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2022 NBA Mock Draft: Full Two Rounds Picks, Predictions & Player Notes

by Mike Randle | @RandleRant | Featured Writer
Jun 22, 2022
Keegan Murray

It is officially NBA Draft week!

We have started to gain clarity on the Top 5 picks, overall risers, and those players sliding faster than gravity. There is a wide array of opinions on the order of the Top 5 overall picks. The 2022 draft lacks the high-end scorers but is very deep with players who can make an immediate impact in various ways.

Check out the odds for first-overall pick and more at BettingPros >>

As the NBA continues to move to positionless basketball, it is common to see players with elite size and guard-level skills. Players such as Jabari Smith (6-foot-10), Chet Holmgren (7-feet), and Paolo Banchero (6-foot-10), bring outside shooting and strong ball-handling ability. The versatility of this year’s class makes it difficult to differentiate their landing spots.

Oklahoma City and San Antonio have four total picks, including three in Round 1. Houston has three first-round picks, with Charlotte and Memphis having two first-round picks each.

Four teams do not have any first-round draft picks this season. The Suns, Jazz, Lakers, and the Nets will not have a selection on June 23rd.

Here are my picks for the opening round of the 2022 NBA Draft.

Round 1

Pick: 1
Team: Orlando Magic
Player: Jabari Smith (Auburn)
Age: 19 years, one month
Rationale: Jabari Smith is the best all-around player in the draft in both production and potential. Smith played in the toughest conference (SEC) among the Top 3 potential picks, leading the SEC Champion Auburn Tigers in scoring and 3P percentage. He brought a high motor and ranked second on the team in rebounding (7.4 RPG). The betting market was initially heavy on Smith as the first pick, dropping his +100 odds to -275. He is now gaining steam back over -200 at most books. I have always believed Smith was the choice at No. 1.

Pick: 2
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
Player: Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)
Age: 20 years, one month
Rationale: I am ignoring the Paolo Banchero movement and sticking with Chet Holmgren at No. 2. A superbly talented seven-footer, Holmgren provides massive upside on his 195 lb frame at just 20 years old. He was the model of efficiency, shooting 60.7 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range. The only concern is the skinny frame, which struggled to compete with the elite athletes from Memphis and Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament. If Holmgren can add 20-30 pounds of muscle, he can potentially have a long NBA career filled with All-Star appearances. He lands with a perfect team in the young Thunder, who can allow him time to establish his presence in the NBA.

Pick: 3
Team: Houston Rockets
Player: Paolo Banchero (Duke)
Age: 19 years, seven months
Rationale: The trade of Christian Wood opens up a need for a versatile big man, giving Houston a player that would be the clear No. 1 pick in many other drafts. At 6-foot-10, 250 lbs, he brings elite NBA size with solid guard skills. He must improve his outside shooting (33.8 percent 3P) and is a mediocre defender without the rim protection skill of either Smith or Holmgren. Banchero perfectly fits the stylistic movement of the NBA as a big man with strong ball-handling skills. A starting lineup of Alperen Sengun, Eric Gordon, Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr., and Banchero carries a ton of upside. Banchero has impressed in workouts and interviews while reportedly pushing back his workouts with Orlando multiple times. Once the Rockets traded Wood, Banchero to Houston made perfect sense.

Pick: 4
Team: Sacramento Kings
Player: Keegan Murray (Iowa)
Age: 21 years, 10 months
Rationale: I’m buying the rumor that Sacramento is seriously considering Keegan Murray at No. 4 overall. Murray took a monster leap during his sophomore season, finishing fourth in the nation in scoring at 23.5 PPG. He led Iowa in scoring, rebounds, and blocks while shooting 55.4 percent from the field on 554 attempts. Murray is a superb 3P shooter at 39.8 percent, unlike other players projected near this pick. He’s a solid defender and doesn’t bring anywhere near the turnover issues of the mercurial former Purdue star. At 6-foot-8, 215 lbs, Murray also has more versatility than Ivey. Sacramento has De’Aaron Fox, took Davion Mitchell in Round 1 last year, and could focus on adding a younger and better version of Harrison Barnes. Murray turns 22 years old in August, but that could benefit a Kings team that wants the playoffs next year.

