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$DRFT: Initial Player Offerings
Corey Tulaba looks upon mainstream big boards to set an opening stock price for the 2022 NBA Draft Class.
For those of you familiar with the Draftdaq Podcast (SUBSCRIBE TO THAT SHIT), you know that I like to follow the “stock” of NBA Draft prospects throughout the season. In each episode Albert and I take a look back at where the prospect started the year on mainstream analyst’s big boards and where they currently rank whenever we record the prospect de jour’s episode. This exercise can feel incomplete at times because we typically tackle one prospect per episode. If we cover a prospect early on, we don’t really go back and look at how their draft stock has evolved heading into the big day. That changes this year.
Welcome to the Draftdaq's Initial Player Offerings.
I’ve gone through the earliest big boards or rankings that I could find from ESPN, Bleacher Report, Basketball News, Tankathon, and SB Nation and averaged out the draft position for each prospect. As the year goes on, and more outlets start releasing boards, they’ll be added to the mix. There’s gonna be graphs y’all.
Below you’ll find each prospect’s ranking from each platform, as well as, how they average out overall, giving us our first official Draftdaq Big Board rankings. These rankings don’t necessarily reflect how I personally feel about some of the 2022 prospects, however, I think the $DRFT: IPOs give us an accurate reflection of how the draft community is collectively viewing these prospects entering the 2022 NBA Draft cycle.
1. CHET HOLMGREN, GONZAGA BULLDOGS
ESPN: 1 | BR: 1 | TANK: 2 | BNEWS: 1 | SBN: 2
$CHET avg cost: 1.4
It should be no surprise that Chet Holmgren is the early front runner to hear his name announced first on draft night. The basketball Reed Richards can play in any scheme and has just about every skill in the book on both ends of the floor. Those skills were on full display this summer in the FIBA games. Chet’s frail AF, but what he lacks in strength he makes up for in competitiveness. Dude has some shit to him. Holmgren is the real deal, the number one spot is his to lose.
2. PAOLO BANCHERO, DUKE BLUE DEVILS
ESPN: 2 | BR: 2 | TANK: 1 | BNEWS: 2 | SBN: 1
$BANC avg cost: 1.6
Banchero may be number two right now, but he very well may end the draft cycle atop the list. Banchero is a 6’10” brick shithouse that has both the power and finesse game to absolutely obliterate defensive game plans. Banchero is too big and strong for smaller wings and too agile for bigs. November 26th, Banchero gets to line up across Holmgren when Duke takes on Gonzaga in Vegas. A battle that will leave a lasting impression on who gets the top spot. It’s gonna be pure mayhem on Draft Twitter that night.
3. JADEN HARDY, G-League Ignite
ESPN: 3 | BR: 3 | TANK: 3 | BNEWS: 3 | SBN: 9
$HARD avg cost: 4.2
Jaden Hardy is my personal number one overall prospect right now, however, Hardy showed in his first pair of G-League games why he may be a tad behind Holmgren and Banchero as a prospect. Hardy struggled with the speed of the game, making the right reads and defensive rotations, and the jumper hasn’t been falling. It isn’t time to hit the panic button yet, Jalen Green looked lost in his first G-League contest as well. Hardy is still a special shot maker with range that borders on absurdity. As the game slows down for him, I fully expect him to find his name in the number one overall pick convo.
4. JALEN DUREN, MEMPHIS TIGERS
ESPN: 4 | BR: 5 | TANK: 4 | BNEWS: 4 | SBN: 8
$DUREN avg cost: 5
Memphis’ Jalen Duren is the pre-season favorite to be the first traditional big man selected in the 2022 draft. Duren, who reclassified this season to be draft eligible for the 2022 class, had a monster pro day early last month that left scouts with their mouth watering after seeing his measurements. The man child is every bit of the 6’11” 250 pounds he’s listed at. Add in a 7’5.5” wingspan and you begin to understand why there’s a Duren movement building. Expect to see and hear a lot from Duren this season, as he’ll be joined by mixtape legend Emoni Bates. The pairing will be a nightly staple on House of Highlights. If Duren looks as dominant against college big men as he did against high school big men, he’ll likely see his stock rise into the top three by draft night.
