A total of 112 draft prospects withdrew from the 2022 NBA Draft on June 1 ahead of the early-entry deadline and on June 13, a handful of international prospects withdrew their names from the draft as well, giving us a complete list of prospects for the NBA Draft set to take place on June 23 next week.
The Orlando Magic hold the rights to the No. 1 overall selection in this year’s draft and a better picture is being painted for who they are going to be selecting. Out of Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr. and Paolo Banchero, you really cannot go wrong, but the Magic seem to be zeroing in on one guy in particular.
Set to take place on June 23 in Brooklyn, this year’s draft will usher in a new era of talent, some of which are already being projected to be All-Stars at some point in their careers. So many prospects are getting ready to begin the next chapter of their basketball lives in the NBA, but the question that remains for all of them revolves around where they will ultimately end up.
Some prospects have received promises by teams in the first-round, but others are still giving it their all in pre-draft workouts, looking to prove that they have what it takes and looking to get just one team to take a gamble on them. There are so many talented players deserving of being drafted this year, but only 30 will go in the first-round and only 58 prospects overall will hear their name called on draft night.
With teams formulating their plans ahead of June’s draft, here is my 2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0 filled with projections for all 58 picks, as well as intel and rumors from scouts, agents and executives from around the league:
#1 Orlando Magic – F Jabari Smith Jr. (Auburn – Freshman)
Nailing the first overall pick in this year’s draft is a must for the Orlando Magic, especially since they already have a ton of talented, youthful pieces in place on their roster. As of right now, all indications point towards the Magic selecting Jabari Smith Jr. with this first pick. Chet Holmgren could definitely be a building block for them in the frontcourt, but Orlando has not count out bringing back Mo Bamba yet and Wendell Carter Jr. could easily be the team’s starting center in a rotation alongside Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner and Jabari Smith Jr.
While there is still some internal discussion amongst the Magic’s front-office on who to go with, the general consensus around the league points to them going ahead and selecting the Auburn freshman first overall. Size, length, scoring and a winner’s mentality is what Orlando gets with Smith here with the No. 1 overall pick.
#2 Oklahoma City Thunder – F/C Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga – Freshman)
Recently making a move to acquire JaMychal Green from the Denver Nuggets at the expense of their 30th overall pick this year, the Oklahoma City Thunder have remained very quiet on their plans with the second overall pick.
GM Sam Presti and this Thunder front-office have done a fantastic job of assembling young, core pieces over the years and now, it is time for them to take the next step as a rebuilding franchise. Drafting a player of Chet Holmgren’s caliber not only solidifies their frontcourt, something they must address in the draft, but Holmgren gives them another player next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with star-like potential. Some around the league believe that there are fans of Paolo Banchero as well in Oklahoma City’s front-office, but it makes a lot more sense for them to select Holmgren here, assuming he does not go first overall.
A strong defender with the ability to cause a ton of headaches offensively in pick-and-roll sets, Chet Holmgren fits in perfectly as a stretch big man for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Owning the 2nd and 12th picks now in this year’s draft, the Thunder will have yet another chance to bring in high-potential prospects to one of the best developmental coaching staffs in the entire league.
#3 Houston Rockets – F Paolo Banchero (Duke – Freshman)
Houston Rockets GM Rafael Stone has said that the Rockets will be “available to talk” in regards to hearing trade offers for the No. 3 overall pick, but rival executives around the league fully expect Houston to keep this pick and draft either Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren or Paolo Banchero, whichever of the three falls their way on draft night.
As of right now, it seems very reasonable to believe Paolo Banchero to be falling to them at third overall and this is the best case scenario for Houston since Banchero is a player that has been linked to them throughout the college basketball season. Jaden Ivey has been brought up as well in regards to the Rockets, however, Banchero has been seen as a fit in Houston well before the draft order was even set.
The Rockets need a lengthy playmaker at either forward position and alongside both Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green, Banchero would immediately thrive as an instant source of scoring and playmaking. Adding another skilled scorer is exactly what Houston needs right now, hence why the Duke product makes sense for them.