Pick: 5
Team: Detroit Pistons
Player: Jaden Ivey (Purdue)
Age: 20 years, four months
Rationale: The comparisons to Ja Morant are understandable but slightly overblown. As a sophomore, Ivey improved his scoring to 17.3 PPG but struggled with shooting consistency in critical games. Ivey shot 1 of 8 from three-point range in the Big Ten Championship against Iowa and was just 4 of 12 from the field in the season-ending upset to Saint Peter’s. His motor is questioned, but his athleticism is not. There are rumors of the Kings trading the fourth pick to teams in love with Ivey, but even if Sacramento stays at No. 4, Ivey will not go lower than No. 5.

Pick: 6
Team: Indiana Pacers
Player: Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona)
Age: 19 years, 11 months
Rationale: The smooth shooting guard earned Pac-12 Player of the Year honors for Arizona, one of the nation’s best teams all season. Mathurin’s draft position over/under started at 8.5 and is now down to 6.5 at -250. He shot 37 percent from deep on 225 attempts and has one of the most dangerous mid-range games of any guard in this draft. Mathurin brings athleticism and great length, highlighting his upside as an NBA defender.

Pick: 7
Team: Portland Trail Blazers
Player: Johnny Davis (Wisconsin)
Age: 20 years, four months
Rationale: I am above consensus on Davis, the 2022 Big Ten Player of the Year. Critics hold the Wisconsin system against him, but averaging 19.7 PPG for the Badgers is like 25 PPG on any other team. Davis is a great defender, only 20 years old, and shoots 80 percent from the free-throw line. Davis is a better prospect than Benedict Matherin. He’s stronger, attacks the basket better, and is a superior defender: all the aspects that are foundational parts of the Wisconsin program. He needs to work on his shooting (he dropped from 38.9% 3P as a frosh to 30.6% this year), but shooting is one of the skills a great player can learn in the NBA. Davis was the Big 10 Player Of The Year, won the Jerry West Award for Best Shooting Guard, and is a player who can bring an immediate impact. His 37 points and 14 rebounds at No. 3 Purdue and 30 points with 12 rebounds at Indiana were the backbones of statement wins for Wisconsin.

Pick: 8
Team: New Orleans Pelicans
Player: Shaedon Sharpe
Age: 19 years, one month
Rationale: Sharpe has no college experience and never played for Kentucky despite enrolling before last year. He is 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot wingspan and a reported 49-inch vertical jump. Sharpe is an unknown project which some NBA team will love to mold. He hasn’t played competitive basketball in over a year, and there are reports his draft stock is falling. However, as the No. 3 ranked prospect in the 2021 recruiting class, Sharpe’s ability to finish at the rim definitely will land him in the Top 10.

Pick: 9
Team: San Antonio Spurs
Player: Ochai Agbaji
Age: 22 years, two months
Rationale: I have Agbaji going higher than most mocks because I believe in his all-around ability. His shooting prowess and NBA-ready body project him as the perfect 3-and-D player. Agbaji is somehow underrated despite averaging 18.8 PPG and 5.1 RPG while shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc. Agbaji is the second-best all-around guard in this draft after Ivey and is undoubtedly more well-rounded than A.J. Griffin. His ceiling isn’t as high as the players above him, but Agbaji finds a perfect landing spot in San Antonio with future Hall of Fame coach Greg Popovich.

Pick: 10
Team: Washington Wizards
Player: Dyson Daniels
Age: 19 years, three months
Rationale: Daniels is a point guard, a clear area of need for Washington. He’s 6-foot-7 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan adding much-needed size to the Wizards’ backcourt. Daniels is an excellent passer, good rebounder, and superior defender. Tomas Satoransky and Raul Neto are free agents, and backup Ish Smith is not a long-term answer. Still only 19 years old, the upside is high for this Australian native.

Pick: 11
Team: New York Knicks
Player: Jalen Duren
Age: 18 years, seven months
Rationale: There is talk of Mitchell Robinson leaving the Knicks as an unrestricted free agent, and backup Nerlens Noel continues to battle injuries. Without a foundational guard to pair with R.J. Barrett, New York opts for an athletic rim protector in Jalen Duren. The 18-year-old led Memphis is scoring and rebounding and could develop on a versatile Knicks team where he doesn’t have pressure to score.

Pick: 12
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
Player: Ousmane Dieng
Age: 19 years, one month
Rationale: The Thunder will continue the youth movement with Ousmane Dieng, who impressed throughout the season in the Australian NBL. Dieng can defend multiple positions and is a superior athlete. At 6-foot-10, Dieng can handle the ball surprisingly well but needs to work on his shooting. With great creators such as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, Dieng has plenty of time to develop his offensive game. He has the size to contribute right away on defense and just needs to be active on offense to produce rebounds and layups. He just turned 19 years old, and Oklahoma City fits the need of a team that can provide time to develop.