5. AJ GRIFFIN, DUKE BLUE DEVILS
ESPN: 8 | BR: 6 | TANK: 5 | BNEWS: 8 | SBN: 3
$GRIF avg cost: 6
Duke’s AJ Griffin is only eighteen years old, but he’s already got the body of a five year NBA veteran. Griffin’s talent at the wing jumps off the screen when you watch him, at times looking like a young Jimmy Butler or Jaylen Brown. If Griffin can stay healthy (a big “if” given his history and start to the season) his talent should make him a mainstay amongst the top five.
6. CALEB HOUSTAN, MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
ESPN: 5 | BR: 8 | TANK: 9 | BNEWS: 7 | SBN: 5
$HSTN avg cost: 6.8
The 6’8'' wing is one of the smoothest operators in the class, gliding around the court, never getting sped up by the defense. Houstan may not be the flashiest player in the class, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a bad dude. Houstan is one of the draft’s most versatile shooters and with that skill being at such a premium in the league, the Michigan bound wing will be one of the most popular names in the lottery amongst draft enthusiasts.
7. JABARI SMITH, AUBURN TIGERS
ESPN: 7 | BR: 7 | TANK: 8 | BNEWS: 5 | SBN: 7
$SMITH avg cost: 6.8
Auburn’s Jabari Smith has all the ingredients you look for in a modern day forward. Smith is one of the draft’s most enticing defensive prospects as his mobility and length allow him to switch out to the perimeter and protect the rim. Offensively he’ll clean up around the basket and serve as a lob threat on rolls. Smith has a smooth looking jumper and if he can find consistency in knocking it down, he could be a threat to land in the top five.
8. PATRICK BALDWIN JR., MILWAUKEE PANTHERS
ESPN: 10 | BR: 9 | TANK: 7 | BNEWS: 6 | SBN: 4
$PBJ avg cost: 7.2
Patrick Baldwin Jr. bypassed the opportunity to form a big three in Duke playing sidekick to Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin, to have the opportunity to be the leading man in Milwaukee, where he’ll suit up every night playing for his father. Baldwin is a versatile swing wing with one of the prettiest strokes in the draft and the ability to guard all over the floor. With his combination of size and skill, Baldwin has the opportunity to dominate the Horizon League and show people the full repertoire he may not have gotten the opportunity to display had he chosen a different path.
9. YANNICK NZOSA, UNICAJA
ESPN: 6 | BR: 4 | TANK: 6 | BNEWS: 11 | SBN: 10
$NZOSA avg cost: 7.4
Early season struggles predict a sudden fall for Nzosa on the Draftdaq. Nzosa was predicted by many to be a potential top five pick on draft night; while Nzosa still resides inside the top ten, the seventeen year old defensive wiz has looked as raw as a steak fresh from the butcher on the offensive end. If Nzosa doesn’t flash better touch and scoring instincts around the hoop, he could see a potential freefall in his long term draft stock.
10. PEYTON WATSON, UCLA BRUINS
ESPN: 9 | BR: 13 | TANK: 12 | BNEWS: 9 | SBN: 6
$WTSN avg cost: 9.8
The prototypical NBA wing, Peyton Watson will find himself in the perfect complementary role at UCLA to showcase flashes of explosive athleticism and a versatile defensive prowess. Playing behind guys like Jaquez and Juzang will limit his scoring output, but if Watson shows even a little of the off the bounce stuff he did in high school, he’ll intrigue enough to secure a top ten selection.
11. JADEN IVEY, PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
ESPN: 12 | BR: 14 | TANK: 11 | BNEWS: 13 | SBN: 20
$IVEY avg cost: 14
Ivey is the draft’s highest rated returning prospect. Ivey helped himself with his solid showing at this summer’s FIBA tournament, building off the strong second half of his freshman season. Ivey has plenty of NBA tools, but he needs to show scouts that he can be an efficient half court operator, both as a scorer and as a playmaker.
12. JEAN MONTERO, OVERTIME ELITE
ESPN: 15 | BR: 15 | TANK: 13 | BNEWS: 16 | SBN: 12
$MONT avg cost: 14.2
Montero is a super charged offensive dynamo that can knock down tough shots off the bounce from everywhere on the court. Playing with the Overtime Elite in it’s inaugural season, Montero won’t be playing against the same competition as his contemporaries; but the bucket-getting guard should show enough flashes to not let that effect his long term draft stock.
