1. Orlando Magic: Jabari Smith, PF, Auburn, Fr.

The longer the season goes on, the more we hear that Smith is the consensus number one pick in the eyes of NBA scouts. Despite some other intriguing options, it’s hard to argue with this assessment. The 6’10 freshman is an absolute perfect fit in today’s NBA with his pure shooting stroke and ability to defend the perimeter. Adding to the intrigue is that Smith won’t turn 19 until May and has NBA bloodlines with his father Jabari Senior having played professionally for 10 years.

2. Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ivey, PG/SG, Purdue, So.

The top three has centered around forwards and big men for the entire buildup to this draft, but Ivey has hijacked the discussion with his recent performances. His buzzer-beater to beat Ohio State was the latest in a long line of remarkable performances from the sophomore guard who is the most talented guard in the nation and in this class by a decent margin. In the end it may be Ivey that gives Smith the biggest challenge to be the top pick.

3. Houston Rockets: Chet Holmgren, PF/C, Gonzaga, Fr.

Holmgren is blossoming into everything you look for in a modern big man, but he also has special abilities. He is up to 45% from beyond the arc on the season and still sits at over three blocks per game. His combination of stats with regard to those skills has never been seen before. He is a perfect fit for today’s NBA and his potential is unmatched in this year’s draft. If he can add significant weight and maintain his mobility, a big if, it takes him from great to generational as a draft prospect. Concerns about his strength and durability will likely make it tough to take him first, but he will certainly create headaches for teams deciding whether to draft or pass on the Northwest unicorn when draft night rolls around.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder: Paolo Banchero, PF, Duke, Fr.

The Duke superstar might be dropping in our mock draft, but it is more of an indication of other players excellence, than his struggles. He is shining for the Blue Devils, but the upside of the three players above are simply more intriguing than Banchero’s. Banchero figures to be an extremely solid NBA player, with one of the clearest floors, but may lack the “franchise talent” potential of the three above him.

5. Sacramento Kings: Bennedict Mathurin, SG/SF, Arizona, So.

After the top four, there is a slight drop off, however Mathurin has a tier of his own as the next group of players are clearly below him from a talent and upside standpoint. Mathurin has an intriguing set of skills as one of the best shooters in the class, and he can also get to the hoop and finish in the lane with an effective floater. With good size, strength and scoring skills, Mathurin should be one of the fastest contributors among rookies in this class.

6. Indiana Pacers: Johnny Davis, SG, Wisconsin, So.

The breakout star in college basketball is starting to slow down, but he is still finding ways outside of scoring to help his team win. Davis can score at all three levels and has a variety of post scoring moves that really complement his blow-by ability. Don’t expect any sort of drop outside of the top-10 because the 6’5 sophomore is proving his hot start to the season was no fluke.

7. New Orleans Pelicans: Blake Wesley, SG, Notre Dame, Fr.

From virtual unknown to projected lottery pick, it’s been quite a ride for the South Bend native. Wesley continues to climb draft boards as he’s taken the reigns as Notre Dame’s primary ball handler and not looked back. He uses his speed and long strides a lot like Jaden Ivey to get by defenders. The athletic freshman is carrying the Irish back to relevance and asserting himself as a potential lottery selection this summer.

8. San Antonio Spurs: TyTy Washington, PG, Kentucky, Fr.

When Washington went down against Auburn with an apparent ankle injury, Big Blue nation held their breath. Thankfully, their stud freshman only missed one game and came back in time to help the Cats knock off Kansas in blowout fashion. Washington is far and away the best point guard in this class and knows how to rack up assists without turning the ball over. He is simply the perfect player to run an offense with his poise and confidence with the ball in his hands.

9. Portland Trail Blazers: AJ Griffin, SF, Duke, Fr.

It wasn’t too long ago when Griffin was in our 2023 mock draft because he didn’t seem ready to contribute in college or the pros. Now he has been given more responsibility, and is one of the best freshmen in the nation with elite size, strength and shooting as a 6’6 wing. His input into the starting lineup is doing wonders for the Blue Devils and a team that previously struggled with perimeter shooting now has a wing shooting 50% in AJ Griffin.

