2022 NBA Mock Draft: Duke has two stars within the never-too-early projections of subsequent 12 months’s lottery picks

On the morning after the 2020 NBA Draft, again on Nov. 19, 2020, I projected that Cade Cunningham, Jalen Inexperienced, Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes, Jalen Suggs and Jonathan Kuminga could be among the many first seven gamers chosen within the 2021 NBA Draft.

Then all of them grew to become top-seven picks.

In order that’s the most recent little bit of proof that means it is by no means actually too early to look forward to the subsequent NBA Draft

Consider it or not, entrance places of work have already got a reasonably good concept of which gamers might be into consideration within the lottery subsequent June, as they have been evaluating many of the elite Class of 2021 prospects, to completely different levels, for years. So with that in thoughts, what’s under is an early have a look at how the lottery of the 2022 NBA Draft may unfold. By my estimation, it needs to be a draft that is as soon as once more dominated on the high by American-based prospects just one 12 months faraway from highschool similar to the 2021 NBA Draft was dominated on the high by American-based prospects just one 12 months faraway from highschool — specifically Cunningham (No. 1), Inexperienced (No. 2), Mobley (No. 3), Barnes (No. 4), Suggs (No. 5), Kuminga (No. 7), Ziaire Williams (No. 10), Joshua Primo (No. 12) and Moses Moody (No. 14).

(Observe: the draft order is ready by the up to date SportsLine projected information for NBA groups for subsequent season.)

1. Thunder: Paolo Banchero (Duke)

I first noticed Paolo Banchero in particular person two years in the past at a USA Basketball occasion in Colorado Springs, the place he was already so massive and powerful and overwhelming {that a} coach of a top-five faculty program informed me the 6-10 ahead may begin for him then regardless that the Seattle native had simply accomplished his sophomore 12 months of highschool. Since then, Banchero has gotten even greater and stronger, extra expert and extra versatile, and it is easy to think about him being the primary participant chosen on this draft after one season of enjoying for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke.

2. Magic: Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)

Chet Holmgren is without doubt one of the most original prospects to enter faculty in a variety of years on condition that he is a 7-foot rim-protector who can be   extraordinarily snug and efficient enjoying with the ball in his palms on the perimeter. Questions on his skinny body and the way a lot it’ll fill out on the subsequent degree are authentic — however the expertise is so simple that he is the most important menace to interchange Banchero on the high of this draft after spending one season serving to Mark Few attempt to win Gonzaga’s first nationwide championship.

3. Pistons: Jaden Hardy (G League Ignite)

Jaden Hardy initiatives as the subsequent G League Ignite product to bounce into the lottery the identical approach Inexperienced and Kuminga simply did. He is a 6-4 bucket-getter who can shoot it comfortably from 24 ft and could be electrical enjoying beside a tall and gifted level guard like Cade Cunningham.

4. Cavaliers: Caleb Houstan (Michigan)

Caleb Houstan’s resolution to reclassify final summer season is what allowed him to enroll this summer season at Michigan, the place he’ll play on the wing in a beginning lineup anchored by preseason All-American Hunter Dickinson. The 6-8 Canadian is taken into account a high-level 3-and-D prospect due to his already distinctive catch-and-shoot means that will praise the talents Evan Mobley is bringing to the franchise.

5. Spurs: Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Milwaukee)

Patrick Baldwin Jr. is the kind of lengthy shot-creator and shot-maker NBA franchises routinely prioritize. The truth that he is additionally the son of a coach, and mainly at no threat of doing something apart from dominating whereas enjoying for his father within the Horizon League, are two different pluses that ought to give him an opportunity to crack the highest 5.

6. Rockets: Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee)

Kennedy Chandler is a conventional level guard (with unimaginable pace and handles) whose group simply at all times appears to win — in highschool, on the grassroots circuit and with USA Basketball. He is a bit on the small aspect, however that would not matter a lot enjoying subsequent to an enormous guard like Jalen Inexperienced in Houston.

7. Kings: Adrian Griffin (Duke)

Duke ought to go from having zero lottery picks within the 2021 NBA Draft to a number of lottery picks within the 2022 NBA Draft due to the presence of Banchero and A.J. Griffin, the latter of whom is the son of Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin. He is a 6-6 wing with unimaginable bodily instruments that make it doable for him to simply guard a number of positions.

8. Hornets: Jabari Smith (Auburn)

It is preferable within the modern-NBA that every one ahead prospects be competent shooters who can maintain the ground spaced. That is among the many causes Jabari Smith initiatives as a top-10 decide, and he needs to be terrific in a single season at Auburn, the place he’ll create a super-talented frontcourt with fellow former five-star recruit Walker Kessler.

9. Timberwolves: Peyton Watson (UCLA)

Peyton Watson is an athletic wing with nice size who can fly in transition and guard a number of positions. His enrollment at UCLA is without doubt one of the causes Mick Cronin has an actual probability to information the Bruins to a second straight Last 4 earlier than Watson bounces to the NBA, the place he’d match properly enjoying on the perimeter beside the No. 1 decide from the 2020 NBA Draft (Anthony Edwards).

10. Pelicans: TyTy Washington (Kentucky)

Kentucky obtained caught final season with out the type of high-level one-and-done level guard John Calipari has used to make 4 Last Fours in 12 years with the Wildcats. However issues will get again to regular this season due to the enrollment of TyTy Washington, a 6-3 level guard who can create for himself and others and reliably shoot in a approach that will be useful for any major ball-handler enjoying with Zion Williamson.

11. Pacers: JD Davison (Alabama)

JD Davison is the purpose guard prospect on this draft most certainly to dunk on a bigger opponent like Grizzlies star Ja Morant typically does. Assuming he performs as anticipated at Alabama, he’ll doubtless be Nate Oats’ second straight lottery decide and any individual who may very well be an fascinating backcourt addition for Indiana.

12. Raptors: Yannick Nzosa (Congo)

Yannick Nzosa is more likely to be the primary non-college/worldwide participant chosen on this draft. The 6-11 heart, who remains to be solely 17 years previous, has an opportunity to be particular defensively, and usually, even when most issues on the offensive finish stay very a lot a piece in progress.

13. Wizards: Nikola Jovic (Serbia)

Nikola Jovic is a 6-10 Serbian who possesses some actual point-forward abilities that enable him to make passes most prospects his measurement and age cannot make. He is spent the previous 12 months additionally turning into a authentic 3-point menace, which is clearly one other valued talent that might assist the Wizards in what may by then be the a post-Brad Beal ere.

14. Grizzlies: Jalen Duren (N/A)

Listeners of the Eye On School Basketball Podcast doubtless know I am a bit decrease on Jalen Duren than most, principally as a result of, from an NBA perspective, he can moderately be described as an undersized heart who does not do an entire lot away from the basket, at the very least not at this level in his growth. However in sure conditions, that may not be the most important deal, and enjoying in Memphis subsequent to a flexible massive like Jaren Jackson Jr. is one such scenario that might maximize Duren, who is anticipated to quickly reclassify from the Class of 2022 and make himself eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft.


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