2022 NBA Mock Draft V.5
The No Ceilings Crew installs their Two-Round Mock Draft
Welcome back, No Ceilings family. Now that March Madness has come and gone, NBA Draft season is heating up. Yesterday, we expanded our No Ceilings Big Board to include our Top 80 Prospects because we’ve been mad since long before March Madness.
Today, we’re bringing that same slightly insane spirit to the latest edition of our No Ceilings Mock Draft. Instead of just covering the first round, we went all-in during our latest War Room and mocked all 58 picks that will be made in the 2022 NBA Draft (since two picks have been forfeited by ruling from the NBA).
We reminded you all in V4 of our Mock Draft that once the buzzer went off on the national championship game, Draft Season would REALLY begin.
Well…that moment has arrived.
Draft Season is officially here.
1. ORLANDO MAGIC - CHET HOLMGREN | GONZAGA | PF/C
Rucker: This will be the dream for Orlando Magic fans, as they will have their pick of the prized possessions at the top of the 2022 NBA Draft class. The Magic have a number of directions they can go in. They have a stable of young guards such as Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, and Markelle Fultz. Last year’s lottery pick Franz Wagner looks poised for a potential big second year. Wendell Carter has started to impress, but Orlando will want to get one of the “Big 3” regardless. Paolo Banchero will get plenty of discussion here, as his offensive versatility could give this team a big boost. At the end of the day, Orlando goes with the defensive ability of Chet Holmgren who should pair beautifully with the Magic guards to create a dynamic two-man game at the next level.
2. HOUSTON ROCKETS - PAOLO BANCHERO | DUKE | F
Nathan: Even though Holmgren is arguably a cleaner fit next to Alperen Sengun from a defensive perspective, the Rockets should still do backflips if they can land another offensive cornerstone in Paolo Banchero. The 6’10” forward proved during the ACC and NCAA Tournaments that he has legitimate primary scoring ability with even more playmaking potential to tap into as he continues to develop. There are still concerns with him on defense, especially since the Rockets don’t have a more traditional rim protector for Banchero to funnel matchups towards like Mark Williams on Duke, but Banchero and Jalen Green could become one of the most lethal tandems in the NBA and propel the Rockets into relevance once again.
3. DETROIT PISTONS - JABARI SMITH JR. | AUBURN | F
Corey: With Banchero and Holmgren off the board, the Pistons turn to Jabari Smith Jr. to become Cade Cunningham’s running mate for the next ten years. At 6’10” with a buttery smooth high release, Smith may be the draft’s most lethal shooter. Some question Smith as a shot creator; however, pairing the National Freshman of the Year with the creation ability of Cade Cunningham quells those concerns and gives the Pistons the opportunity to form a deadly one-two scoring punch. Smith plays with a fiery passion and toughness that was tailor-made for the Motor City, and he brings the kind of defensive versatility from the forward spot that perfectly fits the modern NBA. Detroit basketball is BACK!
4. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER - KEEGAN MURRAY | IOWA | F
Albert: This pick may be controversial to some, but I love this pick. With all the exciting play-making and shot-creation you get from Giddey and SGA, I thought this team could use a really exciting 3rd option. Murray is the type to wow you with the mundane because he’s so good at it. Sometimes in life, the simple things are most beautiful. Murray is going to complement their backcourt with a really smart floor game, he’s going to do all the little things, and even offer a little bit as a secondary or tertiary offensive option. I believe Murray is only going to get better as a shooter now that he’s going to be doing a ton of it off the catch. His defense, which is already good in my eyes, will only get better as he fills out his frame. Adding a no-nonsense 6’8” wing who can dribble, pass and shoot is always a good idea. Taking Murray at 4 is only too high if you’re not able to see the potential ceiling, you know we’re good at that here.