Pick: 13
Team: Charlotte Hornets
Player: Jeremy Sochan
Age: 19 years, one month
Rationale: Charlotte ranked near the bottom of the league in every defensive category and is set for the future with a backcourt of LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier. At 6-foot-9, 230 lbs, Sochan is a versatile defender that can guard multiple positions. Sochan just turned 19 and is the perfect complementary piece to a high-scoring team like the Hornets.

Pick: 14
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Player: A.J. Griffin
Age: 18 years, nine months
Rationale: Teams always need shooting, and that’s exactly what the Cavaliers will get with Duke’s A.J. Griffin, who shot 44.7 percent from beyond the arc. A former five-star prospect and son of Toronto Raptors assistant coach Adrian Griffin, he was slowed by a preseason knee injury last season. Griffin’s elite shooting ability is a prescription for a long NBA career.

Pick: 15
Team: Charlotte Hornets
Player: Mark Williams
Age: 20 years, six months
Rationale: The Hornets would be thrilled to land the former Duke big man and should be able to select him after Sochan. While not a new-age stretch big, Williams can dominate on the inside and has much more offensive upside than current Hornets Mason Plumlee or Montrezl Harrell. Williams shined in the NCAA tournament, posting per-game averages of 13.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks while shooting an insane 80.6 percent from the field.

Pick: 16
Team: Atlanta Hawks
Player: Malaki Branham
Age: 19 years, one month
Rationale: The 6-foot-5, 180 lb Ohio State product is one of the best three-level scorers in the draft. Branham tallied 50 percent from the field and 41.6 percent from three-point range, with fantastic ball-handling skills. A 6-foot-10 wingspan will help disrupt shooting guards/small forwards at the next level. Branham has hidden the Top 5 upside in this draft.

Pick: 17
Team: Houston Rockets
Player: Tari Eason
Age: 21 years, one month
Rationale: Tari Eason was LSU’s leading scorer and best defender last year, an excellent pairing for a first-round pick. Eason can guard multiple positions and dramatically improved his 3P shooting to 36 percent from just 24 percent as a freshman at Cincinnati. Like Sochan, Eason has a path to make an immediate impact as a rookie as a nice bench player for the Houston youth movement.

Pick: 18
Team: Chicago Bulls
Player: Blake Wesley
Age: 19 years, three months
Rationale: Chicago goes for the best available player in Notre Dame’s Blake Wesley. Gaining steam over the last few weeks, Wesley has a great burst and attacks the rim aggressively off the dribble. He is raw but one of the best athletes in this draft that adds another tenacious on-ball defender to a Bulls roster than has plenty of scoring.

Pick: 19
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
Player: Jalen Williams
Age: 21 years, three months
Rationale: The 6-foot-6 junior flew under the radar most of the year at Santa Clara but moved up during the pre-draft process. Williams was reportedly the best player on the court on both days of the draft combine scrimmages. He attacked the basket, shot well, and excelled in off-ball defense. Williams could follow in the footsteps of last year’s draft days risers, Josh Primo (No. 12 pick) and Bones Hyland (No. 26 pick).

Pick: 20
Team: San Antonio Spurs
Player: Walker Kessler
Age: 20 years, 11 months
Rationale: The 7-foot-1 Walker Kessler flourished after transferring from North Carolina to Auburn. He averaged 11.4 points and 8.1 rebounds while playing alongside potential No. 1 overall pick Jabari Smith. Kessler ranked second in the nation with 4.6 blocks per game and has a nice mid-range touch on offense. Still just 20 years old, a 7-footer with SEC and ACC experience has huge growth potential. He gives Greg Popovich a versatile rim protector to pair with Agbaji.

NBA DFS Lineup Optimizer

Pick: 21
Team: Denver Nuggets
Player: Kennedy Chandler
Age: 19 years, nine months
Rationale: A true multi-dimensional scorer, Kennedy Chandler’s only obstacle is his size. He led Tennessee in scoring (13.9 PPG) as a freshman while dishing out 4.7 assists with 2.2 steals per game. Chandler shot 38.3 percent from deep, is lightning quick, and would undoubtedly create consistent scoring opportunities for Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. In September, he turns 20 and has much more upside than 26-year-old veteran Monte Morris.

