ESNY’s latest 2022 NBA Mock Draft is out
The 2022 NBA Draft is a long way away, but scouts had an opportunity to see the top two prospects go at it on Friday night. Paolo Banchero’s Duke Blue Devils beat Chet Holmgren and Gonzaga, but both freshmen had standout performances.
After a few full weeks of college basketball, let’s take a look at an updated 2022 NBA Mock Draft. The draft order is according to records on Nov. 28.
1. Houston Rockets
Paolo Banchero, F, Duke (2002)
Paolo Banchero is giving us no reason to drop him from the top spot. He is the size of a power forward but can do pretty much anything on the court. The freshman is leading Duke to a perfect record so far.
2. Orlando Magic
Chet Holmgren F/C, Gonzaga (2002)
Chet Holmgren isn’t our top prospect, but he might be the most intriguing guy in this class. Although he needs to bulk up, his ability to effectively play the four or five provides lineup flexibility.
3. Detroit Pistons
Jabari Smith, F, Auburn (2003)
Jabari Smith is long, young, and athletic as a 6-foot-10 combo forward. He’s shooting the lights out at 43.3% from deep on five attempts per game. Smith is quietly locking himself into a top-five pick.
4. New Orleans Pelicans
Jalen Duren, C, Memphis (2003)
The NBA is driven by its guards and wings, but there is still a need for rim-running centers. Any big man with Jalen Duren’s potential as an above-the-rim threat won’t make it past the top five, even in this loaded draft class.
5. San Antonio Spurs
Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue (2002)
Jaden Ivey is flashing an incredible burst in his sophomore season. There might not be a faster player in transition in college basketball. Ivey’s improved facilitating and rebounding are nice bonuses as well.
6. Oklahoma City Thunder
Jaden Hardy, G, Ignite (2002)
Jaden Hardy isn’t shooting the ball all that well and he has more turnovers than assists for the Ignite. With that said, the transition to professional basketball isn’t easy. We expect to see Hardy start to put the pieces together in time.
7. Sacramento Kings
Patrick Baldwin Jr., SF, Milwaukee (2002)
Patrick Baldwin Jr. is another prospect who is struggling to find a rhythm shooting, but that’s not going to tank his draft stock. He has a lot on his shoulders at Milwaukee and his star will shine over time.
8. Indiana Pacers
AJ Griffin, SF, Duke (2003)
AJ Griffin is still growing into his role with Duke. He’s coming off the bench and only playing a handful of minutes. However, he was a highly-touted recruit for a reason. As his role changes over time, look for Griffin to cement himself as a potential lottery pick.
9. Toronto Raptors
Bennedict Mathurin, SG, Arizona (2002)
Bennedict Mathurin is going to be one of the guards to stay up late for in the Pac-12. His three-point shooting is taking a slight dip as volume goes up, but he’s still a knockdown three-point threat. He has the size and length to fit in on the wing for any NBA team.
10. Denver Nuggets
Kendall Brown, G/F, Baylor (2003)
The Baylor Bears are reloading after a championship with freshman wing Kendall Brown. The production isn’t as consistent as Scott Drew might like, but the long wing is flashing impressive skills as an all-around scorer and playmaker.
11. Philadelphia 76ers
Keegan Murray, PF, Iowa (2000)
The top 10 picks are all guys born in 2002 or 2003, but this first-round won’t be made up entirely of teenagers. Eventually, a team is going to take an older guy who might be more NBA-ready. Enter Keegan Murray, Iowa’s Naismith Player of the Year candidate. Murray has the potential to be a fast riser if he continues to put up huge numbers.
12. Cleveland Cavaliers
Caleb Houstan, G/F, Michigan (2003)
Caleb Houstan is another highly-touted freshman putting up underwhelming numbers. Don’t let that distract you from the fact that he is still a safe bet to land in the lottery. Versatile wings who can defend multiple positions with high offensive upside are always valued in the NBA Draft.
13. Memphis Grizzlies
Max Christie, SG, Michigan State (2003)
Despite his low three-point percentage early on, Max Christie might be the purest shooter in this draft class. Once he starts showcasing that in East Lansing, he will secure a spot in next year’s first round.
14. Boston Celtics
Andrew Nembhard, PG, Gonzaga (2000)
Speaking of lead guards, Andrew Nembhard is the most poised point guard in the country. Teams should have no worries about his potential fit. He’s been playing alongside future NBA stars at Gonzaga for two seasons now.
