2022 NBA Mock Draft V.6
The Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, and Sacramento Kings were the four big winners on Lottery Night. In the aftermath, we put together a Mock Draft with the finalized order.
The 2022 NBA Draft Lottery countdown clock finally hit zero on Tuesday night, as Mark Tatum drew 14 envelopes that carried the hopes of 13 NBA franchises. After months of Tankathon simulations, the big moment for the fanbases of the non-playoff NBA teams finally arrived.
When the dust settled, the Orlando Magic ultimately won the top prize, as they claimed the #1 overall pick in the upcoming draft. The Oklahoma City Thunder jumped up slightly to the #2 overall pick, the Houston Rockets claimed the #3 selection, and the Sacramento Kings moved up in the draft order for just the fourth time in 37 years as they snagged the #4 overall pick.
The lead-up to Draft Night continues with the NBA Draft Combine starting today. However, with the conclusion of Tuesday night’s events, the lottery order for the 2022 NBA Draft is now finalized. With that in mind, we here at No Ceilings simply couldn’t resist this opportunity to put together a Mock Draft V.6 for all of you.
Without further ado, let’s start at the top.
1. ORLANDO MAGIC - CHET HOLMGREN | GONZAGA | PF/C
Not only does Holmgren make sense from a positional and defensive need, but he's also the best player in the draft. Holmgren is a truly special rim protector, but he also does a great job of defending in space by using his length. Offensively, Holmgren just does a bit of everything at a high level. He was highly productive at Gonzaga, and he was only filling a role. The fact that we've barely scratched the surface with Holmgren's game is fascinating. He has everything you could ask for from a franchise cornerstone, and just imagine the reunion with Jalen Suggs. Don't tell us that you're anti-friendship.
2. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER - JABARI SMITH JR. | AUBURN | F
It was a big win for the Oklahoma City Thunder and their fans, as they have moved up two spots. Now the debate begins. While OKC could be fascinated with the offensive firepower of Duke freshman forward Paolo Banchero, the two-way upside of Jabari Smith Jr. might give him the edge here. OKC is in a position to add a talented individual with some serious upside who might need some time to develop. While Banchero might be the better “early-contributing” option, the upside of Jabari Smith could be too enticing for Sam Presti to pass up.
3. HOUSTON ROCKETS - PAOLO BANCHERO | DUKE | F
Paolo Banchero could end up as the best player from this draft, and his offensive fit with Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun could make them a powerhouse for years to come. Talent has never been the issue with Banchero; it's the lack of consistent effort and defense. When Banchero is locked in, though, he can defend multiple positions. The real intrigue with Banchero is the superstar upside he has on offense. He has shocking agility for his size, has an elite mid-range game, and is a brilliant passer. Even if Houston’s defense continues to struggle, their offense will be one of the most fun in the league.
4. SACRAMENTO KINGS - KEEGAN MURRAY | IOWA | F
SACRAMENTO, STAND UP. What a huge night for Kings fans after climbing up three spots to the #4 overall selection. The fourth spot in the NBA Draft was setting up to be in potential “curveball” territory, but there are a number of directions that the Kings could go in with this pick. While the Kings could find themselves intrigued enough to swing on a high-upside player like Shaedon Sharpe, the idea of adding Iowa Hawkeyes sophomore Keegan Murray makes too much sense here. The Kings need players who are going to help push the needle forward for the organization, and Murray could be a slam dunk selection for Sacramento fans. Sliding in alongside Domantas Sabonis gives the Kings an extremely talented duo in the frontcourt.
5. DETROIT PISTONS - JADEN IVEY | PURDUE | G
The Pistons need an infusion of athleticism, and Jaden Ivey may be the most athletic player in this draft. Ivey has blinding speed and accelerates in the blink of an eye. His defense lacked the consistency many hoped for, but he showed enough flashes, and he has the tools necessary not to be overly concerned about it. Besides having All-Star upside, the fit in Detroit makes almost too much sense. He can play mostly off-ball (where he thrived) next to Cade Cunningham, and then he can run the point to develop that aspect of his game with the bench unit. Ivey could easily go top three, but it'd be a major win if he falls to the Pistons.
6. INDIANA PACERS - SHAEDON SHARPE | KENTUCKY | W
While it wasn’t the night that Pacers faithful might have hoped for, there’s still a chance that this could be a blessing in disguise for Indiana. This could be prime real estate to get a player that “slips” through the cracks. Pacers fans will constantly be debating with what the Detroit Pistons do ahead of them at #5 overall, as it could come down to Shaedon Sharpe or Jaden Ivey. For now, Indiana selects Sharpe and adds an athletic wing with unreal upside. With Tyrese Haliburton and Chris Duarte doing damage on the perimeter, Sharpe could be an outstanding asset to develop for Indiana.
7. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS - JOHNNY DAVIS | WISCONSIN | G
Johnny Davis may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking of "best fit," but his two-way impact could be exceptional for the Trail Blazers. Davis is one of the best perimeter defenders in this class, and he can clean up a lot of the defensive shortcomings of Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons. Additionally, Davis will likely see his scoring efficiency skyrocket as he will no longer be asked to do everything and will be surrounded by better spacing. Davis has succeeded in every role he's been asked to play, and we don't expect that to change anytime soon.
8. NEW ORLEANS PELICANS - AJ GRIFFIN | DUKE | W
The New Orleans Pelicans will find themselves in a great spot to add an intriguing piece to the puzzle. The Pelicans showed in the playoffs that they have the potential to make some serious noise in the Western Conference next year, so adding the right player here at #8 overall will be crucial. Duke freshman AJ Griffin has the physical profile and offensive upside to become an outstanding asset to this roster. Griffin’s outside shooting should be a welcome addition for the Pelicans as this roster continues to build intriguing depth.
9. SAN ANTONIO SPURS - OUSMANE DIENG | NZ BREAKERS | W
We promise this isn't just another put-the-foreign-guy-on-the-Spurs situation. Dieng is an incredibly talented wing with scary upside who also fills a need for the Spurs. Dieng will be a knockdown shooter with encouraging on-ball creation. He also has shown some of the most impressive passing abilities in this draft, regardless of position. Dieng needs to add strength (like all young prospects) but, more importantly, needs to adjust his mentality to a more physical style of play. If he can do that, his scoring and defense will immediately improve. Dieng made significant leaps in the second half of this season, and if that is a sign of things to come, future All-Star selections aren't unreasonable.
10. WASHINGTON WIZARDS - DYSON DANIELS | G-LEAGUE IGNITE | W
Washington will be one of the more fascinating teams to monitor up until the night of the NBA Draft. There are a number of directions that the Wizards could go in, but G-League Ignite wing Dyson Daniels would be a home run selection here. Daniels stands out with his strong feel for the game and ability on the defensive side of the ball. Adding Daniels to the mix would be a fantastic addition for the Wizards moving forward.
11. NEW YORK KNICKS - BENNEDICT MATHURIN | ARIZONA | W
The fact that this isn't a point guard should be a win on its own. The Knicks need help on the perimeter by adding modern, two-way wings, which is precisely who Benedict Mathurin is. Mathurin is an excellent off-ball shooter, cutter, and athlete. Those traits alone make him a good fit, but Mathurin has also shown some on-ball flashes that at least make you think about what could be. Mathurin was less impactful as a defender, but when he locked in, good heavens did he lock in. In a smaller role, there are meaningful signs that Mathurin could be a two-way menace.
12. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER - JALEN DUREN | MEMPHIS | C
This would be about as good as it gets for Oklahoma City Thunder fans, and Sam Presti might actually attempt a backflip if this happens. While the Thunder could debate adding Mark Williams here as well, the upside swing with Jalen Duren seems too intriguing to pass up. Duren is raw but has the tools to become a serious two-way big at the next level. With OKC adding some scary upside in Jabari Smith Jr at #2 overall, Presti takes another big swing with Duren at #12.
13. CHARLOTTE HORNETS - MALAKI BRANHAM | OHIO STATE | W
Malaki Branham may not fill a glaring need for the Hornets, but he immediately bolsters their shooting guard depth with his consistent and composed game. Branham will spike LaMelo Ball's assist numbers, as he is a lethal off-ball shooter. Additionally, Branham's pick-and-roll game and passing will also take a lot of the burden off of Ball's shoulders. He will provide the Hornets with a more versatile offense and additional shooting. Branham has a few more question marks on defense, but if he can learn to better utilize his length, a quality defender is lurking in there.
14. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS - OCHAI AGBAJI | KANSAS | W
Probably one of the most perfect “ideal” fits in the lottery would be Kansas Jayhawks wing Ochai Agbaji falling into the lap of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Adding Agbaji to the mix would give the Cavaliers an early contributing option who can offer serious upside as a 3-and-D option. For a Cavaliers team that took a serious step in the right direction last season, Abaji is the type of addition that would keep pushing the needle forward for Cleveland.
