2022 NBA Mock Draft III

2022 NBA First Round Mock Draft III I

The NBA Draft goes on Thursday, June 23 and this has to be one of the most unpredictable drafts ever because there is no automatic star. Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren and Paulo Banchero are skilled big men who are intriguing, while Jaden Ivey and Keegan Murray should be picked in the top five. This is my third mock draft with first and second-round picks. Here, I’ll take a look at who I think will go based on needs, best player available, intangibles, fit and more.

1)Orlando Magic, Jabari Smith, Auburn, PF, (6-10, 220)

There are now rumors that Paolo Banchero could move to one or two . He’s now +295 to be picked first according to Draft Kings, though Jabari Smith is now -300. The 6-10 freshman is a safer pick because he can flat-out shoot it and will attempt to defend. Orlando has a very young roster that needs as much talent as possible. They didn’t hit a home run with Jalen Suggs last season at five, but Smith is a safer pick than Chet Holmgren and a better defender than Banchero.

2)Oklahoma City Thunder, Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga, PF/C (7-1, 190)

There are some concerns about Holmgren, because he’s so thin. But Kevin Durant was also very thin coming out of Texas and he turned out to be pretty good. Holmgren is not Durant in terms of accurate shooting, but he handles the ball extremely well and could be a much better defender due to his length and shotblocking skills. If he adds 30-40 pounds in the next year or so, the sky is the limit. It also helps to have a 7’5 wingspan. Defensive, shooting and length makes him special. The Thunder have a lot of young talent and picks.

3)Houston Rockets, Paolo Banchero, Duke, PF (6-10, 250)

There’s no denying Banchero’s size and skill level. He’s also the most physically ready to play of the top three big men. He can play all three frontcourt positions in the NBA, but for him to become a star, he needs to improve on the defensive end. His passing skills are outstanding and offensively, he relied on overpowering smaller defenders. That will be more difficult in the NBA where he won’t be able to beat quicker defenders off the dribble. Houston is another team with a ton of young talent and adding Banchero with Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. is a nice building block.

4)Sacramento Kings, Keegan Murray, Iowa , F, (6-8, 225)

Murray is not a flashy pick, but is a solid player who can flat-out shoot it. (40% from 3pt. last season). He can also defender the wing positions and power forward, though he will need to bulk up some if he is expected to play up front. A lot of talk here that the Kings want to trade the pick and Ivey doesn’t want to play for the Kings. So they could be drafting Ivey for another team, but if they don’t get what they want, Murray is expected to be the pick.

5)Detroit Pistons, Jaden Ivey, Purdue, G, (6-4, 200)

Ivey is not a pure point guard. If he was, he might go even higher. Terrific athlete who will fit well in the pros with his speed and size. Will need to improve as a shooter and decision-maker to play point guard full-time. Right now, he’s a combo guard or even a tweener. Also not a bad defender due to huge wingspan, but needs to be more engaged on that end.

6)Indiana Pacers, Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona, SF/SG (6-6, 210)

Mathurin is a scorer, but he was poor on the defensive end of the floor at Arizona. He’s also not a creator or a playmaker, but has the explosiveness and stroke to become a solid scorer. Mathurin apparently has been great in workouts so he’s moving up draft boards. Pacers needs an electric wing. Just 19 and athletic with great upside.

7)Portland Trailblazers, Dyson Daniels, G League Ignite, PG (6-7, 200)

Daniels is another long point guard in the mold of Cade Cunningham, though he’s not a big-time scorer. He should fit in with Dame Lillard, who is a better shooter. But at 19, they can bring him along slowly. He is excellent passer and defender. The rest should come as he looked as though he could potentially be a solid shooter. At that size and when he gains more weight, he’ll be able to play four positions and defend all four.