15. Chicago Bulls (via Trail Blazers)
Kennedy Chandler, PG, Tennessee (2002)
Although a bit undersized at 6-foot, Kennedy Chandler is shooting it well (56.3% from three) while showing off great vision combined with lightning-quick speed on the break. Chandler is dripping with upside as a lead guard for a second unit.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves
Nikola Jovic, PF, Mega Soccerbet (2003)
Nikola Jovic is a skilled power forward who can shoot it, facilitate, and run in transition. His FIBA U19 World Cup tape will keep him in the first round as long as he keeps his head above water in the competitive Adriatic League. Jovic and Anthony Edwards in transition is something that needs to happen.
17. Memphis Grizzlies (via Lakers)
TyTy Washington, PG, Kentucky (2002)
Teams can never have too many ballhandlers and Washington is capable of playing on or off the ball. Why not take another shot on the talented TyTy Washington?
18. Atlanta Hawks
Ochai Agbaji, G/F, Kansas (2000)
Again, this isn’t going to be a draft class made up entirely of teenagers. Ochai Agbaji is looking more and more like a high-floor three-and-D guy. There is always a place for guys like that in the NBA.
19. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Clippers)
Matthew Cleveland, F, Florida State (2003)
Matthew Cleveland is off to a slow start, but Florida State consistently produces first-round talents under Leonard Hamilton. As Cleveland matures, expect his draft stock to start rising as well. The Thunder are the kind of team that would take a swing on a high-upside player like Cleveland.
20. New York Knicks
Yannick Nzosa, C, Unicaja (2003)
The Knicks build their entire defense around rim protection. Even though Yannick Nzosa is struggling at the pro level, that won’t tank his draft stock. He’s rawer than sushi but fits the mold of what the Knicks look for in a center.
21. Dallas Mavericks
Dyson Daniels, SG, Ignite (2003)
Dyson Daniels is an Aussie who can do a little bit of everything. In today’s NBA where versatility is one of the most sought-after qualities in a player, Daniels checks all those boxes.
22. New York Knicks (via Hornets)
Peyton Watson, SG, UCLA (2002)
Peyton Watson is buried behind a bunch of experienced players on UCLA, but he will still have his chance to shine. It’s impossible to predict trades this far out from the draft, but we would be shocked if the Knicks made both their picks in the first round without making any moves.
23. Chicago Bulls
Jean Montero, PG, Overtime Elite (2003)
There seems to be a consensus agreement that Jean Montero is a major talent, but it’s hard to accurately assess him against the current competition he’s playing against. He has serious potential to be a fast riser or a quick faller in this draft class.
24. Milwaukee Bucks
JD Davison, PG, Alabama (2002)
Alabama was upset by Iona on Thanksgiving, but JD Davison is starting to flash next-level skills as a penetrator. He is a lead guard who is learning how to play off the ball alongside other creators at Bama.
25. Houston Rockets (via Heat)
Julian Champagnie, F, St. John’s (2001)
Julian Champagnie is likely going to be a late-first, early-second round type player in this draft. He tested the draft waters last year before returning to St. John’s. Now that he’s playing his natural position at small forward, he should see an uptick in his already impressive scoring numbers. That should pique the interest of NBA GMs looking for bench scoring.
26. Memphis Grizzlies (via Jazz)
Bryce McGowens, G/F, Nebraska (2002)
Bryce McGowens is flashing high-level scoring for Nebraska, but the competition hasn’t been great for the Cornhuskers yet. If he can continue averaging 17.7 points per game against Big 12 competition and hit the three at a more consistent clip, he will be a first-round pick for sure.
27. Washington Wizards
Keon Ellis, G/F, Alabama (2000)
Keon Ellis is another Alabama product with a future in the NBA. If his 46.7% clip on 4.3 three-point attempts per game remains consistent, someone will take a chance on him. Any team could use another versatile defender who can knock down the three.
28. Miami Heat (via Nets)
Roko Prkacin, F, Cibona (2002)
Admittedly, it’s tough to scout international prospects for someone who focuses mostly on college basketball. Still, Roko Prkačin is worth your attention. Despite his numbers taking a slight dip at Cibona Zagreb from last season, another year for his body to mature should help his draft stock.
29. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Suns)
Mark Williams, C, Duke (2001)
Mark Williams is starting to showcase his physicality and potential as a rim-runner at the next level. He put up 17 points and collected nine boards against Gonzaga and Drew Timme over the weekend.
30. Golden State Warriors
Matthew Mayer, SF, Baylor (1999)
The Golden State Warriors don’t need another project prospect they will need to ease into the rotation. They need a versatile wing who can plug and play on a winning roster. Matthew Mayer might be a bit long in the tooth compared to other guys in this draft class, but he knows how to play alongside other stars.
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