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2022 NBA Mock Draft V.2
The No Ceilings crew mock drafts the top 30 prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft.
“Hello Boys…I’m Back” - Randy Quaid, Independence Day (1996)
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Draft Jury. Welcome back to the second installment of our 2022 NBA Mock Draft. Our first Mock Draft was an absolute blast, and I can promise you that 48 hours later we were already prepared to change the majority of our picks.
If this is your first time here (we love you), we previously launched our updated 2022 NBA Draft Big Board which featured a lot of movement with a variety of prospects. The No Ceilings crew got together previously and had ourselves another “War Room” segment in which we headed over to Tankathon and fired up a new JUICY simulation for the 2022 NBA Draft order.
It turned out to be much more chaotic than we were expecting.
Now before we do this, let me share with you some important information that makes this Mock Draft installment DIFFERENT compared to the first. In our first mock draft, our team wanted to make sure to ONLY use our composite Big Board Rankings. For this one, we got to a certain point and said “screw this…let’s get wild and open it up.”
Laughs were shared. Blood was shed. Profanities were shouted. But at the end of the day, we put together a solid slate of selections.
Without any more interruptions, let’s take a look at Volume II of the 2022 No Ceilings NBA Mock Draft.
1. ATLANTA HAWKS - CHET HOLMGREN | GONZAGA | PF/C
Nick Agar-Johnson: Chet Holmgren has remained at or near the top of most draft boards this season, as he has showcased his defensive bona fides while also showing flashes of exceptional offensive potential. The Atlanta Hawks certainly would not have expected to be in the lottery after their spectacular season last year, but adding Holmgren would be a coup for Travis Schlenck and company. Chet would bolster Atlanta’s rim defense alongside Clint Capela, and Trae Young would definitely enjoy getting to incorporate the versatile big man into the offense. The fit isn’t perfect for now–especially with John Collins still on the team–but Holmgren would be a game-changer for a Hawks team that appeared to be on the ascent after last season.
2. DETROIT PISTONS - JABARI SMITH JR. | AUBURN | PF
Nathan Grubel: Jabari Smith is the one player in this clear grouping near the top who can seamlessly fit on any team. The Pistons would love to add a 6’10” forward who can space the floor effectively while still possessing more upside as an off-the-bounce shot maker and versatile defender in space. While he’s not the traditional rim protector some might expect given his size, he’s still one of the better “deterrents” amongst his peers. Smith currently ranks in the 96th percentile on spot-up shooting in the halfcourt as well as in the 80th percentile for halfcourt jumpers overall.
3. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS - JADEN IVEY | PURDUE | G
Corey Tulaba: While adding a third Dukie seems like the obvious choice here, New Orleans pivots to instead take a foundational backcourt piece to pair with their star frontcourt. Ivey should thrive in a more wide open perimeter based NBA game that will allow him to fully hone in on his special physical gifts. To add to that, the leap he’s made as a shooter this season will allow him to complement the play of Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.
4. ORLANDO MAGIC - PAOLO BANCHERO | DUKE | F
Albert Ghim: I don’t think Paolo will ever drop to the 4th pick in real life. In this fantasy exercise I kind of like the situation he’d be walking into. I think Franz can play the 3, and then you have a really fun tandem in your front court with all the playmaking and skills of Paolo and Franz. If this happens in real life, Magic fans are going to freak out.
5. HOUSTON ROCKETS - AJ GRIFFIN | DUKE | G/F
Tyler Metcalf: AJ Griffin’s meteoric rise back up draft boards is merely a result of reactionary impatience. After suffering a preseason knee injury that most of us thought would sideline him longer, Griffin got off to a slow start, mainly from lack of opportunity. Griffin is now up to nearly 18 minutes a night and is showing why he had such high expectations entering the season. Griffin is currently averaging 7.9 points, 3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists on 54/45/71 shooting splits. Additionally, in terms of points per possession, Griffin ranks in the 99th percentile overall, 97th percentile shooting off the dribble, and the 87th percentile shooting off the catch. Don’t let the raw numbers fool you–Griffin has some of the highest star upside in this draft.
6. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER - JOHNNY DAVIS | WISCONSIN | SG
Tyler Rucker: Let’s just all take a moment to dream of the idea of a trio of guards involving Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey and Johnny Davis…You could argue that the Wisconsin sophomore has been one of the most impressive players in college hoops this year. Sure, there’s a number of directions that OKC could go here at six, but at the end of the day the Thunder are in a position in which Best Player Available (aka BPA) should be the easy route. Davis has been skyrocketing up NBA Draft boards after impressing with his versatility on the offensive side of the ball. I’m still convinced Brandon Roy cloned himself and the clone ended up at Wisconsin.
