The 2021 NBA Draft is behind us. Meaning it’s time to take our first take a look at the 2022 NBA Draft class.
A 12 months in the past, Cade Cunningham was an apparent option to finally be the No. 1 general choose after we did our early mock the day after the 2020 draft. The 2022 class is rather more huge open on the high. The primary 10 gamers on our board every have a official likelihood to turn into the highest choose with a robust season. Whereas it at present appears unlikely this class will function a prospect on the extent of Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Inexperienced, the 2022 class tasks to have super depth all through the lottery.
We love to do a giant board for subsequent 12 months’s class the day after the draft yearly. Generally it appears to be like fairly good, like after we pegged Luka Doncic as the highest participant in 2018, Anthony Edwards at No. 1 in 2020, and Cunningham as the highest choose in 2021. I’ve had some misses, too, with Emmanuel Mudiay, Skal Labissiere, Josh Jackson, and Cameron Reddish at No. 1 in earlier years. You will discover our day-after-the-draft early mocks for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 right here.
That is how we venture the 2022 NBA Draft class proper now.
1. Paolo Banchero, F/C, Duke
Banchero has the body, energy, and burgeoning talent to play within the NBA straight out of highschool. He’ll be the centerpiece of Coach Ok’s closing crew at Duke, and can have each alternative to show he must be the No. 1 general choose. Banchero’s calling card is his uncommon offensive versatility for a participant his dimension. Listed at 6’10, 250 kilos by the Blue Devils, the Seattle native is already a monster inside scorer and rebounder, and has began to develop his perimeter abilities. His passing flashes have been tantalizing, and may turn into one in all his defining traits. He isn’t a reliable three-point shooter but, however he’s been an excellent free throw shooter on the prep stage and has began to take step-back threes off the dribble.
It is going to be fascinating to see how Duke makes use of Banchero. He’ll be capable to bully faculty gamers inside together with his power from day one whereas leveraging his passing out of the excessive submit to search out shooters. His actual upside is available in his growing shot creation capability, although. Banchero performed extra with the ball in his palms on the perimeter late in his highschool profession, exhibiting off improved ball dealing with and the flexibility to decrease his shoulder to create scoring probabilities on his drives. He’ll be a right away menace on grab-and-go transition alternatives, however the hope is that Coach Ok permits him to provoke the offense at instances within the halfcourt.
Banchero is a bit undersize for an NBA heart proper now, with a wingspan reportedly between 7’0.5 and seven’2. He doesn’t have the capturing but to be a reliable flooring spacer. It should even be fascinating to observe his lateral quickness defensively. He might not have the best ceiling on this class relying on how his capturing, on-ball shot creation, and perimeter protection pan out, however his bodily instruments and talent flashes are sufficient to make him our high prospect coming into the 12 months.
2. Chet Holmgren, C/F, Gonzaga
Holmgren is the largest title on this class after a standout prep profession in Minnesota that ended with him following within the footsteps of his former highschool teammate Jalen Suggs by committing to Gonzaga. He’ll head to Spokane able to play the 4 subsequent to returning heart Drew Timme in what must be probably the most intimidating entrance line in America. As a freshman who will flip 20 years previous earlier than he’s drafted, Holmgren must be a school basketball star from day one with an enormous highlight to show he’s worthy of being taken with the No. 1 choose.
A brilliant skinny 7-foot large man, Holmgren combines unimaginable rim defending instincts with growing ball dealing with capability and a harmful capturing stroke. Holmgren may usually be seen initiating the offense as a ball handler in highschool, the place he does an excellent job holding his dribble low on his drives to the basket. He tasks as a lethal shooter on spot-ups and pick-and-pops who must be a right away flooring spacer on the NBA stage. Whereas Holmgren’s skinny body has gotten loads of publicity, he’s a legitimately fearsome defensive presence on the rim, exhibiting outstanding timing and verticality contesting pictures inside. Scouts will wish to see Holmgren play via contact at each ends and see how he holds up in opposition to older and stronger competitors. If he continues to enhance his shot creation capability, he might be thought of the front-runner for the highest choose.
