2022 NBA Mock Draft, Vol. 2

·20 min read

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Wednesday marked the second major benchmark in the pre-draft process, as the withdrawal deadline for prospects who hope to retain their college eligibility was set for 11:59 PM Eastern. While this day usually has a greater impact on the second round, among those who decided to return to school was NC State freshman guard Terquavion Smith.

An ACC All-Rookie Team selection this past season, Smith was on the receiving end of some first-round buzz, which made his decision to return to Raleigh a surprising one in the eyes of some. If Smith was viewed as a legitimate first-rounder in this year's class, his decision frees up a spot. Below is my second mock draft of the spring, with this one including all 58 picks (Miami and Milwaukee had to forfeit their second-round picks due to rules violations).

1. Orlando: PF/C Jabari Smith (Auburn)

Orlando's choice appears to be between Smith and Holmgren, two bigs with length who are comfortable playing out on the perimeter. This could impact the way in which the Magic front office approaches Mo Bamba's free agency because while he did show flashes of the potential that made him a lottery pick in 2018, there have also been struggles with injuries. Smith and Holmgren both fit the mold of player that Orlando's current front office has gone for in previous drafts, with the former being the choice here.

2. Oklahoma City: PF Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)

Some have rushed to compare Holmgren to Aleksej Pokusevski, which doesn't work all that well when looking at the skill sets of those two young talents. Holmgren (a four/five, while Poku is more of a four/three) will fit in Oklahoma City, especially when taking into consideration the current state of the team's interior rotation. Derrick Favors is heading into the final season of his deal, while Mike Muscala and Isaiah Roby both have team options. Holmgren won't lack playing time as a rookie, which will only help him get more acclimated to the more physical NBA game.

3. Houston: PF Paolo Banchero (Duke)

Banchero would be anything but a consolation prize for the rebuilding Rockets, due to his ability to play both on the perimeter and in the post, and he's also a capable distributor of the basketball. With Christian Wood entering the final season of his contract, selecting Banchero could open the door for the Rockets to go all-in on a frontcourt tandem of the former Duke standout and second-year center Alperen Sengun.

4. Sacramento: PG/SG Jaden Ivey (Purdue)

This is the point in the draft where things could get really interesting. It feels safe to assume that the Kings didn't pull off the deadline day trade headlined by Domantas Sabonis to continue treading water in the draft lottery. For that reason, it would not come as a surprise if this pick was used in an attempt to add a more established player to the roster. If the Kings hold onto the pick, Ivey may not only be the best available player from a talent standpoint, but also with regard to being the one best equipped to help the team immediately. New head coach Mike Brown would have a bit of a logjam to deal with on the perimeter in this scenario, but Ivey's ability to play either guard spot would help matters.

5. Detroit: SF/PF Keegan Murray (Iowa)

Of the players available at this point in the draft, Murray may be the one best equipped to help a team right away. He can be used at either forward spot and, for as much as he improved from his freshman to sophomore season, there is still room for growth. And with Jerami Grant entering the final season of his contract, adding a versatile forward like Murray could open things up for a trade down the line.

6. Indiana: SG Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky)

Given the fact that he didn't play in a single game while at Kentucky, Sharpe is the ultimate "wild card" in this draft class. There's no denying the Canadian guard's talent, it's just that scouts and decision-makers haven't been able to see him up against other top talents (Kentucky practices, notwithstanding). Indiana's in the midst of a rebuild so they may be a bit more inclined to take Sharpe, especially if the team is willing to entertain offers for Malcolm Brogdon this summer.

7. Portland: PG/SG Dyson Daniels (G League Ignite)

The Trail Blazers are in a very interesting spot. While the team did move some veterans at the trade deadline Damian Lillard remains, and the stated goal is to rebuild around him. Whether or not Daniels would fit in with the team's timeline remains to be seen, but he is a guard who defends well and can be used either on or off the ball offensively. With Anfernee Simons set to be a restricted free agent, the front office could view this as an opportunity to add a young perimeter talent while also saving some cap space for other spots in the rotation.

8. New Orleans (from LA Lakers): SF Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona)

This could be another spot to watch when it comes to trade possibilities, as the Pelicans added C.J. McCollum during the season, and Zion Williamson was recently cleared for full on-court activity. Does David Griffin add a rookie to the mix? Or does he look to use this pick as part of a deal that can net the Pelicans a proven player? If New Orleans decides to do the former, Mathurin's athleticism and scoring ability would make for a good fit.

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

The Spurs have three first-round picks, which could open the door to the team taking a "swing" with one of those choices, as they did with Joshua Primo last year. Griffin's 3-point shooting ability, as he made close to 45% of his 4.1 attempts per game at Duke last season, would help a team that ranked 26th in makes, 25th in attempts, and 18th in percentage. San Antonio ranked 18th in offensive rating and having another consistent perimeter shooter could help Gregg Popovich's team in its quest to avoid the play-in tournament after landing there each of the last two seasons.

