We’ve reached the halfway point of the 2022 NBA Positional Rankings and the SF group also provides a lot of talent and depth. There is a wide range of opinions on this group of players, some with only one good season under their belt, some with just a few good games, foreign prospects with floor and ceilings that extend from underground bunkers to the heavens and highly touted high school prospects that didn’t quite live up to the hype, but are still taking a chance on themselves in this year’s draft. If I end up on “Horrible Draft Takes Exposed” in a few years, this list will undoubtedly be the reason, but I will give my best effort regardless!

1. Keegan Murray 6-8 225 Iowa Hawkeyes

Murray is a finesse 3/4 who considers himself a 3 for the next level, although a number of personnel people feel he may ultimately gravitate to being a 4. His intelligence and feel for the game, plus his versatility should allow him to adapt and be a weapon for his team at the next level. His breakout sophomore campaign catapulted him into the National Player of the Year discussion and towards the top of draft boards, and opposing teams seeing double (forgive the joke).

He has an outstanding frame for a wing, but his best role might be as a small-ball four/five due to his sensational rim-protection (1.9 BLK) and rebounding instincts (8.7 REB). However he is used, Murray promises to be one of the draft’s few impactful players from day one with the potential to grow into a star.

2. AJ Griffin 6-6 220 Duke Blue Devils

Things looked bleak for Griffin in his freshman season until the Blue Devils returned to the court after the Fall Semester concluded in mid-December. In the eight games before that point, the White Plains native was averaging just four points and less than a 3-pointer per game. In the 31 games after, Griffin exploded onto the scene by averaging 12 points and over two 3-pointers per game at a 45% clip.

Griffin started 25 of those 31 games and began to recapture the athleticism he showed as a prep. He slowly worked his way up boards and now he is a potential top-10 pick. As an outstanding athlete with a killer 3-point jumper, the makings are clearly there for him to become one of the top players to emerge from this draft. While he wasn’t asked to carry a team like a number of the other top players available, Griffin has the foundation to excel and simply needs some fine-tuning to emerge as a star in this league.

3. Dyson Daniels 6-7 195 G-League Ignite

For the second consecutive season, the G-League Ignite boasted a terrific roster brimming with talent and potential. The 6-7 Australian playmaker could easily spend time at the point guard position with how well he handles the ball and finds the open man. We see him as the ultimate role player, a play making wing who can use his size and defensive instincts to disrupt and lockdown opposing stars and give a team whatever it calls for.

Daniels has the make up of the consummate team player and a guy that will out work opponents and continue to improve. The rebounds and assists will come, but there is still work to do as a scorer around the rim and shooter from the outside. If he can improve in those two categories, with a terrific floater already in his bag, Daniels can become a two way force.

4. Ousmane Dieng 6-10 185 France

Dieng is the second of three consecutive massive playmaking wings in our rankings. The French teenager stands at 6-9, but has the athleticism, ball-handling and passing of a pure point guard. Granted he may have the lowest floor of any player invited into the green room, considering it took him most of the season before he finally began to produce.

It is a rare skillset for a player his size, which is why he’ll need a bit of time to get a feel for the professional game before he is able to make a real impact for his team. The size, skill and potential are all there for Dieng to be a superstar in the NBA, but it will likely take a GM with job security or multiple picks to assume the risk and take the long term gamble by selecting him.

5. Nikola Jovic 6-11 225 Serbia

Speaking of unorthodox, gigantic playmakers, Serbia has produced another in Nikola Jovic. The names might be similar, but you won’t be finding the next Jokic with this 6-11 Serbian. Instead, you’ll get a lean and athletic forward who can run an offense and let it fly with solid efficiency from beyond the arc, knocking down 35% of his threes this season in 28 minutes per game in his 25 games for Mega Bemex in the ABA and hit 37% for Serbian juniors in international competition.

Jovic is an intriguing prospect who could even play solid minutes right away in an assigned role as he develops his skillset as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker at 6-11. He’s a good athlete who has intriguing potential due to his offensive skills and versatility.

6 Marjan Beauchamp 6-6 195 G League Ignite

Beauchamp is an athletic wing with NBA athleticism and length. While his skill set still has room for growth including his outside shooting, his ability to defend, rebound and slash to the basket gives him a solid base to work with. Beauchamp thrives in the open floor and can be impact games when he’s able to utilize his athleticism.

The Ignite standout received one of the last green room invites, indicating that he is a likely top 25 pick. He will turn 22 in October making him a bit older for a player coming out of the Ignite, but the upside is there due to his physical attributes.

7. Kendall Brown 6-7 200 Baylor Bears

Okay, now we’re back to the “regular” prospects who don’t play like point guards at nearly seven-feet tall. While it isn’t with transcendent skill like the players above, Brown is still unique and exciting in his own right with great size on the wing and elite athleticism and defensive potential to pair with it.

He didn’t enjoy the best freshman season of all-time for a five-star, but he was never a liability on the court thanks to his ability to disrupt defensively and fly (literally) in transition. I expect him to have a similar role and impact for a few years in the NBA as well with the potential to flourish in a Miles Bridges role in the prime of his career.

8. Wendell Moore 6-5 215 Duke Blue Devils

I mentioned late-bloomers in the introduction, and nobody fits that description more than Wendell Moore. The former five-star recruit struggled mightily in his first two seasons, but really found himself as a junior in a more defined role as a secondary playmaker and spot-up shooter around Paolo Banchero who occupied defenders to create open looks for Moore.

With more open looks and less pressure to score, ironically, Moore started to score and made 41% of his 3-pointers in the process.  The versatile junior is shaping up to be a spicy sleeper in the early second round, that could come in and be a contributor right away and make some GM look really smart (or lucky), a la Herb Jones last year.

9. Ron Harper Jr. 6-5 240 Rutgers Scarlet Knights

You might remember the half-court buzzer-beater to beat Purdue, but there is plenty more to know about who Harper is outside of a Rutgers icon. As the son of a former NBA player and champion, Harper has the fire and competitiveness to raise the level of his team and impact winning in ways that extend well beyond the box score.

He is a jack-of-all-trades player who can shoot, rebound and get his own shot inside the arc while occasionally punishing the rim. His 7-foot-1 wingspan allows him to play much bigger and his dimensions and experience have some parallels to Draymond Green entering the league, granted with a different skill set. Harper will need to tone his body some and improve his conditioning but as a mid -second rounder, Harper has a chance to be one of the draft big sleepers.

10. Peyton Watson 6-8 205 UCLA Bruins

Watson found himself on a team that returned an entire starting lineup from the Final Four and this partially explains why he struggled to earn consistent minutes for the Bruins in his freshman season. He drew praise from the UCLA Coaching staff despite his decision to leave after a subpar season.

He possessed the ability to become a lottery pick in a year if he had returned to school, but to this point his talent has not correlated to impactful play. Watson will look to expand his game and continue to improve upon the strengths of his game – athleticism, ball handling and speed, and develop better toughness and consistency. He figures to find a spot in the second round and will need a  good situation in order to realize his potential.


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