2022 NBA Mock Draft: Predicting Every Lottery Team's First Round Pick
2022 NBA Mock Draft: Predicting Every Lottery Team's First Round Pick
With the order for the 2022 NBA Draft now set, who is most likely to go in the first-round lottery? Who has the best odds of being drafted number one overall? Here is one scenario for how I think the draft will play out in June. Let's dive into this 2022 NBA Mock Draft.
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1. Orlando Magic - Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)
Even in just the 16 or so hours since the NBA Draft Lottery was completed, a raging debate has developed over whether the Magic select Holmgren or Jabari Smith with this pick. Smith is younger but more developed physically, but Holmgren has the higher upside long-term. The Magic tend to go with upside in their picks (i.e. Mo Bamba), and Holmgren just might be the player to replace Bamba at the five as a nice complement to Wendell Carter, Jr. Cole Anthony and Franz Wagner.
Chet Holmgren Number One Pick Odds: +175 (Bet $100 to win $175)
2. Oklahoma City Thunder - Jabari Smith (Auburn)
Scouts rave about his shooting ability, defensive intelligence, and playmaking ability of Smith. With guards and wings locked up (Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, and Josh Giddey), the Thunder can go with some size if Holmgren is off the board. Smith is more than just a consolation prize. Many think he will end up being the best player in this draft, and he is just 18 years old. That's why he comes off the board second in our NBA
Jabari Smith Number One Pick Odds: -105 (Bet $105 to win $100)
3. Houston Rockets - Paolo Banchero (Duke)
Much like the Thunder, the Rockets are locked in at point guard (Kevin Porter), shooting guard (Jalen Green), and a wing (JaeSean Tate). Add Paolo Banchero to a frontcourt with Christian Wood and Alperen Sengun and this is a team with huge upside beginning immediately. His offense and spacing ability will complement Green, who figures to be the go-to guy in his second season. Banchero can give them offense at the NBA level right away.
Paolo Banchero Number One Pick Odds: +600 (Bet $100 to win $600)
4. Sacramento Kings - Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky)
The Kings have cast their lot with De'Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, and Domantas Sabonis, so now they need some wing players to fill in the gaps with Harrison Barnes in the last year of his massive deal. Sharpe can fill that role even after sitting out the entire year at Kentucky. Sharpe was known in high school as a player who made it easy to get his own shot and whose length created problems all over the court.
Shaedon Sharpe Number One Pick Odds: +7000 (Bet $100 to win $7000)
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5. Detroit Pistons - Keegan Murray (Iowa)
The best available player in this mock draft would be Jaden Ivey, but this selection depends on how the Pistons view Killian Hayes as a backcourt partner to Cade Cunningham. Do they fell Cunningham and Ivey are too similar? If they do, Murray and his size might be the target. He is older than the players who precede him, but that also makes him more mature physically and mentally. He is a two-way player and would fit right in on a team that needs plenty of those.
Keegan Murray Number One Pick Odds: +30000 (Bet $100 to win $30000)
6. Indiana Pacers - Jaden Ivey (Purdue)
A common theory coming out of Indiana circles is that the Pacers are preparing to move on from Malcolm Brogdon this summer. It makes complete sense if they can score an ultra-talented guard like Ivey. Many consider Ivey one of, if not the best, player in the draft. His combination of strength, speed, and athleticism is unmatched and if he pairs with Tyrese Halliburton, they could become of the more lethal guard combinations in the NBA for a decade.
Jaden Ivey Number One Pick Odds: +5500 (Bet $100 to win $5500)
7. Portland Trail Blazers - AJ Griffin (Duke)
Assuming the Blazers bring back Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic (no sure thing, by the way), Portland is going to need to start stocking up on some wings to complement those two and Anfernee Simons. At a very young 18 years old, Griffin still has a lot of growing up to do but he showed flashes of offensive brilliance at Duke. If he can come in and be prepared to play a 3-and-D role for the Blazers to start his career, this looks like a good landing spot.