#4 Sacramento Kings – G Jaden Ivey (Purdue – Sophomore)
There is a strong chance as of right now that this pick gets traded, as the Sacramento Kings have already begun some initial discussions with teams that have shown interest in the pick. Of course, no trade is imminent, but leading up to the draft, expect Sacramento to be very aggressive in trade talks as they look to pick up “win-now” pieces to pair alongside De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.
This pick was made with the intention of the Kings trading it, as they will be receiving a ton of trade interest since Jaden Ivey is still on the board. A crafty and versatile ball-handler, Ivey checks off all the boxes in terms of being a franchise point guard in this league. The Detroit Pistons are interested in drafting Ivey, which could give the Kings more reason to force Detroit’s hand and snag the best guard in this year’s draft class, potentially pairing him in a backcourt with De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell should they actually hold onto this pick.
Multiple teams have already begun discussing potential trades with the Kings for this fourth overall pick, which is why Jaden Ivey may end up being the pick here after all, even if Sacramento trades out of this spot.
#5 Detroit Pistons – F Keegan Murray (Iowa – Sophomore)
A lot of what the Detroit Pistons plan to do with this pick is predicated on what happens with the Sacramento Kings pick, especially since they could trade out of the four-spot for a team looking to take Jaden Ivey. Should Ivey be off-the-board, the Pistons will be looking to bring in a guy that can help them continue to grow as a youthful franchise and Keegan Murray is an excellent fit for them at either forward position.
Turning 22 in August, Murray is more NBA-ready than many in this draft class and would provide the Pistons with everything they are missing at either forward position alongside Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey. There does seem to be a level of internal interest in Murray right now and with him being the best available talent on the board here, Detroit should be very pleased to take him with the fifth overall pick. If Jaden Ivey is on the board though, it would be shocking to see Detroit pass up on the opportunity to draft him.
#6 Indiana Pacers – G Dyson Daniels (G League Ignite)
There is no telling as to what the Indiana Pacers could do here with their Top-10 pick, especially since there are a ton of players on their radar near the top of the draft board. Bennedict Mathurin and AJ Griffin are said to be on Indiana’s radar, as is Dyson Daniels after his most recent workout with the team.
In the G League, Daniels really stood out as a primary on-ball defender and being 6-8 with a near 6-11 wingspan, he could really stretch his game out to become an all-around perimeter stopper against multiple positions. Many teams fell in love with Daniels during the interview process at the NBA Draft Combine and the Pacers could look to pair him in the backcourt with Tyrese Haliburton as yet another ball-handler and all-around talent, especially given that Malcolm Brogdon’s future with the team is in question entering the offseason.
Dyson Daniels has a chance to be the best guard from this draft class and selecting Daniels here gives the Pacers everything they need to build one of the best young backcourts in the entire league based on potential. All options are on the table here for the Pacers as they look to quickly turn things around.
#7 Portland Trail Blazers – G/F Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona, Sophomore)
Much like the Sacramento Kings, many around the league anticipate newly appointed GM Joe Cronin and the Portland Trail Blazers to aggressively shop the seventh overall selection in the year’s draft for a “win-now” talent. Jerami Grant has been linked to Portland in recent rumors, as has Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins. Should they keep the pick though, Bennedict Mathurin being on the board makes for an easy decision.
Mathurin has proven to be a high-level three-point shooting threat and out on the wing, he is very capable of putting the ball on the ground and creating scoring opportunities for himself. Having a high understanding for the game offensively, Bennedict Mathurin is a prospect that can come in and play from Day 1, making him a potential All-Rookie performer for a team that is looking to “re-tool” and not “rebuild.”
Surrounding Damian Lillard with players that can come in and make an impact right now is key for the Portland Trail Blazers, hence why they would go with a young talent that can do so in the draft if they were to keep this pick, something that is looking less likely as we approach the draft.
#8 New Orleans Pelicans – G/F AJ Griffin (Duke – Freshman)
There is no telling as to what the New Orleans Pelicans could do here with their Top-10 pick, especially since they already have 14 players under contract for next season and do not necessarily have a “need” at any position. Continuing to find ways to build for the future makes the most sense and given that they would like to become a more balanced team, especially within their second-unit, adding a high-potential two-way talent on the wing like AJ Griffin could be the right move for New Orleans.