7. INDIANA PACERS - KEEGAN MURRAY | IOWA | F
Nick Agar-Johnson: The Indiana Pacers taking Keegan Murray seemed like it was a very Pacers kind of pick to all of us doing the mock draft. The selection does make sense beyond that, however–Murray has continued to impress in conference play after a stellar run to start the season. He has the tools to be a versatile wing on offense who can knock down jumpers and contribute on the defensive end, and he would provide a huge boost to one of the weaker wing rotations in the NBA.
8. SAN ANTONIO SPURS - JALEN DUREN | MEMPHIS | C
Nathan Grubel: Duren’s stock has been all over the place when it comes to those voicing their opinions on social media. However, as our own Corey Taluba has referenced multiple times, it seems those plugged in with NBA teams and scouts still view Duren as a top-half lottery talent. His 6’10” chiseled frame would give the Spurs another rim-running option to develop while they still have Jakob Poeltl on the roster. If the jumper and short-roll passing become legitimate parts of his offensive arsenal, his upside could be tremendous with enough patience.
9. SACRAMENTO KINGS - BENNEDICT MATHURIN | ARIZONA | G
Nick Agar-Johnson: Bennedict Mathurin has been incredibly impressive as a sophomore after deciding to drop out of last year’s NBA Draft to head back to college for another season. While his 3-point percentage has dropped off a bit in recent weeks, Mathurin is still a great defensive prospect who has improved as a passer in comparison to his freshman year. The Sacramento Kings have an over-abundance of guards at the moment, but Mathurin isn’t somebody who needs the ball in his hands to succeed. He would fit alongside any two of De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Davion Mitchell quite nicely–and Buddy Hield is all but a lock to be gone by the time the Kings make this pick.
10. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS - PATRICK BALDWIN JR. | MILWAUKEE | F
Albert Ghim: I know this is crazy right now, but I think PBJ might end up going higher than this when the draft comes. You can already see him dazzling in workouts just shooting the lights out in empty gyms. The dude is a legit 6’10” and he’s playing on a horrible mid-major team. I don’t want to make excuses for him, but you can totally see a team in the Top 10 getting floored by his workouts and turning a blind eye to his freshman year play. The Blazers will probably be in a weird place when the draft comes around, but a guy like PBJ could be a potential building block for a team that might be re-building by then.
11. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES - KENDALL BROWN | BAYLOR | F
Tyler Metcalf: The Jarred Vanderbilt experience in Minnesota has been incredibly fruitful, and Kendall Brown’s skillset isn’t entirely dissimilar. The Timberwolves are eager to run in transition, they require energy and athleticism in their defensive scheme, and their five-out offensive system generates plenty of space for cutters. While Brown still has a ways to go to be a positive defender, he would provide athleticism and basketball IQ to the second unit.
12. BOSTON CELTICS - TYTY WASHINGTON | KENTUCKY | G
Tyler Rucker: As someone who was struggling to come around on the Kentucky freshman early in the year, I find myself finally starting to see the light when it comes to TyTy Washington. Boston would find themselves in a tough spot here, as this is the range of the NBA Draft in which things can get a little…interesting. Boston still needs to find a floor general that can offer playmaking upside and Washington has been starting to cook lately for the Wildcats. Washington won’t wow you with his athleticism, but he plays the game with great floor awareness and he offers multi-level scoring ability with a smooth stroke.
13. WASHINGTON WIZARDS - JADEN HARDY | IGNITE | SG
Corey Tulaba: Jaden Hardy entered the year as a potential top 3 pick, but his slow start and inconsistent play drops him towards the end of the lottery. It isn’t always pretty but the Ignite shooting guard has started to show signs of life as an off ball movement shooter that can take advantage of defenders that overplay him for the shot. Hardy may never end up as the Tatum/Lillard hybrid he was once projected as, but the promise he’s shown as a complimentary piece gives the Wizards another talented scorer that they can bring along slowly as he learns from one of the game’s best.
14. NEW YORK KNICKS - DYSON DANIELS | IGNITE | G
Nathan Grubel: I personally have come around on Daniels as a lottery pick. The 6’6” wing has been tasked with playing PG for the G-League Ignite while Scoot Henderson isn’t on the floor, and Daniels has kept the team afloat while showing enough positives in his own regard. His court vision, poise, and patience will translate well on an NBA floor, and he’s been a capable finisher/slasher in the halfcourt. Arguably the best 1-3 defender in the draft, Daniels’ two-way play would fit in well in New York, and he has considerable upside of his own if the jumper becomes a more consistent weapon.
15. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER - MARJON BEAUCHAMP | IGNITE | F
Corey Tulaba: MarJon Beauchamp has been a huge win for the G-League Ignite program. Beauchamp has thrived in transition, is finishing everything around the rim, and can guard multiple positions due to his lateral quickness and length . The shot is a work in progress but the mechanics are far from broken. The 6’7” wing gives me major Josh Howard vibes and should fit perfectly into the modern NBA game.
16. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES - OCHAI AGBAJI | KANSAS | SG
Albert Ghim: Agbaji is the refined older gentleman of this draft class; he’ll be 22 on Draft Day. The dude is a 6’5” wing who’s shooting 47% from three and playing strong perimeter defense. I hope people don’t start comparing him to Chris Duarte because I think Duarte is flat-out a better player/prospect. I think Agbaji will eventually be a reliable rotational piece that contributes to a contender like the Grizzlies one day on both ends of the floor.
17. TORONTO RAPTORS - HARRISON INGRAM | STANFORD | F
Corey Tulaba: With the selection of Harrison Ingram, the Raptors are one step closer to building out a five man lineup full of long, skilled, versatile 6’8” wings. Ingram was made for Toronto’s wing factory and the flashes he’s shown as a jumbo ball screen playmaker and connector should make Masai’s eyes light up like the 3 Ninjas practice dummy.
18. CHARLOTTE HORNETS - MARK WILLIAMS | DUKE | C
Tyler Rucker: The Charlotte Hornets will head into the 2022 NBA Draft class in a great position to continue to add more young pieces to the puzzle. Yes, I am well aware that the Hornets invested a selection in “The Kai Jones experience,” but the idea of adding a physically imposing rim protector like Mark Williams here at 18th overall is too intriguing to pass up. Williams stands out with his two-way potential and he’s a load in the paint. He would give the Hornets an immediate presence in the paint as a lob threat and elite rim protector. Williams is currently averaging 9.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game for the Blue Devils this year.
19. DENVER NUGGETS - TREVOR KEELS | DUKE | G
Nick Agar-Johnson: With Nikola Jokic running the show, and with Jamal Murray returning soon as an offensive weapon without much of a defensive pedigree, Trevor Keels would make a ton of sense for this Nuggets’ roster. His offensive output has been a roller coaster this season, but his manic defensive energy and his non-existent fear level would certainly help give Denver a spark. Trevor Keels and Bones Hyland as a bench backcourt would be absolutely terrifying for opponents, and tons of fun for Nuggets fans.
20. DALLAS MAVERICKS - JEAN MONTERO | OTE | PG
Nathan Grubel: Jean Montero isn’t the easiest evaluation from his playing time for OTE. However, if you go back and watch some overseas tape, you notice someone who pops as an NBA guard. While a lot will likely ride on how he measures out, he’s still one of the more creative passers in the draft with enough pull-up craft and shiftiness to keep defenders on their toes. Montero isn’t an elite athlete at the position, but he’s quick enough to put pressure on the defense and his flair for making plays in transition is second to none. With the right coaching in the league, he could really shine as a starting PG. However, patience is required for someone who’s been around some bad habits in his current playing environment.
21. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS - MAX CHRISTIE | MICHIGAN STATE | G/F
Tyler Metcalf: Max Christie’s recent shooting resurgence shouldn’t come as a surprise. Christie is still only shooting 33.8% from three, but over his last five games he is shooting 50% from three. Christie is also proving to be an adept off-ball mover. He has an innate sense of when and where to relocate on the perimeter which will pair nicely with Darius Garland’s playmaking and Evan Mobley’s passing. At 6’6, Christie also has the ability to be a multi-positional defender. He has great instincts and footwork which will only add to the impressive defensive talent on the Cavaliers. It may be a slow burn as he develops, but Christie has the potential to be a lottery talent when all is said and done.
22. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS - BLAKE WESLEY | NOTRE DAME | G
Nathan Grubel: The 76ers lack athleticism more than anything else. So many of the guards and wings on Philly lack explosiveness and the ability to create and hit tough shots outside of Tyrese Maxey and (when he’s engaged) Tobias Harris. Blake Wesley, albeit raw, has that rare ability to create for himself while also getting better by the game at running offense through pick-and-roll play. At 6’5”, he brings additional size and pop to the backcourt while also having time to develop given the veterans in front of him. I have a feeling he goes higher than this, but the 76ers would be wise to nab him if he’s here as he is in our mock scenario.
23. MILWAUKEE BUCKS - JEREMY SOCHAN | BAYLOR | F
Tyler Metcalf: Jeremy Sochan may not be the physical marvel that his teammate Kendall Brown is, but his understanding of the game on both ends of the floor is immaculate for a Freshman. Sochan will rarely fill up the box score, but he excels at doing a little bit of everything at an extremely high level. He has shown flashes of being a good spot up shooter, is a great cutter, and is an impressive passer. Sochan’s biggest impact, though, will likely come on the defensive end. Sochan has the fundamentals and instincts that will fit in beautifully with the defensive schemes of the Bucks.
