2022 NBA Mock Draft: Paolo Banchero to Thunder, Chet Holmgren to Magic among way-too-early projections

We’re solely 4 days faraway from the 2021 NBA Draft however a whopping 325 (!!) days away from the occasion’s return. So I will be the primary to throw out this somewhat apparent however nonetheless necessary caveat about my 2022 mock draft under: a complete lot can change between Aug. 2, 2021 and June 23, 2022. Gamers not on the first-round radar will undoubtedly emerge. Prime-10 prospects now is probably not top-10 prospects a 12 months from now. And as issues stand, the race for No. 1 stays huge open.

But even this far out, with a lot nonetheless to study concerning the 2022 draft class, we’ve got a fairly good thought of what the draft will appear like. Positive, the order of groups will change, as will the order of how we rank the category as we get extra data over the following 12 months. However, by and huge, the pool of first-round prospects is already in focus.

Sufficient qualifiers — under is my first stab at first-round projections for the 2022 class. Let’s dive in.

At 6-foot-10 with the power to create off the bounce, rating it from each stage and defend nicely for his measurement due to his size and vitality, Banchero will get the early nod for me because the No. 1 on this class. He will be a star at Duke as a freshman this season. He can actually solidify his standing right here if he continues to point out off the ability on the perimeter and within the put up that has made him such a captivating prospect, and he’ll get the prospect to perform a little of every part because the seemingly No. 1 possibility for the Blue Devils this season.

Holmgren gained MVP for the U-19 World Cup crew that took house the gold earlier this summer season. He is a rangy heart who has the abilities of a giant in that he can shield the rim, end lobs and use his size to have an effect on the sport. Nonetheless, what makes him a top-five expertise on this class is the opposite stuff. He has a sophisticated deal with for his measurement, can knock down 3s and has mega-sized wing expertise — making him a possible unicorn at 7-foot. He undoubtedly must work on his body and pack on muscle, however there’s a lot ability to like along with the scale and shot-blocking.

3. Pistons: Jalen Duren (TBD)

This can be a projection on my half. Duren is at the moment the No. 1 prospect within the 2022 class and, thus, formally not draft-eligible till 2023. Nonetheless, Matt Norlander reports that the expectation is that he finally reclassifies and turns into eligible for 2022. If — and when — that transfer turns into official, I anticipate he’ll launch himself into No. 1 choose consideration. So contemplate me the anti-Gary Parrish on Duren’s professional prospects. (For posterity: GP has him as a lottery pick.) Bodily gifted with a mature physique already and a low-post power whose recreation ought to translate seamlessly. I am an enormous fan.

4. Cavaliers: Jaden Hardy (G League Ignite)

A tricky two-way guard who will headline this 12 months’s G League Ignite crop, Hardy is a score-first level guard. He is actually artful at creating off the dribble and delivering dimes with good positional measurement. From a scoring perspective, he can actually fill it up with an excellent mixture of an in-between recreation and deep vary. One of the electrical offensive skills in subsequent 12 months’s draft.

5. Spurs: Jaden Ivey (Purdue)

Signal me up as president, CEO and conductor of the Jaden Ivey hype prepare. This child is the true deal. Got here on late for Purdue final season as a scorer and flashed additional NBA potential this summer season on the FIBA U-19 World Cup as a do-it-all guard who can rating it and defend. Has a Marcus Sensible-like affect on the sport due to his roll-up-the-sleeves-and-work mindset. Wants to enhance off his 25.8% 3-point quantity from final season, and I am betting he does. Even when he does not, although, there’s so many items of his recreation that translate to the NBA.

6. Rockets: Adrian Griffin (Duke)

Griffin at No. 6 might look foolish a 12 months from now, however there is a very actual probability he goes No. 1 subsequent summer season. The mix of his 6-foot-7 body, explosiveness and shot-making separate him as probably the most thrilling prospects on this class. Personally, I am taking a wait-and-see method. He is coming off a 12 months wherein he sat due to an ankle harm, and that is a 12 months faraway from struggling a knee harm. He and Banchero are two of the largest causes I’m buying Duke title stock already, although. There’s not a extra gifted 1-2 within the ACC — and perhaps the nation — than the Blue Devils could have with that duo. 

Even on a loaded Michigan crew that’ll function sophomore Hunter Dickinson, Houstan appears to be like like a one-and-done lottery choose due to his refined ability set for his measurement. He can shoot it nicely with deep vary, has a mature body at 6-foot-8 and the scale to be a jumbo-sized wing as a result of his potential to place the ball on the ground and create. Led Staff Canada in scoring on the FIBA U-19 World Cup earlier this summer season and struggled efficiency-wise, however finds an ideal match at Michigan the place he’ll actually be capable of showcase his expertise.

