We are hours from the 2022 NBA Draft, which means it’s time for another mock draft. With rumors of the Knicks checking in on Jaden Ivey, we are sticking with that big trade.
1. Orlando Magic: Jabari Smith Jr., Wing, Auburn (2003)
It’s going to be tough for the Magic to pass on this combination of NBA-ready skills and long-term upside. Jabari Smith Jr. is the jewel of the draft.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren, Big, Gonzaga (2002)
The Thunder are more than happy to walk away with Chet Holmgren. Despite concerns about physicality and frame, he has the potential to be a unique force in the league.
3. Houston Rockets: Paolo Banchero, Big, Duke (2002)
The Rockets won’t complain about winding up with Paolo Banchero, the most polished offensive player in this class.
4. New York Knicks (via SAC): Jaden Ivey, Combo, Purdue (2002)
Where there’s smoke there’s fire. The Knicks are reportedly high on Ivey and they have more than enough assets to make the deal.
5. Detroit Pistons: Bennedict Mathurin, Wing, Arizona (2002)
Bennedict Mathurin could end up as the best shooter in this class. His on-the-move shooting will pair nicely in Detroit with last year’s No. 1 pick, Cade Cunningham.
6. Indiana Pacers: Johnny Davis, Combo, Wisconsin (2002)
Even if the Pacers can’t move Malcolm Brogdon on draft night, they still might draft Johnny Davis to pair with Tyrese Haliburton in the backcourt.
7. Portland Trail Blazers: AJ Griffin, Wing, Duke (2003)
The Trail Blazers are another team that could be on the move, but if not, AJ Griffin’s NBA-ready shooting will bring something to the table immediately.
8. New Orleans Pelicans (via LAL): Dyson Daniels, Wing, Ignite (2003)
The Pelicans could use another playmaker to add to the mix of CJ. McCollum, Jose Alvarado, Devonte’ Graham, and Zion Williamson. Dyson Daniels is a long wing who can create for others.
9. San Antonio Spurs: Keegan Murray, Wing, Iowa (2000)
Keegan Murray falls a bit lower than where some are projecting, but he doesn’t make it past the Spurs at nine.
10. Washington Wizards: Shaedon Sharpe, Combo, Kentucky (2003)
The Wizards are willing to take a chance on the upside of Shaedon Sharpe despite the fact that he didn’t play a single minute at Kentucky.
11. Sacramento Kings (via NYK): Malaki Branham, Wing, Ohio State (2003)
The Kings trade down, but still add a lottery-level prospect with upside as a three-and-D wing.
12. Houston Rockets (via LAC): Jalen Duren, Big, Memphis (2003)
Let’s keep things interesting. Houston trades 17 and 26 to Oklahoma City for this pick. Jalen Duren is the first true rim-running center off the board.
13. Charlotte Hornets: Mark Williams, C, Duke (2001)
The Hornets targeting Mark Williams seems to be one of the worst-kept secrets in this draft. After Duren goes off the board, they don’t want to wait until 15 for Williams.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Jeremy Sochan, Wing, Baylor (2003)
Cleveland adds another versatile defender in Jeremy Sochan to continue building around Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen.
15. Charlotte Hornets (via NOP): Tari Eason, Wing, LSU (2001)
When in doubt, take an athletic wing. The Hornets grab Tari Eason as he slips out of the lottery.
16. Atlanta Hawks: Ochai Agbaji, F, Kansas (2000)
Ochai Agbaji should be a dependable wing who can challenge for minutes off the bench early.
17. Oklahoma City Thunder (via BKN): Ousmane Dieng, Wing, NZ Breakers (2003)
The Thunder love upside and Ousmane Dieng fits the bill. His strong end to the season in the NBL is enough for Oklahoma City to roll the dice.
18. Chicago Bulls: Jaden Hardy, Combo, Ignite (2002)
Although his efficiency in the G League is a concern, he has the makings of a dynamic off-the-bench scorer.
19. Minnesota Timberwolves: MarJon Beauchamp, Wing, Ignite (2001)
MarJon Beauchamp is the third and final G League Ignite player off the board.
20. San Antonio Spurs (via TOR): Jalen Williams, Wing, Santa Clara (2001)
Jalen Williams is one of the surprises in the first round after being a late riser. The Spurs are willing to take a chance on the high-feel wing.
21. Denver Nuggets: Dalen Terry, Wing, Arizona (2002)
Dalen Terry comes out of nowhere over the last few weeks to secure a spot in the first round.
22. Memphis Grizzlies (via UTA): TyTy Washington, Point, Kentucky (2002)
TyTy Washington is the first true point guard off the board and he’ll compete to be Ja Morant’s understudy.
23. Philadelphia 76ers: E.J. Liddell, Big, Ohio State (2000)
The 76ers are adding a power forward who can defend and has a high feel for the game.
24. Milwaukee Bucks: Walker Kessler, Big, Auburn (2001)
Brook Lopez is entering the final year of his contract and he’s injury prone. Milwaukee grabs Walker Kessler as an insurance policy.
25. San Antonio Spurs (via BOS): Patrick Baldwin Jr., Wing, Milwaukee (2002)
Once thought to be a top-five pick, injuries and a lackluster season have sent Patrick Baldwin Jr. tumbling down draft boards.
26. Oklahoma City Thunder (via DAL): Bryce McGowens, Wing, Nebraska (2002)
The Thunder hope Bryce McGowens can develop into a reliable wing scorer off the bench.
27. Miami Heat: Kennedy Chandler, Point, Tennessee (2002)
Kennedy Chandler won’t need to make an immediate impact. Rather, he’s a point guard Miami can develop.
28. Golden State Warriors: Nikola Jovic, Big, Mega Soccerbet (2003)
Nikola Jovic’s vision and passing will shine with the spacing that Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole provide.
29. Memphis Grizzlies: Christian Braun, Wing, Kansas (2001)
Christian Braun can become a solid three-and-D wing at the next level. Memphis can’t have enough wings like that.
30. Denver Nuggets (via PHX): Andrew Nembhard, Point, Gonzaga (2000)
Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer is reporting that the Nuggets could target a back-up point guard at pick No. 30. Andrew Nembhard may have been the most reliable point guard in the country last season.