Sunday, September 25

2022 NBA Mock Draft: Jabari Smith goes No. 1 to Magic ahead of Chet Holmgren; Bennedict Mathurin into top five

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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%

You probably can’t go wrong with any of the top three in this draft, but Smith has the highest ceiling as a scorer, and Orlando desperately needs some punch added to a feeble offense that has finished second-to-last in each of the past two seasons. Smith can space the floor as a 3-point shooter, create his own offense and reliably slot into a Magic defense full of length and versatility. There’s debate as to whether Smith is the best player in the draft, but it’s clear that he’s a strong fit for Orlando with the No. 1 pick.

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Gonzaga

• Fr

• 7’0″

/ 195 lbs

PPG

14.1

RPG

9.9

APG

1.9

3P%

39%

You couldn’t design a player in a lab more suited for the current iteration of the Thunder than Holmgren. Based on skill alone, he’d likely be the consensus top pick in this draft, but concerns about his slight frame aren’t without merit. Personally, I’m not too concerned about the lack of size given the offense-friendly officiating in the modern NBA, and Holmgren’s rare combination of rim protection, shooting ability, rebounding and basketball IQ could eventually make him a perennial All-Star. He may need time, but OKC has no problem with that.

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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%

When you watch Banchero’s film, it’s hard to believe he’s not the hands-down top pick in this draft. A player of that size with his mobility, handle, touch and playmaking ability is extremely hard to find. The one thing holding him back is his 3-point shot, but he certainly has the mechanics and confidence to eventually develop that part of his game with the right coaching staff. Houston will gladly take him at No. 3 as another foundational piece to pair with dynamic guard Jalen Green.

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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%

The Kings parted ways with Tyrese Haliburton to get big man Domantas Sabonis, and they’ll likely be in a position to get a worthy replacement in Ivey — a dynamic, explosive guard in the vein of Ja Morant. Ivey will fit in nicely as a combo guard next to either De’Aaron Fox or Davion Mitchell, and will help push the tempo for a team that was in the top 10 in pace last season. If Ivey’s shot develops, he is right there with the top three in this draft in terms of ceiling.

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Arizona

• Soph

• 6’6″

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

17.7

RPG

5.6

APG

2.5

3P%

36.9%

I was in love with Mathurin as a prospect before he decided to return to Arizona last year. With the development he displayed this season in terms of shooting and defense, he’s now worthy of a top-five pick in my opinion. Mathurin is the perfect complement to Cade Cunningham — a smart cutter, explosive finisher, transition menace and spot-up 3-point threat all rolled into one. He also has the length and size to be an excellent switch defender to help Detroit’s 24th-ranked defense.

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Iowa

• Soph

• 6’8″

/ 225 lbs

Projected Team

Indiana

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

23.5

RPG

8.7

APG

1.5

3P%

39.8%

One of Murray’s few weaknesses as a prospect is his lack of shot creation in the half-court, and he won’t have to worry about that next to Tyrese Haliburton with the Pacers. Murray is the perfect player to put alongside him, capable of knocking down 3-pointers, finishing at the rim and getting out in transition. He’s also potentially a versatile and switchable defender — something Indiana is in dire need of as they figure out which direction to take their roster.

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Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 200 lbs

Projected Team

Portland

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Sharpe makes sense for the Blazers for a couple of reasons. If they end up keeping the pick, he’s the most intriguing prospect at this point in the draft to dangle as a potential trade sweetener for a win-now player or two. Secondly, if Portland eventually decides to part ways with Damian Lillard and commence a full rebuild, Sharpe is exactly the type of young player you’d want to build around — an elite athlete with size, finishing ability and tremendous shot-creating and playmaking potential.

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Duke

• Fr

• 6’6″

/ 222 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

10.4

RPG

3.9

APG

1

3P%

44.7%

It’s best not to overthink this. The Pelicans need to surround Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum with as much shooting as possible, and Griffin knocked down nearly half of his 3-pointers in his freshman year at Duke. Adding to his intrigue, he doesn’t turn 19 until August and already has an NBA-ready body. Griffin has also shown the ability to create his own offense and, while the defense wasn’t quite there at Duke, he has the frame and wingspan to eventually excel on that end.

