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Zack & Jack’s 2022 NBA Mock Draft

The 2022 NBA Draft class could be the deepest draft we have seen in recent memory. With guys that can come in right away and be stars, mixed with college veterans that can bring leadership and contribute to better teams right away. The name of the game in the modern NBA now is versatility. The main factor of what separates the stars from the role players in this league. Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, and Chet Holmgren look like the clear top 3 picks in this draft for those reasons. While these guys are all 6’10’’ or taller, they fit the mold of a typical big man in the modern NBA. The ability to shoot efficiently from the three point line is a key factor for NBA scouts. Jabari Smith has shown in his one season at Auburn that he can be that versatile wing that can defend most positions, as well as shoot over the top of long defenders, giving him the edge as the likely #1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

 

  1. Orlando Magic – Jabari Smith Jr. (PF Auburn)

Jack’s Pick

The 6’10’’, 220 pound 19 year old led the Auburn Tigers to the top of the college basketball world in 2022. The Tigers reached the #1 spot in the AP Top 25 for the first time in program history last season, and a lot of that credit goes to Jabari. With his length, speed, court awareness, and pull up shooting ability, he looks like a young Kevin Durant. For a Freshman with such a large frame to shoot 42% from 3 point range, the ceiling could not be higher for Smith. He can fit with a Magic team that is trending slightly upwards with some of their developing talent. The young Magic guards in Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs need a legit threat from the wing spot to contribute on the offensive end. Jabari is the clear #1 pick.

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder – Paolo Banchero (PF Duke)

Zack’s Pick

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding where Banchero will fall on Thursday night, but ultimately he is one of the best talents in this draft. As a Freshman at Duke last season, he averaged just over seventeen points a game along with just under eight boards, respectively. He is very polished offensively, and has the frame and intangibles to become a two-way star. There have been concerns about his motor, but Oklahoma City should overlook that with the immense amount of raw talent Banchero possesses. 

 

  1. Houston Rockets – Chet Holmgren (C Gonzaga)

Jack’s Pick

We have been hearing about Holmgren since his early high school days. An efficient scorer on the offensive end, and an elite shot blocker on the defensive end. Gonzaga brought out those qualities in himself. Chet was projected to be the #1 overall pick for a long time before and during the season. He is at three for a couple reasons. He might be the smartest basketball player in this draft. His IQ is off the charts when making decisions with a basketball. But at the same time, he is 7 feet tall and weighs less than 200 pounds. NBA centers might have a field day with him in the paint. Also, foul trouble was a big concern all tournament long. The longer stints he played in, the lazier he would get on the defensive end. There is still a bunch of upside, especially going to Houston where they now need to replace Christian Wood. Holmgren paired with Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., could be lethal in the future years.

 

  1. Sacramento Kings – Keegan Murray (F Iowa)

Zack’s Pick

Keegan Murray has one of the highest ceilings in this draft. His offensive skill set vastly improved from his Freshman to Sophomore year. He elevated from a 7.2 point per game scorer to a 23.5 point per game scorer. His rebounding numbers also impressed as he averaged just under nine a contest last season. His most impressive upgrade to his arsenal was his three-point accuracy. The 6’8” Forward shot just a hair under forty percent from beyond the arc last season, improving from his 29.6% clip the previous year. He also averaged 1.9 blocks and 1.3 steals per game in a very tough Big Ten Conference. Murray is legit on both ends. He is also very capable of playing alongside Domantas Sabonis.

 

  1. Detroit Pistons – Jaden Ivey (G Purdue)

Jack’s Pick

Jaden Ivey looks like an exact replica of Ja Morant out there. The explosiveness, agility, speed, playmaking ability, and rebounding ability… he can fill a stat sheet in a hurry. The downside is his shooting. While he averaged 17.3 ppg, he only shot 35% from 3 and 74% from the free throw line. On the upside, there is nobody that can drive and finish like Ivey in this draft class, or even in the NBA for a matter of fact. Detroit looks like a good fit for Ivey as they need more pieces to add to their starting lineup. Cade Cunningham and Ivey in the back court make a great 1-2 punch. Cade could now play more of a shooting guard role where he looks most comfortable. As long as Ivey can keep the turnovers to a minimum, he can easily be the best player to come out of this draft.

 

  1. Indiana Pacers – A. J. Griffin (SF/SG Duke)

Zack’s Pick

Griffin will be a good NBA player. He doesn’t necessarily have star potential, but his 44.7% three-point percentage and high motor are enough to get him drafted in the lottery. The Pacers are building around Tyrese Haliburton. Griffin is the perfect ‘three and D’ wing to compliment his creativity and playmaking. Griffin joining a tentative Malcolm Brogdon, Haliburton, and Myles Turner offers Rick Carlisle some defensive identity for the 2022-23 campaign.