8. Hornets: Nikola Jovic (Serbia)

Nikola Jovic is a giant man out of Serbia (to not be confused with Nikola Jokic out of Serbia; he is the reigning NBA MVP) who, at 18 years previous, will begin this season squarely within the lottery dialogue after averaging 11.8 factors, 5.5 rebounds and hitting 40% from 3-point vary as a 17-year-old final season for Mega Basket. Jovic performs like a giant guard, as he can create off the dribble and has actually good passing expertise, and at 6-foot-10 that mix of expertise is worthy of top-10 consideration. 

9. Timberwolves: Patrick Baldwin (UW-Milwaukee)

An ankle harm early in Baldwin’s senior season derailed a promising 12 months wherein he may’ve made an actual push for the No. 1 recruit in his class. Now totally wholesome, he is set to be a celebrity for UW-Milwaukee — the place his father coaches — this upcoming season due to his elite capturing potential for his measurement and place.

The son of former huge man Jabari Smith, Jabari Smith Jr. has the scale, ability and really feel to be a match on the energy ahead in right this moment’s fashionable recreation. Good shooter who can stretch the ground however has the ability to play inside, too, although he wants so as to add to his wiry body in school. Ought to be one of the few must-watch freshmen in school hoops subsequent season as a day-one contributor for Auburn subsequent to UNC switch Walker Kessler. Holy enjoyable.

I am going to admit I’m greater than most on Chandler getting into the season. The rub right here is that he is on the smaller measurement for an NBA level guard (6-foot-1). The counter — and his personal private counter on the courtroom — is that he is a First-Staff All-Does Every thing frontrunner subsequent season. Excessive-level passer who’s a real flooring basic and loves affecting successful in all the small methods. Guards together with his IQ and confidence are these I are likely to gravitate towards, and I feel he generally is a lottery choose if it clicks for him below Rick Barnes at Tennessee.

12. Raptors: Yannick Nzosa (Congo)

Nzosa is an extended, lean 7-footer who tasks as a run-and-rim huge on the subsequent stage. Strikes very nicely for his measurement and makes use of his size to have an effect on pictures on protection. He has a pleasant little lefty floater and fairly good contact across the bucket, however at this level he is primarily a lob finisher whose most important enchantment is as a do-it-all versatile defender.

13. Wizards: Peyton Watson (UCLA)

On a loaded UCLA crew subsequent season that includes Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez Jr., each potential first-rounders, Watson is probably going off the board first in 2022. He is a 6-foot-8 wing whose size is disruptive on protection. He is nonetheless growing on offense, and bodily there’s some room for him to develop, however jumbo prospects with the upside of a combo guard/wing like him sometimes go sooner than later in drafts.

Within the span of solely a 12 months, Washington has remodeled from a recruit barely ranked within the top-100 to a borderline top-10 recruit. He is a real combo guard who can rating it at each stage, and is aware of how and when to get teammates concerned, too. Anticipating him to take over a beginning function at Kentucky and emerge as a lottery man if what we have seen during the last 12 months continues.

15. Bulls: Roko Prkacin (Cibona)

Prkacin had some actual first-round momentum earlier than withdrawing late within the 2021 NBA Draft course of. He ought to enter subsequent 12 months as a possible first-rounder due to his 6-foot-10 body and floor-spacing potential after making 39.4% of his 3s with Cibona final season within the Adriatic League. 

16. Rockets (by way of Heat): J.D. Davison (Alabama)

Nate Oats has a behavior of recruiting and producing big-time guard prospects, and after two of his understudies went within the lottery in consecutive years (Kira Lewis Jr. and Josh Primo), Davison is perhaps able to maintain that streak alive. He is a bodily mature freshman able to step in and take the reins from day one in Tuscaloosa, and his energy and explosiveness from the lead guard spot ought to make him a can’t-miss first-rounder.

17. Knicks: Marcus Bagley (Arizona State)

Not collaborating within the NBA Draft Mix did not assist Bagley’s inventory and, in the end, he selected to return to Arizona State. It was most likely the precise name. He performed in solely 12 video games due to accidents and did not fairly get to showcase his full array of expertise. That hopefully will not be the case this season. He ought to be the point of interest of what ASU does with Josh Christopher gone, and his recreation tasks nicely as a big-bodied 3-and-D wing.

18. Nuggets: Johnny Juzang (UCLA)

The way in which Juzang took — and made — powerful pictures within the NCAA Tournament generated severe first-round buzz earlier than he withdrew and returned to UCLA. He ought to be one of many faces of school basketball subsequent season for a top-five Bruins crew, and if he is capable of construct off his March Insanity run, there can be first-round curiosity in him as a 6-foot-6 wing who can get buckets.

19. Trail Blazers: Kendall Brown (Baylor)

Scott Drew has by no means had a one-and-done get drafted within the first spherical, however Brown may — and most definitely will — be the primary. He is a 6-foot-8 wing with an ideal positional measurement benefit and loopy athleticism who can be highly-coveted for groups trying so as to add an extended defensive wing with main long-term upside.