8)New Orleans, Jeremy Sochan, Baylor, F, (6-8, 220)

There are some players that you can’t define by numbers. Sochan is a modern day Dennis Rodman with his colorful hair and ability to rebound and defend and Michael Jordan (even if he’s not making this pick), has to realize this team needs defense and intangibles. He’s probably more of a power forward because his offense is a work-in-progress, but he’s not far away. He just turning 19 and he’s a solid pick for those who want defense-first. New Orleans has enough scorers with Brandon Ingram, C.J. McCollum and Zion Williamson. Now they need a defender who can defend all three frontcourt positions along with wings.

9)San Antonio Spurs, Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky, G, 6-6, 200

Another polarizing pick, because Sharpe didn’t play in Kentucky and there’s very little film on him. Teams will have to figure him out during individual workouts. Sharpe is a ridiculous athlete who is just 18 and can score. Shot selection and ball handling is a concern, but you would think there would be flaws for someone who hasn’t played college ball. The Spurs are still a developing team and they can wait for Sharpe to develop. A lot of boom or bust potential with this pick.

10)Washington Wizards, Johnny Davis, Wisconsin, SG, (6-5, 195)

The Wizards need a point guard, but don’t see them drafting one this high. Davis is one of the best mid-range shooters in the draft. He was a better three-point shooter as a freshman. The issue here is with Brad Beal expected to get the “super max”, they won’t need another shooting guard. If he can bulk up some and play the three with Beal and a bigger point guard. He’s a dynamic scorer who could take pressure off of Beal. Also, a strong defender and has playmaking instincts so might be able to play some point guard in the future.

11)New York Knicks, Jalen Duren, Memphis, C (6-11, 250)

The Knicks could use a big rim protector with Mitchell Robinson probably not returning. But it’s New York and they want to make a big splash by moving up. Duren is another rim protector with long arms and great physical tools. He’s also very young at 18 and not super skilled. Needs to use his size and strength better, though offensively he is raw.

12)Oklahoma City Thunder, Ousmane Dieng, New Zealand Breakers, G/F (6-10, 205)

Will the Thunder keep this pick? Probably not, but if they take the pick, this makes sense. Dieng is a player you can groom and the Thunder aren’t going anywhere for awhile. He just added two inches of height and has guard sills. Needs to add strength and his shooting form needs work. The fact that he can shoot, pass and dribble at 6-10 like a point guard is something to work with. But will need a year or two to get acclimated.

13)Charlotte Hornets, Malaki Branham, Ohio State, SG (6-5, 180)

Hey, a local pick just like…LeBron James. Well, he’s not LBJ, but Branham is a solid prospect because he will get bigger and stronger. Not a great athlete but is a decent defender and can score off the dribble. Does have good length which helps and should win up in the late lottery. The Cavs have a need for perimeter players considering they have all the size up front led by Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.

14)Cleveland Cavaliers, A.J. Griffin, Duke, SF, 6-6, 222

Griffin is a talented wing, but he could fall due to medical issues. Griffin has all the physical tools and the size, but lacks consistency. He can flat-out shoot the ball, but the rest of his game needs to catch up. Has the length to be a very good 3-and-D player. The biggest concern is injuries as he has had knee and ankle issues in college and high school. Cleveland could use a more explosive and sharpshooting wing..

15)Charlotte Hornets, Mark Williams, Duke, C (7-0, 240)

Will they keep this pick? If the Hornets can get Williams and he can put Mason Plumlee on the bench, why not? Williams is the ultimate rim-protector with incredible length and a standing reach of 9’9. Robert Williams has made a big difference for the Celtics while only dunking on offense, but if he becomes even a poor man Rudy Gobert or something close, who cares?

16)Atlanta Hawks, Ochai Agbaji, Kansas, SG (6-6, 215)

I would think this is more of a best player available pick, because Atlanta has a lot of 6-6 to 6-8 wings. Agbaji doesn’t have to sit because he’s a senior. He’s an outstanding shooter and is a solid 3-and-D guy who is an exceptional athlete. Not a lot of upside nor is he much of a playmaker. But you pretty much know what you’re getting and he an NBA athlete with an NBA body already.