Griffin checks off all the boxes for being an elite-level offensive wing moving forward and being just 18-years-old still, there is plenty of room for growth here. The Pelicans took a massive leap as an organization over the course of the 2021-22 season and while they are looking to build off of their first-round playoff success, they also need to make sure they have a sturdy, long-term core in place.
Adding depth behind Brandon Ingram is critical and with Trey Murphy III expected to get more playing time moving forward, AJ Griffin could be the next lengthy and versatile developmental project for the Pelicans to play around with.
#9 San Antonio Spurs – F Ousmane Dieng (France)
The San Antonio Spurs are always a major question mark in the draft, as you never know what to expect from them. Last year, they shocked everyone by taking Joshua Primo, the youngest player in the draft with one of the biggest upsides on the offensive-end of the floor. Still looking to find their identity and form a long-term, youthful core, San Antonio could be obligated to go after another high-potential guy like Ousmane Dieng to pair with Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson on the wing.
The Spurs always get the most out of international prospects in the NBA Draft and given his length and potential to be an elite-level two-way player, Dieng is the perfect kind of prospect for San Antonio to add as a potential secondary star. Standing 6-foot-10 with a 7-0-plus wingspan, Ousmane Dieng has a lot of upside for growth at just 19-years-old and could very well end up being one of the best players from this draft class.
Out on the wing, Dieng uses his athleticism to his advantage to blow past smaller, less athletic defenders and has a good feel for when to pull up for a jump-shot when attacking the rim. In time, Dieng could develop into a high-impact two-way player and having one of the better developmental staffs, the Spurs seem like the perfect fit for him.
#10 Washington Wizards – G Ochai Agbaji (Kansas, Senior)
The Washington Wizards are approaching this year’s draft with the mindset of getting the best available talent, in their minds, that falls to them. Finding ways to win right now and capitalize on the time they have with Bradley Beal is a “must,” which is why going after an NBA-ready guy like Ochai Agbaji in the backcourt tightens Washington’s rotations.
Should they keep this pick, Washington will have a ton of options on who to draft and they really could go anywhere with this pick given that they have a ton of needs as a franchise. Ochai Agbaji is not a high-potential, young prospect, but he does offer upside as an immediate source of scoring and shooting off-the-bench.
He won a championship with Kansas this past college basketball season and needing another reliable ball-handler behind Beal, Agbaji is a safe choice for the Wizards here. However, they may be able to move down a little bit in the draft and still get him should Agbaji be the guy they would like to take.
#11 New York Knicks – G Johnny Davis (Wisconsin, Sophomore)
The New York Knicks need to get back to being a strong defensive team, but their problems on the offensive-end of the court hampered their ability to make it back to the playoffs this past year. Their backcourt is a mess right now, which is why the Knicks need to bring in guys who can impact the game as ball-handlers and playmakers right now.
Targeting one of the best centers in the draft is still definitely an option for New York, but with Johnny Davis on the board, it is hard to see the Knicks passing up on him. This past year’s Big 10 Player of the Year, Davis is ready to come into the NBA and play a key role at the shooting guard position right away, making him a solid pick here for the Knicks.
Some have projected Davis slipping in the draft, but plenty of teams have shown interest in him over the last couple of weeks and one of those teams is the New York Knicks. Needing more scoring talent in their backcourt, the 20-year-old Davis would be a key second unit player in New York upon arrival due to his skillset on the offensive-end of the floor. Evan Fournier could be dangled in trade talks this offseason, opening up minutes at the shooting guard spot for a player like Davis.
#12 Oklahoma City Thunder – G Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky – Freshman)
Already having Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr. or Paolo Banchero at this point, the Thunder and GM Sam Presti can look to get aggressive with this 12th overall selection and really dig in on their philosophy of building for the future.
No player fits this mindset better than Shaedon Sharpe and him still being on the board here would be a miracle situation for the Thunder, as Sharpe is someone that the team really liked when they brought him in for a pre-draft workout recently. While he is still a big unknown given that he is making the jump from high school to the NBA without playing a single minute of collegiate basketball, Sharpe has the tools to be an elite-level scorer in time.