20. Hawks: Jean Montero (Extra time Elite)

Extra time Elite touchdown Montero was a large win for the startup league. He is bought top-10 potential and will actually assist the league set up a pipeline to the NBA. Greater than that, although, Montero is simply an absolute show-stopper. He performs with a lot swagger and pizazz on the courtroom and has the abilities — particularly as a scorer and creator — to again all of it up. 

21. Mavericks: Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona)

Mathurin made a robust impression taking part in for Canada on the FIBA U-19 World Cup the place he averaged the seventh-most factors per recreation amongst all gamers (16.1) and shot 48.8% from the sector and 34.5% from 3-point vary (after making 52.1% on 2s and 41.8% on 3s as a freshman at Arizona). The elevator pitch for him is easy: he is a giant wing who can actually shoot it.

22. Thunder (by way of LAC): Dyson Daniels (G League Ignite)

G League Ignite will function Daniels subsequent to Hardy subsequent season as probably the most enjoyable and electrical backcourts to look at within the recreation. Daniels is coming off a robust FIBA U-19 World Cup exhibiting wherein he averaged 14 factors and 4.6 assists per recreation for Australia, and he has the scoring and playmaking chops to be a official wing creator.

23. 76ers: Dylan Disu (Texas)

Disu averaged 15.0 factors and 9.2 rebounds whereas hitting 36.9% of his 3s final season at Vanderbilt. He’ll be featured within the first iteration of Texas’ new-look program below Chris Beard and his measurement, scoring and willingness to crash the boards may draw curiosity from groups within the first spherical. 

24. Warriors: Mark Williams (Duke)

Overcoming a sluggish begin to his Duke profession, Williams completed with a flurry as a freshman final season averaging 16.7 factors and seven.8 rebounds over his last six video games — together with a monstrous 23 factors and 19 rebounds within the season finale towards Louisville. He ought to be capable of choose up the place he left off final season and the match subsequent to Banchero within the frontcourt ought to profit him.

25. Grizzlies (by way of Jazz): Matthew Mayer (Baylor)

After shedding 4 starters, two of which have been drafted (Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler), Mayer is in line for a function function with the reigning title winners of Baylor. There’s cause to purchase into his expertise in an expanded function after hitting 39.5% of his 3s final season as a 6-foot-9 role-player. Might be one among school basketball’s huge breakout stars in 2021-22.

26. Celtics: Terrence Shannon Jr. (Texas Tech)

Actually like Shannon Jr. as a prospect and had him as a top-40 man within the 2021 draft earlier than he returned to highschool. 6-foot-6 capturing guard who will get after it defensively and might assault downhill (to say nothing of his powerful finishing ability). Wants to enhance his shot after hitting solely 32.8% from 3 in his first two seasons. I purchase the contact and the silky left-handed launch.

27. Pelicans (by way of Lakers): Kadary Richmond (Seton Corridor)

Richmond averaged 6.3 factors and a pair of.6 boards per recreation as a freshman at Syracuse final season however routinely was one of many extra impactful gamers on the Orange roster. In an even bigger function at Seton Corridor, groups will love what they see from him defensively. If his offense develops from final 12 months, he’ll be on the first-round radar.

28. Thunder (by way of Suns): Ousmane Dieng (France)

Actually intriguing long-term prospect right here with Dieng, who at 6-foot-9 has actual playmaking and passing chops for his place and successfully operates as a main ball-handler. Nonetheless very younger and wishes so as to add to his lengthy and slender body, however has the baseline to be one of many draft’s greatest booms if it comes collectively for him.

29. Warmth (by way of Nets): Jabari Walker (Colorado)

Like a lot of others on this record, the enchantment with Walker is two-fold: He has an NBA body for a ahead and might shoot the leather-based off the ball. He made 52.3% of his 3s as a freshman final season, albeit on solely 44 makes an attempt. With McKinley Wright IV off to the NBA he’ll see an expanded function as a sophomore.

30. Bucks: Daimion Collins (Kentucky)

Athletically, Collins goes to verify all of the bins of a first-round choose: he is an explosive leaper who has loopy lengthy arms and might perform a little of every part across the rim on each ends of the courtroom. He could also be extra of a developmental prospect, although. Very uncooked and skinny. Nonetheless, he is the kind of participant groups are likely to guess on, and if a few of that comes collectively for him at Kentucky he’ll simply slide up this record.

https://www.cbssports.com/nba/information/2022-nba-mock-draft-paolo-banchero-to-thunder-chet-holmgren-to-magic-among-way-too-early-projections/ | 2022 NBA Mock Draft: Paolo Banchero to Thunder, Chet Holmgren to Magic amongst way-too-early projections

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