My 2022 NBA Mock Draft: Part 1

Image via CBS Sports

With the 2022 NBA Draft a month away and prospect workouts starting this week, I decided to do a full mock draft with Fanspo using the current standings while adding one-sentence evaluations for several prospects. The first of this two-part series focuses on the first round.

All of these selections were based on the team’s biggest positional need and/or the best player available, while taking into account that some players (e.g. Buddy Hield, Rudy Gobert, etc.) could be on the move this summer. I also noted that some teams may have an excess of players at one position (e.g. the Orlando Magic at both guard spots), so I did the best I could and made the best possible selection with that information in mind.

*Granted, mock drafts will continue to change as June 23 approaches, and I may do another one later this month.

Without further ado, let’s get into my 2022 NBA Mock Draft.

  1. Houston Rockets: Chet Holmgren (PF/C, Gonzaga)
    With a great, hungry young core, Holmgren and his two-way skill set fits right into the H-Town culture.
  2. Orlando Magic: Paolo Banchero (PF/C, Duke)
    Banchero, who is up there with Holmgren for #1 overall, would be joining a sea of bigs in Orlando, but he would help them immensely given Jonathan Isaac’s injury history and Bol Bol’s uncertain future.
  3. Detroit Pistons: Jabari Smith (PF/C, Auburn)
    Smith would further Detroit’s youth movement, assuming they want to decrease veteran Kelly Olynyk’s current role with the team.
  4. OKC Thunder: Keegan Murray (PF, Iowa)
    Murray is a sharpshooting combo forward who can contribute greatly alongside Shai, Josh Giddey, and Lu Dort.
  5. Indiana Pacers: Jaden Ivey (PG/SG, Purdue)
    If Brogdon or Hield is dealt, Ivey could fill the role right away, joining Tyrese Haliburton and Chris Duarte as Indy’s newfound foundation.
  6. Portland Trail Blazers: Jalen Duren (C, Memphis)
    With Portland stuck between playoff or rebuild mode, selecting Duren at least helps them get younger and takes less pressure off of the injury-ridden Nurkic.
  7. Sacramento Kings: Shaedon Sharpe (SG, Kentucky)
    The Kings add some youth to their veteran-laden roster, bringing in a 3&D guard who did not play his first year of college but is still oozing with potential.
  8. New Orleans Pelicans: Dyson Daniels (PG/SG, G League Ignite)
    With a team full of point guards, Dyson’s shooting and playmaking make him someone to look out for at either guard slot.
  9. San Antonio Spurs: A.J. Griffin (SF, Duke)
    Griffin gives the Spurs another 3&D guard/wing as they look to build off of their recent Play-in appearance.
  10. Washington Wizards: Johnny Davis (SG, Wisconsin)
    Davis would be playing behind Bradley Beal and Corey Kispert at the two-guard slot, but his breakout year for Wisconsin showed that he is ready for the league and the challenges it brings.
  11. New York Knicks: Bennedict Mathurin (SF, Arizona)
  12. OKC Thunder: Ochai Agbaji (SF, Kansas)
  13. Charlotte Hornets: Ousmane Dieng (SF, New Zealand)
  14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Malaki Branham (SG, Ohio State)
  15. Charlotte Hornets: Mark Williams (C, Duke)
    With Montrezl Harrell unhappy with the Hornets and Charlotte’s center depth growing thin, adding a shot blocker and lob threat in Williams fulfills a major need for them.
  16. Atlanta Hawks: Jeremy Sochan (PF, Baylor)
    Sochan is a solid four with quite a ways to go in terms of shooting, and the Hawks are potentially moving on from John Collins, meaning this selection just might be a perfect match.
  17. Houston Rockets: TyTy Washington (PG, Kentucky)
  18. Chicago Bulls: Tari Eason (SF, LSU)
    The sophomore forward averaged nearly 17 PPG and 6.6 RPG this year, and he could help the Bulls’ frontcourt depth with his shooting (36% from three) and defense (1.9 SPG and 1.2 BPG)
  19. Minnesota Timberwolves: Blake Wesley (SG, Notre Dame)
    The ACC All-Freshman and All-ACC team member has been rising on the big boards thanks to a great first year with the Fighting Irish, and he joins a team loaded with veteran guards ready to mentor the youngins and continue the Wolves’ winning ways.
  20. San Antonio Spurs: Nikola Jovic (SF/PF, Serbia)
  21. Denver Nuggets: E.J. Liddell (PF/C, Ohio State)
    LIddell, a high-motor, small-ball big, would take over Jeff Green’s role as a backup to the back-to-back MVP.
  22. Memphis Grizzlies: Kennedy Chandler (PG, Tennessee State)
  23. Brooklyn Nets: Walker Kessler (C, Auburn)
    With Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin entering free agency, the Nets are left with one center — Nic Claxton — currently on the roster; Kessler’s youth, floor-spacing, and defense would be critical for a Nets team looking to bounce back.
  24. Milwaukee Bucks: MarJon Beauchamp (SF, G League Ignite)
    Beauchamp is a bouncy two-way wing who could make an impact for coach Bud and the Bucks.
  25. San Antonio Spurs: Jean Montero (PG, Overtime Elite/France)
  26. Dallas Mavericks: Ismael Kamagate (C, Paris)
    With the Mavs’ big men not getting any younger, Kamagate provides a youthful boost along with great rim-running and defensive skills.
  27. Miami Heat: Trevor Keels (F, Duke)
  28. Golden State Warriors: Kendall Brown (SF, Baylor)
  29. Memphis Grizzlies: Jaden Hardy (SG, G League Ignite)
  30. OKC Thunder: Christian Braun (SG, Kansas)

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts below, and stay tuned for part two of my mock draft coming tomorrow (May 11).

Part 2 of this mock can be found here: https://medium.com/boundless-ballin/my-2022-nba-mock-draft-part-2-ffcfea9de351

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