Vendetta Sports Media 2022 Mock NBA Draft
Vendetta Sports Media just concluded the live stream for the annual NBA mock draft. The video will be out soon! In the meantime, here is each pick, along with some rationale from each of our writers and content creators on the Vendetta NBA team.
#1 Overall: Paolo Banchero to Orlando, Karl Heiser
In case you live under a rock, you should know who wouldn’t be selected first overall in this mock draft. Karl has made his thoughts very clear on Jabari Smith and why the Magic should go in a different direction with their first overall pick. Here, he had Paolo Banchero as the top name on his draft board. With his combination of size, shot creation, and playmaking, the former Duke standout deserves his flowers. He could also be the name that finally puts this Orlando Magic rebuild in the right direction.
#2 Overall: Chet Holmgren to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jarrod Prosser
Despite being unable to appear live, Jarrod green-lighted this selection on Slack. There is a feeling that no matter who gets picked first, the Gonzaga big man is the right pick at #2. Part of the reason being is that he has a great chance of being the best player in this draft. At 7-feet tall, Chet possesses incredible tools on both ends of the floor — 39 percent from three, an elite defender around the rim, and an offensive toolbox that shows flashes of Nikola Jokic. He has all the makings of being the first true star in OKC to pair with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
#3 Overall: Jaden Ivey to the Houston Rockets, Trey Daubert
“Houston is in a total rebuild. Nobody is untouchable on this roster. We took the best player available. We were hopeful Chet or Banchero would fall to 3 but that didn’t happen. Jabari Smith just isn’t high on our board. I don’t see the shot creation with Smith and need more than a catch-and-shoot guy that high in the draft.
We feel as if Ivey has a chance to be special. The athletic upside is insane. 6-foot-4 body so he’s not an uber small guard and can’t stay on the floor defensively. The talent is there to become a dynamite three level scorer that can drive to the rim and make plays for others. More development needs to be had here but we believe we could end up with a more talented version of Donovan Mitchell and that’s something we couldn’t pass on.” – Trey Daubert
#4 Overall: Jabari Smith to the Sacramento Kings, Alex Cervantes
“Jabari Smith fell into my lap right here. Simply put, it was a best player available scenario. Smith shot 42% from beyond the arc at Auburn, so he’ll be able to space the floor alongside Fox and Sabonis, while also providing great length on both ends of the floor.” – Alex Cervantes
#5 Overall: Benedict Mathurin to the Detroit Pistons, James Herrick
“In this scenario, the Detroit Pistons still have Jerami Grant on the roster. As a result, drafting Keegan Murray would create a logjam at power forward. That leaves them with a major need in the backcourt as they look to find a running mate for Cade Cunningham. With Ivey off the board, Bennedict Mathurin is the choice. Mathurin fits perfectly into Detroit’s backcourt. He plays great off the ball which allows Cunningham to be the primary ball-handler. He shoots the three well, he can shoot off screens, he cuts well, is incredibly athletic, and can finish at the hoop. At 6-foot-7 he should grow into an elite perimeter defender as well. The knock on Mathurin right now is that he does not create shots for himself or his teammates. In Detroit, that responsibility will be Cunningham’s to shoulder.” – James Herrick
#6 Overall: Keegan Murray to the Indiana Pacers, Chris Bagdonas
It feels like a hand-in-glove pick. With TJ Warren a free agent, Indiana needs help at forward. Enter Murray, who was honestly one of the best players in college basketball last year. 23.5 points and almost 9 rebounds per game while shooting a hair under 40% from three. He is a perfect fit for a small-ball four and offers so much to like on both ends. A starting five of Brogdon, Hield, Haliburton, Murray, and Myles Turner has a real chance of making the play-in game. I personally think Indiana could surprise a lot of people in 2022-23 with Murray. In the longer term, I feel like this is a pick that will age really well as Murray strikes me as a prototypical power forward in the modern NBA. Great shooter, can defend three or four positions, athletic, and a productive scorer.
#7 Overall: AJ Griffin to the Portland Trail Blazers
Jarrod was unable to make it on the live stream.
#8 Overall: Dyson Daniels to the New Orleans Pelicans, Karl Heiser
Karl said on the stream that he is a good fit with CJ McCollum in the New Orleans backcourt.
