NBA Draft 2022: Full first round mock draft (picks 1-31)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 26: Theo John #12, Paolo Banchero #5 and Trevor Keels #1 of the Duke Blue Devils react in the first half against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the Elite Eight round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Chase Center on March 26, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 26: Theo John #12, Paolo Banchero #5 and Trevor Keels #1 of the Duke Blue Devils react in the first half against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the Elite Eight round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Chase Center on March 26, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

The NBA Draft will be here before you know it and this is the most exciting the draft has been for the Indiana Pacers in thirty years. We still don’t know the official draft order since the draft lottery is four weeks away, but we have an idea of what teams will be in the mix and what players they could be targeting.

Today I took a crack at my first NBA Mock Draft with several twists and turns you probably weren’t anticipating. I think this NBA draft will be unique in several ways, but we should start to get a feel for how teams think about players after the NBA draft lottery and NBA draft combine.

NBA Mock Draft 2022 V.1 (Picks 1-31)

1.  Houston Rockets – Paolo Banchero | PF | Duke | 6’10” | 250 LBS

Houston selects the best player in the draft. Banchero has all the tools to be a terrific player in the NBA. His size and all-around game make him a can’t-miss pick. Houston needs talent above all.

2. Orlando Magic – Jabari Smith | PF | Auburn | 6’10” | 210 LBS

The next best player in this draft is Jabari Smith. While Orlando is a team that has depth at all 5 positions, they get much better here adding a solid defender who shot lights out from three this season.

3. Detroit Pistons – Jaden Ivey | SG | Purdue | 6’4” | 200 LBS

The Pistons can go two ways in this NBA draft, but I like the dynamic guard play of Ivey paired with Bey and Cunningham. Ivey is an athletic guard that improved as a shooter and has the ability to put pressure on defenses with his elite athleticism.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder – Shaedon Sharpe | SG | Kentucky | 6’6” | 200 LBS

The first real stunner of this mock draft comes here with Sharpe at 4. Oklahoma City could either go Chet Holmgren here, or they can swing for the fences and bank on the upside of Sharpe. OKC is a team that isn’t afraid to take a chance here, and with two more first-round picks, I like the idea of swinging on the upside of Sharpe. The only question is, does he return to Kentucky or enter the draft.

5. Indiana Pacers – Keegan Murray | PF | Iowa | 6’8” | 225 LBS

Indiana could go a few different ways here, but I don’t believe Indiana is the right team to draft Chet Holmgren either. This Pacers team really has to nail this pick and with Holmgren, there is too much ‘bust’ potential. They play it safe here and draft a terrific forward in Keegan Murray. He is a three-way scorer and a solid defender. Murray fits a position of need for this Pacers team and while his ceiling might not be as high as some other prospects, his floor is high.

6. Portland Trailblazers – Chet Holmgren | PF/C | Gonzaga | 7’0” | 190 LBS

Chet Holmgren is easily the most intriguing player in this draft. While some have him number one on their big boards, some have him as low as four. In this mock draft, I have him falling all the way to six because I think there is a slim but realistic chance this happens. Chet is a polarizing player that could be great, but there is fear that he could be a bust. If Portland is able to get their hands on Holmgren at 6, it’s a slam dunk for the Trailblazers as they enter phase one of their rebuild.

7. Sacramento Kings – AJ Griffin | SF | Duke | 6’7” | 222 LBS

AJ Griffin is a solid defender who can shoot the ball well. With his skill set, I think he is plug and play right away in the Kings’ starting lineup. I liked the idea of the Pacers drafting Griffin when Sabonis was still here, and I like it the same with Sabonis in Sacramento. Playing next to Barnes, Fox, Mitchell, and Sabonis will help the rookie grow overall.

