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NBA Mock Draft 2022: Edition 2 (Final Edition)

Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga to Oklahoma City

 1. Orlando Magic

Jabari Smith, F, Auburn

None of the top trio in this Draft have really separated themselves from the pack, which should lead to a fascinating Thursday night. My guess is Orlando will roll with Jabari Smith at No. 1, who seems to be the player most heavily rumored to go first off the board. The Auburn product brings immense versatility and a skilled offensive game to a Magic roster with a real shortage of playmakers.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

Chet Holmgren, F/C, Gonzaga

Although I'm not as high on Chet Holmgren as I am on Smith or Paolo Banchero, there's no denying his "unicorn" potential. Despite being a legit seven-footer, Holmgren moves incredibly well and has a polished jump shot, the perfect type of big for the modern NBA. The question is, how will he react to the physicality of the NBA? With all due respect to the West Coast Conference, he's going to be battling different bigs than he was in Spokane.

3. Houston Rockets

Paolo Banchero, F, Duke

A frontcourt spot opened up in Houston recently, as the Rockets dealt away Christian Wood to Dallas. The move almost certainly predates them drafting one of the top three forwards in this Draft, and Paolo Banchero is quite the consolation prize at third overall. He's a tough, physical specimen who can get to the rim, but his jump shot doesn't receive the respect it deserves.

4. Sacramento Kings

Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue

While the top three could shuffle a bit, pick No. 4 is where the 2022 NBA Draft gets going. I have absolutely no idea what Sacramento's long-term plan is, and I get the sense the rest of the NBA doesn't know either. They could trade this selection, but if not, Jaden Ivey seems like a logical direction to go with. He's already an explosive scorer at age 20 and could add a nice spark next to De'Aaron Fox in the backcourt.

5. Detroit Pistons

Keegan Murray, F, Iowa

Detroit added a former Iowa Hawkeye last offseason in Luka Garza and they go back to the well here by taking his former teammate, Keegan Murray. Murray's breakout this past season wasn't a complete shock, but it was surprising just how quickly he developed in Iowa City. He has a well-rounded offensive game and is a much better rebounder than you'd assume given his stature. 

6. Indiana Pacers

Dyson Daniels, G, Australia

Dyson Daniels is having a moment at the right time, as the G League product looks to have cemented himself as a Top 10 selection come Thursday night. Casual basketball viewers may not know much about the Australian combo guard, but should quickly be impressed by his smooth offensive game and superb playmaking ability. Pairing him with Tyrese Haliburton gives Indiana a long, athletic backcourt for years to come.

7. Portland Trail Blazers

Bennedict Mathurin, G/F, Arizona

Portland has reportedly been fielding offers for this selection, likely looking for a package they can use to immediately get back into the playoff mix with Damian Lillard at the helm. If they don't trade it, I like the idea of them selecting Bennedict Mathurin out of Arizona. Unlike some of the other high-risk, high-reward options available here, Mathurin provides Day One scoring on the wing.

8. New Orleans Pelicans

A.J. Griffin, G/F, Duke

Concerns surrounding A.J. Griffin's injury history threaten to drop him outside the Top 10, but I love the fit of Griffin in New Orleans. He's an excellent decision-maker for his age and deadeye shooter who should open up lanes for Brandon Ingram and Zion. If not for the potential medical concerns, Griffin would be one of the safest options available in the lottery.

9. San Antonio Spurs

Ousmane Dieng, G/F, France

In addition to Dyson Daniels, Ousmane Dieng is the other international prospect getting a lot buzz and rising up draft boards. At a lengthy 6'9", Dieng is not your prototypical wing, with the athleticism and raw physical tools to be something special. There's a lot of work to be done to round out his overall game, but landing in San Antonio would give him a great opportunity to do just that.

