paolo banchero
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Excuse me while I take a blind leap of faith. Well, after a full season of college basketball, this isn’t blind, but it’s a leap of faith all the same. Here’s my first Big Board heading into the 2022 NBA Draft. This is a slight diversion from mock drafts, but before we dive in here are a few notes:

Positions. The positions are very subjective. The typically listed positions (point guard, shooting guard, small forward, etc.) don’t always present the best fit. Instead, I broke it down in a slightly different way (point guard, combo guard, wing, and big). Still, this is an imperfect system and there are a few guys who straddle the line between multiple positions.

Measurements. It’s not easy to get accurate measurements of players who didn’t attend the combine. The more precise measurements listed are official combine measurements.

Breakdown. This is a simple Big Board — 60 players (even though there are only 58 picks in the 2022 NBA Draft). There are 14 guys with lottery grades, another 16 with first-round grades, and 30 more with second-round grades.

Lottery Grades


1. Jabari Smith Jr. — Wing — Positional Rank: 1
6’10”, 220, Auburn (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): 3-Point Shooting, Defensive Versatility, Rebounding
Concern(s): Finishing Through Contact
Draft Profile

  • Already possesses an ideal skill set to be an elite 3-and-D player from the get-go.
  • High upside potential as a scorer if shot creation continues to develop.
  • Can reliably guard one through five as he bulks up.

2. Chet Holmgren — Big — PR: 1
7’0”, 195, Gonzaga (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Defensive Instincts, Offensive Versatility
Concern(s): Strength, Injuries
Draft Profile

  • Ridiculous length paired with offensive creativity.
  • Incredible instincts as a defensive anchor and freelance rim protector.
  • Physicality and long-term health are question marks due to slight frame.

3. Paolo Banchero — Big — PR: 2
6’10”, 250, Duke (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Isolation Scoring, Footwork
Concern(s): Defensive Lapses
Draft Profile

  • The most complete offensive player in the draft.
  • Footwork should translate to steady improvement on defense.
  • Improving range as a shooter.

4. Jaden Ivey — Combo Guard — PR: 1
6’4″, 195, Purdue (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Transition, Downhill Pick-and-Roll
Concern(s): Offensive Rhythm, Shooting Consistency
Draft Profile

  • Lightning-quick in transition turns defense into offense.
  • Attacks the basket full tilt in the pick-and-roll.
  • Streaky shooting can lead to offensive hiccups.

5. Shaedon Sharpe — Combo — PR: 2
6’5.25″, 198, Kentucky (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Athleticism, Tough Shotmaker
Concern(s): Lack of Experience

  • A bouncy athlete who thrives in transition and as a cutter/driver.
  • Makes tough shots even when the defense is keyed on him.
  • Sat out freshman season at Kentucky.

6. Bennedict Mathurin — Wing — PR: 2
6’6″, 204.6, Arizona (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Three-Level Scoring, Defensive Versatility
Concern(s): Defensive Lapses, Playmaking Chops

  • A three-level scorer who can knock down threes in a variety of ways, drill pull-up shots, and get to the rim.
  • Long and athletic enough to cover guards and wings.
  • Relies too much on athleticism defensively.

7. Keegan Murray — Wing — PR: 3
6’8″, 225, Iowa (2000)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Three-Level Scoring, Rebounding
Concern(s): Defensive Consistency, Positional Fit

  • Can punish smaller defenders with length and bigger defenders with a sophisticated offensive package.
  • Rebounds well enough to play the four at the next level.
  • Can he play enough defense to develop into a high-level starter?

8. Jalen Duren — Big — PR: 3
6’11, 250, Memphis (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Rim Protection, Pick-and-Roll Lob Threat
Concern(s): Footwork, Shooting

  • Prototypical rim-running center — above-the-rim threat and defensive anchor.
  • Footwork/fundamentals are still catching up to his overall athleticism.
  • Needs to add one more skill — reliable shot or passing out of the short roll.

9. Dyson Daniels — Combo — PR: 3
6’7.5″, 195, Ignite (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Playmaking, Instinctual Defender
Concern(s): Three-Point Shooting, Finishing at the Rim

  • High IQ and feel for the game.
  • Could be a wing or combo depending on how teams view him.
  • Needs to be more consistent as a scorer.

10. AJ Griffin — Wing — PR: 4
6’6″, 222, Duke (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Three-Point Shooting, NBA Body
Concern(s): Defensive Consistency, Shot Creation
Draft Profile

  • Unorthodox shot, but he might be the best three-point shooter in the draft.
  • NBA-ready body will allow him to defend fours at the next level.
  • Needs to develop as a shot creator to become a star.