10. New York Knicks: Max Christie, SG, Michigan State, Fr.

Another freshman who struggled with his shot in the first few weeks of the season, but it was apparent that the talent and shooting stroke was there. Christie couldn’t seem to buy a shot in the first quarter of the season. Now he is starting to find his groove, shooting 16/30 from the perimeter over his last eight games and making a strong push as a one and done lotto possibility.

11. Washington Wizards: Jaden Hardy, SG, G-League Ignite, 2002

The step from high school to the G-Leagues hasn’t been as smooth as Hardy anticipated. The former top prospect is shooting just 35% from the field and 27% from the perimeter in his 12 games for the Ignite. The talent is absolutely there with Hardy, but the results have not been efficent. There have been some concerns about his dedication and ability to stay focused and some prospects have leaped over him because of it.

12. Atlanta Hawks: Keegan Murray, SF/PF, Iowa, So.

When you have a player averaging over 22 points in the Big Ten as a first-year starter, it seems obvious that offense is the best part of his game. That is certainly possible, but scouts love the length and defensive versatility that Murray brings more than the offensive production. He can switch 1-5 and knows how to disrupt opposing offenses with 3.5 “stocks” per game.

13. Memphis Grizzlies (via LAL): Ochai Agbaji, SG, Kansas, Sr.

The national player of the year candidate had the best game of his career with 37 points against Texas Tech on Monday. He has also shown an innate ability to come up with big shots whenever he is called upon. The senior guard slashes and shoots as well as anyone in the country. Similar to Chris Duarte the sweet shooting senior is now projected in the late lottery halfway through the season.

14. Boston Celtics: Shaedon Sharpe, SG, Kentucky, Fr.

The announcement that Sharpe is eligible for the 2022 draft appeared to be bigger news in the national media than it was around the Kentucky program. Everyone in Sharpe’s camp and involved with the Kentucky program continues to contend that he will be back in Lexington next season, but when the time comes, it may be difficult to turn down a likely mid first round selection and the money that comes with it.

15. Minnesota Timberwolves: Bryce McGowens, SG, Nebraska, Fr

Don’t give up on McGowens just yet. His freshman season is going a lot different than many anticipated, but he is starting to turn it on for the Cornhuskers over the last three games. His 29-point outburst against Rutgers was the third straight 20-point game for the star freshman and he is 7-18 from the perimeter in that stretch.

16. Oklahoma City Thunder (via LAC): Patrick Baldwin Jr., SF/PF, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Fr.

Many expected Baldwin to tear up the Horizon League when he decided to go play for his dad at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. This hasn’t been the case. Baldwin doesn’t lead his team in scoring and is only shooting 37% from the field and 32% from the perimeter. He’s only played once in January with a calf injury and an ankle injury ended his senior season after just two games in high school. Injuries and efficiency are major problems for the former top recruit, but a team like the Thunder looking for diamonds in the rough could take a chance in their rebuilding process.

17. Toronto Raptors: Jalen Duren, PF/C, Memphis, Fr.

One of the top prospects coming into the season is struggling to make the impact that many of the freshmen above him have made. He is still on the younger side, born in late 2003, but the lack of a perimeter jumper is detrimental to his stock. He is effective as a screener and roller, and even shows good vision in short rolls, but his offensive impact seemingly stops there. His status as a mid-first round shouldn’t fluctuate too much, but it’s concerning to see him underachieve and not play to his ability.

18. Charlotte Hornets: MarJon Beauchamp, SG/SF, G-League Ignite, 2000

This might come as a surprise to some, but Beauchamp has a legitimate shot to be the first Ignite player drafted this summer. Jaden Hardy’s struggles are evident, but that is opening the door for others like Beauchamp to shine. He is a few years older than Hardy and that explains why his transition to professional basketball has been a lot smoother. Still, Beauchamp is shooting 57% from the floor and figures to go in the top 20 or so picks.