 

  1. Portland Trail Blazers – Ochai Agbaji (SG/SF Kansas)

Jack’s Pick

Out of all the lottery picks in this draft, Ogbaji looks to have the highest floor. His veteran leadership, defensive versatility, and shooting ability make him a great fit for any team. To shoot 40.9% from three and 47% from the field as a guard in the BIG 12 is not easy. I think he fits in with Portland perfectly. Portland has not been interested in the whole rebuild process. They still want to compete as a playoff team now. They are looking for some leadership to add to their young core. The Blazers were also a bottom 5 team defensively this season, and Agbaji can guard multiple positions. Portland needs a guy they can slide in right away to contribute, and there is none better than Ochai to do so.

 

  1. New Orleans Pelicans – Shaedon Sharpe (SG Kentucky)

Zack’s Pick

Sharpe could very well be the biggest question mark of this draft. While he chose to opt out of playing at Kentucky this year, he was once the number one recruit in his class. On the EYBL circuit, Sharpe impressed with his shot creating ability and length as a two-guard. New Orleans may have a healthy Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and C.J. McCollum next season, they can afford to gamble on a potential stud.

 

  1. San Antonio Spurs – Johnny Davis (SG/SF Wisconsin)

Jack’s Pick

After the loss of Derrick White to the Celtics, the Spurs need a young scoring guard to pair with Dejounte Murray. Davis is a three level scorer with great rebounding ability. San Antonio was terrible defensively and Davis could contribute on that end immediately. Davis averaged 8.2 reb and over a steal a game this season. Spacing on the floor was also an issue for the Spurs last season. Popovich would be a great coach for Davis to learn from, as he can be immature and try to do it all on his own in desperate times. The floor is not necessarily high for Davis, but his ceiling makes Davis an intriguing top 10 pick in this draft. 

 

  1. Washington Wizards – Dyson Daniels (G G-League Ignite)

Zack’s Pick

Dyson Daniels showed tremendous growth over the G-League season. His twelve points per game is not eye opening, but considering he contributed with 5.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.9 steals, he is a unique talent. He very closely resembles his fellow NBA Academy graduate, Josh Giddey, who had an excellent rookie season in Oklahoma City. Daniels is defensively sound, and showed the ability to get hot as a three-point shooter. His 6’8” frame offers plenty of room for growth. If he continues to deepen his offensive bag, he could be the perfect compliment to Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis.

 

  1. New York Knicks – Bennedict Mathurin (SG/SF Arizona)

Jack’s Pick

Mathurin proved himself to be one of the most electrifying players in this year’s draft. His breakout season at Arizona earned the Wildcats a #1 overall seed in March Madness. Bennedict has Jaden Ivey explosiveness and has the ability to shoot from Curry range. The Knicks will also be looking to upgrade at point guard after Kemba Walker did not work out as planned. Mathurin could easily slide this low in the draft based on the team’s needs that pick before the Knicks. But he could also be a dark horse pick that could explode onto the scene with great upside.

 

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jalen Duren (C Memphis)

Zack’s Pick

Duren averaged only twelve points and 8.1 rebounds per game last season. His 59.7% shooting from the field and over two blocks per game are certainly impressive. Duren could use a few more post moves, and my concern with him is that he can flat out not show up offensively in any given game. He will need to be more consistent to be a starter in the league but Oklahoma City could use an athletic, rim-running Center to complement its barrage of offensive potential. Duren provides that. 

 

  1. Charlotte Hornets – Jeremy Sochan (F Baylor)

Jack’s Pick

Sochan is the player every coach would love to have. A versatile wing defender that can also guard the rim, as well as the ability to drive and finish at the rim. I think he fits perfectly with what Charlotte needs. The Hornets have been atrocious on defense the past couple years. Sochan could fit in perfectly coming off the bench behind Miles Bridges. Charlotte also likes to play fast as the past couple years have been one of the fastest paced teams in the league. Sochan is used to playing fast, being from the BIG 12, as well as defending bigger guys and being able to rebound in traffic. Sochan could very well go before this pick solely based on his versatility and coachability. Watch out for this guy, he is dangerous.

 

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Ousmane Dieng (F New Zealand Breakers)

Zack’s Pick

Ousmane Dieng will need patience and direction in order to grow. The nineteen year old Frenchmen spent last season in the NBL playing for the New Zealand Breakers. His numbers do not jump off the page, but his 6’10” frame and speed for a big man have scouts drooling. He had numerous twenty point games toward the end of the NBL season, including improved three-point shooting. Dieng will be an intriguing NBA player.

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