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2022 NBA Draft

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Final Pre-Draft Projections

2022 NBA Draft
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0

The 2022 NBA Draft is tonight, and here is a final look at how things might shake out. For the sake of simplicity, potential draft day trades are not included. Selections are based on a combination of my prospect scouting and team needs. The draft order is updated as of midnight on June 23. Here are the links to Mock Draft 1.0 and Mock Draft 2.0 for reference. (My rationale for each pick may be a little delayed because I have a very busy weekend, but this will be completely filled out at some point!)

1. Orlando Magic – Jabari Smith Jr., 6-10 Forward, Auburn

Shouldn’t be a shock here. Most of the insider reports suggest that this is a done deal. Orlando adds the sharpshooting big man to their growing collection of talented wing players. TBD whether or not they get a good return for the No. 1 pick, but adding shooting in today’s NBA is never a horrible thing.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder – Chet Holmgren, 7-0 Center, Gonzaga

3. Houston Rockets – Paolo Banchero, 6-10 Forward, Duke

It’s weird to say the third overall pick might be a steal, but Banchero is likely the most NBA-ready prospect in this class. He is very gifted on the offensive end, possessing impressive post footwork and a deadly midrange game. The Duke freshman has also shown to be a good playmaker and would give Houston plenty of size and versatility at the forward spot. Banchero has a real shot to be a star one day and he probably won’t take long to acclimate to the NBA pace and physicality.

Mock Draft 2.0

4. Sacramento Kings – Keegan Murray, 6-8 Forward, Iowa

5. Detroit Pistons – Jaden Ivey, 6-4 Guard, Purdue

Detroit sprints to the podium to take Jaden Ivey with the fifth overall pick. Ivey is probably the most athletic prospect in this draft class. His three-point shot has steadily improved over the last two years, and he has some upside as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker. He’s a nightmare to guard in transition and is excellent at creating space in the half court. Putting his elite athleticism alongside Cade Cunningham could solidify Detroit as having one of the best young guard duos in the league for years to come.

Mock Draft 2.0

6. Indiana Pacers- Bennedict Mathurin, 6-6 Guard, Arizona

7. Portland Trail Blazers – Shaedon Sharpe, 6-6 Guard, Kentucky

8. New Orleans Pelicans (via Los Angeles Lakers) – Dyson Daniels, 6-6 Guard, G League Ignite

Dyson Daniels has been one of the big winners of the pre-draft process, seeing his stock rise into top 10 consideration. He’s a playmaker with defensive versatility, two things the Pelicans desperately need. Daniels has ideal positional size and length; here he continues the G League Ignite’s streak of top-10 picks. If his jumper continues to improve (it looked good in pre-draft workouts), I think Daniels’ ceiling is what everyone wanted Ben Simmons to become.

Mock Draft 2.0

9. San Antonio Spurs – Jalen Duren, 6-11 Center, Memphis

The Spurs have needs pretty much everywhere. Duren is an athletic freak with a good amount of playmaking upside. He would be a phenomenal lob threat for Dejounte Murray and his physical play will make him a force around the basket. His rebounding and rim protection are immediate benefits. Add the flashes of midrange shooting and his potential is very tantalizing.

Mock Draft 2.0

10. Washington Wizards – Johnny Davis, 6-5 Guard, Wisconsin

The Wizards are a very unserious franchise, and it feels like it’s been that way for some time now. Other than Bradley Beal, every single player on that roster is replaceable. Johnny Davis had a breakout sophomore year for Wisconsin. Even though the shooting numbers weren’t overly impressive, he had extremely high usage and was forced to take a lot of tough shots as he carried a mediocre Wisconsin roster through the entire season. He is one of the best guards in this class with his two-way ability and no-nonsense approach.

Mock Draft 2.0

11. New York Knicks – AJ Griffin, 6-6 Forward, Duke

There’s a lot of guys in this class under top-10 consideration. One of them has to fall – in this mock it’s AJ Griffin. The Duke one-and-done put together an impressive year, shooting 49% from the field and 44.7% from three. He’s got a lot going for him as an athletic two-way wing with plus shooting, but there’s definitely some injury concerns that could impact his draft stock. If he falls to No. 11, New York should be very excited to snag him.

Mock Draft 2.0

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Los Angeles Clippers) – Jeremy Sochan, 6-9 Forward, Baylor

Sochan has received a lot of hype for his defensive versatility. He may be the best defender in this draft class, able to guard 1-5 effectively. The offense isn’t quite there yet however, and he needs to work on developing a consistent jumper if he is ever going to provide something on that end. There have been spots where the handle and passing abilities have looked like they could come along and Sochan could develop into a special player. Throw him in OKC’s development system and see what comes out.

Mock Draft 2.0

13. Charlotte Hornets – Mark Williams, 7-0 Center, Duke

Current reports are that the Hornets are pretty much sold on Mark Williams with one of their first-round picks. Charlotte’s need for a center is glaring, and the Duke product is definitely a great option to fit that need. He’s a good athlete with a high motor who averaged 2.8 blocks a game last season. The rebounding and interior defense are what the Hornets will take him for, and any offense he can provide will be a bonus.