11. Johnny Davis — Combo — PR: 4
6’5.75″, 196.4, Wisconsin (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Three-Level Scorer, Game Strength
Concern(s): Shooting Consistency, Assist-to-Turnover

  • Was asked to do a lot for Wisconsin, which could be to blame for the inefficient shooting and assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • Not the biggest or strongest guy, but knows how to use his strength in games.
  • Tough shotmaker who is confident with the ball in his hands.

12. Nikola Jovic — Big — PR: 4
6’11”, 222.6, Mega Mozzart (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Playmaking, Length
Concern(s): Speed, Quickness, Physicality

  • Incredible length combined with a strong feel for the game as a playmaker.
  • Will need to be able to hang with NBA athletes from a physical standpoint.
  • Came on strong towards the end of his season, but had his ups and downs.

13. TyTy Washington — Point — PR: 1
6’3.75″, 196.4, Kentucky (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Ball Security, Offensive Upside
Concern(s): Burst

  • Takes care of the ball while running an offense.
  • Big upside as a crafty scorer and reliable three-point shooter.
  • Burst and quickness to drive by NBA athletes is questionable.

14. Ochai Agbaji — Wing — PR: 5
6’5.75″, 216.8, Kansas (2000)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Three-Point Shooting, On-Ball Defense
Concern(s): Playmaking, Free Throw Shooting

  • Excellent three-point numbers, but free-throw shooting leaves something to be desired.
  • Strong on-ball defender who can match up with bigger or smaller guys.
  • Not much of a ballhandler or playmaker.

1st Round Grades

15. Ousmane Dieng — Wing — PR: 5
6’10”, 216, NZ Breakers (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Length, Playmaking Upside
Concern(s): Shooting Efficiency

16. Mark Williams — Big — PR: 5
7’2″, 242.4, Duke (2001)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Defensive Anchor, Interior Finishing
Concern(s): Foul Trouble, Shooting Range

17. Patrick Baldwin Jr. — Wing — PR: 7
6’10.25″, 230, Milwaukee (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Three-Point Shooting, Length
Concern(s): Injuries, Shooting Efficiency

18. Tari Eason — Wing — PR: 8
6’8″, 217.4, LSU (2001)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Perimeter Defense, Offensive Upside
Concern(s): Ball Security, Inconsistent Offense

19. Jeremy Sochan — Wing — PR:9
6’9″, 230, Baylor (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Versatile Defender, Athletic
Concern(s): Shooting Consistency, Offensive Creation

20. JD Davison — Point — PR: 2
6’2.5″, 191, Alabama (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Downhill Athleticism, Physical on Both Ends
Concern(s): Ball Security, Streaky Shooter

21. Jaden Hardy — Combo — PR: 5
6’4″, 198, Ignite (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Offensive Upside
Concern(s): Shooting Efficiency

22. Christian Braun — Wing — PR: 10
6’7″, 209, Kansas (2001)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): 3-and-D, Rebounds
Concern(s): Offensive Versatility, Playmaking

23. Kennedy Chandler — Point — PR: 3
6’0.5″, 172.2, Tennessee (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Pick-and-Roll Upside, Perimeter Defense
Concern(s): Free Throws, Physicality
Draft Profile

24. Walker Kessler — Big — PR: 6
7’1″, 256, Auburn (2001)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Rim Protection, Interior Finishing
Concern(s): Shooting, Foul Trouble
Draft Profile

25. Malaki Branham — Wing — PR: 11
6’5.5″, 194.8, Ohio State (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Shooting, Perimeter Defense
Concern(s): Offensive Creation

26. Bryce McGowens — Wing — PR: 12
6’6.5″, 181.2, Nebraska (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Three-Level Scoring
Concern(s): Defensive Lapses

27. MarJon Beauchamp — Wing — PR: 13
6’6.5″, 197, Ignite (2001)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Versatility
Concern(s): Three-Point Shooting

28. Kendall Brown — Wing — PR: 14
6’7.5″, 201.2, Baylor (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Effortless Athleticism, Offensive Upside
Concern(s): Shooting Consistency

29. Jean Montero — Point — PR: 4
6’2.5″, 171.8, Overtime Elite (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Crafty Offensive Scorer, Pick-and-Roll Ability
Concern(s): Suspect Competition, Strength

30. Jalen Williams — Wing — PR: 15
6’5.75, 209, Santa Clara (2001)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Consistent Shooting, 3-and-D Upside
Concern(s): Finishing With Contact

2nd Round Grades

31. Max Christie — Wing — PR: 16
6’5.75, 171.8, Michigan State (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Shooting Upside
Concern(s): Shot Selection, Playmaking

32. Blake Wesley — Combo — PR: 6
6’4.25, 171.8, Notre Dame (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Explosiveness, Shotmaking
Concern(s): Scoring Consistency

33. Ismael Kamagate — Big — PR: 7
6’11, 227, Paris Basketball (2001)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Length, Defensive Instincts
Concern(s): Still Raw