10. Washington Wizards

Shaedon Sharpe, G/F, Kentucky

It's incredibly hard to get an accurate read on Shaedon Sharpe, even this team in the pre-Draft process. He was a blue chip recruit who reclassified and enrolled at Kentucky prior to this season, but he didn't play a single minute for John Calipari's team. He opted to go pro, but hasn't exactly strengthened his stock in the months leading up to the Draft. Teams may be scared away, but his potential is too great to ignore, somebody will take a chance on him inside the Top 10.

11. New York Knicks

Jalen Duren, C, Memphis

If Jalen Duren were to enter the Draft 10-15 years ago, he likely would have been a Top 3 lock. He still has a chance to land somewhere in the lottery, albeit not as high. Duren is 6'11" with a 7'5" wingspan; he's a high motor, physical big on the low block who can finish above the rim. Plus, due to the fact he reclassified, he's going to be 18 for a few more months. Duren makes a bunch of sense for a Knicks team that could lose Mitchell Robinson in free agency this offseason.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder

Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor

Jeremy Sochan took advantage of a beat-up Baylor frontline to play important minutes for the Bears. He's an irritant on the defensive end who can play and defend multiple positions at a high level. His offensive game is still rather limited at this point in his career, but he's a stellar athlete and he can finish at the rim. Sochan would be a nice complement to Holmgren in the frontcourt and the Thunder can afford to be patient with the youngster.

13. Charlotte Hornets

Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin

There seems to be a good chance Johnny Davis could land in the Top 10 but even if he doesn't, it would be shocking if he were to fall out of the lottery. The former Wisconsin Badger had a huge 2021-22 and is the model size for an NBA two-guard. You would like to see him shoot the ball better than he did in Madison, but still offers plenty of scoring punch to pair with La'Melo Ball.

14. Cleveland Cavaliers

Malaki Branham, G/F, Ohio State

Cleveland is overloaded with bigs on their current roster, now it's time to add some scoring on the wing. I love the idea of the Cavaliers staying inside the state and selecting Malaki Branham, an Ohio native. Branham was one of the most surprising freshman in the country this past season and has immense 3-and-D potential.

15. Charlotte Hornets

Mark Williams, C, Duke

Much like Jalen Duren, Mark Williams is a bit of an old-school, back-to-the-basket big man, although he doesn't have the ceiling of Duren. Even so, he offers plenty of value to NBA teams as an elite rim protector who can run the floor. If Williams could grow his offensive game even a bit he could be a steal in this Draft but if not, he's still got a future in the league somewhere.

16. Atlanta Hawks

Tari Eason, F, LSU

I'm interested in what Atlanta does over the offseason after a disappointing 2021-22. John Collins and Clint Capela are both potential trade bait, and the Hawks are looking to surround Trae Young with better fits. I like the idea of Atlanta adding a versatile option like Tari Eason, a player who can play multiple positions and has a lot to like about his offensive game.

17. Houston Rockets

TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky

After snagging Banchero third overall, Houston goes to another blue blood and selects TyTy Washington out of Kentucky. Washington was banged up to end the season, a major reason for Kentucky's struggles late in the year, but he still put together a fabulous freshman campaign. He reminds me of Jamal Murray coming out of Lexington, although Washington isn't that type of shooter, at least not yet.

18. Chicago Bulls

Ochai Agbaji, G/F, Kansas

Players with long, successful college careers are oftentimes ignored in the NBA Draft due to ageism and scouts falling in love with younger, less-proven talent. That could threaten to drop Ochai Agbaji to the late first round, but somebody is bound to take the Kansas product before that. He had an impressive career in Kansas and is a dominant iso scorer, fresh off a Big 12 Player of the Year season.

19. Minnesota Timberwolves

Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame

Minnesota could use a big to pair with Karl Anthony-Towns up front, but with D'Angelo Russell openly being shopped around, a guard may make more sense. Enter Blake Wesley, an under-the-radar combo guard out of Notre Dame who score in a variety of ways. His three-point shot is a notable weakness right now, but his mechanics are okay and the NBA has a way of developing capable scorers into shooters.