3. A.J. Griffin, G/F, Duke
Griffin enters his freshman 12 months at Duke with maybe probably the most tantalizing upside on this class. The 6’7 wing is a dynamic shot-maker off the dribble with a deep bag of step-back and side-step threes he can go to in any scenario. Add in a mid-range recreation constructed to get powerful buckets on the finish of the shot clock, and Griffin has a case as the highest three-level scoring prospect accessible. He simply tends to make his dwelling on tough pictures, and must show his capability to make the right reads as a passer if he desires to play full-time with the ball in his palms. Griffin’s bodily instruments additionally present up on the defensive finish, and he may flip into one of many higher perimeter defenders on this class.
Griffin’s took his senior 12 months off through the pandemic as he recovered from an ankle harm, so he’s nonetheless one thing of unknown heading into Duke regardless of his notable bloodlines because the son of 9-year NBA professional Adrian Griffin and the brother of Syracuse wing Alan Griffin. He’s additionally one of many youngest gamers on this class, not turning 18 years previous till the tip of August. We’ll put Griffin at No. 3 for now as a result of he tasks because the kind of lengthy, athletic wing with shot-making capability the NBA craves.
4. Patrick Baldwin Jr., F, Milwaukee
Baldwin may have performed wherever within the nation, however he selected to spend his one-and-done season being coached by his father within the Horizon League. The 6’10 ahead has an elite talent together with his capturing capability. He has a fast launch and deep vary on his soar shot, and will likely be a harmful catch-and-shoot menace from the minute he will get drafted. Whereas a top-tier NBA draft prospect selecting to play in a real mid-major convention can be disappointing in most contexts, it might be a helpful determination for Baldwin as a result of he’ll be compelled to play with the ball in his palms. Up to now, Baldwin has been extra of a complementary off-ball shooter, however he ought to get each likelihood to indicate he can create for himself and others with the Panthers.
Baldwin might be a very elite 6’10+ long-range shooter on the NBA stage, however scouts will wish to see extra versatility from him. His most limiting issue is that he isn’t a dynamic run-and-jump athlete, and should show he can survive on the perimeter defensively. In a category full of massive shooters, Baldwin is our early choose for having the most effective pure shot for any ahead. Now let’s see what else he can do.
5. Caleb Houstan, F, Michigan
Michigan has some large sneakers to fill at ahead this upcoming season with the lack of Franz Wagner and Isaiah Livers to the professional ranks, and it’s onerous to think about a greater freshman for the job than Caleb Houstan. The 6’8 Canadian wing is the newest lottery prospect from Florida prep powerhouse Montverde Academy, and presents a clear projection into any stage of the sport due to his talent as a shooter and perimeter defender.
Houstan is coming off a starring function for bronze medal-winning Canadian crew within the FIBA U19 World Cup the place he averaged 17 factors and a pair of.3 steals per recreation. Whereas Houston solely hit 11-of-58 makes an attempt from three, the quantity of his makes an attempt from deep (8.3 per recreation) was spectacular and you may wager the share will likely be extra respectable in Ann Arbor. In a category filled with tall shooters, Houstan separates himself on the defensive finish. He’s nice at entering into the passing lanes as a assist defender, and exhibits spectacular capability on the perimeter. How a lot Houstan can create with the ball in his palms will likely be a foremost issue to see if he can break into the top-five.
6. Peyton Watson, G/F, UCLA
Watson is a late bloomer who grew seven inches in highschool to blossom into an athletic 6’8 wing who continues to be simply scratching the floor of his long-term upside. The L.A. native will be a part of a loaded UCLA crew that brings again everybody from its Ultimate 4 run final season whereas including heart Myles Johnson as a switch from Rutgers.
Watson must be a high-level perimeter defender from day one as a rangey wing who can cowl a ton of floor and defend a number of positions with a 7’1 wingspan. It is going to be fascinating to see how he suits in on the offensive finish on a crew with a number of high-usage scoring choices (particularly, Johnny Juzang and Jamie Jacquez). Watson is growing right into a dynamic driver off the dribble who has the athleticism and physique management to complete across the rim. He confirmed talent as a cutter and offensive rebounder on USA Basketball’s U19 World Cup crew, establishing himself as high-energy reserve who didn’t want to carry the ball to affect the sport. His soar shot is the plain swing talent. Scouts will wish to see how numerous his shot weight-reduction plan is, and what his quantity and accuracy appears to be like like from three. There are extra polished gamers on this class proper now, however Watson’s fast growth arc offers him an enormous ceiling.