8. New Orleans Pelicans (from LAL) – Benedict Mathurin | SG | Arizona | 6’7” | 195 LBS

Mathurin is a player that has elite athleticism and he improved as a shooter this season. He had a terrific year and showcased that in the NCAA tournament against TCU. I think if Mathurin is selected by the right team, he could start from day one. I don’t love his fit in New Orleans with them just acquiring CJ McCollum, but bringing Mathurin off the bench and allowing him to learn from a veteran guard like McCollum isn’t the worst thing.

9. San Antonio Spurs – Ousmane Dieng | SG/SF | New Zealand | 6’9” | 216 LBS

Boom! Another surprise pick here in the draft, as the Spurs jump on the international talent Ousmane Dieng. I have yet to see a mock draft have Dieng go this high, but with his elite defense and build, I can see a team like the Spurs taking a gamble here. They also have picks 20 and 25 in the draft, so taking a swing here doesn’t hurt. This draft is about 7-8 deep in my opinion, so this is where the Spurs could reach similar to what they did last season when they selected Josh Primo with the 12th overall pick.

10. Washington Wizards – Johnny Davis | SG | Wisconsin | 6’5” | 190 LBS

Johnny Davis was a standout this season in college basketball and was the Big 10 player of the year. I have no idea what direction this Wizards team is going, but Johnny Davis is arguably the best talent on the board at this point. You invest in the stud from Wisconsin, see what the future is for Bradley Beal and evaluate if they can play together. Once Washington figures out the direction they would like to head, they can continue revamping this roster with Johnny Davis as a key piece moving forward.

11. New York Knicks – Jalen Duren | C | Memphis | 6’11” | 250 LBS

With the likely departure of Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks are hoping that Duren falls all the way to 11. Duren is a monster shot-blocker who can catch lobs and rebound the basketball. Thibbs would love to have this presence on the floor next to Randle, Barrett, Grimes, and Quickley.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from LAC) – Jeremy Sochan | PF | Baylor | 6’9” | 230 LBS

Sochan is a terrific rebounder and defender. Offensively, he has a long way to go, but I love his hustle and energy. After selecting Sharpe in this mock draft, the Thunder continue to add unique talent to this roster to help strengthen their depth. Sochan would be a fun fit here, especially playing defense next to Lu Dort.

13. Charlotte Hornets – Tari Eason | PF | LSU | 6’8” | 216 LBS

Eason is one of my favorite players in this draft, and it starts with his incredible defensive upside. Charlotte longs for defensive help, and if there is any doubt that PJ Washington doesn’t re-sign in the summer of 2023, this gives Charlotte insurance at this position. If they do keep Washington and sign Bridges this off-season, I still love this depth piece as Eason could also be a part of a fun small-ball lineup with Washington, Bridges, Ball, and Rozier.

14. Cleveland Cavaliers – Ochai Agbaji | SG | Kansas | 6’5” | 214 LBS

Cleveland is probably shocked to be here at 14 after the stellar season they had. This is a loaded team with plenty of depth and young players, but adding a talented senior from the NCAA champions in Agbaji will help this team even more. Agbaji improved as a shooter from distance while at Kansas and was one of their best defenders. There were too many times in the play-in tournament that Cleveland had lineups with non-shooters on the floor. Agbaji going to Cleveland in this NBA draft is similar to the Pacers’ selection last year of Chris Duarte.

15. Charlotte Hornets (from NOLA) – Mark Williams | C | Duke | 7’0” | 243 LBS

After drafting Kai Jones last year, I am not sure if the Hornets want to invest in another center in this NBA draft, but Mark Williams was special for Duke this season and I like his fit here if Charlotte doesn’t look to move this pick for veteran help. Plumlee is also a free agent in 2023 and if they are unable to sign Washington next summer, adding frontcourt depth will be key.

16. Atlanta Hawks – Kendall Brown | SF | Baylor | 6’8” | 205 LBS

Brown did not play well against UNC in the tournament, but with his body and size, this could be another steal for the Hawks in the middle of the first round (John Collins being the other). Some have debated who the better Baylor prospect is, and for the majority of the season, I felt Brown was the better of the two. Sochan brings a different edge/passion to the game, but I still think Brown is the most skilled out of the two. I like Brown’s defensive upside and his all-around offensive game in this NBA draft.