13. KENNEDY CHANDLER, TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS
ESPN: 13 | BR: 11 | TANK: 14 | BNEWS: 14 | SBN: 19
$KNDY avg cost: 14.2
Rated by many as the draft’s best point guard, Tennessee's Kennedy Chandler is gonna straight up electrify the folks down in Knoxville. Chandler is a blur in transition, a slithery half court operator, and can also knock it down from deep. He looks smaller than the 6’0” he’s listed at, but he’s feisty and as long as he shows he can guard he should stay in lottery contention.
14. NIKOLA JOVIC, MEGA BASKET
ESPN: 24 | BR: 17 | TANK: 10 | BNEWS: 12 | SBN: 11
$JOVIC avg cost: 14.8
As No Ceilings' own Rucker Park likes to say, Jovic may be one of the 2022 cycle’s biggest internet darlings. Jovic has started the year slow, but there’s still more than enough time for Jokic to impress scouts with his tough shot making ability on a 6’10” frame.
15. BENNEDICT MATHURIN, ARIZONA WILDCATS
ESPN: 4 | BR: 5 | TANK: 4 | BNEWS: 4 | SBN: 8
$MATH avg cost: 17.2
One of the draft’s most efficient shooters, Mathurin is one of the more intriguing returners. Mathurin doesn’t need the rock to get his, but if he takes a step in that department he’ll make a play as a lottery guy.
16. JD DAVISON, ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE
ESPN: 11 | BR: 20 | TANK: 24 | BNEWS: 15 | SBN: 21
$JDD avg cost: 18.2
Davison is far and away the most explosive guard prospect in the class. His combination of strength and absurd bounce is going to be jaw dropping at times. He’s gonna score the rock and make some highlight reel passes, but he needs to prove he can shoot it efficiently and run an offense. Davison is a highly volatile prospect, but players with his level of skill and athleticism are few and far between.
17. DYSON DANIELS, G-LEAGUE IGNITE
ESPN: 16 | BR: 16 | TANK: 16 | BNEWS: 21 | SBN: 22
$DYSN avg cost: 18.2
The Aussie combo guard has had up and down moments early on in the G-League season. He needs to tighten his handle and become a more consistent shooter from distance, but he’s got fun defensive instincts and has shown flashes of impressive court vision that could make him a value play outside the lottery.
18. OUSMANE DIENG, NEW ZEALAND BREAKERS
ESPN: 14 | BR: 26 | TANK: 18 | BNEWS: 17 | SBN: 16
$DIENG avg cost: 18.2
Who doesn't love a long rangy 6’9” shot making wing? The Frenchmen is headed to play in the NBL with the New Zealand Breakers this season and we’ll see if his slight frame can handle the physicality of a tough pro league. Shooting will be Dieng’s calling card but it’s the finishing, secondary playmaking, and defense that will tell us whether he’s more Paul George or Timothy Luwawu-Cabarrot.
19. TY TY WASHINGTON, KENTUCKY WILDCATS
ESPN: 17 | BR: 24 | TANK: 23 | BNEWS: 10 | SBN: 18
$TYTY avg cost: 18.4
I’m very excited to get an in person look at Washington tonight as Kentucky takes on Duke at the Champions Classic under the bright lights of MSG. Washington should emerge as one of Kentucky’s top scoring options. Ty Ty’s handle is pretty loose and I’m not quite sure if he’s a pure point guard, but Washington is a legit shot maker that could play his way into the lottery conversation if he leads Kentucky to some dubs this college season.
20. DAMION COLLINS, KENTUCKY WILDCATS
ESPN: 18 | BR: 12 | TANK: 21 | BNEWS: 19 | SBN: 29
$CLNS avg cost: 19.8
One of the best run and jump athletes in the class, Damion Collins is going to be a walking highlight reel down in Lexington. I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of perimeter creation out of Collins, but the shot looks promising and his hops and length should fill the rim protection hole left by Isaiah Jackson’s departure.
21. ROKO PRKACIN, CIBONA
ESPN: 25 | BR: 22 | TANK: 19 | BNEWS: 20 | SBN: 14
$ROKO avg cost: 20
Prkacin was a fan favorite during the 2021 draft cycle and if I know the internet at all, his legend will surely only grow as we enter 2022. Prkacin doesn’t have a stand out elite skill to hang his hat on, but the versatile swing forward can do a little bit of everything on the court making him a seamless fit into almost any lineup.