Having the potential to turn into a high-level offensive threat, Sharpe is one of the youngest prospects in this year’s draft class and a true “boom or bust” like prospect. Pairing him with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could wind up giving the Thunder one of the best scoring duos over the next several years, but there truly is a risk factor associated with taking Shaedon Sharpe in this year’s draft since he is still a very raw prospect.
#13 Charlotte Hornets – C Mark Williams (Duke, Sophomore)
The Charlotte Hornets are not far off from being a playoff team in the Eastern Conference, but they must find their starting center moving forward in this draft. Whether they take him with the 13th or 15th overall selection, Mark Williams should definitely be the Hornets choice, even if Jalen Duren is still on the board.
Williams emerged at Duke being a high-level rim-protector and possessing a 7-7 wingspan, there are few NBA players that will be able to get a shot up over him! Williams is not a liability on offense and tends to move really well either going to screen or cutting to the basket off of pick-and-roll sets, which makes him look like the perfect fit in a Hornets system that revolves around LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier getting their bigs involved in pick-and-roll sets.
There is always the possibility that Charlotte packages both of their first-round picks this year for an All-Star center like Rudy Gobert, but in the long-run, there is more upside by drafting either Mark Williams or Jalen Duren instead of going after Gobert.
#14 Cleveland Cavaliers – G Malaki Branham (Ohio State, Freshman)
Collin Sexton’s future with the Cleveland Cavaliers is in question due to him being a restricted free agent this offseason and even if the team retains him, adding more scoring talent at the shooting guard position is imperative. The Cavaliers have done a fantastic job of assembling young, core pieces through the draft over the years and Malachi Branham could be yet another really good fit in this system.
Branham shot 41.6% from three-point range during his freshman season at Ohio State and has really impressed many throughout the pre-draft process with his potential to guard numerous positions out on the perimeter. On offense, he looks comfortable being a primary ball-handler and looks to score with his jump-shot.
Cleveland took a big step forward this season by making the Play-In Tournament and by adding more bench depth and shooting talent, they can possibly make the playoffs during the 2022-23 season.
#15 Charlotte Hornets – F Jeremy Sochan (Baylor, Freshman)
With their second first-round pick, the Hornets could really go anywhere. If a team wants to move up a couple of spots and give Charlotte some more future value, GM Mitch Kupchak and this front-office will likely be very willing to move down a couple of spots given that they have numerous options here.
Finding a player that can come in and contribute right away is what the Hornets will be gunning for with their second pick here after the lottery and needing to find ways to improve defensively, Jeremy Sochan is certainly a talent that can really help fortify Charlotte’s bench. Sochan is already being labeled as one of the better defenders in this draft class and due to his overall high understanding of where to be on the floor, he has shown flashes of being a terrific cutter and slasher on the offensive-end of the floor.
Being able to defend 1-5 on the floor, Sochan would immediately fill a void behind Gordon Hayward and Miles Bridges at either forward position and perhaps his best trait is that he is comfortable with the ball in his hands. Developing a consistent jump-shot will be key for Jeremy Sochan at the next level, as he tends to rely on his abilities to attack the paint from the wing. Sochan can impact the game in many ways, making him a nice fit in a system led by a multidimensional talent in LaMelo Ball.
#16 Atlanta Hawks – F Tari Eason (LSU – Sophomore)
The Atlanta Hawks are in a position where it would not be shocking to see them move up in the draft. They have expressed interest in doing so recently and not only is this pick in play to be traded, but John Collins is as well.
Things didn’t go as planned during the 2021-22 season following their magical run to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals and as a result, big changes are coming to this roster. No matter who the Hawks look to move on from this offseason, it is apparent that the Hawks need scoring talent on the wing, especially coming off of their bench.
With Tari Eason on the board here, it would make sense for Atlanta to take him given that he can aid their defense right away and because they need more talent at both forward positions with John Collins’ future being in question. Eason is by no means the best prospect in this draft class and there are higher potential talents available here at 16th overall, but he is a guy that gives it his all defensively and can really get things started in terms of pushing the pace and running in transition. Tari Eason can score either on the wing or in the low-post and Eason can really give this Hawks team a boost on defense, as they ranked 26th in the league in defensive rating this past season.