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Kentucky

• Fr

• 6’3″

/ 197 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

1st

PPG

12.5

RPG

3.5

APG

3.9

3P%

35%

The Spurs clearly need a secondary ball-handler next to Dejounte Murray, and Washington is an excellent choice with his ability to create offense for both himself and for others. He’s also more than capable as an off-ball 3-point shooter, allowing him to both play alongside Murray and serve as the backup point guard.

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Baylor

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 230 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

9.2

RPG

6.4

APG

1.8

3P%

29.6%

With Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis leading the charge offensively, the Wizards would be happy to use the No. 10 pick on Sochan, a 6-9 forward who projects as a plus defender given his versatility and ability to switch onto smaller players. He would make an immediate impact on Washington’s 25th-ranked defense, and also has some intriguing potential as a short-roll playmaker and finisher around the rim.

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Dyson Daniels


SG

G League Ignite

• 6’6″

/ 175 lbs

Projected Team

New York

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

11.3

RPG

5.9

APG

4.4

3P%

25.5%

Let’s get one thing out of the way: I love Daniels as a prospect. His natural ability to play at his own pace as a 6-7 guard and get his teammates involved jumps off the screen when watching his video. He’d be a great fit for the Knicks, in desperate need of a lead guard who can facilitate. Daniels can also finish at the rim or pull up short with a silky floater. His jump shot is a work in progress and will determine the height of his ceiling, but there’s a lot to like in terms of basketball IQ and savvy for a young player.

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Memphis

• Fr

• 6’11”

/ 250 lbs

PPG

12

RPG

8.1

APG

1.3

3P%

0%

The one thing missing from OKC’s rebuild is a true big man, and Duren seems like the perfect fit. He won’t turn 19 until November, adding to his potential growth, but he’s already a monster on the boards and as a rim protector with his massive 7-5 wingspan. He has some untapped playmaking potential, but at the very least Duren is going to be an uber-athletic shot-blocker and a lob threat to add to the Thunder’s arsenal of young talent.

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Kansas

• Sr

• 6’5″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Charlotte

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

18.8

RPG

5.1

APG

1.6

3P%

40.9%

At 22 years old, Agbaji should be able to slot in immediately for a Charlotte team that has playoff aspirations. He’s proven himself as a prototypical 3-and-D wing, capable of guarding multiple positions and knocking down corner 3-pointers off the catch. His 6-10 wingspan allows him to be disruptive on the defensive end and finish above the rim on backdoor cuts offensively. He should benefit from a simplified role in the NBA.

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Wisconsin

• Soph

• 6’5″

/ 194 lbs

Projected Team

Cleveland

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

2nd

PPG

19.7

RPG

8.2

APG

2.1

3P%

30.6%

Depending on what they do with Collin Sexton, the Cavs could use an extra playmaker and shot creator outside of Darius Garland, and that’s exactly what Davis is. He’s adept in the pick-and-roll, with the ability to finish with both hands, draw fouls or pull up for mid-range jumpers. His 6-9 wingspan gives him potentially elite defensive upside as well, so he’d be an impressive prospect for Cleveland to nab at No. 14.

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Duke

• Soph

• 7’0″

/ 242 lbs

Projected Team

Charlotte

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

11.2

RPG

7.4

APG

0.9

3P%

0%

Who knows if the Hornets will select at both 13 and 15, but if they do, why not take another stab at a reliable center? Williams is an absolute beast at 7-foot with a 7-7 wingspan, and he’s one of the most ferocious dunkers the college game has ever seen. He’s tailor-made for his role in the NBA as a shot-blocker and rim-runner — he rarely shot outside the paint at Duke — and it’s tantalizing to think of what LaMelo Ball could do with a center of Williams’ athleticism and power.