17)Houston Rockets, Tari Eason, LSU, F, (6-8, 217)

Houston is forever rebuilding and Easton is a very long defender. Has a 7’2 wingspan and also handles the ball well so he can create. He needs work on his left hand and his jumper is questionable so he’ll probably be drafted later in the first round. Nothing wrong with a 6-8 athlete who can play several different positions.

18)Chicago Bulls, TyTy Washington, Kentucky, PG (6-3, 200)

Washington can play point and shooting guard. CAnkle injuries limited his production for most of the season. They need depth and drafting Kentucky guards usually work out. He also suffered an ankle injury that limited his effectiveness in conference play. Does have a good IQ and a solid touch from inside and out. Chicago has to wonder about Lonzo Ball’s future and his knees.

19)Minnesota Timberwolves, Jalen Williams, Santa Clara, SG (6-6, 209)

A steal here. Williams has a 7’2 wingspan, which is incredible for his size. He also has a good feel for the game. He averaged 4.2 assists per game so he can play multiple positions, which is always important. Very good spot-up shooter.

20)San Antonio Spurs Nikola Jovic, Serbia, F (6-10, 222)

Come on. The Spurs have to take at least one overseas player in the draft. He’s more of a wing player with his skills. An excellent passer and playmaker. Needs to get stronger.

21)Denver Nuggets, E.J. Liddell, Ohio State, PF (6-7, 240)

Strong pick to help Denver in their rotation and should be able to play right away. Liddell is Paul Millsap 2.0 with more explosiveness or similar to Grant Williams. He’s an outstanding athlete and had the highest standing vertical in Chicago. Very smart player who will figure it out on defense. Offensively, he’s developing a three-point shot but his strength is his athleticism at power forward to make up for his lack of size.

22)Memphis Grizzlies, Walker Kessler, Auburn, C (7-1, 245)

Nothing wrong with taken the best player or big man available at this spot. Memphis doesn’t need a lot. Kessler has some upside because big guys that can block shots and protect the rim are useful. He’s also a legit 7-footer with a 7’4 wingspan and has potential to become a three-point shooter sort of like Brook Lopez (or if not Robin). Can help elevate the defense of the reserves.

23)Philadelphia 76ers, Jaden Hardy, G League Ignite, SG (6-4, 190)

Hardy makes some sense here as James Harden is slowing down at 33 though Philly could trade this pick (they want to). Hardy is a talented guard, but he didn’t test or scrimmage at the combine. He can flat-out score and is about to turn 20. There is some upside though he’s not a very athletic player, which is why he probably didn’t test.

24)Milwaukee Bucks, Blake Wesley, Notre Dame, PG (6-5, 185)

Wesley can potentially give the Bucks some backcourt depth. He has good size and is a strong passer. He’s also very athletic and could learn from Jrue Holiday who to develop.

25)San Antonio Spurs, Jake LaRavia, Wake Forest, PF (6-8, 235)

If the Spurs keep this pick, they probably go with a stash-and-dash-type of pick, but I think they will trade it. LaRavia moved up to the first round by making 18-of-25 form three-point range in Chicago. Even though he spent three years in college, he’s just 20 and showed at the combine that he’s fairly athletic. Very good passer and highly-skilled will get him a long look as a possible first rounder.

26)Houston Rockets MarJon Beauchamp, League Ignite, SG/SF (6-7, 185)

Houston got this pick from Dallas in the Christian Wood deal. A long and athletic wing (7-1 wingspan) who is a solid mid-range shooter and should eventually become a decent three-point marksman. Not much of a shot creator and limited explosion. Needs more strength.