10. Washington: SG Johnny Davis (Wisconsin)

With Bradley Beal's pending free agency (he's expected to opt-out of the final season of his current contract, of course) being the biggest storyline for the Wizards this summer, it would not come as a surprise if the team decided that it needs to make a big move on draft night. If Washington stays put, adding a perimeter scorer who can play off of Beal would be a good idea. Davis would fit that mold, as he averaged 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.2 3-pointers per game this past season. He will need to improve the 3-point shooting (30.6%), but playing off of a dynamic guard like Beal should help with regard to the quality of shots that Davis will get.

11. New York: C Jalen Duren (Memphis)

The Knicks are another team that could be active in the trade market, as there remains a serious need for a high-level point guard. Alec Burks was thrust into that role once Kemba Walker was exiled from the team, and Tom Thibodeau did not seem to fully trust Immanuel Quickley with the job. But the Knicks also have to get better in the middle, especially if Mitchell Robinson's price tag in free agency were to become too steep. Adding an athletic five in Duren, who runs the floor well and is a solid shot-blocker, would help in addressing the team's interior rotation. While Jericho Sims showed some promise down the stretch, Nerlens Noel was hampered by multiple injuries, and Taj Gibson isn't getting any younger.

12. Oklahoma City (from LA Clippers): SF Ousmane Dieng (New Zealand Breakers)

After struggling with his shot early on Dieng got going down the stretch, shooting at least 50% from the field in each of his last six games (scoring 18 points or more in three of them). Shooting less than 40% from the field and 66.7% from the foul line for the season, Dieng still has work to do when it comes to the consistency of his offensive game. But the upside and fundamentals are there, which opens the door for him to be a lottery pick. And if there's a team that can afford to be patient with a talent like Dieng it's the Thunder, who have also made good use of their G League affiliate in recent years when it comes to getting young players valuable on-court time.

13. Charlotte: PF Jeremy Sochan (Baylor)

Sochan's ability to take on a variety of assignments defensively is what makes him a lottery-caliber player. But how does he fit offensively? That may be what pushes him down into the latter portion of the lottery come draft night. While Charlotte is still without a head coach, being able to share the floor with LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier could open up easy scoring opportunities in transition for Sochan, who's athletic and runs the floor well. What would also help here would be the Hornets re-signing Miles Bridges, thus giving Sochan additional time to improve his offensive skill set.

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14. Cleveland: SG Malaki Branham (Ohio State)

Branham was able to score at an efficient clip on all three levels during his lone season in Columbus, shooting 49.8% from the field, 41.6% from three (on 2.8 attempts per game), and 83.3% from the foul line. The 6-foot-5, 180-pound guard can play both on and off the ball, but he will need to be more efficient when it comes to playmaking (Branham had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.19). Cleveland has no issues to deal with at the point, as Darius Garland is coming off of an All-Star campaign. However, the same cannot be said for the off-guard spot, even with Caris LeVert (who's struggled with injuries) under contract. Collin Sexton will be a free agent, and the Cavs' other young wings haven't been all that consistent offensively.

15. Charlotte (from New Orleans): C Mark Williams (Duke)

With Mason Plumlee's contract for next season not fully guaranteed, Montrezl Harrell set to be a free agent this summer, and Nick Richards not doing much in his first two seasons, Charlotte doesn't boast the most impressive group of centers heading into the draft. And in this spot, it's possible that the Hornets will be able to add an impressive talent who also fills a need. Williams, the ACC's best defender this season, averaged 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game for the Blue Devils. Having two picks this high in the draft could also make Charlotte a team to watch with regard to possible trades.

16. Atlanta: SF Ochai Agbaji (Kansas)

A consensus All-American as a senior, Agbaji made noticeable strides on the offensive end of the floor throughout his four seasons at Kansas. This season he averaged 18.8 points per game for the national champs, shooting 47.5% from the field, 40.7% from three, and 74.3% from the foul line. And defending his position has never been an issue for Ogbaji, which should be music to the ears of a team that finished this season ranked 26th in the NBA in defensive rating. Kevin Huerter's new contract kicks in next season, and the Hawks also have Bogdan Bogdanovic, De'Andre Hunter, and Jalen Johnson, but adding a capable shooter and defender to the wing rotation wouldn't be a bad idea.

17. Houston (from Brooklyn): PG/SG TyTy Washington (Kentucky)

Washington's lone season at Kentucky ended with a bit of a whimper, as he shot just under 35% from the field over his last eight games, averaging just 11.4 points per. But he's healthy now, and the ability to man either guard spot could make him an intriguing option for the Rockets at pick No. 17. Kevin Porter Jr. had his moments when running the show, but the Rockets front office will have to figure out if that was enough to fully trust him with the point guard job during this rebuild. Regardless of the answer, however, it wouldn't be a bad idea to add a young guard like Washington to the mix.