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LSU

• Soph

• 6’8″

/ 216 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

5th

PPG

16.9

RPG

6.6

APG

1

3P%

35.9%

The Hawks’ defense fell off a cliff last season, and Eason will help with that immediately with his pterodactyl-like 7-2 wingspan. He averaged three combined steals and blocks per game at LSU and should be ready to contribute immediately as a 21-year-old. He’s a long way from being a consistent 3-point shooter, but he would be an excellent running mate for Trae Young in the open floor, with the ability to finish above the rim.

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Ousmane Dieng


SF

France

• 6’9″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

26th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

8.9

RPG

3.2

APG

1.1

3P%

27.1%

The Rockets aren’t going to compete for a title any time soon, so taking a big swing here on Dieng seems reasonable. The upside is huge for the 6-10 wing with incredible ball-handling, playmaking and shot-creating potential, but it’s going to be a while until the 19-year-old is ready to contribute on a consistent basis in the NBA. That’s just fine for the Rockets, who are in the asset collection business for the foreseeable future.

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Ohio State

• Fr

• 6’5″

/ 180 lbs

Projected Team

Chicago

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

13.7

RPG

3.6

APG

2

3P%

41.6%

The Bulls are in desperate need of wings, and they’ll be fortunate if Branham falls to them at No. 18. The Ohio State product is a knock-down 3-point shooter with an excellent mid-range game, and he projects as a switchable, plus defender with his 6-10 wingspan and 6-6 frame. Chicago is in the hunt for a top-four playoff spot in the East so they won’t have much tolerance for learning on the fly, but Branham could carve out a role sooner rather than later given his skill set.

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Notre Dame

• Fr

• 6’5″

/ 181 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

10th

PPG

14.4

RPG

3.7

APG

2.4

3P%

30.3%

Minnesota needs help on the wing (doesn’t everyone?) and I really like Wesley’s fit here even if he’s listed a bit lower on a lot of experts’ big boards. His poor shooting percentages are the product of a lot of iso creation and playmaking that he won’t have to do in NBA — at least not to start. The Timberwolves would simplify his role, limiting his offense to 3-point shooting (mostly from the corners) and cutting, which I think would greatly improve his efficiency. He also picked up a lot of steals at Notre Dame and should eventually be able to defend multiple positions at the NBA level.

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Wisconsin-Milwaukee

• Fr

• 6’9″

/ 220 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

37th

POSITION RNK

9th

PPG

12.1

RPG

5.8

APG

1.5

3P%

26.6%

Baldwin was one of the top recruits in the country coming out of high school, but his draft stock plummeted after a horrific season at Milwaukee. The Spurs are just the type of organization to read through the noise and see a 6-9 bucket-getter with a 7-2 wingspan who has advanced shooting and scoring potential to go along with a “best player on the floor” type of confidence. Baldwin could end up being a huge steal if he falls this far, and San Antonio will be glad to get him in its program.

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Santa Clara

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

51st

POSITION RNK

16th

PPG

18

RPG

4.4

APG

4.2

3P%

39.6%

The Nuggets are known for finding hidden gems late in the draft, and it would be hard to pass up Williams at this juncture if he’s still on the board. The 21-year-old wing should be ready to contribute immediately, with his 7-2 wingspan allowing him to guard multiple positions. He’s a knock-down 3-point shooter who can also be a secondary creator with his passing and pick-and-roll proficiency, which will come in handy for a team that needs help on the wing.

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Jaden Hardy


SG

G League Ignite

• 6’4″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

Memphis

PROSPECT RNK

19th

POSITION RNK

6th

PPG

17.7

RPG

4.6

APG

3.2

3P%

26.9%

Hardy’s skill set is obvious — his shot creation and pull-up 3-point range are among the best in the draft class — but what makes him a perfect fit for Memphis is his attitude. This guy thinks he’s the best player on the floor at all times, and he plays like it, which will endear him to the up-and-coming Grizzlies. Yes, defense and shot selection are major issues, but the Memphis development staff has done a great job, very quickly, with other young, talented players.

