With the NBA Draft two weeks away, it is time to begin our positional rankings for the fascinating 2022 NBA Draft class. As always, we will start with the point guards and I’m fully ready for some spirited debate and controversy for every choice after Jaden Ivey, who is the clear leader of the pack and potentially the best overall prospect in the draft.
1. Jaden Ivey, 6-4 195 Purdue Boilermakers
The explosive sophomore star broke out into a college superstar this season with a sensational mix of slashing combined with a vastly improved perimeter jumper (26% to 36% on five attempts per game). What makes Ivey so exciting is the great creativity creating off the dribble, and the flashes of the mesmerizing athleticism to rise above the rim like few before him have, both Ja Morant and Russell Westbrook come to mind. If he learns to harness this freakish athleticism and continues the development of his outside shooting, we might have the NBA’s next great superstar guard entering the league in 2022.
2. TyTy Washington, 6-3 195 Kentucky Wildcats
If Washington could have stayed healthy in his freshman season in Lexington, the Wildcats may have lifted the NCAA Tournament trophy and Washington would be fighting for the fifth spot in the draft. But his lingering injuries and lack of efficiency and success because of them have him as a major question mark in this class. With excellent size, his poise, basketball IQ and playmaking upside pop off the screen during film study and he should enjoy a long career as a trustworthy floor general if he can manage to stay healthy at the next level.
3. Ryan Rollins 6-3 180 Toledo Rockets
This is where heads might start to turn in the rankings. While Rollins proved he can play with elite talent at the NBA Combine, many still aren’t sold on him as a first-round prospect. The lack of true collegiate competition should not be concerning because he shows both high level pick and roll ability as well as a better than advertised shooting ability. He sees the floor exceptionally well, has great shooting range and mechanics to work with and is a solid defender when he puts in the effort on this end like he did at the combine.
4. Kennedy Chandler 6-1 170 Tennessee Volunteers
As a five-star point guard and consensus top-10 recruit, there were extremely high expectations for Chandler, and he clearly lived up to them. A slow start to the season was disappointing, but that’s to be expected at a position as difficult to master as point guard in a conference as competitive as the SEC. Still, he used his lightning quick speed and creative playmaking to earn All-SEC Second Team and lead the Vols to a SEC Tournament Championship. Chandler has great length, sneaky athleticism, and proved that he has the ability to impact games at the SEC level. Despite a lack of height, he stands an excellent chance to hear his name called in the late first round.
5. Iverson Molinar 6-3 185 Mississippi State Bulldogs
Molinar is one of the most underrated prospects in this entire draft class. He is an experienced guard with tremendous size and possesses the speed to turn the corner against defenders and is a modern tempo-pushing guard who can fill up a stat-sheet. His career shooting percentages are a mystery as he jumped from 80% to 87% at the free-throw line while experiencing a major dip from 43% to 25% on the perimeter. The near 90% from the FT line gives his overall shooting ability a lot of intrigue. He has all the makings of a high level point guard, he just needs to put it all together and figure out the nuances to impact games consistently.
6. Jamaree Bouyea 6-2 180 San Francisco Dons
Bouyea is a 5th year guy who clearly benefitted from the COVID rule and showed a solid jump in confidence and impact as a super senior. He is a dynamic, explosive guard who carved up WCC competition and had one of the best performances of the NCAA Tournament in San Francisco’s heartbreaking OT loss to Murray State in the first round. He also was a standout performer at the G-League Elite Camp with a nearly 40-inch vertical, a 6’7 wingspan and five assists in 20 minutes during his first scrimmage at the camp. All the signs point to him being an NBA player, he just needs to play with more confidence, aggression and consistency.
7. Jean Montero 6-2 170 Overtime Elite
Few knew just what Overtime Elite could be coming into the year, but Montero put his trust in the startup project and it’s difficult to tell if it hurt or helped him in terms of draft stock. As one of the youngest players in the draft, it was always going to be difficult for Montero to earn a first-round grade, but he gave his stock a boost with a stand out performance at the Nike Hoop Summit. He’s a scorer with great quickness and shooting ability. His lack of size and strength may make him a backup in the league, but he could have a similar impact as a second rounder as Denver back up Monte Morris.
8. Dalen Terry 6-7 195 Arizona Wildcats
Terry is a lengthy playmaker with incredible defensive instincts and disruption and an improving perimeter jumper. Jones was an immediate impact rookie and one of the best defenders in the league as a rookie. terry has excellent versatility with his ability to play multiple positions and his ability to play lead guard at 6-7. There are some first round whispers surrounding Terry who really impressed teams with his interviews at the NBA Draft Combine.
9. JD Davison 6-2 190 Alabama Crimson Tide
Davison is one of the most explosive leapers in the entire draft class. He has quite the highlight reel due to his insane leaping ability and flashy passing, but the freshman guard was a turnover machine and offensive liability more than anything else in Tuscaloosa. Davison probably should have opted to return to Alabama for more seasoning as he stands a good chance to slide in the draft to the mid to late second round and could even slide out of the draft altogether.
10. Andrew Nembhard 6-5 195 Gonzaga Bulldogs
After two seasons at Florida and two more seasons at Gonzaga, Nembhard turned into one of the best point guards in college basketball. His stellar playmaking and enticing blend of size and poise helped him make his offenses successful in any style of play. He proved all of this with an impressive display at the NBA Draft Combine and should see his stock rise because of this. If he can learn to overcome his lack of speed, he could stick in the NBA for a number of seasons.