15. CHARLOTTE HORNETS - MARK WILLIAMS | DUKE | C
I know it feels boring. Classic mock with the Hornets taking a center. Get over it because it's the right pick. Not only do the Hornets need a center in the worst way, but Mark Williams is the most NBA-ready center in this class. Williams cleaned up a multitude of Duke's defensive inefficiencies with his stellar rim protection and varied pick-and-roll coverages. Williams moves his feet well, has great awareness, has a freakish wingspan, and constantly makes winning plays. Williams isn't going to set the world on fire offensively, but he is incredibly low-maintenance and effective. He is an excellent rim runner, catches everything, and runs in transition the most in this center class. Yes, the Hornets are drafting based on need here, but they are also taking a lottery talent.
16. ATLANTA HAWKS - JEREMY SOCHAN | BAYLOR | F
The Atlanta Hawks will be another team that could go in a number of different directions when it comes to their first-round selection. While there still seems to be some questions about the future when it comes to talented forward John Collins, adding a talent like Baylor freshman Jeremy Sochan would be too enticing here to pass up. Sochan would immediately give the Hawks a versatile defender with playmaking upside.
17. HOUSTON ROCKETS - PATRICK BALDWIN JR | MILWAUKEE | F
Patrick Baldwin Jr. entered this season as a potential Top 5 pick but has plummeted down boards because he had the worst year you could possibly imagine. He was hounded by nagging injuries and plagued by horrendous guard play. The main thing we learned is that he's not a number one option. However, if we think of him as a second or third option, Baldwin is a fascinating prospect. His high basketball IQ makes him a good ball mover and team defender. Even though the percentages weren't ideal, it would be surprising if he wasn't a positive shooter. The Rockets can afford to take some home run swings, and there aren't many bigger than Baldwin.
18. CHICAGO BULLS - EJ LIDDELL | OHIO STATE | F
This would be an absolute home run for Chicago Bulls fans at 18th overall. Ohio State forward EJ Liddell is undersized for a power forward at 6’7” but makes up for it with outstanding two-way upside and sneaky athleticism. Liddell is a gifted shot blocker who can make a serious impact with his rim-protecting ability. A dangerous pick-and-pop threat, Liddell would be a great addition to the roster for a Chicago Bulls team that is eager to keep making noise in the Eastern Conference.
19. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES - TARI EASON | LSU | F
Finally, a mock that doesn't have an inefficient scoring guard going to the Timberwolves. Tari Eason was one of the breakout stars this season with his incredible slashing game, defensive playmaking, and passing upside. Eason's shot is a bit of a question mark with his funky mechanics, but if he can be respectable from three, combined with Minnesota's five-out system, he'll have plenty of opportunities to attack the rim. Eason's defense can be erratic, but his aggressiveness will fit in perfectly with a Timberwolves defense that thrived off forcing turnovers.
20. SAN ANTONIO SPURS - CHRISTIAN KOLOKO | ARIZONA | C
There are going to be a number of directions that the San Antonio Spurs can go in, especially with three selections in the first round. Arizona Wildcats junior big man Christian Koloko was the defensive anchor for one of the top teams in college basketball last year. While Koloko was a junior, he’s still oozing with upside and appears to just be scratching the surface. At 7’1” with impressive length and mobility, Koloko would be a strong developmental piece for the Spurs with intriguing long-term upside.
21. DENVER NUGGETS - JALEN WILLIAMS | SANTA CLARA | G
Jalen Williams is rapidly becoming the darling of the draft world as more people catch up to his fascinating two-way game. Williams isn't the most athletic wing, but his composure, patience, and change-of-pace dribbling create more opportunities than most elite athletes are afforded. Williams is a lethal spot-up shooter, but he can also take over a game with his pick-and-roll creation. His offensive versatility makes him an easy fit with the Nuggets as either a starter or off the bench. Even though he isn't the best athlete, Williams is an excellent defender because of his instincts and fundamentals. Don't let the "small school" label deter you because this guy can flat-out play.
22. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES - DALEN TERRY | ARIZONA | G
One of the top prospects to watch closely throughout the pre-draft process, Arizona Wildcats guard Dalen Terry has the raw tools that will have NBA teams foaming at the mouth. There are still some who believe that Terry could return to Arizona for another year, but if he decides to keep his name in the Draft, he will be a hot commodity in NBA circles. Listed at 6’7”, Terry has the playmaking and two-way potential to become an intriguing weapon at the next level.