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Ohio State

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 240 lbs

Projected Team

Brooklyn

PROSPECT RNK

29th

POSITION RNK

8th

PPG

19.4

RPG

7.9

APG

2.5

3P%

37.4%

Liddell makes sense for the Nets for a few reasons. As a 21-year-old he should be able to contribute immediately to a team in championship-or-bust mode. He also is a versatile, defensive-minded forward with an incredible motor, who gets a ton of blocks and steals due to his 7-foot wingspan and instincts. Offensively he can space the floor as a 3-point shooter and also operate as a playmaker in short roll situations. Overall, Liddell seems like the right guy for Brooklyn if he’s still around at No. 23.

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Nikola Jovic


SF

Serbia

• 6’10”

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

Milwaukee

PROSPECT RNK

21st

POSITION RNK

5th

Given their roster, the Bucks probably aren’t going to find someone to contribute right away at this point in the draft, so they’d be best served to take a big swing on Jovic, a legitimate prospect who goes well beyond having an extremely similar name to the reigning two-time MVP. Jovic is extremely raw, but the upside is obvious. At 6-10, he handles the ball like a guard in transition and has deep 3-point range with a consistent, quick release. He needs to work on getting his body NBA ready, but the Bucks have the luxury of patience.

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Wake Forest

• Jr

• 6’8″

/ 235 lbs

Projected Team

San Antonio

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

14.6

RPG

6.6

APG

3.7

3P%

38.4%

LaRavia just seems to do everything well — a trait that Gregg Popovich would likely find useful. The 6-8 forward has great instincts on both ends of the floor, and projects as a knock-down 3-point shooter, particularly from the corners. He also has some point-forward potential given his passing ability.

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MarJon Beauchamp


SF

G League Ignite

• 6’6″

/ 199 lbs

Projected Team

Dallas

PROSPECT RNK

36th

POSITION RNK

10th

PPG

15.1

RPG

7.3

APG

2.3

3P%

24.2%

The Mavs need to stock up on wings to put around Luka Doncic, and Beauchamp is a powerful athlete capable of getting out in transition who also has upside as a half-court creator. He needs to work on his 3-point consistency and defensive technique if he’s going to play immediately, but he has an NBA-ready body to go along with his 7-1 wingspan.

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Jean Montero


SG

Overtime Elite

• 6’2″

/ 180 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

16.9

RPG

7.3

APG

4.7

3P%

27.5%

Montero is as big a mystery as anyone in the draft, but his potential as a lead guard is incredibly tantalizing. He’s a blur in the open floor with a tight handle, and he’s adept at navigating pick-and-rolls — either finishing himself or setting up teammates. As with most young guards, his defense needs a lot of work, but the Heat are in position to keep him on the bench while he learns the ins and outs of the NBA.

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Duke

• Jr

• 6’5″

/ 213 lbs

Projected Team

Golden St.

PROSPECT RNK

30th

POSITION RNK

7th

PPG

13.4

RPG

5.3

APG

4.4

3P%

41.3%

Moore seems tailor-made for the Warriors as a 3-and-D wing with a high basketball IQ. He’s a smart cutter and passer and a knock-down 3-point shooter, especially from the corners. He can also get out in transition for a team that likes to play fast and attack before the defense can get set. If Moore’s still around at No. 28, he makes a lot of sense for Golden State.

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Tennessee

• Fr

• 6’0″

/ 171 lbs

Projected Team

Memphis

PROSPECT RNK

34th

POSITION RNK

3rd

PPG

13.9

RPG

3.2

APG

4.7

3P%

38.3%

With Tyus Jones entering free agency (and possibly earning a big payday), the Grizzlies might use this spot to draft a potential backup point guard, and Chandler is as rock-solid as they come. He’s lightning-quick and has a great feel in the pick-and-roll as both a scorer and a distributor. He’s also a good catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter and puts in a tremendous effort on the defensive end to make up for his lack of size.

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Baylor

• Fr

• 6’8″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

18th

POSITION RNK

4th

PPG

9.7

RPG

4.9

APG

1.9

3P%

34.1%

Brown could go much higher than this, but his skill set leaves a lot to be desired compared to a lot of prospects at his position in this draft. Where he stands out is his incredible athleticism, capable of getting out in transition and finishing with authority. While his defensive potential is certainly there, you’d like to see a little more polish at this point. In other words, Brown’s a bit of a project.





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