#9 Overall: Jalen Duren to the San Antonio Spurs, Alex Chick III
“It’s been years since the Spurs shave chosen a true big man in the Top 10 of the draft. Jalen Duren will be a force defensively and on the boards for the Spurs. He will play that post up basketball that Pop likes to play. He has great shooting mechanics to build on to start playing modern NBA basketball to stretch the floor.” – Alex Chick III
#10 Overall: Tari Eason to the Memphis Grizzlies, Jackson Law
“First, I have to explain how I got here. Some tampering went on that saw Memphis part ways with De’Anthony Melton and Kyle Anderson and Pick 22 to Chicago for Coby White and Pick 18. Pick 18 was then flipped using Tyus Jones (more tampering) and another future first-rounder to land at 10. Eason was one of 3 players I wanted to get for Memphis in the first half of the draft. Plugging a 6’8 wing to come off the bench reasserts Memphis as one of the top defensive teams in the league, and his driving ability is one area Memphis is lacking a little in. Eason has Memphis Grit and will fit perfectly with the culture.” – Jackson Law
#11 Overall: Johnny Davis to the New York Knicks, Jiarmani DiPena
“I love his Taco Bell commercial (Knicks need guard play).” – Jiarmani DePena. Really polished offensive game and good defense at his size/position. Also a good rebounder at 6-foot-6.
#12 Overall: Shaedon Sharpe to the Oklahoma City Thunder
This pick was made according to draft projections and who was still available. Unfortunately, Jarrod was at work during the live stream.
#13 Overall: Mark Williams to the Charlotte Hornets, Alex Cervantes
“The Hornets need a center and rim protection, and Mark Williams is the perfect solution. He’s a lob threat which bodes well for LaMelo Ball in the pick-and-roll, plus he averaged 2.8 blocks per game for Duke. Simple pick, fills a need.” – Alex Cervantes
#14 Overall: Ochai Agbaji to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Anthony Miranda
“The Cavs have one of the best frontcourts in the NBA with Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. They have Garland, Sexton, and LeVert in the backcourt. I thought they could use Agbaji at wing. He is 6’5″ with good length. Agbaji is a good defender with a nice shot. He shot 40% from three in his last collegiate season. He is NBA-ready yet he still has room to grow his game. Also, he can move to shooting guard if the Cavs choose to move on from Sexton.” – Anthony Miranda
#15 Overall: Jalen Williams to the Charlotte Hornets, Alex Cervantes
“It was between Jalen Williams and Jeremy Sochan here and I went with the former. I probably should’ve focused more on a lockdown defender, but Williams’ upside, shooting (39.6 percent from 3) and effort defensively stood out.” – Alex Cervantes
#16 Overall: Jeremy Sochan to the Atlanta Hawks
Matt said it best live, as the Hawks could use another wing and Sochan brings a lot to the table in an Atlanta squad looking to repeat their postseason success of 2021.
#17 Overall: Nikola Jovic to the Houston Rockets, Trey Daubert
“Raffy Stone hung us out to dry when he gift wrapped Christian Wood to Dallas before being fired. New gm Trey is going to take a shot in the dark here. International prospect – tall, athletic, and can shoot. These are the gambles we’re willing to take and if we found the perfect pairing next to Şengün, then we really hit the jackpot.” – Trey Daubert
#18 Overall: TyTy Washington to the Washington Wizards, Chris Bagdonas
A Washington in Washington D.C., how poetic. Jokes aside, the Wizards would definitely be happy to see the Kentucky Guard fall to 18. After the hypothetical trades of Bradley Beal and the 10th overall pick, the Wizards have a need at guard. Washington would be a welcome addition, as he excelled in both scoring and playmaking. He is a great shooter and useful on the ball as well. In a few years’ time, Washington could be nailed down as Washington’s long-term starting point guard.
#19 Overall: EJ Liddell to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Matt Hanifan
“With Minnesota’s pressing need for wing depth, this was an easy selection. Liddell’s a good two-way wing that could defend multiple positions and score in multiple facets that fits alongside KAT/Anthony Edwards.” – Matt Hanifan
#20 Overall: Ousmane Dieng to the San Antonio Spurs, Alex Chick III
“The French player coming from the Australian basketball league called the NBL, the Spurs are excited about this pick. This is the stretch 4 the Spurs needed for awhile. This is basically a 6’10 ball handler that can do pick and rolls, can score, and can use his long length on defense to be a great 2-way player. As the Spurs love to develop players, Dieng is in a great situation following the steps of Tony Parker and Boris Diaw as former French players on the Spurs.” – Alex Chick III
#21 Overall: Malaki Branham to the Washington Wizards, Chris Bagdonas
The Wizards strike again for the second time in four picks. It’s another good pick on paper as the former Ohio State guard could become the long-term Bradley Beal replacement in Washington. He is an excellent scorer and a flamethrower from deep. He saved the best basketball of his freshman year for the second half, averaging 17 points and nearly 4 rebounds per game. At 6-foot-5, he has great size at the shooting guard position and in real life, should definitely not fall out of the top 20.