5. INDIANA PACERS - JADEN IVEY | PURDUE | G
Nick: The Indiana Pacers would be counting their lucky stars if home state hero Jaden Ivey (of South Bend, Indiana and Purdue fame) fell to them with the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Ivey would provide the Pacers with potential star power at guard, and any concerns about his ability to be a point guard at the NBA level would be mitigated by playing alongside Tyrese Haliburton and Malcolm Brogdon in the backcourt. For a team that hasn’t drafted in the Top 10 since 1989, Jaden Ivey might be just the player to ensure that they stay out of that range of the draft for the foreseeable future.
6. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS - BENNEDICT MATHURIN | ARIZONA | G
Stephen: The Trail Blazers, for whatever reason, love to get rid of their perimeter players on a seasonal basis. Gary Trent Jr., Norman Powell, and CJ McCollum are all players that have been brought in to help Damian Lillard with Portland’s perimeter play, but they were recently sent packing. Bringing in Bennedict Mathurin gives Portland a player that will excel in playing off of an elite lead guard, like Dame, and can help in lineups that feature Anfernee Simons or Keon Johnson. He is a good defender at the collegiate level, and there is no reason to believe that he won’t be able to hold his own on that end in the pros. There are some interesting creation flashes he showed in Arizona that could be fleshed out in the NBA. On top of all of that, he is a good athlete, a competitive rebounder, and a 37% three-point shooter.
7. SACRAMENTO KINGS - A.J. GRIFFIN | DUKE | G/F
Maxwell: AJ Griffin fits the Sacramento Kings like a glove. They’re thin at the forward spots, and they need to add shooting around their newly assembled core centered around Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox. Griffin is a lights-out shooter from deep who hit 44.7% from long range as a freshman for Duke. Even better, Griffin can do it off the dribble or off the catch, ranking in the 95th percentile in both of those categories among eligible players, per Synergy. His sturdy 6’6”, 220 lbs. frame is NBA-ready, and as the season progressed, he began to use it to get to the rim more frequently. Defensively, Griffin wasn’t the most productive, and he’s prone to getting beat back door. Despite that, he’s a high-ceiling scorer who should be able to contribute immediately for a retooling team hoping to take a step forward.
8. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS (via LAL) - DYSON DANIELS | G-LEAGUE IGNITE | G
Rucker: That sound you hear is the Dyson Daniels train continuing to pick up speed as the NBA Draft season progresses. Throughout the year, Daniels has been buzzing in Draft circles with his impressive play for the G-League Ignite this year. If you’re looking for a word to describe the Australian-born guard, that would be “smooth.” Daniels is shifty and has the playmaking ability and feel for the game that will have NBA Front Offices drooling. There’s an argument to be made that Daniels is the best perimeter defender in this class. If the three-point shot can come around, as he showed during the final stretch of the year, then Daniels has the rest of the tools to be a great get. New Orleans Pelicans fans would get on board in a hurry.
9. SAN ANTONIO SPURS - JALEN DUREN | MEMPHIS | C
Nathan: Jalen Duren has been a popular mock to the San Antonio Spurs here at No Ceilings, and for good reason. The fit on both ends of the floor would give the Spurs something they don’t currently have at the center position. Sure Duren may not come in and play defense like Jakob Poeltl from day one, but offensively he’s much more of a better fit with the frenetic guards and wings on the perimeter. Having a big who can sky for lobs and provide pressure at the rim in transition would fit well with Dejounte Murray, Josh Primo, and Keldon Johnson. Being able to help continue cleaning up the misses of the streaky shooters in San Antonio would also be a plus. Cleaning the glass, protecting the rim, and finishing easy plays are what Duren can do almost immediately, but his flashes of passing and shooting late in his Memphis run point to even more upside than initially anticipated.