Pick: 22
Team: Memphis Grizzlies
Player: Nikola Jovic
Age: 19 years old
Rationale: Memphis is one of the youngest teams in the NBA and has a core group that projects for sustained NBA success. The Grizzlies found a quality young player last year in Ziare Williams and can add one of the most skilled players in the draft in Serbia’s just-turned-19-year-old forward, Nikola Jovic. He profiles as the prototypical point-forward, making the Grizzlies’ offense even harder to guard. His foot speed and size (6-foot-11) make him solid defensively and could be the final piece to a Memphis “small-ball” lineup with Jaren Jackson Jr. at center.

Pick: 23
Team: Philadelphia 76ers
Player: TyTy Washington
Age: 20 years, six months
Rationale: Washington averaged 21 PPG while making almost 42 percent of his three-pointers during the SEC tournament. He has time to learn behind James Harden and can flourish when paired with Tyrese Maxey playing at shooting guard. A fantastic defender that is still only 20 years old, the upside is high for this former five-star recruit.

Pick: 24
Team: Milwaukee Bucks
Player: E.J. Liddell
Age: 21 years, six months
Rationale: Ohio State’s E.J. Liddell is gaining a ton of draft buzz as we approach June 23rd. The former Illinois Mr. Basketball in high school, Liddell measured a standing 35.5-inch vertical leap at the draft combine. He also shot 37.4 percent from beyond the arc while leading the Buckeyes with 19.4 PPG. The 240 lb forward epitomized consistency, scoring double-digit points in every game this season. Nice fit for Bucks as depth on a championship-caliber roster.

Pick: 25
Team: San Antonio Spurs
Player: MarJon Beauchamp
Age: 21 years, six months
Rationale: A product of G League Ignite, MarJon Beauchamp averaged 15.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. At 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Beauchamp projects as a strong athletic defender at the NBA level. He needs to improve his shooting (24.2 percent 3P range) but would give San Antonio a well-rounded draft with Kessler and Agbaji.

Pick: 26
Team: Dallas Mavericks
Player: Christian Braun
Age: 21 years, two months
Rationale: Braun has a National Championship pedigree with super 6-foot-7 size. He is a lights-out shooter at 38.6 percent from beyond the arc and brings a high motor. Braun was at his best in the biggest games and is more athletic than most realize. His high basketball IQ fits perfectly alongside Luka Doncic in Dallas.

Pick: 27
Team: Miami Heat
Player: Wendell Moore Jr.
Age: 20 years, nine months
Rationale: The former five-star recruit was uncertain about staying in the draft but remained likely to first-round assurances. Moore led the Blue Devils in assists (4.4) and steals (1.) per game. He will have time to develop behind Miami’s guards and can make an impact even without scoring. Quick hands, a 7-foot wingspan, and the Duke pedigree make him a fit with the well-coached and defensive-minded Heat.

Pick: 28
Team: Golden State Warriors
Player: Jaden Hardy
Age: 19 years, 11 months
Rationale: The former five-star prospect turned down college offers from Kentucky and UCLA to play for G-League Ignite. Hardy is regarded as a high-upside scorer that needs time to develop. Hardy finished through contact at 6-foot-4, 200 lbs and attacked the rim off the drive very well. He was a bit disappointing in the G-League, which dropped him to a late-first-round pick. Hardy would fit in with Golden State’s youth depth with Jonathan Kuminga.

Pick: 29
Team: Memphis Grizzlies
Player: Dalen Terry (Arizona)
Age: 19 years, nine months
Rationale: Adds quality depth in the backcourt could be attractive for the Grizzlies, especially if Tyus Jones hits free agency. His length, unselfishness, and versatile defensive ability put him as another key bench piece for a Grizzlies team that is eyeing an NBA title in the near future.

Pick: 30
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
Player: Caleb Houston
Age: 19 years, six months
Rationale: There is a big disconnect between what fans (particularly of Michigan) think of Houston and NBA scouts. He declined an invite to the NBA combine, likely believing he is already a first-round pick. He only shot 38.4 percent from the floor but 35.4 percent from three-point range. Houston has a smooth jump shot. Scouts are rumored to still be enamored by his five-star talent.