AJ Griffin Number One Pick Odds: +50000 (Bet $100 to win $50000)
8. New Orleans Pelicans - Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona)
The Pelicans will be in a tough spot here if the draft dominoes fall this way. Mathurin is a star-in-the-making shooting guard, but they have that spot locked up with CJ McCollum who was a revelation in leading New Orleans to the playoffs. Could Mathurin transition to point guard and replace Devonte' Graham or perhaps play a role of top sixth-man off the bench. Even if the Pelicans don't need his scoring, his rebounding and defense at the guard spot are unmatched.
Bennedict Mathurin Number One Pick Odds: +50000 (Bet $100 to win $50000)
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9. San Antonio Spurs - Jeremy Sochan (Baylor)
The Spurs are one of those teams where positions rarely matter unless you are point guard Dejounte Murrary. That makes Sochan an ideal fit for this young team as he can play three positions and create his own offense or adapt to the system run by Murray and the Spurs. His shooting and athleticism has caused Sochan to skyrocket up draft boards and mock drafts this spring, and a selection in the top-10 seems likely at this point. The Spurs would get a steal if this were to play out just like it has here in this NBA mock draft.
Jeremy Sochan Number One Pick Odds: +75000 (Bet $100 to win $75000)
10. Washington Wizards - Johnny Davis (Wisconsin)
Davis is another guard who might need to make the transition from primary scorer to playmaker, defender, and distributor. If he ends up on a team like the Wizards with a scorer such as Bradley Beal, his abilities as a ball handler will be absolutely essential. No matter where he ends up, Davis will need to improve on his three-point shooting.
Johnny Davis Number One Pick Odds: +30000 (Bet $100 to win $30000)
11. New York Knicks - Jalen Duren (Memphis)
The Knicks frontcourt situation could be in a bit of a mess this coming season. Julius Randle seems to want out and the Knicks seem fine with that happening. Nerlens Noel can't ever stay healthy, and Mitchell Robinson is a free agent, putting his availability on this team in doubt. What the Knicks likely do, then, is take the best pure big man available in Jalen Duren. The 6'11" center needs to add some bulk, but he can already provide the skills the Knicks crave most: defense, rebounding, and shot-blocking. Based on how this NBA Mock Draft fell, the Knicks would have to be pretty happy with getting Duren here.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder - E.J Liddell (Ohio State)
Regardless of whether the Thunder go with Chet Holmgren or Jabari Smith at the number two slot, Liddell as a versatile power forward would be a good fit for a team that all of a sudden has elite, young talent at almost every position. Liddell is more mobile as a power forward, sort of like a Jerami Grant mold, but can still rebound and play defense at the level of anyone in this draft.
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13. Charlotte Hornets - Mark Williams (Duke)
This is an easy call if Williams makes it this far in the draft, like he did here in our NBA Mock Draft. Mason Plumlee is not an answer long-term at center and Montrezl Harrell is a free agent and will likely be looking to move on from Charlotte. In Williams, the Hornets would get a true 7-footer who can doesn't need to score to be effective. The Hornets have plenty of offense in LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Keelly Oubre, and potentially Miles Bridges. Williams could learn for a year off the bench and then be a defensive piece to play off all the high-powered offense in Charlotte.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers - Ochai Agbaji (Kansas)
The Cavaliers have built an incredible core of Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen and will now look to fill in the puzzle pieces around them. Do they bring back Collin Sexton after a year missed to injury? I think not if they can replace him with the best shooting guard/player from the national champion Kansas Jayhawks. With the offense the Cavaliers have and the elite interior defense in the frontcourt, Agbaji can focus on making sure he knocks down open shots and being available as a backup scoring option. At 22, he is physically ready to play in the NBA, but needs the right situation to let him develop.
Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. When I'm not with my wife and two kids I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. I once played Pat Connaughton in an actual NBA DFS lineup for money. Astros, Rockets, and Texans for life.