19. Denver Nuggets: Walker Kessler, C, Auburn, So.

If anyone rivals Chet Holmgren as a shot-blocker, it is Walker Kessler. The North Carolina transfer is averaging four blocks per game and is one of the best rim runners in the nation. He isn’t the most modern big, but he protects the paint as well as any player in this draft and has the confidence to let it fly from the perimeter occasionally. The development of this shot could turn Kessler into a mid-first rounder in a flash.

20. Dallas Mavericks: Nikola Jovic, SF/PF, Serbia, 2003

Jovic is considered the top International prospect, in a weak crop, for the 2022 draft. He has a high skill level and decent veratility at his size. He isn’t great defensively on the perimeter or on the interior, but he is solid enough at both to not be a liability on the defensive end.

21. Houston Rockets (via BKN): Orlando Robinson, PF/C, Fresno State, Jr.

Robinson is the most skilled bigman potentially available this year. He shows the ability to create offense for himself both on the block and on the perimeter, and is up to 37% from three. While not the fleetest of foot, his skillet and IQ helps offset his speed limitations. The 7’0 junior has started all 74 games he’s played in for the Bulldogs and should contribute immediately at the next level.

22. Memphis Grizzlies (via UTAH): Julian Strawther, SF, Gonzaga, So.

Chet Holmgren is the star prospect on the Bulldogs roster, but Strawther is also intriguing proving to be worthy of a first-round selection as well. He has beautiful shooting mechanics, but also finishes efficiently at the rim. The 6’7 wing has good length and athleticism and projects nicely as an offensive threat and could become a premier shooter in the NBA with his size and improved consistency.

23. Milwaukee Bucks: Wendell Moore, SG/SF, Duke, Jr.

The drastic improvement from his first two seasons as a perimeter player puts Moore towards the end of the first round in our latest projection. He is a playmaking wing who gets to the basket with speed and power, but this development as a shooter is doing wonders for his draft stock and for the Blue Devils in their bounce back season.

24. Cleveland Cavaliers: Mark Williams, C, Duke, So.

Williams is the fourth and final Blue Devil projected to go in the first round, which seems like a fitting sendoff for, Coach K in his final season as a coach and NBA player developer. The seven-footer is an athletic, physical big man who does most of his damage around the rim with dunks, blocks and rebounds, which will always be valuable traits in the NBA.His development in key areas; outside shooting and defending on switches holds the key to his long term success.

25. Philadelphia 76ers: Kendall Brown, SF, Baylor, Fr.

Scott Drew continues to reload instead of rebuild and his freshman forward is another example. Brown is a freak athlete who can jump out of the building and defend anyone on the floor with a terrific blend of strength and quickness. If he can considerably improve his shooting, the sky is the limit.  Brown has been overrated by some early in the process and figures to fall somewhere in the late first to early second if he elects to declare for the draft.

26. Chicago Bulls: Jamaree Bouyea, PG, San Francisco, Sr.

The Dons might be going through a rough stretch, but Jamaree Bouyea is playing some of his best basketball. The senior point guard is shooting over 50% from the floor and possesses range that rivals Jimmer Fredette in his prime. He might not play the best competition regularly, but he has proven to be able to handle high level competition like his performance this year in Spokane.

27. Miami Heat: Aminu Mohammed, SG, Georgetown, Fr.

Ultimately Mohammed’s draft stock will come down to how much scouts trust his perimeter jumper. He is a long, physical, two-way player who can get to the basket and switch 1-4, but 13 made threes in 18 games is something that needs to improve. Still, he is one of the more talented freshmen in the nation with the frame and tools to make a smooth leap to the next level.

28. Memphis Grizzlies: Johnny Juzang, SF, UCLA, Jr.

The Kentucky transfer is developing into much more than just a shooter for Mick Cronin and the Bruins. That’s all he was used as in Lexington, but now he is a great ball-handler who can score at all three levels and possesses one of the smoothest mid-range jumpers outside the NBA. Any team looking for a scorer will be intrigued to add him in this year’s draft.

