2022 NBA Mock Draft: Jabari Smith all but locked in for Magic at No. 1 just before picks are made

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Auburn

• Fr

• 6’10”

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

Orlando

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

16.9

RPG

7.4

APG

2

3P%

42%

There’s at least *some* concern over the diversity with which Smith will score in the NBA — he struggled at the rim in college and primarily was used as a catch-and-shoot weapon — but his positional size and above average shooting are among the most translatable skills a prospect has in this class. At 6-10 he’s an elite shooting threat from anywhere on the court and a very safe bet to be a valuable two-way player in the NBA. Betting markets have him going No. 1, and that seems the most likely outcome at this point for Orlando.

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Gonzaga

• Fr

• 7’0″

/ 195 lbs

PPG

14.1

RPG

9.9

APG

1.9

3P%

39%

The skinny frame and potential injury concerns that come along with it notwithstanding, Holmgren arguably holds the most star power in the draft. He rated in the 94th percentile as a defender around the rim last season and had a top-10 block rate . . as a true freshman. And on offense, he rated in the 99th percentile around the rim. His ability to affect and block shots can make him a cornerstone defensive anchor for a rebooting OKC franchise.

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Duke

• Fr

• 6’10”

/ 250 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

3rd

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

17.2

RPG

7.8

APG

3.2

3P%

33.8%

Houston grabs a future star to add to its frontcourt to pair with 2021 No. 2 pick Jalen Green, one of the most electric young guard prospects in the NBA. Banchero was an All-American in his lone season at Duke, and his playmaking and overall polish on offense at 6-10 can add another exciting dynamic to this young Rockets core. He has No. 1 pick talent, so getting him at 3 would be a huge win.

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Purdue

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Sacramento

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

17.3

RPG

4.9

APG

3.1

3P%

35.8%

What Sacramento does here at No. 4 remains the biggest question of the draft. But taking best talent available should result in the Kings adding Ivey to a core that includes De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell and Domantas Sobanis. He’s an electric athlete who can function as a quality playmaker because of his ability to get downhill and create off the dribble.

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Iowa

• Soph

• 6’8″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

23.5

RPG

8.7

APG

1.5

3P%

39.8%

If Ivey is off the board here, Detroit takes the safest prospect still on the board in Keegan Murray to add next to Cade Cunningham. Murray was one of the most productive players in college hoops last season and the combination of his size, outside shooting and defense should give him a nice floor as a true four-man at the next level.

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Arizona

• Soph

• 6’6″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Indiana

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

17.7

RPG

5.6

APG

2.5

3P%

36.9%

Mathurin’s had a steady rise over the last month and could be in play as soon as No. 5 in this draft because of his outside shooting, solid frame and defensive potential. Indiana can add him next to Tyrese Haliburton to really solidify its backcourt for the long haul.

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Dyson Daniels


SG

G League Ignite

• 6’8″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Portland

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

23.5

RPG

8.7

APG

1.5

3P%

39.8%

After dealing CJ McCollum to New Orleans, Portland adding more playmaking seems the logical move here at No. 7 — and Dyson Daniels can add plenty. The G League Ignite product is perhaps the most crafty passer in the draft and projects as a solid defender right away because of his length and instincts, with upside to in time develop into a focal point on offense if his shot improves.

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Duke

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 222 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

10.4

RPG

3.9

APG

1

3P%

44.7%

New Orleans rated as the 27th-best team in the NBA in team 3-point shooting percentage last season. In Griffin they add one of the best wing shooters in the draft who has legitimate star potential if he’s able to find his old high school form and stay healthy. Depending on how his medicals check out, he could go anywhere from No. 5 to outside the lottery.

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Baylor

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 230 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

9.2

RPG

6.4

APG

1.8

3P%

29.6%

The shot is really the only question mark for Sochan that may be keeping him from being a potential top five prospect in this class. He can guard 1-5 and is a plus playmaker at his position to boot. If the Spurs can develop his shot he could pay off as one of the best talents to come out of this draft.

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Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 200 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

2nd

This would be a further-than-expected fall for Sharpe but a soft landing spot in Washington for a Wizards team that has several young and exciting pieces. Sharpe was the No. 1 player in his class before reclassifying and enrolling at Kentucky at the mid-year point, but not playing while there means scouts haven’t gotten an extended look at him since his time as a high-schooler on the EYBL circuit.