18. Chicago: SF/PF Tari Eason (LSU)

SEC Sixth Man of the Year, the 6-foot-8 forward from Seattle averaged 16.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 52.1% from the field and 80.3% from the foul line. Eason can improve as a perimeter shooter, but the ability to defend either forward position will certainly help him when it comes to his draft outlook. Of course, the Bulls still have Patrick Williams, and he certainly had his moments down the stretch. But he missed a significant portion of the season due to injury, and it doesn't hurt to have a surplus of versatile wings when having to defend some of the East's elite teams (specifically Boston and Milwaukee).

19. Minnesota: SF Nikola Jovic (Mega Mozzart)

The Timberwolves have found the new leader of their front office, with former Nuggets exec Tim Connelly being hired as team president last week. This is a team that appears to be on the rise, with young talents Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards poised to lead the way. As for this pick, Jovic's comfort with regard to playing on the perimeter makes him a player worth considering. While he does have some strides to make defensively, Minnesota already having Jarred Vanderbilt and Jaden McDaniels on the roster can help cover for that.

20. San Antonio (from Toronto): SG Jaden Hardy (G League Ignite)

Hardy has the potential to be a high-level scorer, but he can be a bit streaky. That may say more about his decision-making than it does his shooting ability, as Hardy did shoot better than 88% from the foul line. Being able to play off of a point guard in Dejounte Murray, who's very good at getting guys shots in spots where they can be successful, would help Hardy. And as noted above, with San Antonio having three first-round picks it would not be all that shocking if they took a gamble with one of them.

21. Denver: SG/SF Jalen Williams (Santa Clara)

Williams performed quite well at the NBA Draft Combine (on-court play and measurements; 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan), and now it feels difficult to envision a scenario in which he is not picked in the first round. This past season he averaged 18.0 points and 4.2 assists per game with solid shooting percentages and is capable of playing multiple positions on both ends of the floor. If Williams is available here, Denver would be a big winner on draft night.

22. Memphis (from Utah): C Walker Kessler (Auburn)

Kessler was arguably the best rim protector in college basketball this past season, as his work as an interior defender gave teammate Jabari Smith the freedom to spend more time playing away from the basket. Kessler's decision to transfer to Auburn after spending his first season at North Carolina paid off offensively as well, as he had more opportunities to score within the Tigers' offense. Memphis' starting interior rotation is set, but there's a need for more consistent production when looking at the team's reserve big men.

23. Philadelphia (Brooklyn has deferred swap option to 2023): PF E.J. Liddell (Ohio State)

There may be some who rush to compare Tate to another Ohio State product in Jae'Sean Tate, but Tate was not the perimeter shooter coming out of college that Liddell is. He shot 37.4% from three on nearly four attempts per game, and the free-throw percentage (76.5%) is another indication that Liddell can be an effective perimeter shooter at the NBA level. Something else that shouldn't be overlooked is his defensive ability, as Liddell blocked 2.6 shots per game. Liddell would be a good fit in Philadelphia, which needs more consistent options to plug in alongside Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey.

24. Milwaukee: PG/SG Dalen Terry (Arizona)

In a few years, it's possible that we look back on Terry as a player who should have been selected much higher. He was a "jack of all trades" kind of player at Arizona, spending the majority of his time playing off the ball offensively. Defensively, Terry can defend multiple positions, and his all-around skill set earned him the reputation of being one of the best "glue guys" in college basketball. That would fit in well with the Bucks, a team that has its established stars already. That being said, in time Terry will be capable of offering more to whichever team selects him.

25. San Antonio (from Boston): SF Caleb Houstan (Michigan)

It was reported by ESPN's Jonathan Givony last month that some believe that Houstan may have a first-round promise, which led to his decision to turn down an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine. If that's the case, the team in question is obviously under the impression that his numbers at Michigan don't match up with the player that he can potentially be. Houstan shot just over 38% from the field this past season, but at 6-foot-8 he has good size for an NBA wing. With regard to where he could potentially go, a team with multiple firsts (San Antonio has three) could fit the bill.

26. Dallas: SG/SF Christian Braun (Kansas)

While Jalen Brunson, who will be a free agent next month, made himself a considerable amount of money with his play this season, it has been reported that the Mavericks are likely to hold onto him. Dallas can pay him more than any other team, with a longer deal (five years vs. four) at that. With this being the case, it's possible that the Mavericks go big with this pick. However, there's also a need for depth beyond the trio of Luka Doncic, Brunson, and Spencer Dinwiddie, especially with regard to perimeter players who can both defend and hit open shots. Braun, an athletic wing who shot 38.6% from three on 3.3 attempts per game, would fit that mold. As a junior, he averaged 14.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 1.3 3-pointers per game for the national champs.