23. BROOKLYN NETS - MARJON BEAUCHAMP | G-LEAGUE IGNITE | W
More depth. It's as simple as that. The Nets desperately need more people who can do a little bit of everything on a nightly basis. MarJon Beauchamp took significant strides as an off-ball shooter and is one of the best transition scorers in this draft. Beauchamp's defensive consistency was a struggle as he frequently gambled and ball-watched, but he has the tools and showed flashes of quality defense. Beauchamp likely won't be a needle mover, but that's not what the Nets need. He can, however, fill in consistently as an important rotation wing.
24. MILWAUKEE BUCKS - GABRIELE PROCIDA | FORTITUDO | W
The Milwaukee Bucks are going to find themselves in a position to go in a number of different directions in the 2022 NBA Draft. While the Bucks could look to target some backcourt depth here, adding another dangerous floor spacer on the wings could be an intriguing option. Insert Italian born wing Gabriele Procida. At 6’7” with one of the prettiest shots you’ll see in this class, Procida has the athleticism and feel for the game to become one of the top sleepers in the Draft. The tools are there, and Procida could have plenty of fans in NBA Front Offices.
25. SAN ANTONIO SPURS - JAKE LARAVIA | WAKE FOREST | F
The Spurs love themselves some skilled, versatile power forwards. Jake LaRavia is another player who may not excel at one specific skill, but has an all-around versatility that will elevate any rotation. LaRavia can shoot from outside, score in the paint, handle the ball, and set up teammates. He has the agility and athleticism to guard multiple positions as well. LaRavia needs to improve his tendency to disappear for stretches of games, but his combination of size, skill, versatility, and athleticism is hard to pass on.
26. DALLAS MAVERICKS - PEYTON WATSON | UCLA | F
Dallas will find themselves in a position to either add another rotation asset or swing for the fences with a prospect offering long-term upside. Although his stats won’t wow anyone from last year, UCLA freshman Peyton Watson is said to still have PLENTY of fans in NBA Front Offices. Dallas would be taking a big swing here, hoping to slowly unlock the scary two-way upside that Watson has in his game. A preseason favorite to be selected in the Top 10 of this year’s class, Dallas could find it too intriguing to pass on Watson’s high ceiling.
27. MIAMI HEAT - RYAN ROLLINS | TOLEDO | G
As Tyler Herro inevitably elevates into a starting role, Ryan Rollins could be the heir apparent to that first guard off the bench. Rollins has a brilliant mid-range scoring game, and even though the three-point percentage isn't eye-popping, it should improve as his mechanics are clean and consistent from all areas of the floor. Rollins's passing ability also makes him an easy fit in a team that likes to move the ball. He can run off-screens, run DHOs, and even operate in the pick-and-roll. He'll need to improve his team defense to get consistent minutes with the Heat, but he has a promising foundation as an on-ball defender.
28. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS - CHRISTIAN BRAUN | KANSAS | W
If you’re a Golden State Warriors fan, you should be foaming at the mouth about the idea of adding Christian Braun to the mix. Although the Warriors will have young wings such as Jordan Poole and Moses Moody, adding an intelligent and gritty player such as Braun to the mix would be too intriguing to pass up. Braun would bring some swagger to the Warriors, and he’s a player who knows how to make winning plays on a regular basis.
29. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES - JADEN HARDY | G-LEAGUE IGNITE | G
Upside, upside, and some more upside. The Grizzlies have had one of the best draft philosophies in recent years as they find value at every pick, load up on contributing role players, and take appropriate home run swings. Jaden Hardy is another one of those home run swings. He improved tremendously throughout the season and looks like a lethal off-ball shooter. Additionally, there is some tantalizing on-ball creation in his game, as he's a good shooter and runs a quality two-man game. Hardy won't contribute much of anything on defense, but his off-ball shooting is an immediate fit next to Ja Morant, and his on-ball potential is exactly what the Grizzlies need in the long run.
30. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER - WENDELL MOORE JR. | DUKE | W
After adding Jabari Smith Jr. and Jalen Duren to the mix with their first two selections, the Oklahoma City Thunder use their final first round selection to add some depth to the wings. While Wendell Moore Jr. will be one of the “upperclassmen” in this NBA Draft class, he won’t turn 21-years-old until September. After struggling to find his groove during his first two seasons with the Blue Devils, Moore took serious strides in his development and offers the versatility to become a Swiss army knife in an NBA rotation. If the outside shot can continue to trend in the right direction, Moore has the potential to stick in the NBA for a long time.