#17 Houston Rockets – C Jalen Duren (Memphis, Freshman)
The potential to move up in the draft is very apparent for the Rockets right now, as this 17th overall selection and Christian Wood continue to be two key talking points in trade chatter around the league. Should the Rockets hang in here and keep this pick, Jalen Duren being on the board is a gift for them sent by the basketball gods. However, it is unlikely that a team would not look to trade up should Duren fall a little bit from his projected spot in the late-lottery on draft night.
They did take Alperen Sengun last year in the first-round and he could very well be the replacement project behind Wood should the team look to move him, but Duren is a big man that could really control the paint for the Rockets on both ends of the floor, whereas Sengun is more of an offensive weapon that can slide over to the power-forward position.
An avid rim-protector and shot-blocker, Duren still has plenty of time to be polished into a well-rounded, modern-day center and his high motor brings a lot of comparisons to that of Bam Adebayo when he was coming out of Kentucky in 2017. With the question marks surrounding Wood’s future and Houston only having Sengun behind him in the frontcourt, Jalen Duren seems like the best pick both fit-wise and talent-wise here.
#18 Chicago Bulls – F E.J. Liddell (Ohio State, Junior)
Continuing to add bench depth that can aid on both ends of the court will go a long way in the Chicago Bulls potentially breaking through in the Eastern Conference. Needing more talent on the wing and in their frontcourt, E.J. Liddell seems like the obvious choice for this team if he is on the board, especially since they brought him in for a workout recently and nothing but good things have been said about his mentality.
While he is only 6-7, E.J. Liddell plays well above his height because of his near 7-foot wingspan. He can protect the rim, be a “small-ball” center in some rotations and has really good footwork on the offensive-end of the floor in the low-post, making him a solid frontcourt option off-the-bench. Perhaps his best attribute though is that Liddell really improved himself as a jump-shooter this past season at Ohio State.
Defense, hustle and high IQ are the three main things you get with Liddell and with the Bulls looking to make all the right moves to set themselves up for success right now, the Ohio State product is the perfect NBA-ready type of talent Chicago needs to take in June’s draft.
#19 Minnesota Timberwolves – G Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee, Freshman)
Addressing the future of D’Angelo Russell is priority number one for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the offseason, especially since he is entering the final year of his contract. With new ownership taking over and Tim Connelly recently being hired to be the Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations, Connelly is going to look to build a new identity for this franchise predicated around the play of Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns.
It is possible that Minnesota looks to move down a little in order to acquire other assets, but should he be a guy near the top of their draft board, Kennedy Chandler could be the perfect athletic guard for this team to bring in. The 19-year-old guard is an all-around playmaker that is not afraid to create opportunities for others.
He barely turned the ball over at Tennessee and is a strong pick-and-roll ball-handler, making Chandler a nice fit in Minnesota where Karl-Anthony Towns and Jarred Vanderbilt are always setting screens to help their team play downhill towards the basket. This is not a flashy pick by any means, but Kennedy Chandler could fill a void this team has in their backcourt, especially if Russell is to be on the move in the near future.
#20 San Antonio Spurs – F Nikola Jovic (Serbia)
Again, there is no telling what the Spurs will do on draft night, as this pick could very well be packaged together with other assets to acquire an already proven talent or for San Antonio to move up in the draft. However, San Antonio likes to take chances on international guys and going after a high-potential prospect like Nikola Jovic could be too good of an opportunity to pass up on.
Jovic could be a massive steal for this organization and some have called him the best international prospect in this year’s draft class. He is a versatile forward that can do a little bit of everything on the floor and in pick-and-roll sets offensively, Jovic flourishes due to the fact that he can be a primary ball-handler and he is very smart in terms of decision making with the ball in his hands.
Joining a very athletic team already in San Antonio, Nikola Jovic could play to his strengths and really become an all-around playmaker for this team, taking a lot of stress off of Dejounte Murray in the process.
#21 Denver Nuggets – G/F Jalen Williams (Santa Clara, Junior)
With their core expected to be healthy and ready to go for the 2022-23 season, the Denver Nuggets are going to be looking to continue adding viable talents and scorers on their bench. They do not necessarily need another ball-handler, which is why taking someone like Jalen Williams can pay off in the long-run for them.