27. Miami: PG Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee)

Chandler led the Volunteers to an SEC title this past season, averaging 13.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.4 3-pointers in nearly 31 minutes per game. He shot just over 38% from three on 3.8 attempts per game, and the ability to run a team is what makes Chandler a likely first-round pick. His size could prove to be problematic for some teams, but that may not be the case for Miami due to the presence of Kyle Lowry. Having an experienced guard like Lowry to show Chandler (who's more slender in build) the ropes would only help him as he moves forward in his career. And the bench unit could use another option at the point, as Gabe Vincent's contract for next season is not fully guaranteed.

28. Golden State: PG/SG Trevor Keels (Duke)

Keels didn't shoot the ball all that well during his lone season at Duke, finishing with splits of 41.9% from the field, 31.2% from three, and 67.0% from the foul line. But he's a tough guard who can fill multiple roles on the perimeter, which would work well with the way in which the Warriors like to play. And given the team's perimeter depth, they can afford to be patient with the former Duke guard with regard to his development.

29. Memphis: PG/SG Blake Wesley (Notre Dame)

Wesley has good size for a guard, standing at 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, and he was utilized both on and off the ball during his lone season at Notre Dame. Where he'll need to get better is his consistency as both a perimeter shooter and playmaker, with these being areas where Wesley did encounter issues. An athletic guard capable of breaking down defenses off the dribble, Wesley has the potential to be a dynamic playmaker, provided he gets the turnovers in check. Landing in Memphis would be great for Wesley, as he would be able to learn from Ja Morant and Tyus Jones (provided the Grizzlies re-sign the latter in free agency).

30. Oklahoma City (from Phoenix): SG MarJon Beauchamp (G League Ignite)

The Seattle native has a lot of work to do with regard to his consistency as a perimeter shooter, but he does a good job of getting to his spots off the dribble. Beauchamp has the length and athleticism to be a factor defensively, but this is another area in which he has to become more consistent. Between Oklahoma City's ongoing rebuild and its use of the G League, this could be an attractive spot for Beauchamp. And if he can improve the consistency of that jumper, it would go a long way with a team that ranked 7th in 3-point attempts but dead last in percentage this season.

Second Round

31. Indiana (from Houston via Cleveland): SF/PF Jake LaRavia (Wake Forest)
32. Orlando: SF Peyton Watson (UCLA)
33. Toronto (from Detroit via San Antonio, Washington, and Chicago): SF Kendall Brown (Baylor)
34. Oklahoma City: SG/SF Wendell Moore Jr. (Duke)
35. Orlando (from Indiana via Milwaukee): PG Andrew Nembhard (Gonzaga)
36. Portland: SF Bryce McGowens (Nebraska)
37. Sacramento: SF Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Milwaukee)
38. San Antonio (from LA Lakers via Chicago and Washington): PG/SG Hugo Besson (New Zealand Breakers)
39. Cleveland (from San Antonio via Utah): SG Ryan Rollins (Toledo)
40. Minnesota (from Washington via Cleveland): PF Leonard Miller (Fort Erie International)
41. New Orleans: SG Max Christie (Michigan State)
42. New York: C Christian Koloko (Arizona)
43. LA Clippers: SF/PF Justin Lewis (Marquette)
44. Atlanta: PF Josh Minott (Memphis)
45. Charlotte: C Jaylin Williams (Arkansas)
46. Detroit (from Brooklyn): PG/SG JD Davison (Alabama)
47. Memphis (from Cleveland via New Orleans and Atlanta): SG/SF Johnny Juzang (UCLA)
48. Minnesota: PG/SG Jean Montero (Overtime Elite)
49. Sacramento (from Chicago via Memphis and Detroit): SG/SF Tyrese Martin (Connecticut)
50. Minnesota (from Denver via Philadelphia): C Trevion Williams (Purdue)
51. Golden State (from Toronto via Philadelphia): C Ismael Kamagate (Paris)
52. New Orleans (from Utah): SG Dereon Seabron (NC State)
53. Boston: C Khalifa Diop (Gran Canaria)
54. Milwaukee (forfeited)
55. Miami (forfeited)
56. Washington (from Dallas): PG Matteo Spagnolo (Cremona)
57. Golden State: SG Gabriele Procida (Fortitudo Bologna)
58. Cleveland (from Miami via Indiana): PF Moussa Diabate (Michigan)
59. Portland (from Memphis via Utah): PF/C Dominick Barlow (Overtime Elite)
60. Indiana (from Phoenix): SF Ron Harper Jr. (Rutgers)

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