34. Harrison Ingram — Wing — PR: 17
6’7″, 232, Stanford (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): IQ/Feel, Defensive Versatility
Concern(s): Scoring Punch

35. E.J. Liddell — Big — PR: 8
6’7″, 232, Ohio State (2000)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Defensive Instincts, Playmaking
Concern(s): Size, Positional Fit

36. Trevor Keels — Combo — PR: 7
6’4.75″, 223.8, Duke (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Tough Defender, Size at Position
Concern(s): Scoring Punch

37. Terquavion Smith — Point — PR: 5
6’3.75″, 165, NC State (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Pick-and-Roll Upside, 3-Point Shooting
Concern(s): Undersized, Shooting Efficiency

38. Gabriele Procida — Wing — PR: 18
6’7.75″, 192, Fortitudo Bologna (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): 3-Point Shooting
Concern(s): Ballhandling, Free Throw Shooting

39. Wendell Moore Jr. — Wing — PR: 19
6’5.5″, 217, Duke (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): 3-and-D Upside
Concern(s): One Dimensional Scorer

40. Ron Harper Jr. — Wing — PR: 20
6’5.5″, 240, Rutgers (2000)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Three-Level Scorer
Concern(s): Positional Fit, Quickness

41. Leonard Miller — Wing — PR: 21
6’10”, 211, Fort Erie Academy (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Length, Offensive Upside
Concern(s): Still Raw

42. Julian Champagnie — Wing — PR: 22
6’7.75″, 212, St. John’s (2001)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Three-Level Scoring, 3-and-D Upside
Concern(s): Playmaking

43. Dalen Terry — Wing — PR: 23
6’7.25″, 195, Arizona (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Downhill Attacking
Concern(s): Shooting Efficiency

44. David Roddy — Wing — PR: 24
6’6″, 260, Colorado State (2001)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): 3-Point Shooting, IQ/Feel
Concern(s): Positional Fit

45. Josh Minott — Wing — PR: 25
6’8.75″, 197, Memphis (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Length, Offensive Upside
Concern(s): Physicality

46. Matteo Spagnolo — Combo — PR: 8
6’5.5″, 196, Vanoli Cremona (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Pick-And-Roll Potential
Concern(s): Shooting Consistency

47. Jordan Hall — Wing — PR: 26
6’8″, 215, St. Joe’s (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Playmaking
Concern(s): Shooting Efficiency
Positional Rank:

48. Christian Koloko — Big — PR: 9
7’0″, 221, Arizona (2000)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Length, Rim Protection
Concern(s): Scoring Consistency Inside

49. Jabari Walker — Wing — PR: 27
6’8″, 213, Colorado (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Rebounding, Perimeter Defense
Concern(s): Shooting Consistency

50. Caleb Houstan — Wing — PR: 28
6’8″, 205, Michigan (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Offensive Upside
Concern(s): Shooting Consistency

51. Dominick Barlow — Wing — PR: 29
6’9″, 214, Overtime Elite (2003)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Length, Offensive Upside
Concern(s): Raw, Level of Competition

52. Keon Ellis — Wing — PR: 30
6’6″, 175, Alabama (2000)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Athletic, 3-and-D upside
Concern(s): Inconsistent Shooting

53. Collin Gillespie — Point — PR: 6
6’2.75″, 195, Villanova (1999)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): IQ/Feel, Offensive Poise
Concern(s): Athleticism, Size

54. Andrew Nembhard — Point — PR: 7
6’4.5, 195.6, Gonzaga (2000)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): IQ/Feel, Running an Offense
Concern(s): Inconsistent Offense

55. Ryan Rollins — Combo — PR: 9
6’3.25″, 179 (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Scoring Upside, Playmaking
Concern(s): Three-Point Shooting

56. Peyton Watson — Wing — PR: 31
6’8″, 203, UCLA (2002)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Offensive/Defensive Versatility
Concern(s): Inefficient Offense

57. Hugo Besson — Combo — PR: 10
6’5.75″, 180, NZ Breakers (2001)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Scoring Upside
Concern(s): Physicality

58. Jake LaRavia — Wing — PR: 32
6’8″, 227.2, Wake Forest (2001)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Versatility
Concern(s): Positional Fit

59. Alondes Williams — Combo — PR: 11
6’5″, 209, Wake Forest (1999)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Playmaking
Concern(s): Three-Point Shooting

60. Isaiah Mobley — Big — PR: 10
6’10”, 235, USC (1999)
Translatable NBA Skill(s): Three-Point Shooting Upside
Concern(s): Athleticism

Knicks, Nets, NY/NJ college hoops, and sports betting reporter. Mostly basketball, but a little bit of everything when it comes to NY sports. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.