27)Miami, Jean Montero, Overtime Elite, PG (6-2, 180)

Montero is working out with a bunch of teams right now so he could be moving up on some boards. The Heat need some help behind Kyle Lowry, who is near the end of the line. Montero is a bit of a mystery, which is why so many teams are working him out. He’s athletic and can attack the rim, which is something Miami can use.

28)Golden State Warriors, Wendell Moore, Duke, G/F (6-5, 215)

There won’t be a lot of room here, but there’s always some turnover even with great teams.l A big guard who finally became a more reliable player as a junior. More of a 3-and-D player who shot 41.3% from three-point range at Duke last season and also had 4.4 assists. Not much of a shot creator, but smart player and the Warriors don’t mind high IQ guys.

29)Memphis Grizzlies, Kennedy Chandler, Tennessee, PG (6-1, 171)

Memphis could use a backup point guard with Tyus Jones expected to leave as a free agent. There is a little Ja Morant in his game because he’s long (6-5 wingspan) and is an outstanding athlete. That upside makes him an interesting pick, but the lack of size could be a concern on the defensive end, especially when it comes to switching during a pick-and-roll. They can use some depth behind Jrue Holiday.

30)Denver, Christian Braun, Kansas, SG/SF (6-6, 205)

Athletic wing who is very good defensively and could develop into a solid three-and-D player similar to Pat Connaughton. He also shot very well from three-point range (38%) in college.

Second Round

31. Indiana, Dalen Terry, Arizona, SF (6-7, 195)

32. Orlando, Kendall Brown, Baylor F (6-8, 205)

33. Toronto: Caleb Houston, Michigan, SF (6-8, 205)

34. Oklahoma City: Jordan Hall, Saint Joseph’s, SF (6-7, 215)

35. Orlando: Andrew Nembhard, Gonzaga, PG (6-5, 193)

36. Portland: Trevor Keels, Duke, PG/SG (6-4, 221)

37. Sacramento: Christian Koloko, Arizona, C (7-0, 221)

38. San Antonio: Patrick Baldwin, Wisc-Milwaukee, PF (6-10, 231)

39. Cleveland: Josh Minott, Memphis, PF (6-8, 205)

40. Minnesota: Jaylin Williams, Arkansas C/PF (6-10, 237)

41. New Orleans: Max Christie, Michigan State, SG/SF (6-6, 189)

42. New York Knicks: Justin Lewis, Marquette, SF (6-8, 235)

43. LA Clippers: Jabari Walker, Colorado, SF (6-8, 214)

44. Atlanta: Bryce McGowens, Nebraska, SF (6-7, 179)

45, Charlotte: Peyton Watson, UCLA, SF/PF (6-8, 200)

46. Detroit: Ismael Kamagate, Paris, C (6-11, 227)

47. Memphis: Dom Barlow, Overtime Elite, PF (6-10, 221)

48. Minnesota: Johnny Juzang, UCLA, SG (6-7, 209)

49. Sacramento: Hugo Besson, France, PG (6-6, 180)

50. Minnesota: Orlando Robinson, Fresno State, C (6-11, 244)

51. Golden State: Ryan Rollins, Toledo, SG (6-4, 180)

52. New Orleans: David Roddy, Colorado State, PF/C (6-6, 260)

53. Boston: Moussa Diabate, Michigan, PF/C (6-11, 210)

54. Milwaukee -forfeited

55. Miami-forfeited

56. Washington: Ron Harper Jr,. Rutgers, SF/PF (6-6, 240)

57. Golden State: Dereon Seabron, NC State, (6-7, 180)

58. Cleveland: Gabriele Procida, Italy, SF (6-8, 193)

59. Portland : Trevion Williams, Purdue, PF (6-9, 260)

60. Indiana: Alondes Williams, PG/SG Wake Forest (6-5, 210)

Author Profile
Ben Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 35 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for nearly 30 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13! Ben has had great success in handicapping college football, the NFL, college basketball, the NBA and MLB for 27+ years. His Twitter handle is @BenHayesWAW