7. Jabari Smith, F, Auburn
Smith enters Auburn wanting like a prototypical stretch 4 as a 6’10 large man with a candy capturing stroke. He has NBA vary on his jumper and must be dynamic on pick-and-pop and spot-up alternatives. Smith may put the ball on the ground to assault a closeout with plus athleticism for a participant his dimension by way of each velocity and leaping capability. He has flashed defensive versatility on the perimeter defender and as a shot-blocker, however might want to add power and show he can maintain up on that finish in opposition to SEC opponents.
The son of a former Sacramento Kings second spherical draft choose again in 2000, the youthful Smith received a gold medal with USA Basketball within the U16 FIBA Americas match again in 2019 by averaging 13.8 factors per recreation on 36.8 % capturing from three. Scouts will wish to see how he handles bodily play as a rebounder and inside scorer and defender, however his capturing contact makes him a seamless match for at this time’s recreation.
8. Jalen Duren, C, Montverde Academy
Duren is at present enjoying grassroots ball as the highest ranked participant in the highschool class of 2022, however there are rumors he may reclassify to hit the league as quickly as potential. As Duren decides between high schools like Kentucky and professional choices just like the G League Ignite, it seems like he’s destined to be a top-10 choose whatever the path he takes. A powerful 6’10, 225 pound heart with an unlimited 7’5 wingspan, Duren is a strong pressure inside who explodes off the bottom as an inside scorer, rebounder, and shot blocker.
He must be an ideal finisher as a roll man or within the dunker spot with spectacular bounce across the rim. He will likely be a menace to attain within the submit, too, with the facility to punish smaller defenders on switches and the size to complete over fellow bigs together with his soar hook. Whereas he doesn’t have a dependable face-up jumper but, Duren will assault defenses off the dribble to get to the basket. He’s additionally an intimidating shot-blocker across the rim who appears to be like pretty cell on the perimeter.
9. Jaden Hardy, G, G League Ignite
In a category filled with tall shooters, the one finest shot-maker on this draft will likely be Jaden Hardy, a 6’4 guard out of Nevada. Hardy would be the headline title on this 12 months’s G League Ignite crew, the place he’ll be anticipated to indicate off his world-class pull-up capturing capability earlier than turning into a top-10 choose. Hardy’s capturing abilities off the bounce have drawn early comparisons to Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal. He has deep vary and a fast set off on his jumper, repeatedly splashing pictures from 30+ ft away throughout his senior 12 months. He’s additionally efficient as an off-ball menace who can leverage his capturing gravity to run round screens, hit pictures, and get opposing defenses all out of kinds.
Hardy’s offensive mindset is so aggressive as a scorer that he must show he can beat the protection as a passer, too. His decision-making will likely be watched with a detailed eye with the Ignite. He is an effective athlete, however will even have to show he can persistently get to the rim and end over size within the G League. Hardy is the primary true guard to indicate up on this mock, and this spot might be the ground for him.
10. Yannick Nzosa, C, Unicaja
Nzosa is a 6’11 heart from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who performed for Unicaja in Liga ACB and EuroCup this previous season. Nzosa can have a case because the draft’s finest defensive participant as a buzzsaw large man with a excessive motor, rim defending instincts, and a formidable capability to carry his personal on the perimeter. Born in Nov. of 2003, he might be the youngest prospect within the 2022 draft, and will go on the finish of the top-five. Learn The Stepien and ID Prospects for extra on Nzosa.
11. Nikola Jovic, F, Serbia
Jovic is a 6’10 Serbian ahead who put his scoring expertise on show through the FIBA U19 World Cup. With super dimension for a ahead, Jovic can put the ball on the ground and assault opposing defenses as a slasher. He confirmed off attractive playmaking capability on his drives, whipping passes to teammates across the arc when the protection rotated to cease him within the paint. His capturing was spectacular, too, as he hit 12-of-33 pictures from three (36.4 %) and 38-of-69 pictures from two-point vary (55.1 %).
