This year’s NBA draft class features three elite college men — Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr. and Paolo Banchero — competing to be named the top pick. As of today, it’s generally agreed upon that Holmgren, Smith and Banchero will make up the top three picks of the draft.

Let’s dive into what we think the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft might look like. We’ll highlight the first 10 picks, then list out the rest of the draft after that. 

 

1. Orlando Magic: Chet Holmgrem

Holmgren, a freshman forward from Gonzaga University, is an absolute unicorn with his unique combination of height, athleticism and skills. He’s comparable to a more athletic Kristaps Porziņģis with better perimeter skills. The biggest knock against Holmgren is his weight. He’ll need to add some muscle to compete against the big men in the NBA.

 

2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jabari Smith Jr.

Smith, a freshman center, could just as easily go No. 1 over Holmgren. As a stretch four with a solid all-around game, he’s reminiscent of Chris Bosh. He knocked down more than two threes per game at a 42% clip at Auburn University.

 

3. Houston Rockets: Paolo Banchero

Banchero, a freshman forward at Duke University, is a great playmaker at the 4, and he could go No. 1, depending on which skillset the Magic are looking for from a big man.

 

4. Sacramento Kings: Jaden Ivey

Ivey, a Purdue University’s sophomore guard, is the draft’s best guard. The Kings would be wise to take him after making the (regrettable) decision to trade future All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton.

 

5. Detroit Pistons: Keegan Murray

He scored from all over the floor en route to 23.5 points per game as the Big Ten Player of the Year (Murray is a sophomore from Iowa University). As a forward, his proven scoring ability would slot in perfectly next to Cade Cunningham.

 

6. Indiana Pacers: Shaedon Sharpe

Sharpe, a freshman, was the No. 1 recruit in the country coming out of high school, but he ended up not playing a single game at the University of Kentucky. He has the most potential out of any guard in the draft (plus, a ridiculous 49-inch vertical). It’d be a lot of fun watching him catch lobs from Haliburton.

 

7. Portland Trailblazers: AJ Griffin

Griffin, a freshman forward from Duke University, is a tremendous 3-and-D prospect with the potential to grow into an even more valuable offensive contributor. That’s a massive need for the Trailblazers after they traded away one of the best 3-and-D players in the league (Robert Covington) last season

 

8. New Orleans Pelicans: Johnny Davis

Davis, a sophomore guard from the University of Wisconsin, has a great all-around offensive game. The Pelicans could use someone like Davis to come in and immediately contribute as a scorer off the bench.

 

9. San Antonio Spurs: Dyson Daniels

Daniels, an Australian, skipped college but made two savvy moves before joining the NBA draft: he attended the NBA Academy and played in the G League.  As a guard, he’s already a star defender and a great passer. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Gregg Popovich take a chance on someone like Daniels with an international star with major upside.

 

10. Washington: Bennedict Mathurin

The Wizards need to surround Bradley Beal with players who can help them win now. As he showed in the NCAA Tournament, Mathurin — a sophomore guard from the University of Arizona— is a talented offensive player. He’s already relatively polished as a player, but he still has the potential to grow.

 

11. New York Knicks: Ochai Agbaji

Position: forward
Year: senior
School: University of Kansas

 

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Mark Williams

Position: center
Year: sophomore
School: Duke University

 

13. Charlotte Hornets: Jeremy Sochan

Position: forward
Year: freshman
School: Baylor University

 

14. Cleveland Cavaliers (from New Orleans): Jaden Hardy

Position: guard
School: G league Ignite

 

15. Charlotte Hornets: TyTy Washington Jr.

Position: guard
Year: freshman
School: University of Kentucky

 

16. Atlanta Hawks: Malaki Branham

Position: forward
Year: freshman
School: Ohio State University

 

17. Houston Rockets (from Brooklyn): Tari Eason

Position: forward
Year: sophomore
School: LSU

 

18. Chicago Bulls: Jalen Duren

Position: center
Year: freshman
School: University of Memphis

 

19. Minnesota Timberwolves: E.J. Liddell

Position: forward
Year: junior
School: Ohio State University

 

20. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto): Nikola Jović

Position: forward
School: Mega Baket

 

21. Denver Nuggets: Kendall Brown

Position: forward
Year: freshman
School: Baylor University

 

22. Memphis Grizzlies (from Utah): Ousmane Dieng

Position: forward
School: NZ Breakers

 

23. Philadelphia 76ers: Blake Wesley

Position: guard
Year: freshman
School: University of Notre Dame

 

24. Milwaukee Bucks: Kennedy Chandler

Position: guard
Year: freshman
School: University of Tennessee

 

25. San Antonio Spurs (from Boston): Trevor Keels

Position: guard
Year: freshman
School: Duke University

 

26. Dallas Mavericks: Christian Koloko

Position: center
Year: junior
School: University of Arizona

 

27. Miami Heat: Walker Kessler

Position: center
Year: sophomore
School: Auburn University

 

28. Golden State Warriors: Jean Montero

Position: guard
School: Overtime Elite

 

29. Memphis Grizzlies: Christian Braun

Position: forward
Year: junior
School: University of Kansas

 

30. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix): Jamaree Bouyea

Position: guard
Year: senior
School: University of San Francisco

 

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