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Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’4″

/ 196 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

12.5

RPG

3.5

APG

3.9

3P%

35%

The Knicks need scoring and playmaking and could get a two-for-one combo here in Washington. The former five-star recruit is a knockdown shooter who thrived off the ball at Kentucky but has some untapped talents playing on the ball as a creator and initiator as well; his 27% assist rate in SEC play was 11th among players in his conference — despite playing almost exclusively as the second initiator.

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Ousmane Dieng


SF

France

• 6’9″

/ 185 lbs

Dieng had a strong close to the NBL season with the New Zealand Breakers, a team from the same NBL league that once produced LaMelo Ball. He’s a combo forward with guard skills. If his outside shot starts falling with regularity he could develop into a borderline star on the wing, he’s just quite a ways away from being an NBA contributor right now. Whoever takes him must be patient.

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Memphis

• Fr

• 6’11”

/ 250 lbs

Projected Team

Charlotte

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Charlotte needs an injection of talent and youth in the frontcourt and can get both with the addition of Jalen Duren, a springy big man who is a human pogo stick with incredible leaping ability. Duren’s shot-blocking and above-the-rim abilities make him a safe bet to be a long-time contributor.

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Kansas

• Sr

• 6’6″

/ 217 lbs

Projected Team

Cleveland

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

18.8

RPG

5.1

APG

1.6

3P%

40.9%

Cleveland has a young core primed to contend with Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. Agbaji gives the Cavs another piece of key depth on the wing and adds a complementary style to Isaac Okoro as a more offensively polished weapon. He shot 41% from 3-point range last season for KU in leading the Jayhawks to a national title.

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LSU

• Soph

• 6’8″

/ 217 lbs

Projected Team

Charlotte

PROSPECT RNK

19th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

16.9

RPG

6.6

APG

1

3P%

35.9%

Eason is a big combo forward who can space the floor as a shooter and open up the offense as a straight-line driver. His main value, however, comes on defense, where he’s a do-it-all weapon with great instincts. He’s raw and his offense isn’t quite NBA-ready but the physical tools and defense alone could get him into the teens of this draft on potential.

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Ohio State

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

13.7

RPG

3.6

APG

2

3P%

41.6%

Ohio State turned to Branham as one of its go-to options down the stretch run of the season, and he responded by averaging 17.3 points and 3.8 rebounds in the second half of the year. He’s a big wing who can torch the net and scores it at a really high level, and now that he’s committed to staying in the draft, should be in the mix as a potential lottery pick.

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Arizona

• Soph

• 6’7″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

22nd

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

8

RPG

4.8

APG

3.9

3P%

36.4%

After adding Banchero at No. 3, Houston comes back to add backcourt depth with the addition of one of my favorite talents in Terry. Terry did a little of everything at Arizona as a role player last season primarily playing off the ball and has the length and tools to thrive as a high energy wing who has some wiggle off the dribble and can shoot the 3.

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Wisconsin

• Soph

• 6’6″

/ 196 lbs

Projected Team

Chicago

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

19.7

RPG

8.2

APG

2.1

3P%

30.6%

Johnny Davis was one of the most productive players in college hoops last season as a true breakout star in his sophomore season. He thrives as a mid-range scorer, can create his own looks and has the defensive smarts to be an instant contributor for a winning team. If he returns to shooting form he showed as a freshman (38.9% from 3) then he can be one of the best 3-and-D wings in the draft.

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Santa Clara

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 209 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

31st

POSITION RNK

9th

PPG

18

RPG

4.4

APG

4.2

3P%

39.6%

Williams has been the fastest-rising draft prospect the last month. He measured 6-6 at the combine with a 7-2 wingspan, is coming off a season in which he shot nearly 40% from 3-point range, and rated out in the 97th percentile last season according to Synergy as a spot-up shooter.

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Duke

• Soph

• 7’2″

/ 242 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

3rd

That sound you hear is San Antonio quite literally stealing the draft if it gets Mark Williams at 20 to add to Jeremy Sochan at pick No. 10. Williams is a throwback big who doesn’t shoot it much from outside the paint (and isn’t a 3-point shooter right now) but he runs the break well, affects shots around the rim and has amazing timing and length which he uses to swat shots at a high level.

