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2022 NBA Mock Draft: First Round Picks, Predictions & Player Notes

Jun 21, 2022
Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren is virtually a lock to go within the top three picks of the upcoming NBA draft.

It is NBA draft week! Here is my final mock draft. In case you missed it, check out my previous mock from a couple of weeks ago here.

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1. Orlando Magic: Jabari Smith (PF -Auburn)

Smith continues to be the heavy betting favorite to go No. 1 overall this year. This is one of those situations where you don’t overthink.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren (C – Gonzaga)

There have been rumors of Holmgren trying to “avoid” Oklahoma City, but odds still suggest he gets taken by the Thunder at No. 2 overall.

3. Houston Rockets: Paolo Banchero (SF – Duke)

The Rockets have said they are set on Banchero here if he is available and the trade of Christian Wood makes this selection make even more sense.

4. Sacramento Kings: Jaden Ivey (SG – Purdue)

The Kings have heard from a number of teams about trading for this pick, so whether it is Sacramento or another team, Ivey sounds like the most likely selection here.

5. Detroit Pistons: Dyson Daniels (PG – G League Ignite)

We are seeing the draft stock of Daniels rise as of late and with this selection, he creates a nice complement with Cade Cunningham in the Pistons’ backcourt.

6. Indiana Pacers: Keegan Murray (PF – Iowa)

The Pacers’ backcourt is pretty much set with the likes of Malcolm Brogdon, Tyrese Haliburton, Chris Duarte and Buddy Hield. They elect to address the frontcourt here with a scrappy forward in Murray who can play both inside and outside.

7. Portland Trail Blazers: Shaedon Sharpe (SG – Kentucky)

With Anfernee Simons headed to restricted free agency, the Trail Blazers elect to cover themselves here with a high-upside guard in Sharpe in case they end up losing Simons to free agency.

8. New Orleans Pelicans: Bennedict Mathurin (SG – Arizona)

Coming off a playoff appearance, the Pelicans are in a clear win-now mode and Mathurin can provide just that in his rookie year. The Pac-12 Player of the Year offers an intriguing blend of shooting, scoring and playmaking.

9. San Antonio Spurs: A.J. Griffin (SF – Duke)

The Spurs elect to add to the frontcourt here with the shooting ability of Griffin out of Duke.

10. Washington Wizards: Johnny Davis (SG – Wisconsin)

It sounds like Bradley Beal is potentially out of Washington this offseason. The Wizards elect to replace him with another guard and shooter in Davis.

11. New York Knicks: Jalen Duren (C – Memphis)

Mitchell Robinson is potentially out of New York in free agency this year. Depending on how much confidence they have in Jericho Sims, I could also see the Knicks getting a guard here as well.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Ousmane Dieng (SF – New Zealand)

The Thunder continue to rebuild their roster with a second lottery pick this year. There are always some unknowns with these foreign players, but Dieng is a versatile forward who can play gritty defense. His offensive game is a little raw, but that can develop as he’ll be facing no immediate pressure in OKC.

13. Charlotte Hornets: Mark Williams (C – Duke)

The Hornets have a lot of solid pieces, but it is clear they could use an upgrade from Mason Plumlee at center and that’s what they get here in Williams, who brings a little more athleticism and explosiveness.

14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Ochai Agbaji (SG – Kansas)

The Cavaliers elect to add more scoring and shooting here with Agbaji, who should compliment Darius Garland and Collin Sexton well in the team’s backcourt.

15. Charlotte Hornets: Jeremy Sochan (PF – Baylor)

With their second pick in three selections, the Hornets elect to grab a versatile forward in Sochan who can guard just about any position. He should complement the explosiveness of Miles Bridges well in Charlotte’s front court.

16. Atlanta Hawks: Malaki Branham (SG – Ohio State)

The Hawks add to the backcourt and bring in another scorer and shooter here in Branham. We saw depth was an issue at times last season for Atlanta.

17. Houston Rockets: E.J. Liddell (PF – Ohio State)

The second straight Buckeye is selected here as the Rockets add to the front court with Liddell after trading Wood a week or so ago. They previously drafted Banchero, who is more of an all-around playmaker. Liddell was typically a bit more of a shooter in college, though he did showcase the ability to drive to the basket as well.

18. Chicago Bulls: Tari Eason (SF – LSU)

The injuries became too much for the Bulls last season by the time the playoffs roll around, so their primary focus will be building depth with players who can help produce immediately and that is exactly what they get here in Eason.

19. Minnesota Timberwolves: Nikola Jovic (G – Serbia)

I’m sticking with the same selection here as the previous mock draft I posted a couple of weeks ago. Tim Connelly drafted Nikola Jokic in Denver and now becoming the President of Basketball Operations, he drafts the next “Nikola” to the Wolves.

20. San Antonio Spurs: Jaden Hardy (SG – G League Ignite)

There was some talk of Hardy’s stock potentially dropping much further than this, but I believe his pure upside will be too much to drop too far. His ability to both score and handle the ball should compliment Dejounte Murray well in the Spurs’ backcourt.

21. Denver Nuggets: Jalen Williams (SG – Santa Clara)

The hope is Jamal Murray will be back to full health by next season, but regardless they can still add to the backcourt, and that is what they get here in a scorer with Williams, who has showcased the ability to create his own shot.

22. Memphis Grizzlies: TyTy Washington Jr. (PG – Kentucky)

I can see Washington being taken as early as No. 11 overall to the Knicks. If he isn’t taken by New York though, I can see him falling a bit due to team needs. I have him landing in Memphis here. Despite playing some point guard at Kentucky, I can also see him playing off the ball at the NBA level.

23. Philadelphia 76ers: Blake Wesley (SG – Notre Dame)

We saw the 76ers’ offense get very stagnant at times when Joel Embiid was off the court. They add another scorer in Wesley, who has showcased the ability to create his own shot.

24. Milwaukee Bucks: Dalen Terry (G – Arizona)

One of the more versatile players in this class, Terry is a true team player who can defend almost any position. He doesn’t lack confidence or intensity, and we started to see his jump shot improve as well down at Arizona.

25. San Antonio Spurs: Walker Kessler (C – Auburn)

The Spurs don’t seem super set or confident in Jakob Poeltl at center. With that, they address the center position with Kessler, who possesses a keen defensive ability down low as well as the ability to stretch opposing defenses and shoot from the outside.

26. Houston Rockets: Christian Braun (SG – Kansas)

The Rockets bring in another scorer and shooter here with Braun. They have a backcourt that is mostly set at this point, so we could see Braun come in as a scoring spark off the bench.

27. Miami Heat: Kennedy Chandler (PG – Tennessee)

With Kyle Lowry only getting older, I see Miami bringing in Chandler as insurance in the backcourt.

28. Golden State Warriors: Christian Koloko (C – Arizona)

Kevon Looney is potentially heading elsewhere in free agency this offseason. Depending on how much confidence the Warriors still have in James Wiseman, I can see them addressing the center position here. Koloko has shown tremendous improvement in his game at Arizona, and he provides a defensive presence down low that should greatly benefit Golden State.

29. Memphis Grizzlies: MarJon Beauchamp (F – G League Ignite)

Beauchamp is another one of the versatile defenders in this draft class who also possesses solid scoring ability. His gritty play style should fit right in with Memphis.

30. Denver Nuggets: Jake LaRavia (PF – Wake Forest)

Like I mentioned previously with Murray above, Denver also hopes to get Michael Porter Jr. back from injury next season, but LaRavia should be a solid depth selection as insurance. He was a solid defender in college while also showcasing the ability to move in space and find his spots to score.


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