Williams has been one of the biggest risers in the pre-draft process because of his potential as a two-way wing at the NBA-level and at the combine in May, Williams was fantastic. He can shoot from the wing, he can score off-the-dribble and Williams’ 7-2 wingspan is something many are talking about right now since he only measured in around 6-6 with shoes!
Finding players that can play off-the-ball and be scoring options next to Nikola Jokic is a must for the Nuggets as they look to turn themselves into a true championship contender. Jalen Williams should be able to fill this need and be a nice building block for them on the wing, especially given the injury concerns to Michael Porter Jr. and Will Barton being in the final year of his contract.
#22 Memphis Grizzlies – G TyTy Washington (Kentucky, Freshman)
Tyus Jones is going to be a free agent this offseason and at this point, it is a long-shot to believe that the Memphis Grizzlies will be able to retain him unless they are willing to offer him a ton of money. Drafting Jones’ replacement and someone that can be a primary ball-handler and facilitator behind Ja Morant is essential here for Memphis.
TyTy Washington is just 19-years-old and still has plenty of room for growth, especially if he is able to sit behind Morant and learn from him as the 2022-23 season progresses. Developing a consistent jump-shot from the perimeter will be key for Washington, as he tends to play more downhill and rely on his mid-range game than anything else, but the former Kentucky Wildcat is still projecting to be a reliable backup point guard right away because of his playmaking and ball-handling abilities.
Owning this pick, as well as the 29th overall pick, it would not be surprising to see GM Zach Kleiman and the Grizzlies look to move up several spots and take either a player that falls out of the lottery or someone they have had their eyes on throughout the pre-draft process that possesses a ton of long-term potential.
#23 Philadelphia 76ers – G Jaden Hardy (G League Ignite)
Finding bench depth that can shine next to their stars is essential for the Philadelphia 76ers, especially if they are to contend against the likes of the Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference. Their championship window is very small right now and Joel Embiid can only do so much for this franchise on the offensive-end of the floor, which is why adding more scoring depth could be a point of emphasis for the 76ers in the draft if they keep their first-round pick.
Drafting Jaden Hardy, a high-potential guard that has shown flashes of being a primary ball-handler gives the 76ers more backcourt depth and a young, athletic talent that has shown glimpses of All-Star-like potential.
Danny Green being out due to an ACL injury could force Philadelphia to look at wing options here, but Hardy is the best available talent still on the board here and he could wind up being one of the best talents from this draft class. For this reason alone is why Daryl Morey and the 76ers’ front-office may take a swing for the fences and take Jaden Hardy.
#24 Milwaukee Bucks – C Walker Kessler (Auburn, Sophomore)
The Milwaukee Bucks have a ton of options for what to do in the NBA Draft this year and GM Jon Horst could once again look to add experienced depth to his roster via a draft night trade. They traded for Grayson Allen in the offseason last year and it would not be surprising to see a similar move made here with this 24th overall selection, especially if the Bucks do not see value with who is still available at the top of their draft board.
Given the fact that Brook Lopez is coming off an injury-riddled year and the fact that Bobby Portis will be pursued by other teams in free agency, addressing their depth in the frontcourt is a “must” for this franchise. Should he be available, Walker Kessler would be a nice pick for the Bucks simply because he is a lot like Lopez in regards to his defensive awareness and rebounding skills.
Being a strong looking shot-blocker that also has great footwork around the rim offensively, Walker Kessler is definitely an intriguing center prospect for the Bucks to add for depth and as a replacement plan for Brook Lopez, who is entering the final year of his contract this offseason.
#25 San Antonio Spurs – G MarJon Beauchamp (G League Ignite)
It is very unlikely that the San Antonio Spurs will keep all three of their first-round draft picks. Either this pick or the one before it at 20th overall will be on the move in a pre-draft or draft night trade as the Spurs look to continue building for the future while finding success now with their young core.
Already having two forwards in Ousmane Dieng and Nikola Jovic from this mock draft, targeting someone that can aid their backcourt and defense could make a lot of sense. He is a very unpolished prospect, but MarJon Beauchamp is definitely a gamble worth taking for the Spurs.