Round 2

Pick: 31
Team: Indiana Pacers (from Rockets)
Player: Jaylin Williams (Center, Arkansas)
Rationale: Showed a ton of potential in NCAA Tournament with four consecutive double-doubles

Pick: 32
Team: Orlando Magic
Player: Justin Lewis (Forward, Marquette)
Rationale: His 6-foot-7, 245-lb frame is NBA-ready at only 20 years old

Pick: 33
Team: Toronto Raptors (from Pistons)
Player: Christian Koloko (Center, Arizona)
Rationale: A 7-foot rim protector with raw athleticism

Pick: 34
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
Player: Max Christie (Guard, Michigan)
Rationale: Talented freshman never asserted himself with Sparty, but teams should always grab potential in Round 2

Pick: 35
Team: Orlando Magic (from Pacers)
Player: Andrew Nembhard (Guard, Gonzaga)
Rationale: Magic reunites Jalen Suggs with his former Gonzaga backcourt mate

Pick: 36
Team: Portland Trail Blazers
Player: Jake LaRavia (Forward, Wake Forest)
Rationale: Versatile power forward shot 38.6% from 3P range last year for Demon Deacons

Pick: 37
Team: Sacramento Kings
Player: Peyton Watson (Forward, UCLA)
Rationale: Former Top-10 recruit is a talented project

Pick: 38
Team: San Antonio Spurs (from Lakers)
Player: David Roddy (Forward, Colorado State)
Rationale: Dominant college player, even though undersized, has the heart of a champion

Pick: 39
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers (from Spurs)
Player: Trevor Keels (Guard, Duke)
Rationale: Best available who could have been stifled by talent-rich Blue Devils

Pick: 40
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves (from Wizards)
Player: Josh Minott (Power Forward, Memphis)
Rationale: Karl-Anthony Towns’s backup that can develop as a 19-year-old

Pick: 41
Team: New Orleans Pelicans
Player: Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Forward, Milwaukee)
Rationale: He stayed to play under his dad at Milwaukee, a former five-star prospect

Pick: 42
Team: New York Knicks
Player: Dominick Barlow (Forward, Overtime Elite)
Rationale: A 19-year-old lengthy athlete stays close to his Northern New Jersey roots

Pick: 43
Team: Los Angeles Clippers
Player: Bryce McGowens (Guard, Nebraska)
Rationale: Gained a lot of steam recently, a solid second-round pick for Clippers with explosive scoring ability

Pick: 44
Team: Atlanta Hawks
Player: Khalifa Diop (Center, Senegal)
Rationale: Brings length and defensive intensity

Pick: 45
Team: Charlotte Hornets
Player: Kendall Brown (Guard, Baylor)
Rationale: Dynamic guard is one of the youngest players in the draft

Pick: 46
Team: Detroit Pistons (from Nets)
Player: Moussa Diabate (Forward, Michigan)
Rationale: High energy with a 7-foot-2 wingspan

Pick: 47
Team: Memphis Grizzlies (from Cavaliers)
Player: Hugo Besson (Guard, France)
Rationale: Will battle Terry from backup minutes; European experience is underrated

Pick: 48
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
Player: JD Davison (Guard, Alabama)
Rationale: Explosive guard with flashy passing ability and NBA-level athleticism

Pick: 49
Team: Sacramento Kings (from Bulls)
Player: Alondez Williams (Guard, Wake Forest)
Rationale: Clutch shot-maker that can score in bunches

Pick: 50
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves (from Nuggets)
Player: Jean Montero (Guard, Overtime Elite)
Rationale: Great ball-handling skills always find a home with quality scorers like Towns and Anthony Edwards

Pick: 51
Team: Golden State Warriors
Player: Keon Ellis (Guard, Alabama)
Rationale: Strong 3P shooter and great FT shooter at 6-foot-6

Pick: 52
Team: New Orleans Pelicans (from Jazz)
Player: Karlo Matkovic (Center, Mega Mozzart)
Rationale: A 6-foot-11 forward from Bosnia’s high-motor interior players

Pick: 53
Team: Boston Celtics
Player: Aminu Mohammed (Forward, Georgetown)
Rationale: Strong 6-foot-5 defender for multiple positions

Pick: 54
Team: Washington Wizards (from Mavericks)
Player: Trevion Williams (Forward, Purdue)
Rationale: Superb passing big man that would welcome role player opportunity with a selfless attitude

Pick: 55
Team: Golden State Warriors
Player: Michael Foster (Forward, G League Ignite)
Rationale: Very strong 240-lb power forward

Pick: 56
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers (from Heat)
Player: Ron Harper Jr. (Forward, Rutgers)
Rationale: Strong, stocky guard can light it up from 3P range (39.8%)

Pick: 57
Team: Portland Trail Blazers (from Grizzlies)
Player: John Butler (Forward, Florida State)
Rationale: 7-foot-1 and can make 3Ps (39.3%)

Pick: 58
Team: Indiana Pacers (from Suns)
Player: Dereon Seabron (Guard, NC State)
Rationale: Lengthy with a great first step

Check out the odds for first-overall pick and more at BettingPros >>

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