29. Golden State Warriors: Ismael Kamagate, C, France, 2001

Nobody is flying up draft boards faster than the French center who is currently playing for Paris Basketball. His ability to play on the inside and create for others in the high post and short rolls make him an appealing big man who should make an immediate impact at the next level. He reminds of former Kansas player Cheick Diallo with his length (7-5 wingspan) and energy.

30. Oklahoma City Thunder (via PHX): Matteo Spagnolo, PG, Italy, 2003

Another foreign prospect sneaking into our first round is Spagnolo, a talented Italian point guard who has great size and plenty of time to develop since he just turned 19. In his first season playing in Serie A, Spagnolo is shooting 50/48/82 splits and averaging 10 points per game. It is tough to contribute this much at such a young age in a professional league.

Round 2

31. Orlando Magic: Tari Eason, PF, LSU, So.

One of the best sixth men in the country who plays physical, versatile defense with great length and strength at 6’8, 216 pounds. He also has offensive upside, averaging 16 points on 53/30/78 splits suggesting a potential stretch-big role with a year or two to develop.

32. San Antonio Spurs (via DET): Jabari Walker, SF/PF, Colorado, So.

An athletic wing with a high floor and plenty of upside on both ends of the floor. He flourished more as a role player a season ago, but has shown flashes of being ready to be the star in Boulder as a sophomore.

33. Cleveland Cavaliers (via HOU): Trayce Jackson-Davis, PF/C, Indiana, Jr.

Potentially the most athletic big man in this class outside of the lottery. Jackson-Davis is only 6’9 but he plays like a seven-footer with his length and vertical that allows him to block nearly three shots per game and alter even more.

34. Oklahoma City Thunder: Dyson Daniels, SG/PG, G-League Ignite, 2003

An athletic playmaking guard with great size and a high ceiling who might struggle early in his career, but patience should benefit whoever drafts him in a few years.

35: Orlando Magic (via IND): Kennedy Chandler, PG, Tennessee, Fr.

The five-star point guard was rated by some as a lottery prospect, but he continues to show wrinkles that have scouts concerned about his translation to the NBA. While he is one of the more polished freshman, his shooting has trailed off considerably, and he lacks the dynamic athleticism and size of a prototypical NBA starting point guard.

36. Sacramento Kings: Caleb Love, PG/SG, North Carolina, So.

An improved three-point shot turned Love into an elite guard in college basketball, but turnovers and shooting efficiency remain major flaws in his game, which drops him back into the second round in this latest projection.

37. Charlotte Hornets (via NO): Taevion Kinsey, SG, Marshall, Sr.

A premier mid-major scorer who has been on draft radars for years and should finally get a shot in the pros this season. Averaging over 20 points despite 3-point struggles, but an improvement on the perimeter would make him a steal in the second round.

38. Cleveland Cavaliers (via SAS): Terrence Shannon, SG, Texas Tech, Jr.

A physical, athletic defender who is starting to improve offensively, elevating his draft stock and putting him in first-round discussion. His decision to return for another year is starting to pay off now that he is healthy again.

39. Portland Trail Blazers: Ibou Dianko Badji, C, Senegal, 2002

Another high potential player with extreme length &-foot-8 wingspan) and an underrated shooting ability. He can extend to the free-throw line and move well enough to defend adequately on the perimeter and solidly in the post.

40. New York Knicks: EJ Liddell, PF/C, Ohio State, Jr.

A prolific scorer in the mid-range who is improving his outside jumper in his junior season. Defensive versatility is his greatest trait, but his offensive development makes him an intriguing small ball 5 prospect.

41. Minnesota Timberwolves (via WAS): Jahvon Quinerly, PG, Alabama, Jr.

A huge dip in 3-point shooting is not only hurting the Crimson Tide, but also himself when it comes to draft discussions. Still, his playmaking and speed are valuable assets for a backup point guard with as much potential as any second-round point guard.

42. Atlanta Hawks: Iverson Molinar, PG, Mississippi State, Jr.

His speed, slashing and flexibility around the rim was on full display in a career effort against Kentucky this week and it allowed him to jump into the mid-second round here in our latest projection.