I truly believe that MarJon Beauchamp has a chance to rise up many team’s draft boards between now and the draft and he made a name for himself in the G League being a strong on-ball defender, something the San Antonio Spurs need. MarJon Beauchamp is NBA-ready and being just 20-years-old, he still has time to develop into a two-way talent at the shooting guard position or on the wing given his length.
#26 Dallas Mavericks – F Jake LaRavia (Wake Forest, Junior)
If we have learned anything about the Dallas Mavericks during the playoffs this year, it is that they need more scoring talent around Luka Doncic, as well as high IQ guys who can play in a system that revolves around defensive tenacity. Being a smart player out on the wing that has a few years of college experience under his belt, Jake LaRavia could be exactly what the Mavericks are looking for in regards to a “wing” that can play multiple different roles.
At Wake Forest, LaRavia was utilized as a defender on all kinds of different players and in the NBA, he could continue to be a “utility” like defensive player. He plays at his own tempo on offense and while he is not the best three-point shooter, his understanding for when to shoot or put the ball down to make a play for someone else is what makes him a first-round-like talent in this year’s draft class.
Dallas could look to add more backcourt talent with Jalen Brunson being a free agent, but if they are confident in their ability to re-sign him in free agency, then the Mavericks should turn their attention to other needs at other positions like they would by drafting LaRavia.
#27 Miami Heat – F Kendall Brown (Baylor, Freshman)
The Miami Heat could really go anywhere with this draft pick at the end of the first-round, including possibly packaging it together with Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro or someone else to go out and add yet another high-level talent to their roster. Here though in this mock draft, they end up with a really solid athletic wing that has the ability to play on both ends of the floor in Kendall Brown.
Adding depth behind Jimmy Butler is key for the Heat, especially given that Butler is their only real talent on the wing with Caleb Martin being a free agent. Continuing to find ways to improve as a shooter will help Brown turn into a more complete prospect, but he is one of the more athletic wings in this draft class and possesses a near 7-foot wingspan. Given how well the Heat play defensively, Kendall Brown could be a valuable 19-year-old they invest in, especially since he could give them a boost in transition.
#28 Golden State Warriors – F Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Milwaukee, Freshman)
GM Bob Myers and the Golden State Warriors’ ownership has made it clear that while they still want to contend for championships, they will not be doing so at the expense of their young talents and young core. Continuing to find ways to stockpile high-level, young talent that they can develop while contending in the Western Conference is key, which is why rolling the dice on Patrick Baldwin Jr. seems like a very Warriors type thing to do.
A very intriguing forward prospect, Patrick Baldwin Jr. has been projected to go anywhere from the lottery to early on in the second-round in the 2022 NBA Draft. Injury concerns are the only reason Baldwin is not considered a sure-thing lottery pick this year, but his potential is as good as anyone else’s in this draft class. Standing 6-10 with a near 7-2 wingspan, Baldwin has the size to turn into a high-level defender either on the wing or in the low-post and he has all the skills to be a primary playmaker on the wing offensively.
You can never have too much depth on the wing in the NBA and while there are other players that fit Golden State’s system a little better, Patrick Baldwin Jr. has one of the highest ceilings out of any prospect in this year’s draft, that is if he can stay on the floor and mature a little more as an overall playmaker. Some have said that the Warriors need another big man in the draft, but the organization believes that James Wiseman is the future of their frontcourt and they will not be quick to give up on him or replace him. This is why it would be a waste for them to utilize their late first-round pick on another center, especially one that would be projected to go in the second-round.
#29 Memphis Grizzlies – G Blake Wesley (Notre Dame, Freshman)
While they did draft TyTy Washington earlier, adding backcourt depth is essential for the Memphis Grizzlies, especially given that Ja Morant missed a chunk of time this year due to injuries. As mentioned previously, Tyus Jones could very well sign with another team in the offseason, opening the door for opportunity in this team’s backcourt.
Blake Wesley can play with or without the ball in his hands and is a high-potential, young guard the Grizzlies could take time to develop. Wesley not only has the ability to impact the game offensively with the ball in his hands, but he has potential to grow into a sturdy three-point shooting threat. Not to mention, his 6’9” wingspan and high-upside makes him someone that could really turn into an efficient two-way option on the perimeter.
