best player available here.
5. Atlanta Hawks
Jalen Duren, C, Memphis (2003)
Rim-running centers who can control the paint on both ends of the floor are still very valuable in the NBA. Jalen Duren has the potential to be a rock at the position for any team over the next 10 years.
6. San Antonio Spurs
Patrick Baldwin Jr., SF, Milwaukee (2002)
Patrick Baldwin Jr. is a rangy wing who is going to impress with his shotmaking ability at Milwaukee. You can never have enough wings in the NBA and Baldwin has star potential for a team in desperate need of one.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
AJ Griffin, SF, Duke (2003)
Add AJ Griffin to the talented, yet underperforming Minnesota roster. Griffin can score in a variety of ways and should show flashes of brilliance at Duke. Although he’s listed at small forward, Griffin is a versatile player who can fill a number of roles on either side of the ball.
8. Sacramento Kings
Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue (2002)
Jaden Ivey is a scorer’s scorer. That was on full display in his college debut when he dropped 27 points on 13 shots. Scoring will always be the most important NBA skill and Ivey is elite in that department.
9. Indiana Pacers
Caleb Houstan, F, Michigan (2003)
Caleb Houstan is one of many rangy, versatile wings in this draft. There could be a lot of movement on draft boards for the wings depending on how they perform in college. Houstan will have plenty of opportunities in the limelight playing for Michigan.
10. Oklahoma City Thunder
Yannick Nzosa, C, Unicaja (2003)
Yannick Nzosa projects to be an elite defender and rim protector, but he needs to be more consistent on the offensive end. If there is any team willing to take a big swing on a raw prospect like Nzosa, it’s Oklahoma City.
11. Milwaukee Bucks
Kennedy Chandler, PG, Tennessee, (2002)
Although we don’t expect Milwaukee to be drafting in the lottery, Kennedy Chandler is a safe bet to land in the lottery. The 6-footer makes up for his lack of size with a strong presence as a ballhandler/floor general and quickness on defense.
12. Portland Trail Blazers
Peyton Watson, SG/SF, UCLA (2002)
Peyton Watson is in a tough spot because he’s buried behind talented guys on the wing at UCLA, but his talent will shine through. Expect Watson’s role to increase as the season progresses.
13. Charlotte Hornets
Daimion Collins, PF, Kentucky (2003)
Daimion Collins didn’t play much in Kentucky’s opening game against Duke, but NBA scouts will have plenty of opportunities to see him in Lexington this year. He can defend the paint and knock down shots. That’s a valuable combination for a power forward.
14. Boston Celtics
Nikola Jovic, F, Mega Mozzart (2003)
Nikola Jovic rounds out the lottery. He’s a tweener forward who possesses the ability to playmaker from any position. Despite early struggles in the Adriatic League, he has the skillset to become a dangerous offensive threat in the NBA.
15. Memphis Grizzlies
Kendall Brown, SF, Baylor (2003)
Kendall Brown is another Baylor Bear in the mold of Davion Mitchell — tenacious defender with an offensive game that is catching up to his defense.
16. New York Knicks
Bennedict Mathurin, SG/SF, Arizona (2002)
Add Bennedict Mathurin to the growing list of athletic wings with offensive upside.
17. Memphis Grizzlies (via Lakers)
Max Christie, SG, Michigan State (2003)
Max Christie might be the safest pick in the draft for a team that wants a deadeye three-point shooter.
18. Toronto Raptors
JD Davison, PG, Alabama (2002)
JD Davison is an explosive offensive player who can get to his spots with the ball in his hands.
19. Houston Rockets (via Heat)
Ochai Agbaji, SF, Kansas (2000)
Ochai Agbaji isn’t as young as some of the other prospects on our draft board, but his high floor makes him a safe pick in the mid-to-late first round.
20. Philadelphia 76ers
Matthew Cleveland, F, Florida State (2003)
It’s another year with another Florida State wing in the conversation to be a first-round pick. Matthew Cleveland will turn heads with his versatility.
21. Cleveland Cavaliers
Matthew Mayer, SF, Baylor (1999)
It’s another wing named Matthew, but this one is going to Cleveland instead of having it as his last name. Matthew Mayer is a polished wing who should be an instant impact guy off the bench.
22. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Clippers)
TyTy Washington, PG, Kentucky (2002)
TyTy Washington has a high ceiling and he could wind up climbing into the lottery by June of next year.
23. Chicago Bulls
Julian Champagnie, F, St. John’s (2001)
A strong campaign in the Big East would give Julian Champagnie, a dynamic wing scorer, a big bump to his draft stock.
24. Memphis Grizzlies (via Jazz)
Jean Montero, PG, Overtime Elite (2003)
The level of competition Jean Montero is playing against is a major question mark, but he is a well-rounded point guard with high upside.
25. Dallas Mavericks
Moussa Diabate, SF, Michigan (2002)
Moussa Diabate’s length makes him a potential nightmare defensively with offensive upside.
26. Denver Nuggets
Nolan Hickman, PG, Gonzaga (2003)
Although Gonzaga is deep in the backcourt, Nolan Hickman is one of the most talented players on that roster.
27. Miami Heat (via Nets)
Mark Williams, C, Duke
The Heat can add a rim-protector to man the second unit when Bam Adebayo is on the bench.
28. Washington Wizards
Allen Flanigan, SG, Auburn (2001)
If Allen Flanigan shows that he can knock down jumpers consistently, he’ll go in the first round.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Suns)
Michael Foster, PF, G League Ignite (2003)
The G League Ignite are sneaking two more picks into the first round. The first is the highly-recruited Michael Foster.
30. Golden State Warriors
Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite (2003)
Dyson Daniels is the last pick in round one after showcasing his talents for the Ignite.