20. San Antonio Spurs

Jalen Williams, G/F, Santa Clara

One of the big winners of the pre-Draft process has been Santa Clara's Jalen Williams, who has impressed scouts with his versatility and well-rounded game. He played mainly forward in college but is probably a wing in the NBA. He can score, defend, and crash the boards extremely well. Probably not a guy with superstar potential, but I have a feeling he'll have a long NBA career.

21. Denver Nuggets

Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga

I've always been a fan of Andrew Nembhard, going back to the beginnings of his college career at Florida. It's not often we see college guards with his savviness, smooth playmaking, and polished jump shot. Nembhard doesn't have the ceiling of other guards in this class, but is a perfect fit for Denver's offense and culture.

22. Memphis Grizzlies

Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee

Capable backup Tyus Jones is a free agent this summer and seems likely to leave Memphis, opening the door for playing time behind Ja Morant. Enter Kennedy Chandler, a former high-profile recruit who had a strong freshman season in Knoxville. He's a bit undersized to play the two guard at the next level, but as a capable ball-handler with elite end-to-end speed, he should find a role in the league.

23. Philadelphia Sixers

MarJon Beauchamp, G/F, G League

Another potential trade spot here, as Philadelphia could package this pick to add a piece that could help them win right away. If not, it makes sense for them to add a versatile wing like MarJon Beauchamp, who has had a unique journey to this point. He played college basketball at Yakima College before breaking out in the G League; with a seven-foot wingspan and elite athleticism, there's a lot of upside here.

24. Milwaukee Bucks

Walker Kessler, C, Auburn

Milwaukee's frontcourt could be in store for some major changes, as both Bobby Portis and Pat Connaughton are free agents, while Brook Lopez is 34. They add a rim protector here in Walker Kessler, who has a wide range. Scouts love his shot-blocking ability, but he's been a passive offensive player during his time in the collegiate ranks.

25. San Antonio Spurs

Nikola Jovic, F, Serbia

With their third first-round selection, San Antonio again adds versatility to a roster that has been lacking it in the post-Tim Duncan era. Serbia's Nikola Jovic may be 6'10" but he handles the ball like a guard and can really shoot it. Not only does his skill set fit the Spurs, this is an organization never shy to go the international route.

26. Houston Rockets

E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State

Drafting an older player such as E.J. Liddell might not make a ton of sense considering Houston's timeline, but the former Buckeye is way too good to slide much beyond this point. Liddell plays much larger than his 6'7" frame may suggest, but he's also a capable shooter who can space the floor.

27. Miami Heat

Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest

Few organizations in basketball find draft gems quite as well as Miami, who could add another one here in Wake Forest product Jake LaRavia. The combo forward is a more skilled version of Jake Layman, a 6'8" specimen who can shoot the ball and is more athletic than you may think. He's been rising as of late and looks to have secured a first-round spot.

28. Golden State Warriors

Christian Koloko, C, Arizona

Considering they just took home their fourth NBA Title in a decade, it's easy to forget Golden State still has a relatively untested former No. 2 overall pick in James Wiseman. Wiseman has plenty of upside, but the sluggish start to his career could leave the Warriors looking elsewhere to bolster their frontcourt. Enter Christian Koloko, a seven-foot stopper who is very mobile for his size and quite versatile.

29. Memphis Grizzlies

Kendall Brown, G/F, Baylor

You can never have too many capable wings in the modern NBA, particularly those that fit the "3-and-D" archetype. Memphis adds another in the form of Kendall Brown, who played well in his lone season in Waco. He has traits that every NBA team covets; he can defend and play multiple positions, he's good size and an impressive athlete, and has shooting upside.

30. Denver Nuggets

Jaden Hardy, G/F, G League

Denver went with a safer selection at 21 in the form of Andrew Nembhard, now they swing for the fences at the bottom of the first round with Jaden Hardy. The 19-year old jumps out of the gym with his athleticism, but his play in the G League this past year was underwhelming. He was known as a strong shooter in high school, but it hasn't translated to the next level, which may make teams wary. The Nuggets may be in win-now mode, but there's not much downside to taking a guy like this at pick 30.

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