22. KEEGAN MURRAY, IOWA HAWKEYES
ESPN: 27 | BR: NR | TANK: 22 | BNEWS: 28 | SBN: 17
$KEEG avg cost: 25
With the departure of Garza and Wieskamp, Murray is primed to see his role grow in a big way. Murray shot it poorly from behind the three point line last year, so he’ll need to show improvements there, but he has the kind of skills and athletic profile that teams look for in a late first round prospect.
23. ALLEN FLANIGAN, AUBURN TIGERS
ESPN: 19 | BR: NR | TANK: 31 | BNEWS: 27 | SBN: NR
$FLNGN avg cost: 27.8
Flanigan is a strong, bouncy, left handed wing that’s good for at least one “holy shit” play a game. He'll start the year on the sideline for the Tigers as he recovers from an Achilles injury, but the junior wing should jump right back into the first round conversation upon his return if he continues to show the huge strides that he made in his game from year one to year two.
24. MATTHEW CLEVELAND, FSU SEMINOLES
ESPN: NR | BR: 10 | TANK: NR | BNEWS: 26 | SBN: 13
$CLV avg cost: 30
Pat Williams. Scottie mother fucking Barnes. At what point do we put some early faith in Leonard Hamilton’s ability to develop do it all wings? Cleveland isn’t as big as the aforementioned Seminoles, but he’s uber athletic and should fit right into FSU’s switch everything defensive scheme. Cleveland should thrive slashing to the hoop and in transition, and if he shows any semblance of a jumper he could be a big time riser.
25. MARK WILLIAMS, DUKE BLUE DEVILS
ESPN: 30 | BR: 30 | TANK: 30 | BNEWS: 29 | SBN: NR
$MARK avg cost: 30
Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin are generating most of the pre-season Blue Devil buzz, but big man Mark Williams is a name you’re gonna want to remember. The second year lob catching rim protector should see a big minutes boost on what should be one of the most entertaining teams in the nation. Expect a big leap for the seven foot sophomore.
26. MAX CHRISTIE, MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
ESPN: NR | BR: 21 | TANK: 17 | BNEWS: 22 | SBN: NR
$MAX avg cost: 30.2
One of the smoothest shooters in the class, Christie is someone to keep a close eye on throughout the draft process. The 6’7” sharpshooting freshman will be letting it fly for Tom Izzo at Michigan State this season. Big wing shooters are always en vogue, so don’t be shocked to see Christie’s name shoot up boards in the coming months.
27. MATTHEW MAYER, BAYLOR BEARS
ESPN: 38 | BR: 27 | TANK: 27 | BNEWS: 30 | SBN: NR
$MAYER avg cost: 30.6
Mayer and his mullet made a name for himself last season coming off the bench as a sparkplug for the National Champion Bears. Mayer’s ability to create for himself and shoot it from deep as an older prospect may generate some love as the next Chris Duarte type wing.
28. TRISTAN VUKCEVIC
ESPN: 21 | BR: NR | TANK: 32 | BNEWS: 41 | SBN: NR
$VUKC avg cost: 31.2
As is the case with a lot of young players in the Euroleague, Vukcevic probably won’t be seeing a ton of run throughout the season, however, the 6’10” sharpshooting Serbian has an intriguing set of NBA skills that should bring him consistent first round buzz.
29. KENDALL BROWN, BAYLOR BEARS
ESPN: NR | BR: 19 | TANK: NR | BNEWS: 25 | SBN: 23
$BROWN avg cost: 31.6
Kendall Brown is BOUNCY. Brown thrives as a disruptor and is gonna tear the rim down on off ball cuts and in transition. The Baylor freshman is gonna bring a new funk to Waco.
30. MARCUS BAGLEY, ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS
ESPN: 32 | BR: NR | TANK: 36 | BNEWS: 32 | SBN: NR
$BAG avg cost: 32.4
Younger bro of Not Luka Doncic, Marcus Bagley is giving it another go for the Sun Devils in hopes of boosting his draft stock in 2022. Due to his versatile shooting from the swing wing spot, Bagley may be one of the drafts best value plays in the late first/early second round. For a deeply fantastic write up of Bagley’s game, make sure to check out No Ceiling’s Sleeper Deep Dives series by Nick Agar-Johnson.