The Notre Dame product’s draft stock is all over the place right now even though he put together a very solid freshman year and proved to be both an on-ball and off-the-ball threat on offense. Being a combo-guard that does a great job of getting to his spots on the floor offensively, Wesley could really fill out a nice spot on Memphis’ bench, similar to how De’Anthony Melton has carved out a role for himself on this team.
#30 Denver Nuggets – F Caleb Houstan (Michigan, Freshman)
Acquiring this pick from the Thunder in the trade that involved JaMychal Green, the Denver Nuggets are actively looking to package this pick, along with their current 21st overall pick, in order to move up in this year’s draft. Should they hold onto this pick though, Denver will be looking to add forward depth and a prospect that they can spend time developing.
Caleb Houstan is a high-potential combo forward that was a Top-10 recruit coming out of high school last year. Things did not necessarily work out for him at Michigan, but Houstan still has a ton of potential to develop into a key two-way weapon on the perimeter because of his length and pure scoring mentality.
By no means is Caleb Houstan ready to come into the NBA from Day 1 and be an All-Rookie type of talent, but the skill is certainly there for him and with the right developmental team, Houstan could really turn into one of the players we look back on from the 2022 NBA Draft and ask ourselves why he didn’t go higher. With uncertainties surrounding Michael Porter Jr.’s back, it would make sense why the Nuggets would be interested in a pick like this.
#31 Indiana Pacers – G Max Christie (Michigan State, Freshman)
#32 Orlando Magic – F Wendell Moore Jr. (Duke, Junior)
#33 Toronto Raptors – G Dalen Terry (Arizona, Sophomore)
#34 Oklahoma City Thunder – G Trevor Keels (Duke, Freshman)
#35 Orlando Magic – C Christian Koloko (Arizona, Junior)
#36 Portland Trail Blazers – G Bryce McGowens (Nebraska, Freshman)
#37 Sacramento Kings – F Josh Minott (Memphis, Freshman)
#38 San Antonio Spurs – F Dominick Barlow (Overtime Elite, USA)
#39 Cleveland Cavaliers – G Christian Braun (Kansas, Junior)
#40 Minnesota Timberwolves – G Gabriele Procida (Italy)
#41 New Orleans Pelicans – G Jean Montero (Overtime Elite)
#42 New York Knicks – G Andrew Nembhard (Gonzaga, Senior)
#43 Los Angeles Clippers – F David Roddy (Colorado State, Junior)
#44 Atlanta Hawks – G Ryan Rollins (Toledo, Sophomore)
#45 Charlotte Hornets – G Hugo Besson (France)
#46 Detroit Pistons – C Ismael Kamagate (France)
#47 Memphis Grizzlies – C Khalifa Diop (Senegal)
#48 Minnesota Timberwolves – F Peyton Watson (UCLA, Freshman)
#49 Sacramento Kings – F Trevion Williams (Purdue, Senior)
#50 Minnesota Timberwolves – F Jaylin Williams (Arkansas, Sophomore)
#51 Golden State Warriors – G Dereon Seabron (North Carolina State, Sophomore)
#52 New Orleans Pelicans – G Matteo Spagnolo (Italy)
#53 Boston Celtics – F Justin Lewis (Marquette, Sophomore)
#54 Washington Wizards – G Alondes Williams (Wake Forest, Senior)
#55 Golden State Warriors – F/C Michael Foster Jr. (G League Ignite)
#56 Cleveland Cavaliers – F Darius Days (LSU, Senior)
#57 Portland Trail Blazers – F/C Moussa Diabate (Michigan, Freshman)
#58 Indiana Pacers – G Keon Ellis (Alabama, Senior)
NOTE: The Milwaukee Bucks (54) and Miami Heat (55) have forfeited their second-round picks in this year’s draft as a result of violating the league’s tampering rules ahead of free agency in 2021.
To see Brett Siegel’s FULL 2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0, click here.
To see Brett Siegel’s 2022 NBA Draft Big Board 4.0 and Top-50 Rankings, click here.