2022 NBA Mock Draft: Latest first-round projections initially appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Last Thursday, the Golden State Warriors had been topped champions for the 2021-22 NBA season.
This Thursday, what’s certain to be an thrilling offseason begins in earnest with the 2022 NBA Draft.
Here is NBC Sports Chicago’s newest projection for the way the primary spherical will shake out, together with the Chicago Bulls including some frontcourt assist with the 18th total decide:
1. Orlando Magic: Jabari Smith, F, Auburn
2021-22 Stats: 16.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.1 spg, 1 bpg | 42% 3P
The Magic may have had since mid-May to deliberate on this franchise-altering resolution, and the consensus says they’ll’t go unsuitable with any of the highest three energy forwards. In Smith, they get an NBA-ready frontcourt shooter with tantalizing defensive upside so as to add to a burgeoning younger core.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren, F, Gonzaga
2021-22 Stats: 14.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 3.7 bpg | 60.7% FG, 39% 3P
Holmgren was certainly one of faculty basketball’s most dominant two-way forces final season — a shot-blocking menace with a flexible offensive recreation that features passing, ball-handling and outdoors capturing. He would plug in splendidly alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, probably pushing Oklahoma City into the subsequent section of their rebuild.
3. Houston Rockets: Paolo Banchero, F, Duke
2021-22 Stats: 17.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.1 spg | 47.8% FG, 33.8% 3P
Banchero could be a heck of a comfort prize for Houston, which fell to 3rd throughout May’s draft lottery regardless of ending the season with the league’s worst document. He is a ready-made shot-creator from Day 1 with the upside to develop into an offensive hub as a scorer and playmaker for others.
4. Sacramento Kings: Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue
2021-22 Stats: 17.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.1 apg | 46% FG, 35.8% 3P, 74.4% FT
Sacramento discovered success on the lottery, leaping from the league’s seventh-worst document to fourth total decide. And with their sights set on a playoff berth following February’s midseason commerce for Domantas Sabonis, this choice is a candidate to be moved for quick assist.
Whoever finally winds up phoning within the decide, although, anticipate Ivey to come back off the board. He’s an atomic athlete with playmaking potential that few on this draft class possess.
5. Detroit Pistons: Keegan Murray, F, Iowa
2021-22 Stats: 23.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 1.3 spg | 55.4% FG, 39.8% 3P, 74.7% FT
Murray burst onto the scene in his sophomore season, greater than tripling his scoring common and rising as an elite two-way prospect. He’d slide snugly into Detroit’s ahead rotation alongside Saddiq Bey, including defensive versatility and much-needed capturing.
6. Indiana Pacers: Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky
2021-22 Stats: N/A
Sharpe is maybe this draft’s greatest enigma, having foregone his freshman season at Kentucky to deal with getting ready for the professionals. But the scoring expertise he displayed in highschool, which he exited ranked the No. 3 recruit within the nation by 247 Sports, is bound to catch the attention of an in-need lottery crew. Here, he’d signify a house run swing by a Pacers squad in want of star expertise and choosing within the prime 10 for the primary time since 1989.
7. Portland Trail Blazers: Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite
2021-22 Stats (Showcase Cup): 11.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.9 spg
This is one other decide with probability of being flipped on draft night time because the Trail Blazers look to re-tool round Damian Lillard. But within the occasion they maintain the choice, Daniels’ defensive prowess and playmaking potential would make him a chic match with the Portland’s present roster and a constructing block transferring ahead as nicely.
8. New Orleans Pelicans (through Lakers): Bennedict Mathurin, G/F, Arizona
2021-22 Stats: 17.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1 spg | 36.9% 3P
Long, athletic and filled with power, Mathurin would match proper into the Pelicans’ springy younger core. And his pesky protection and scalable capturing might make him precisely the model of two-way wing all groups covet.
9. San Antonio Spurs: Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor
2021-22 Stats: 9.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.3 spg | 47.4% FG, 29.6% 3P
Sochan has the instruments to be elite on the defensive finish of the ground, however questions relating to his exterior shot muddy his total projection. Enter San Antonio, and their sterling popularity for growing jumpers and menacing defensive wings.
10. Washington Wizards: Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin
2021-22 Stats: 19.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.2 spg
Even with Bradley Beal headlining the roster, the Wizards might use extra shot-creation of their backcourt. Davis, the reigning Big 10 Player of the Year, supplies that in droves and presents a component of perimeter protection as well.