#22 Overall: Jaden Hardy to the Chicago Bulls, Garrett Burroughs
“With the impending departure of Zach LaVine, we thought it best to try and find an athletic guard who can score with ease and can grow into that role that might be missed. We think Hardy can mold into a great Chicago Bull.” – Garrett Burroughs
#23 Overall: Dalen Terry to the Houston Rockets, Trey Daubert
“This was part of a trade with Philadelphia where we sent Eric Gordon to secure Matisse Thybulle and a 2025 first round pick swap. Moving up 3 spots was also part of the deal but less important. Taking on injured Danny Green as well was just part of doing business. Dalen Terry was the other guy I really wanted in this draft with this pick. Length matters (6-foot-7). Twitchy athlete with some pop to him. Looks like he can be a guy that thrives in transition. Can handle and ball. The shot looks like it will be there. An uber athletic wing that can do multiple different things is something we have to take a shot on here even if it doesn’t work. That’s what a rebuild is. For every Gershon Yabusele, there is a Grant Williams. It’s about taking the right gambles to build the next contender in Houston. Terry represents exactly that.” – Trey Daubert
#24 Overall: Walker Kessler to the Milwaukee Bucks, Anthony Miranda
“This was the best available pick as I feel like the next guards up would have been a reach. The Bucks have Giannis, Middleton, and Holiday as their foundation. I think a major weakness for the Bucks was their front court. Walker Kessler is a huge 7’1″ Center. He is a great shot blocker and a good rebounder. He is a talented scorer in the paint and he has the potential to be a stretch big man. Kessler will provide essential backcourt depth and could eventually replace Brook Lopez.” – Anthony Miranda
#25 Overall: Kennedy Chandler to the San Antonio Spurs, Alex Chick III
“Not necessarily a need, but the Spurs just took the best player on the board, however they are adding a big, a wing, and a guard to fill out the team more. I very much see a better Patty Mills situation for the Spurs here. A small pesky guard that can shoot well. Chandlers ceiling is higher than just Patty Mills, but if Chandler can come off the bench and be that energetic scorer and pesky guard to bring energy to the Spurs, they won’t be disappointed.” – Alex Chick III
#26 Overall: MarJon Beauchamp to the Philadelphia 76ers, Chad Bauman
“The Sixers take Beauchamp because he can help replace what they lost in the Gordon trade. He’s smooth explosive and aggressive. He has a lot of offensive and defensive potential. Unlike Matisse Thybum who was an absolute liability on offense. Seriously when Thybum was on the floor the Sixers were basically playing 4v5 on offense. Beauchamp should contribute immediately off the bench.” – Chad Bauman
#27 Overall: Jake LaRavia to the Miami Heat, Matt Hanifan
“With Markieff Morris entering free agency, Miami has a need behind P.J. Tucker. At 6-foot-8, LaRavia provides a perfect blend shooting, playmaking and defensive capability that fits seamlessly into #HEATCulture™.” – Matt Hanifan
#28 Overall: Patrick Baldwin Jr. to the Golden State Warriors, Jiarmani DePena
“Good size, GSW can develop him as a versatile forward with good defense and playmaking skills if they so choose.” – Jiarmani DePena. Injuries also held him back from climbing higher in the first round, with one in high school and another in college.
#29 Overall: Blake Wesley to the Memphis Grizzlies, Jackson Law
“Tyus Jones and De’Anthony Melton are gone, but Memphis reloads with playmaking by taking Wesley late in the draft. Wesley is a great two-way guy that could play the one or two-guard spot depending on lineups. Going to Memphis is a perfect landing spot. Wesley can contribute in a major way without the pressure of being a go-to guy. Easy pick.” – Jackson Law
#30 Overall: Wendell Moore to the Washington Wizards, Chris Bagdonas
Once again the Wizards get another good value pick to close out the first round. Geez, they should really hire this guy and let him do the draft! In all seriousness, Moore is an instant contributor at the NBA level. He’s a great shooter, and anyone who plays for Coach K will have a certain level of discipline and polish in their game. The Wizards are pretty deep in the forward and frontcourt positions so that’s why 3 players at 6-foot-6 or under came about. Regardless, Moore seems destined to become an impact role player as the post-Beal era begins in Washington.
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