Jovic’s ceiling is restricted some by his lack of burst as a driver and common explosion across the rim, however his dimension will play at any stage. He’ll be the headlining younger star on KK Mega Soccerbet within the Adriatic League this upcoming season, and may have each alternative to show he deserves to rise from right here.
12. Jean Montero, G, Extra time Elite
Montero is a 6’2 level guard from the Dominican Republic who bounced from Spanish membership Gran Canaria to the upstart Extra time Elite league for the upcoming season. The 18-year-old level guard has been on NBA radars for the final couple years after a breakout efficiency on the U17 World Cup in 2018. A fast and shifty ball handler, Montero combines talent as a driver, pull-up shooter, and stay dribble passer to place himself as the most effective pure level guard prospect within the class. Montero should show he can shoot persistently from deep and present he’s a pesky defender, however in a weak class for flooring generals, he appears to be like like a promising wager to finally turn into a lottery choose.
13. Matthew Cleveland, F, Florida State
Cleveland would be the newest sturdy, athletic swingman to select Florida State for what must be a one-and-done freshman season following within the footsteps of Scottie Barnes, Patrick Williams, and Jonathan Isaac. The Georgia native rose from a four-star recruit to an elite five-star recruit over the past 12 months as a giant 6’6 wing who’s simply starting to develop into his spectacular bodily instruments. Cleveland is an extended wing who thrives slashing to the basket and enjoying in transition with good physique management close to the rim. He wants to enhance his jumper and passing reads on offense, however his physicality ought to make him an intriguing wing defender for the ‘Noles from day one.
14. Roko Prkačin, F, Cibona (Croatia)
Prkačin is a 6’9 ahead who we had as a top-20 prospect within the 2021 NBA Draft earlier than pulling out on the final second. It’s doubtless a sensible transfer for him: Prkačin didn’t have a ton of buzz across the league regardless of an achieved resume, and would have been the youngest prospect taken in 2021. Now he will get to return to his membership in Croatia and attempt to show he’s price of being a lottery choose.
Prkačin received an MVP enjoying for Croatia on the junior FIBA stage, made his Adriatic League debut with Cibona at 16 years previous, and was named a crew captain at 17. He’s a formidable athlete for his dimension who can deal with the ball within the open flooring and likes to assault with straight line drives. He shot 39.4 % from three, and 53.2 % from two-point vary this season, however his 65 % mark from the foul line is regarding. He appears to be like like a primary spherical choose merely on the premise of his dimension, enhancing perimeter talent set, and confirmed manufacturing in opposition to grown males at such a younger age.
15. Ben Mathurin, F, Arizona
Bennedict Richard Felder Mathurin (simply wished to get his full title on the market for the world) is an explosive 6’6 swingman who we’d have projected as a primary rounder within the 2021 draft if he determined to declare. As an alternative, the Canadian wing goes again to Arizona for his sophomore 12 months the place he must be one of many high returning NBA prospects on the faculty stage. Mathurin has good velocity and nice bounce across the rim which helps him end close to the basket on put-backs and in transition. He’s additionally a promising outdoors shooter who hit 41.8 % of his three-pointers as a freshman on 91 makes an attempt, and completed within the 96th percentile on spot-up alternatives, per Synergy Sports activities.
Mathurin is coming off an encouraging run within the U19 World Cup the place he helped lead Canada to a bronze medal the place he dropped 31 factors on Serbia within the third place recreation. Mathurin must proceed growing his deal with which limits his creation capability with the ball in his palms, however for now he appears to be like like an excellent shooter with severe athleticism who can affect the sport off the ball.
16. Ousmane Dieng, F, New Zealand Breakers
Dieng is a French wing who instantly popped in junior tournaments due to his wirey 6’9 body, open flooring athleticism, and growing talent stage. He determined to bypass faculty basketball and a suggestion from the G League Ignite to observe within the footsteps of LaMelo Ball and Josh Giddey by enjoying for the New Zealand Breakers of the NBL. The Breakers produced a primary spherical choose in 2020 in R.J. Hampton, and Dieng has even higher instruments to work with. He took 35 three-pointers over a four-game stretch through the Adidas Subsequent Technology Match in Belgrade, and confirmed growing contact as a shooter even when he solely hit them at a 31.4 % clip. He’s one other lengthy, rangey wing who with tons of long-term upside.