11. New York Knicks: Jalen Duren, C, Memphis
2021-22 Stats: 12 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg | 59.7% FG
With Mitchell Robinson set to enter free company and the remainder of the frontcourt image — headlined by Julius Randle — unsure, it wouldn’t be a foul time for New York to take a swing on a middle of the longer term. Duren supplies loads of “best prospect available” potential, too, due to his age and multi-faceted talent set, together with gaudy rim safety, athletic upside and even some playmaking proficiency.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (through Clippers): A.J. Griffin, G/F, Duke
2021-22 Stats: 10.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1 apg | 49.3% FG, 44.7% 3P
With their second lottery decide, the Thunder might take a flier on the supremely-talented Griffin, who brings NBA-ready exterior capturing straight away, however should work on the different areas of his recreation, significantly on the defensive finish. In Oklahoma City, he would have loads of alternative to play by means of errors.
13. Charlotte Hornets: Mark Williams, C, Duke
2021-22 Stats: 11.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.8 bpg | 72.7% FT
The Hornets have been trying to find a foundational middle for years, and will discover it if Williams is their decide. Standing 7-foot-2 with a 7-7 wingspan, the Duke product is an otherworldly rim protector with the athleticism to thrive in Charlotte’s high-octane offense steered by LaMelo Ball.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Malaki Branham, G, Ohio State
2021-22 Stats: 13.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2 apg | 49% FG, 41.6% 3P
Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen determine to patrol the paint for the subsequent decade-plus in Cleveland, and the Cavaliers couldn’t be happier with the pairing. But if final season’s surge-then-slump revealed something, it’s that this crew wants extra perimeter shot-creators to succeed in the subsequent stage. There aren’t many left on the board who match that invoice higher than Branham, who thrives within the midrange and has off-ball potential as a 3-point shooter as nicely.
15. Charlotte Hornets (through Pelicans): Ochai Agbaji, G/F, Kansas
2021-22 Stats: 18.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg | 40.7% 3P
Agbaji spent 4 years at Kansas, so he’s a bit older than a typical prospect chosen within the prime half of the primary spherical. But his profile as a defensively regular wing with a knockdown leap shot will give him prompt worth on the NBA stage.
16. Atlanta Hawks: Tari Eason, F, LSU
2021-22 Stats: 16.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 1.1 spg | 52.1% FG
Eason’s athleticism, defensive disruptiveness and inside scoring skill (paired with a physicality that offers him a knack for free-throw line journeys) have groups enamored together with his potential. And it’s a talent set that may mesh nicely with an Atlanta crew in want of defensive power, particularly if John Collins is traded within the offseason.
17. Houston Rockets (through Nets): Ousmane Dieng, G, New Zealand Breakers
2021-22 Stats: 8.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.1 apg | 39.8% FG
In Dieng, the Rockets would get a flier on a high-upside playmaker to pair with Jalen Green. His dimension (6-foot-10) and ball abilities signify a tantalizing mixture in a league that 12 months after 12 months is skewing in direction of positionless basketball — and the Rockets could be in no rush to develop him.
18. Chicago Bulls: E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State
2021-22 Stats: 19.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.6 bpg | 49% FG, 37.4% 3P
This is one other decide that could possibly be on the transfer if the Bulls discover a deal to their liking that may enhance the crew instantly. But in the event that they maintain the choice, Liddell properly straddles the road between upside and rotation readiness. His defensive sturdiness and all of the sudden proficient spot-up capturing (he improved his 3-point share each season at Ohio State) would add two-way versatility to a frontcourt in want of reinforcements.
2022 NBA Draft Profile: E.J. Liddell, Ohio State
19. Minnesota Timberwolves: TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky
2021-22 Stats: 12.5 ppg, 3.9 apg, 3.5 rpg | 45.1% FG, 35% 3P
A artful scorer and playmaker, Washington could be a prudent swing at a backcourt mate of the longer term for Anthony Edwards. In the meantime, Patrick Beverley and D’Angelo Russell might maintain down level guard obligations — whereas Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns additionally shoulder heavy offensive hundreds — because the Kentucky product develops.
20. San Antonio Spurs (through Raptors): Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame
2021-22 Stats: 14.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.3 spg | 40.4% FG, 30.3% 3P
The Spurs displayed a penchant for uncooked, high-potential shot-creators by plucking Josh Primo late within the lottery of the 2021 draft. Wesley has an identical profile. He burst on the scene as a freshman at Notre Dame, turning into the primary one-and-done in this system’s historical past on the load of his bodily instruments and dynamic off-the-dribble recreation. If he can iron out his scoring effectivity on the subsequent stage, he might wind up an incredible worth within the back-end of the primary spherical.