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Baylor

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 201 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

9.7

RPG

4.9

APG

1.9

3P%

34.1%

There’s a world in which Brown is drafted in the teens or slips to the 30s and neither would surprise me. He’s tough to peg after an up and down freshman season in which he had flashes but was not consistent. His 6-8 frame and athleticism from the wing spot should land him somewhere in the 20s, is my guess.

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Ohio State

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 243 lbs

Projected Team

Memphis

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

19.4

RPG

7.9

APG

2.5

3P%

37.4%

Memphis’ front office has in the past put a high value on college production, making Liddell, one of the most productive players in college hoops the last few seasons, squarely in the mix here (if he’s not already taken). Slightly undersized power forward who plays way above his 6-7 frame and has improved dramatically as a shooter the last year.

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Wisconsin-Milwaukee

• Fr

• 6’10”

/ 231 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

12.1

RPG

5.8

APG

1.5

3P%

26.6%

Baldwin Jr.’s stock is tough to nail down because of injuries that derailed nearly all of his high school senior season and much of his freshman season at Milwaukee. But he has great positional size and a strong pedigree as a former five-star recruit (and once the No. 1 player in his class) which may earn him a spot in the 20s for a team willing to take a gamble on his talent.

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Gonzaga

• Sr

• 6’5″

/ 193 lbs

Projected Team

Milwaukee

PROSPECT RNK

66th

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

11.8

RPG

3.4

APG

5.8

3P%

38.3%

Nembhard isn’t a top-25 talent in the 2022 NBA Draft but he is easily one of the 25 most NBA-ready prospects in the 2022 NBA Draft. That should matter to a Bucks franchise that’s in win-now mode trying to maximize its title window with Giannis. Nembhard isn’t a blow-by-you athlete but he’s a solid point guard who can shoot and distribute well enough to contribute to winning for a contender.

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Nikola Jovic


SF

Serbia

• 6’10”

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

21st

POSITION RNK

5th

This would purely be a value play for San Antonio to pluck Jovic, one of the most intriguing combination forwards in the draft, at No. 25. He has guard skills — he ran point last season as one of the primary initiators for Mega Mozzart — and a center’s frame. He’s very raw developmentally but having just turned 19 years old, there’s a chance he can mature in time to be a valuable initiator given his size.

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Duke

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 217 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

25th

POSITION RNK

8th

PPG

13.4

RPG

5.3

APG

4.4

3P%

41.3%

It’s hard to find instant contributors in the first round, much less at No. 26, but Houston could really grab one here in Moore after a breakout season with Duke. He’s a long wing with good 3-point shooting skills and a role-player skillset that’d make him an asset for the Rockets.

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Arkansas

• Soph

• 6’10”

/ 237 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

37th

POSITION RNK

10th

PPG

10.9

RPG

9.8

APG

2.6

3P%

23.9%

Frontcourt depth beyond Bam Adebayo and PJ Tucker in Miami is sorely lacking, which would make Jaylin Williams an interesting fit with the Heat. A do-it-all big who loves to take charges and provide energy, he does all the little things that contribute to winning and has floor-spacing potential as well.

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Jean Montero


SG

Overtime Elite

• 6’2″

/ 172 lbs

Projected Team

Golden St.

PROSPECT RNK

35th

POSITION RNK

11th

Golden State’s got to be thinking about adding guard depth at some point and Montero, long a prodigious talent from the Dominican Republic, could fit the bill here. He’s a speedy guard who groomed himself last season with Overtime Elite and has the combination of scoring and competitiveness that the Warriors tend to gravitate towards.

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Memphis

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Memphis

PROSPECT RNK

42nd

POSITION RNK

11th

PPG

6.6

RPG

3.8

APG

0.9

3P%

14.3%

From Memphis, Tennessee, to Memphis, Tennessee? It’s possible for Minott, one of the most toolsy wings in the draft whose length and athleticism gives him real first-round potential. Needs to improve his jumper to maximize his potential — he made two 3-pointers all season at Memphis — but he’s a developmental talent with starter upside in the right system.

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Jaden Hardy


SG

G League Ignite

• 6’4″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

17.7

RPG

4.6

APG

3.2

3P%

26.9%

Denver recently acquired this pick via Oklahoma City and can flip it into one of the biggest swings available at 30. Hardy’s stock slipped a bit over the last few months because he was inefficient with the G League Ignite, but he’s a gifted scorer who can create space and has plenty of room to grow.

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