My 2022 NBA Mock Draft: Part 1
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- OKC Thunder: Keegan Murray (PF, Iowa)
Murray is a sharpshooting combo forward who can contribute greatly alongside Shai, Josh Giddey, and Lu Dort.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- New York Knicks: Bennedict Mathurin (SF, Arizona)
- OKC Thunder: Ochai Agbaji (SF, Kansas)
- Charlotte Hornets: Ousmane Dieng (SF, New Zealand)
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Malaki Branham (SG, Ohio State)
- 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.
- 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.
- Houston Rockets: TyTy Washington (PG, Kentucky)
- 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)
- 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.
- San Antonio Spurs: Nikola Jovic (SF/PF, Serbia)
- 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.
- Memphis Grizzlies: Kennedy Chandler (PG, Tennessee State)
- 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.
- 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.
- San Antonio Spurs: Jean Montero (PG, Overtime Elite/France)
- 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.
- Miami Heat: Trevor Keels (F, Duke)
- Golden State Warriors: Kendall Brown (SF, Baylor)
- Memphis Grizzlies: Jaden Hardy (SG, G League Ignite)
- 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