17. Keegan Murray, F, Iowa
Murray was fully neglected in recruiting rankings — listed because the No. 334 participant in his class by 247 Sports activities — earlier than a breakout freshman season for his hometown Hawkeyes. He’s an extended and agile 6’8 wing with immense defensive versatility and jarring offensive effectivity numbers. Defensively, Murray posted a 7.2 % block charge and a 2.6 % steal charge on a crew that didn’t generate many takeaways. On offense, he completed within the 91st percentile of halfcourt effectivity. Whereas he solely made 16-of-54 makes an attempt from three (29.6 %), he confirmed a formidable capability to assault closeouts and did hit 75 % of his foul pictures. Nobody would have predicted Murray’s rise as a freshman, however he enters the 12 months as having a case for the most effective NBA prospect within the Large Ten as a sophomore.
18. TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky
Washington began his senior 12 months on the fringes of the top-75 rankings in his highschool class earlier than blossoming right into a five-star recruit. He decommitted from Creighton and finally pledged to Kentucky, the place he’s now thought of the highest-ranked member of their incoming recruiting class, per ESPN. The Wildcats overhauled the roster with veteran additions by way of switch this offseason, however Washington ought to nonetheless be probably the most dynamic creator on the roster. The 6’3 guard from Arizona is a fast and shifty ball handler who can get to the basket with spectacular burst whereas flashing official playmaking chops. He must be the reply at level guard that Kentucky has seemingly been trying to find the final a number of seasons.
19. Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee
Chandler is a Tennessee native who turned the newest five-star recruit to select the Vols for faculty. The 6’1 level guard will likely be undersized for the place within the NBA, however he has a confirmed observe report as a winner coming into faculty with USA Basketball’s U19 squad, his EYBL crew Mokan Elite, and excessive faculties Briarcrest Christian and Dawn Christian Academy. Chandler is fast with the ball in his palms, a reliable shooter (39 % from three on the U19 World Cup), and stable passer off a stay dribble.
20. Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue
Ivey was a fringe top-100 recruit coming into Purdue who broke out late in his freshman season as a slashing 6’4 guard with spectacular defensive versatility. Ivey completed with double-figures in scoring in 10 of his final 12 video games, together with a 26-point efficiency within the Boilermakers’ first spherical NCAA match recreation. His breakout continued with a robust effort through the FIBA U19 match, the place he shot 64 % on two-point subject objectives and was all around the flooring within the gold medal win over France.
Ivey’s capability to assault the basket with straight line drives and trigger havoc defensively will make him one of many high returning prospects in faculty basketball this season. His three-point stroke and his playmaking will likely be watched intently by scouts.
21. JD Davison, G, Alabama
Davison is a 6’2 level guard who dedicated to his hometown Crimson Tide as a consensus five-star recruit within the incoming freshman class. He turned one of the crucial well-known recruits within the nation for his scoring binges and excessive athleticism. Davison can fly within the open court docket and has ridiculous bounce as a dunker across the rim. He’s a flashy ball handler who made some spectacular passes at the highschool stage, however scouts will wish to see how he organizes Alabama within the halfcourt. If his talent stage impresses as a freshman, he might be a lottery choose.
22. Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite
Daniels is a 6’6 Australian guard out of the NBA International Academy who will likely be one of the crucial fascinating items on the subsequent G League Ignite crew alongside Jaden Hardy. Daniels is a flexible offensive wing who confirmed intriguing creativity off the dribble and as a finisher throughout Australia’s run within the U19 World Cup earlier this summer season. He averaged 14 factors and a pair of.3 steals per recreation on 54 % capturing on two-point fields and 13-of-43 capturing (30.2 %) from three.
23. Kendall Brown, F, Baylor
Brown performed with Chandler at Dawn Christian Academy this previous season and is about to affix the nationwide champs at Baylor as one in all their top-rated recruits ever. The 6’8 swingman has elite bodily instruments with nice size (6’11 wingspan) and a bundle of quick-twitch muscle groups. He’s an explosive athlete within the open flooring and across the rim who ought to spend the season making spotlight reel performs each in transition and on the defensive finish. Brown isn’t a refined shooter or creator at this level, however he appears to have a nostril for making profitable performs.