Mock Draft 2.0

14. Cleveland Cavaliers – Ousmane Dieng, 6-9 Forward, New Zealand (NBL)

15. Charlotte Hornets (via New Orleans Pelicans) – Ochai Agbaji, 6-5 Guard, Kansas

Agbaji was the best player for Kansas’ national championship squad. He’s a high-level three-point shooter who can hit from movement and he has great defensive instincts that manifest both on-ball and off-ball. I think he could provide Charlotte something similar to what Desmond Bane has provided for Memphis, and he would be a great player to add while LaMelo Ball is still on a rookie deal.

Mock Draft 2.0

16. Atlanta Hawks – Tari Eason, 6-8 Forward, LSU

The Hawks are a disaster on the defensive end. Adding a versatile defender in Tari Eason helps solve that problem, plus he has some offensive upside as a slasher who averaged 16.9 points per game last season. Eason also averaged 1.9 steals and 1.1 blocks a game as a sophomore for LSU. He still needs to develop a truly reliable jumper, but Atlanta already has plenty of shotmakers. Eason does a lot of things well that will benefit the Hawks on both ends of the floor. As we get closer to the draft, I think the LSU sophomore is becoming one of the more underrated prospects in the class.

Mock Draft 2.0

17. Houston Rockets (via Brooklyn Nets) – TyTy Washington, 6-3 Guard, Kentucky

18. Chicago Bulls – Malaki Branham, 6-5 Guard, Ohio State

19. Minnesota Timberwolves – Jalen Williams, 6-5 Forward, Santa Clara

20. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors) – Dalen Terry, 6-7 Guard, Arizona

Dalen Terry has been another riser in NBA Draft circles of late. He’s a very versatile guard with great positional size who looks the part as a future complementary role player. San Antonio would get a capable secondary ball-handler and would also boost their team’s defense. Terry has some fairly big question marks given his limited usage at Arizona, so this looks to be more of a gamble than other guys in this range.

Mock Draft 2.0

21. Denver Nuggets – Jaden Hardy, 6-4 Guard, G League Ignite

Hardy’s stock took a tumble this past season after a slew of inefficient shooting performances and unimpressive defensive showings. Considered a top-five pick at one point, the G League Ignite product will likely fall into the late first round. Despite a slow start, Hardy did improve throughout his G League campaign and showed off his potential as an electric scoring guard who creates space and works well in the pick-and-roll. Here the Nuggets pick up a bucket-getter who can play off Nikola Jokic and hope he continues to improve.

Mock Draft 2.0

22. Memphis Grizzlies – Blake Wesley, 6-5 Guard, Notre Dame

The Grizzlies front office is no stranger to making the most of later first-round picks. In the last two drafts, they’ve snagged rising star Desmond Bane and bench contributor Santi Aldama at the back of the first round. Blake Wesley makes a lot of sense for Memphis. They’ll get a guy who can capably play on-ball or off-ball and could even develop into a secondary playmaker to take some of the load from Ja Morant. The Notre Dame product stays locked in on defense in addition to his offensive acumen; I believe he would be a good fit for the Memphis culture, especially if the Grizzlies can’t bring back Tyus Jones. Wesley could wind up being a steal.

23. Philadelphia 76ers – E.J. Liddell, 6-7 Forward, Ohio State

It looks like Philadelphia is looking to trade this pick elsewhere. That’s not the craziest thing because I really don’t know what they would do with it. Their need for backcourt play hinges on what happens with James Harden and the frontcourt looks to be full if they hold on to Tobias Harris. Were they to keep the No. 23 pick, E.J. Liddell would be a very good choice as a win-now depth piece. He was an excellent scorer and rebounder who registered 2.6 blocks per game for the Buckeyes last season.

Mock Draft 2.0

24. Milwaukee Bucks – Jake LaRavia, 6-8 Forward, Wake Forest

25. San Antonio Spurs (via Boston Celtics) – Kennedy Chandler, 6-0 Guard, Tennessee

26. Houston Rockets (via Dallas Mavericks) – Nikola Jovic, 6-10 Forward, Serbia

27. Miami Heat – Bryce McGowens, 6-7 Guard, Nebraska

28. Golden State Warriors – Andrew Nembhard, 6-5 Guard, Gonzaga

29. Memphis Grizzlies (via Utah Jazz) – MarJon Beauchamp, 6-6 Guard, G League Ignite

Beauchamp is getting slept on a little bit out of the prospects from this year’s G League Ignite class. He’s got a solid foundation as a scoring wing (30 PPG in JUCO) who will also provide plus defense. The three-point shooting isn’t totally there yet but he also didn’t take a lot of threes last season. Beauchamp’s fluid athleticism still makes him an effective slasher. His decision-making needs some work, but some of that can be trimmed down since he projects to take a mostly off-ball role in the NBA. The Grizzlies need some wing depth around Ja; I like the fit.

30. Denver Nuggets (via Phoenix Suns) – Wendell Moore Jr., 6-5 Forward, Duke

2022 NBA Draft First Round Bubble: Kendall Brown (Baylor), Walker Kessler (Auburn), Ismael Kamagate (France), Christian Braun (Kansas), Patrick Baldwin Jr. (UW-Milwaukee), Christian Koloko (Arizona), Ryan Rollins (Toledo), Trevor Keels (Duke), Gabriele Procida (Italy)

***

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