10. NEW YORK KNICKS - SHAEDON SHARPE | KENTUCKY | G
Corey: This has been a complicated season for my Knicks fan brethren. The Knicks may not have lived up to expectations, but having the opportunity to select Shaedon Sharpe should reignite the spark in the New York faithful. Sharpe will be a mystery of sorts as he doesn’t have a ton of high-end experience under his belt, but there is a reason that Sharpe was the number one ranked prospect in the high school class of 2022. Sharpe is a super bouncy bucket getter with a stroke as smooth as butter. The semi-Wildcat’s size on the wing, as well as his ability to play on or off the ball, is the perfect theoretical fit next to RJ Barrett and whatever may become of Julius Randle’s New York tenure. The Knickerbocker’s season may not have gone as planned, but all of a sudden, the Knicks may just have one of the league’s best young cores.
11. WASHINGTON WIZARDS - JOHNNY DAVIS | WISCONSIN | G
Albert: This is probably the shocker of the draft so far. I don’t know if we need to go and repent our sins for this one, but somehow, Johnny Davis fell to 11 and is getting scooped up by the Wizards. Taking Davis at 11 is an absolute steal, and he’d fit right in with the Wizards. For now, we’re going to assume that Bradley Beal is perfectly happy with the situation in Washington and is excited to come back next season and bounce back from a really tough year he had in 2021. Having Johnny Davis next to him is really going to help because the Wizards don’t really have guys in the backcourt who can handle or create with the ball in their hands. With all the wings and bigs that they have, it might be good to add a guard like Davis, who can really go get a bucket and create opportunities for his teammates. Considering the fact that I have Davis fifth on my board, this is awesome for the Wizards.
12. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS (via NOLA) - OCHAI AGBAJI | KANSAS | W
Nick: This pick almost makes too much sense for both player and team; Trail Blazers fans should be ecstatic if they pick up Ochai Agbaji with their second projected lottery pick. Agbaji fills a need for Portland as one of the best defensive wings in the draft, and he made himself into an elite shooter over the course of his four years at Kansas that recently culminated in a national championship and Most Outstanding Player award. Agbaji also notably worked out with Damian Lillard this past offseason, and Portland’s star player would certainly be happy to welcome his fellow pit bull into the fold. In terms of both on-court and off-court fit, it’s hard to find a better pairing than Agbaji and Portland.
13. CHARLOTTE HORNETS - MARK WILLIAMS | DUKE | C
Stephen: Mark Williams projects to give the Hornets something they’ve needed all season long: a rim deterrent. Charlotte features Mason Plumlee as their starting center in their most frequently-used lineup. This has resulted in a -1.5 point differential. Is that entirely a result of Plumlee getting the bulk of the burn? They are in the bottom half of the league in opponent field goal percentage and rank ahead of only Portland, Sacramento, and Houston in points allowed per game. The center is largely relied upon to anchor a defense. Williams ranked 12th in the nation in total blocks and was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He has a great sense of timing the opponent’s shot and slides his feet with the best of them. Offensively, he doesn’t sacrifice what the Hornets look to do. He can set jarring screens, rolls well to the rim, runs the floor well, is great at catching lobs, and might actually develop into a reliable midrange shooter.
14. ATLANTA HAWKS - JEREMY SOCHAN | BAYLOR | F
Maxwell: Jeremy Sochan is a clean fit next to Hawks superstar Trae Young; he’s big, he plays defense, and he’s low maintenance on offense. Though the 6’9” prospect doesn’t turn 19 until May, his body is physically mature, which allowed him to slip into the 5-spot for Baylor at different points this season. His savvy and ability to read the floor also saw him operate as a point-forward at times, too. Sochan’s youth, excellent feel, athleticism, and motor make him a tantalizing upside play. He’ll need to prove he can be a consistent shooting threat to command respect from opposing defenses. Sochan only made 29.6% of his threes and was a frustrating 58.9% from the charity stripe. Still, his fundamentals and willingness to take a back seat offensively might allow him to contribute sooner than expected— especially for a team like the Hawks.
15. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (via LAC) - PATRICK BALDWIN JR. | MILWAUKEE | F
Rucker: One of the top “wildcards” of the 2022 NBA Draft is going to be Milwaukee freshman forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. Viewed by many at the beginning of the year as a favorite to go in the Top 10, Baldwin had a disappointing year in college and will be one to monitor closely throughout the Pre-draft process. There’s still a serious chance that Baldwin can see his NBA Draft stock heat up again throughout private workouts. A 6’9” wing with the ability to be a lethal shooter from outside, as well as some underrated playmaking ability, Baldwin should be a worthy roll-of-the-dice for a General Manger that is willing to get crazy…Hello Sam Presti.
16. HOUSTON ROCKETS (via BRK) - TYTY WASHINGTON | KENTUCKY | G
Nathan: The Rockets already drafted Banchero earlier in the lottery, so why not go after a backcourt mate for Green with this pick? Even though Kevin Porter Jr. has continued to steadily improve as a lead ball-handler, he’s much more wired to score and doesn’t offer the same poise and composure in making plays for others as TyTy Washington. Washington’s bill as a PG has also come into question, but putting up 17 assists in one game while showing good balance in the pick-and-roll game as both a shooter and facilitator has helped to ease some of those concerns. And when Houston wants to put the ball in Green’s hands, Washington is incredibly comfortable coming off screens and spotting up to provide the necessary spacing for the athletic wing to go get his. Whether as a starter or one of the first options off the bench, Washington could provide both short and long-term value for a developing squad in need of more dynamic passers off the bounce. The pretty picture of the ball whizzing around the court from Banchero and Sengun out to Washington and Green is too good to pass up.
17. INDIANA PACERS (via CLE)- TARI EASON | LSU | F
Corey: After lucking into Jaden Ivey with the fifth pick, the Pacers add another versatile athlete with the selection of LSU’s Tari Eason. At 6’8” 220 lbs. with plus length, Eason is the embodiment of the modern NBA swing-wing. Eason was a stock monster in his sophomore campaign, and that defensive versatility gives the Pacers someone to one day check the league’s premier wing scorers. While Eason is an adept slasher and transition threat that should feast off of Tyrese Haliburton dimes, the three-point shot is the swing skill. The form is a tad wonky, but the Seattle native showed major improvements as the year progressed, ultimately finishing the season at 36%. Getting a two-way player with Eason’s upside after the lottery is a home run for Indiana.
18. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES - E.J. LIDDELL | OHIO STATE | F
Albert: This pick is perfect. The Wolves have been really good this season and are currently the 7th seed in the West. Adding a guy like Liddell to this exciting young squad only raises their ceiling. Liddell took a big step forward with his shooting this season. He shot 37.4 % from three on almost four attempts per game and 76.5% from the free-throw line on seven attempts per game. I know he’s a little undersized, but at 6’7” with a really strong game and fluid athleticism, I think Lidell is going to be a really good pro. He averaged 2.6 blocks per game and showed that he could be pretty versatile as a defender. I don’t think he has the elite foot speed to keep up with really fast and twitchy guards, but I think he can keep up with bigs in the post and should be able to guard most 4’s. He’s going to be a great backup big for this team and could possibly develop into a really fun complement to KAT in the frontcourt with his shooting and defense.
19. CHICAGO BULLS - MALAKI BRANHAM | OHIO STATE | SG
Nick: Malaki Branham has shot up draft boards over the past couple of months, and the Chicago Bulls would do well to bring the talented 19-year-old into the fold. Branham’s prowess as a long-range shooter would certainly bolster a Bulls team that currently ranks dead-last in the NBA in three-point attempts, and he would also provide a shot in the arm for a bench unit that struggles to score on nights when Coby White can’t take over off the bench. Branham might take a few years to grow into his game at the NBA level, but the Bulls can afford to be patient with someone who can fill a lot of holes for them in the long term while providing much-needed shooting in the short term.