24. HOUTON ROCKETS - NIKOLA JOVIC | MEGA | F
Nick Agar-Johnson: Once again, Nikola Jovic has fallen to the late first-round spot that the Miami Heat have traded to the Houston Rockets, and once again I am tasked with proselytizing for my fellow Nik (yes, it’s a stretch, but I either have to loop in all Nikolas or campaign for Nick Calathes, so deal with it) as he falls to the back of the first round. Jovic has proven that his jumpshot is further along than most doubters would have believed, and his passing and ball-handling abilities are well above those of your average 6’10” guy. There’s potential downside here, to be sure, but the Rockets should be ecstatic if someone with Jovic’s upside falls out of the Top 20 on Draft Night.
25. MIAMI HEAT - TARI EASON | LSU | F
Tyler Rucker: As enticing as it was to give the Miami Heat another shooter here, the No Ceilings squad decided to go with a little bit of a “curveball.” Let’s give the Heat another versatile forward who can get after it on both sides of the floor. Insert LSU sophomore Tari Eason. A popular name that has been buzzing in Draft circles, Eason has been sensational for the Tigers this year and is putting up some impressive production on both sides of the floor. He’s a name that could continue to rise if he keeps up this type of play throughout the rest of the year. Eason is averaging 15.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per game this year while shooting 52.9% from the field.
26. CHICAGO BULLS - JAIME JAQUEZ JR. | UCLA | F
Albert Ghim: Jaime Jaquez is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. I don’t think he has a ton of star potential, but he’s the exact type of guy you want on your team as a supporting-cast guy. He’s a big wing with a smooth-looking jumpshot. I know his 3-point shooting numbers have dipped a bit this year, but I like what I’ve seen from the eye test. He does a lot of things all over the court. I like that he’s unafraid of mixing it up with bigs to grab boards and I think he just knows where to be and what to do at all times. He could be a strong 3rd or 4th wing off the bench for the Bulls.
27. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES - CALEB HOUSTAN | MICHIGAN | F
Corey Tulaba: It’s been a tough season for Caleb Houstan. Once projected as a top 10 guy due to his size and shooting from the wing spot, the Canadian swingman slides to the end of the first round after struggling to put the ball in the hoop. Treating Houstan as a high level prospect may be risky early in the draft but snagging him at the back end of the first round is a good gamble for Memphis to take. Slotting Houstan alongside Morant will simplify what he has to do on the court early on in his career and potentially get him back to the confident sniper he showed himself to be at Montverde.
28. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES - ISMAEL KAMAGATE | PARIS | C
Tyler Rucker: Memphis is set to have three first-round selections in the 2022 NBA Draft. That automatically means we are going to continue to mock prospects to them and the Grizzlies will end up trading two of the three picks on Draft night. Hey, I don’t make the rules. After giving the Grizzlies some intriguing wings with the previous selections, let’s give them a big man who is starting to buzz as of late. Insert French center Ismael Kamagate. The recently turned 21-year-old has started to creep up Draft boards after impressing this year with Paris Basketball. Kamagate is a force around the basket at 6’11” 220 pounds and has the potential to be an intriguing interior presence with some fascinating tools to work with.
29. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS - HYUNJUNG LEE | DAVIDSON | F
Tyler Metcalf: To call Lee one of the best shooters in the country somehow undersells his impact while also perfectly summing up his game. At 6’7, Lee is a deadly off-ball shooter whether spotting up or running off screens. The beauty of Lee’s scoring game, though, is that he isn’t solely a shooter. Lee currently ranks in the 97th percentile of points per possession in shots at the rim (non-post-up) and the 100th percentile on cuts. Lee is an excellent shooter, but he uses his shooting gravity and exquisite off-ball movement to routinely set up easy layups. Lee doesn’t solely make an impact through scoring as he is a creative and accurate passer, which will fit right in with the Warriors’ offense. The main concern, though, is Lee’s athleticism. He is not a good athlete, which feels simplistic, but it will limit him significantly when he’s facing NBA-level athleticism on a nightly basis.
30. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER - CHRISTIAN KOLOKO | ARIZONA | C
Albert Ghim: Christian Koloko is a REALLY interesting center prospect. The more I watch his tape, the more I love all the different things he can do. I think Koloko is going to walk in and be adequate/ good defensively, and he is a massive target with soft hands who will contribute offensively as well. His athleticism really pops to me and I love how strong he is. I think the Thunder could use a big like that who they could throw into the rotation from day one.