24. Jabari Walker, F, Colorado
Walker was a late-blooming ahead who was ranked outdoors the consensus top-150 of recruiting rankings earlier than opening the eyes of NBA scouts with a formidable freshman 12 months at Colorado. Walker is an extended 6’8 ahead with an excellent body who confirmed a stunning quantity of talent with the Buffs. He popped off for twenty-four factors together with 5-of-5 capturing from three-point vary in Colorado’s first spherical NCAA match win over Georgetown (although it’s price noting he went scoreless in 24 minutes of their second spherical loss to Florida State). Walker has good power and confirmed spectacular rebounding capability on each ends of the ground. He’s about to go from a reserve to a featured star as a sophomore, and the NBA will watching his each transfer.
25. Nolan Hickman, G, Gonzaga
Hickman is a 6’2 level guard who initially pledged to Kentucky earlier than switching to Gonzaga as one of many few Utah natives to ever be named a McDonald’s All-American. Hickman is well-rounded guard who confirmed spectacular capturing and passing flashes whereas additionally incomes good critiques as an on-ball defender. The Zags have loads of holes to fill following their nationwide title recreation loss, and Hickman must be a significant factor within the rotation as a freshman.
26. Earl Timberlake, F, Memphis
Timberlake was near five-star standing as a recruit when he arrived at Miami (FL) earlier than solely enjoying seven video games due to a shoulder harm. He transferred to Memphis to play for Penny Hardaway this season, however he’s nonetheless rehabbing the shoulder harm and there isn’t but a definitive timetable for his return. If Timberlake can get wholesome, he’s a robust 6’6 wing with nice defensive versatility to who can get the foul line. He’ll have to show he can shoot on the faculty stage after solely going 2-of-7 from three in his transient profession at Miami.
27. Terrence Shannon Jr., G, Texas Tech
Shannon is a springy 6’6 wing who made main strides as a shooter throughout his sophomore 12 months at Texas Tech. He determined to bypass the draft to return for his junior season, the place he must be the first scoring possibility for a Pink Raiders program now with out departed head coach Chris Beard. Shannon improved from a 25.7 % three-point shooter (on 35 makes an attempt) to a 35.7 % capturing (on 84 makes an attempt) from his freshman to sophomore seasons. He scored effectively within the halfcourt (74th percentile, per Synergy Sports activities), and has the instruments to be a very good wing defender. Scouts will wish to see a extra numerous weight-reduction plan of scoring from Shannon this season and continued capturing enchancment.
28. Julian Champagnie, F, St. John’s
Whereas his twin brother Justin determined to enter the 2021 draft, Julian Champagnie is returning to St. John’s for his junior season, the place he must be one in all faculty basketball’s finest wing scorers. Champagnie, a ahead listed at 6’8 and 220 kilos, was an environment friendly, high-volume three-point shooter final season for the Pink Storm. He hit 38 % of his threes on 158 makes an attempt. Champagnie additionally had encouraging defensive markers with a 3.2 % block charge and a pair of.4 % steal charge. He averted turnovers, confirmed he may hit the glass, and drew fouls on the offensive finish whereas capturing 89 % from the foul line.
29. Daimion Collins, C, Kentucky
Collins enters Kentucky as an extended and bouncy large man who might be probably the greatest rim protectors on this class. A five-star recruit who involves the Wildcats because the second highest-rated member of John Calipari’s incoming class, Collins makes up for his lack of peak (6’9) with a 7’5 wingspan and easy explosion across the basket. Collins must be an ideal rebounder and lob goal with the flexibility to rapidly get off the ground. Scouts will wish to monitor his consciousness on each ends.
30. Will Richardson, G, Oregon
Chris Duarte become a stunning first spherical choose within the 2021 draft after a breakout senior 12 months at Oregon. Will Richardson may do the identical subsequent 12 months. The 6’5 guard has been a constant producer for the Geese over his profession, averaging double-figures in scoring every of the final two seasons whereas hitting at the least 40 % of his threes. Richardson graded out within the ninetieth percentile of spot-up alternatives this previous 12 months, and in addition confirmed some talent within the pick-and-roll. He may pressure his title into the late first spherical with a giant closing season at Oregon.