21. Denver Nuggets: Jalen Williams, G/F, Santa Clara
2021-22 Stats: 18 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.2 apg | 51.3% FG, 39.6% 3P
Williams is a multi-dimensional wing that matches the fashionable mildew due to his skill to deal with, facilitate and, in fact, rating — particularly given drastic enhancements to his 3-point shot in his junior season at Santa Clara. He’d be fairly the offensive swiss military knife to plug right into a Denver rotation that places versatility at a premium.
22. Memphis Grizzlies (through Jazz): Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee
2021-22 Stats: 13.9 ppg, 4.7 apg, 2.2 spg | 46.4% FG, 38.3% 3P
If Tyus Jones walks in his impending free company, the Grizzlies could possibly be out there for a backup level guard. By choosing Chandler, they’ll handle that want with out sacrificing worth. The 5-foot-11 lead guard is a chic shotmaker, succesful playmaker and feisty defender — regardless of profiling as undersized — which inserts Memphis’ wants and identification.
23. Philadelphia 76ers: Dalen Terry, G/F, Arizona
2021-22 Stats: 8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.9 apg | 50.2% FG, 36.4% 3P
Whether Philadelphia trades or retains this decide, Terry is sensible on this slot. He’s an extended, lively defender and savvy sufficient facilitator that, if he improves the consistency of his exterior shot, might very nicely develop into the model of 3-and-D wing that’s so en vogue these days.
24. Milwaukee Bucks: Walker Kessler, C, Auburn
2021-22 Stats: 11.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4.6 bpg | 60.8% FG
The Bucks’ midseason acquisition of Serge Ibaka did little to shore up their backup middle slot, and Bobby Portis has a participant choice looming. Could the perfect shot-blocker in faculty basketball be a treatment to the crew’s want for dimension behind Brook Lopez? At least defensively, there’s a whole lot of Lopez in Kessler’s recreation, which assures he’d match Milwaukee’s system.
25. San Antonio Spurs (through Celtics): Nikola Jović, F, Mega Basket
2021-22 Stats (Liga ABA): 11.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.4 apg | 42.8% FG, 35.6% 3P
Jović is a lesser-known amount, having spent the final two seasons within the Adriatic League. But in idea, his jack-of-all trades talent set, which options every little thing from ball dealing with to table-setting to capturing, could be a dream match with the Spurs.
26. Houston Rockets (through Mavericks): Jaden Hardy, G/F, G League Ignite
2021-22 Stats (Showcase): 17.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.2 apg, 1.3 spg | 35.1% FG, 26.9% 3P
Just as they did with their a number of first-round picks in final 12 months’s draft, anticipate the Rockets to guess on potential with their three alternatives this time round. Hardy struggled in his 12 months with the G League Ignite. But the sky-high upside as a scorer that made him a touted recruit exiting highschool persists.
27. Miami Heat: MarJon Beauchamp, G/F, G League Ignite
2021-22 Stats: 15.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.6 spg | 57.1% FG, 24.2% 3P
A rugged, bodily wing that initiatives to have the ability to defend a number of positions and wishes solely to enhance his exterior shot to make a rotational affect? That feels like somebody Miami’s participant growth workers can mildew.
28. Golden State Warriors: Jake Laravia, G/F, Wake Forest
2021-22: 14.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.7 spg, 1 bpg | 55.9% FG, 38.4% 3P
Laravia is a well-liked mock goal of the Warriors as a result of he blends dimension (6-foot-9), heady protection and reliable spot-up capturing. He could by no means be a famous person, however he’s the kind of participant that may have an effect on profitable in a system resembling Golden State’s.
29. Memphis Grizzlies: Bryce McGowens, G/F, Nebraska
2021-22 Stats: 16.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.4 apg | 40.3% FG, 27.4% 3P
With Kyle Anderson’s future unsure, the Grizzlies might quickly have an enormous wing-sized gap of their rotation. Enter McGowens, who excelled as a scorer in a heavy self-creation function at Nebraska and confirmed flashes of playmaking and defensive potential.
30. Denver Nuggets (through Suns): Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga
2021-22 Stats: 11.8 ppg, 5.8 apg, 3.4 rpg, 1.6 spg | 45.2% FG, 38.3% 3P
The Nuggets could possibly be out there for a backup level guard this offseason, particularly if Monte Morris is traded. Nembhard is the perfect remaining choice, assuming this decide isn’t packaged to maneuver up.
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