43. San Antonio Spurs (via LAL): Izaiah Brockington, SG, Iowa State, Sr.

Mid-range maestro who knows how to elevate on his jumper and finish with power at the rim. Could be a spark plug off the bench with the relentless energy and effort he plays with on both ends of the floor.

44. Minnesota Timberwolves: Michael Foster, PF, G-League Ignite, 2003

Shoot well from the perimeter, making him an intriguing stretch four who could boom early in his career with physical rebounding and a modern style of play.

45. Los Angeles Clippers: Michael Devoe, PG/SG, Georgia Tech, Sr.

The departure of Jose Alvarado and Moses Wright allowed Devoe to step up into a star role this season and he isn’t looking back. The senior guard is averaging 19 per game and is doing so with decent efficiency. Despite great speed, his 3 point range and productivity could carve out a role at the next level off the bench.

46. Boston Celtics: Dereon Seabron, SG/SF, NC State, So.

A lengthy slasher at 6’7 who uses long strides and a quick first step to get to the basket. The lack of a reliable shot allows defenders to play off him, which has diminished his impact and lowered his draft stock.

47. Golden State Warriors (via TOR): Gabriele Procida, SG, Italy, 2002

Another skilled Italian prospect who has decent size at 6’7 and flourishes off the ball as a shooter and cutter.

48. Forfeited Pick

49. Minnesota Timberwolves (via DEN): Oscar Tshiebwe, PF/C, Kentucky, Jr.

One of the best rebounders in college basketball history who is relentless on the glass and disruptive on the defensive end averaging 3.2 steals and blocks per game.

50. Dallas Mavericks: Jean Montero, PG/SG, Overtime Elite, 2003

Montero has a lot of hype surrounding him,  but the level of competition in the Overtime Elite program is questionable at best. He is certainly an intriguing, athletic scorer and creator, but the young point guard is a complete wild card and still has a ways to go with his skill level and efficiency.

51. Detroit Pistons (via BKN): Yannick Nzosa, C, Congo, 2003

A young, skilled rim protector who needs to improve his offensive polish if he wants to recapture some of the early hype.

52. New Orleans Pelicans (via UTAH): Hugo Besson, PG/SG, France, 2001

A French guard who has thrived playing in the Australian league showing a lot of scoring ability, but one of the  players with lower ceilings among second-round guards.

53. Forfeited Pick

54. New Orleans Pelicans (via CLE): Jaime Jaquez, SF, UCLA, Jr.

A crafty, high IQ player who can create for others and also do all of the little things to help his team win. Potential role player who can contribute right away.

55. Miami Heat: Keon Ellis, SG, Alabama, Sr.

An athletic guard with good size and speed who can speed up opposing defenses and clamp down on the defensive end with elite lateral quickness and disruptive hands.

56. Sacramento Kings (via CHI): Tristan Vukcevic, PF/C, Serbia, 2003

Not the greatest athlete, but a solid interior finisher with good size and potential as a stash guy at just 18 years of age. Vukcevic just signed multi year deal to leave Barcelona and play for Partizan in Serbia.

57. Indiana Pacers (via MIA): Carlos Alocen, PG, Spain, 2000

Alocen has struggled to play to his ability and it has hurt his draft stock. An efficient guard who has flirted with the draft process for years, but is finally ready to make that step and contribute as a solid, safe playmaking guard off the bench in his rookie season.

58. Utah Jazz (via MEM): Alondes Williams, SG, Wake Forest, Sr.

One of the most improved players in the country who knows how to score and shoot, but his excellent court vision and flashy, accurate passing is perhaps his greatest attribute.

59. Golden State Warriors: Julian Champagnie, SF, St. John’s, Jr.

Twin brother of Raptors forward Justin Champagnie, but decided to stay another season after declaring for the 2021 draft. Three-level scorer buy lacks ideal athleticism and size.

60. Phoenix Suns: Brady Manek, C, North Carolina, Sr.

A modern stretch-big who plays with great energy and opens up the floor for the guards around him to get to the hoop.


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