20. SAN ANTONIO SPURS (via TOR) - NIKOLA JOVIC | MEGA MOZZART | F
Stephen: The Spurs taking Jovic here after taking Jalen Duren ninth gives San Antonio some offensive versatility. The forward depth on this team isn’t exactly striking fear into the hearts of opposing teams, so adding a toolsy combo-forward is a fun move. The defensive potential of this team can help mask some of the concerns Jovic has on that end. Dejounte Murray is really the only proven table-setter on this roster, so throwing Nikola into the mix can help give their offense a new wrinkle that other teams don’t have in a player that can shoot 36% from deep and give you more than three assists per game. It hasn’t been as Spurs-y of a move to take an international talent recently, but bringing in an intelligent connector with high upside would be a solid improvement to a young team.
21. DENVER NUGGETS - JADEN HARDY | G-LEAGUE IGNITE | SG
Maxwell: The Nuggets have been known to swing for upside, and that would be the case here, as Jaden Hardy was projected as a top-five pick prior to the season. While he stumbled out of the gates for the G League Ignite, he finished the year strong. Over his last eight games, he posted averages of 22.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 4.1 APG on 42.2/37.7/85.7 shooting splits. Hardy’s development as a scorer and facilitator in a professional league makes him a potential steal for Denver. Currently, Denver’s backcourt depth is filled by the likes of Bryn Forbes, Facundo Campazzo, and Austin Rivers. Those three are respected veterans, but they’re not long-term pieces moving forward. Hardy will offer secondary playmaking and additional spacing to one of the most exciting offenses in the league.
22. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (via UTA) - MARJON BEAUCHAMP | G-LEAGUE IGNITE | F
Rucker: I mean…could you think of a more perfect fit for the Memphis Grizzlies? The path to the NBA Draft for G-League Ignite wing MarJon Beauchamp has been sensational. It doesn’t take long to become a fan of Beauchamp when you turn on the film. He plays like his hair is on fire, and he does everything on the basketball court in his power to contribute. He’s the poster child for someone that makes constant hustle plays. The outside shot will need to be consistent, and it showed great progress throughout the year, but Memphis could let Beauchamp run wild off the bench, and he would be the perfect addition to that locker room.
23. BROOKLYN NETS (via PHI) - WENDELL MOORE JR. | DUKE | W
Nathan: Wendell Moore has had plenty of skeptics throughout his college career, even from some of us at No Ceilings. What hasn’t come into question is how many boxes he can check on any given night. On both ends of the floor, Moore offers versatility that few others can bring in this draft class. Moore is a capable facilitator, on-ball scorer, spot-up shooter, and transition play finisher while also having the toughness and awareness to offer value all over the floor defensively. While he’s not exactly “elite” in any one specific area, his maturity and play style could bring some much-needed stability to any playoff team’s second unit in need of relatively cheap contributions. If Moore continues to improve as a shooter off the bounce (still only 20 years old as a college junior), then there may be even more starting potential than initially meets the eye.
24. DALLAS MAVERICKS - KENDALL BROWN | BAYLOR | F
Corey: Kendall Brown’s journey on the Draftdaq has been a wild ride. The bouncy Baylor wing started the year as a back-end first-rounder before going on a heater to start the season that displayed the kind of athleticism, versatility, and upside that shot him up into top 5 conversations on draft boards. Brown ultimately came down to earth and has seen his stock slide back down to where it started in the pre-season, as questions about his shooting and motor led many to wonder if Brown can and will put all of the intriguing tools together for prolonged stretches. Playing next to Luka Doncic may be the landing spot that helps him do just that. Playing off Doncic will allow Brown to focus on doing what he does best; running the break and getting easy points off smart back-door cuts. At pick 24, it’s worth swinging on that potential.
25. SAN ANTONIO SPURS (via BOS) - DALEN TERRY | ARIZONA | G
Albert: The fact that Terry fell to me and I get to rave about him even more is a dream. If you want an extensive breakdown of Terry’s game, please make sure to check out the piece that I dropped last Thursday. In terms of his fit with the Spurs, I love it. The Spurs have a bunch of wings that they’re hoping will become rock-solid 3-and-D wings. Terry is a little different from what they already have. He has protypical wing size, but he’s not your protytpical wing. Terry is a stick of play-making dynamite who will create beautiful chaos on both ends of the floor. He has insane vision, plays with max effort all the time, and is the ultimate locker room guy. I think he’d compliment Dejounte really well and help with some of the ball-handling and play-making.
26. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS - CHRISTIAN BRAUN | KANSAS | W
Nick: The Golden State Warriors are always looking to add good shooters who can make the right passing reads and attack a closeout, and Christian Braun certainly fits that bill. He also has proven himself in high-pressure situations, putting together an excellent second half in the national championship game after a very slow start. At 6’6” and 205 lbs., he has the necessary size to switch onto most wing players as well, which would further bolster his chances of cracking Golden State’s rotation sooner rather than later. The Warriors, as usual, don’t have much in the way of draft needs, so drafting a jack-of-all-trades kind of player makes sense for them here near the end of the first round.
27. MILWAUKEE BUCKS - KENNEDY CHANDLER | TENNESSEE | G
Stephen: Milwaukee could go a number of ways with their first-round pick. Adding Kennedy Chandler might not be the most enticing pick for a team that features Giannis, but it is a very savvy move. The Bucks’ second-most used lineup includes George Hill at the point guard position. This lineup, which features Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton, has a -11.6 point differential. Hill is also pushing 36 years of age–not to mention that Pat Connaughton could enter free agency. Chandler would give Milwaukee an athletic floor general that averaged 2.2 steals per game and 4.7 assists per game as a freshman. Kennedy likely won’t be asked to run a unit initially, which is okay. He is also a 38.3% three-point shooter on 3.8 attempts per game. His height might be questioned by some, but Milwaukee is a long team that should more than cover whatever (if any) deficiencies come due to his stature.
28. MIAMI HEAT - JUSTIN LEWIS | MARQUETTE | F
Maxwell: The Miami Heat could use some extra size and shooting, and Justin Lewis fits the bill. The 6’7” Marquette forward was one of the strongest college basketball players in the country, using his power to get where he wanted on offense. He also hit 34.9% of his threes on 5.2 attempts per game and saw a near 20% increase in his free-throw percentage. This provides evidence that he is willing to get to work on his flaws and has the propensity to improve upon his weaknesses. Lewis’s issue has been his poor foot speed and movement on the defensive end. Thankfully, we know that he’s a hard worker, and we know that the Miami Heat have an excellent track record with player development in those areas. The Heat culture and Justin Lewis are a match made in heaven and could be a mutually beneficial relationship for years to come.
29. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES - JEAN MONTERO | OVERTIME ELITE | G
Rucker: There’s a serious chance that the Memphis Grizzlies will look to move one of their selections in the first round. For the sake of Mock Draft purposes, Memphis will be poised here to let the board fall into their laps. Jean Montero had NBA scouts buzzing with his play overseas last year before announcing he would spend the year playing with the Overtime Elite. There’s no denying that Montero has the explosiveness and shiftiness to be an exciting floor general at the next level. With a team like Memphis, they could see Montero as a great change of pace guard in their rotation behind Morant.
30. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (via PHX) - OUSMANE DIENG | NZ BREAKERS | W
Nathan: One of the draft’s true mystery men, Ousmane Dieng has started to put some enticing skills together for the New Zealand Breakers in the NBL. A 6’9” wing (who reportedly has grown to 6’10” per sources) who can handle the ball, make decisions, slash and shoot is the type of player NBA teams foam at the mouth to draft. Dieng has certainly gone through growing pains this season, particularly from distance; however, when he’s hitting shots and getting to the basket, he looks the part of a potential lottery pick on his best days. Whichever NBA team chooses to draft him will need to be patient and not expect much, but it’s not out of the question he could perform quicker than expected once he gets to the league. The Oklahoma City Thunder don’t have immediate expectations and, as with Aleksej Pokusevski, offer a low-pressure environment for Dieng to experiment with or without the ball in his hands. He would certainly benefit from the spacing and passing provided by Josh Giddey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Tre Mann in the backcourt.