17. Houston Rockets (from BRK) – TyTy Washington | PG/SG | Kentucky | 6’3” | 185 LBS

TyTy Washington had a good year at Kentucky and showcased why he can be a lead point guard for a team, although he wasn’t always the offensive initiator this season. He’s a tweener that has to improve as a ball-handler to be a primary point guard, but I like his fit with Houston because it will allow him to play on and off the ball. I don’t see him as a player who is ready to start at point guard in his rookie season, but I love his work ethic and think he fits in nicely with a young team.

18. Chicago Bulls – EJ Liddell | PF | Ohio State | 6’7” | 240 LBS

The Bulls have two guards who dominate the scoring in DeRozan and LaVine. When Lonzo Ball comes back, this is a solid team. We have seen how impactful Caruso has been in the league and we’ve seen growth from both young guards Ayo and White. This Bulls team needs front-court depth and that’s why I like them going after the improved EJ Liddell. Patrick Williams is a big piece for the Bulls moving forward, but I like Liddell as his backup because of what he can bring defensively to this Bulls team. He would be a great get for them from this NBA draft.

19. Minnesota Timberwolves – Dyson Daniels | SG | G League | 6’6” | 170 LBS

Daniels could wind up being a lottery pick, but I have him falling in this draft to Minnesota. The Wolves have a talented roster of young players and I like the idea of adding a guard that can defend and has playmaking upside in this NBA draft. Coach Finch has done a fantastic job in Minnesota and I think he can find unique ways to utilize Daniels.

20. San Antonio Spurs (from TOR) – Nikola Jovic | PF | Mega Bemax | 6’10” | 209 LBS

Jovic is the most Spurs pick in this draft. If you listen to my podcast (Setting The Pace), you know how high I am on Jovic. He is a smooth shooter and has the handles of a guard. With a 6’10” body and guard skills, I can see Pop loving the talent that he has. San Antonio can take another risk on an international player in this draft because they already have a deep team filled with young players.

21. Denver Nuggets – Malaki Branham | SG | Ohio State | 6’5” | 195 LBS

Branham really blossomed this season at Ohio State and the offense began to run through him in the last third of the season. He thrived in this role and showcased why he is a talented young player worth drafting. If he happens to fall to 21 in this NBA draft, Denver would be lucky to have him. Branham can score with and without the basketball, so having a player that knows how to cut with Jokic demanding the offense is a seamless fit.

22.  Memphis Grizzlies (from UTA) – Patrick Baldwin Jr. | SF/PF | Milwaukee | 6’10” | 205 LBS

The Grizzlies have an eye for talent and they are one of the deepest teams in the league. If the Grizzlies keep this pick, I think they take a swing at Baldwin Jr. from Milwaukee. Baldwin decided to play for a smaller school because his father was the coach. While that could’ve been a beautiful story, the complete opposite happened and crushed his draft stock. PBJ dealt with an ankle injury that limited him this season, but still shot poorly from the field after showcasing his range in high school. I still believe in PBJ, but I want him to get drafted to the best team to help him grow into the player he showed that he could be.

23. Brooklyn Nets (from PHI) – MarJon Beauchamp | SG/SF | G League | 6’6” 199 LBS

With his size and shooting ability, the Nets could easily be intrigued by Beauchamp’s skillset. He also has the ability to defend multiple positions. If Bruce Brown doesn’t re-sign in the summer, this could be his replacement. However, they both could easily play together and fit in nicely with KD, Kyrie, and Simmons.

24. Milwaukee Bucks – Blake Wesley | SG | Notre Dame | 6’5” | 185 LBS

The Bucks already have one Notre Dame standout in Pat Connaughton, so why not add another? Wesley is instant offense and I think Milwaukee could use that microwave scorer off the bench. He still has a lot of room to grow from his freshman season so the Bucks don’t have to play him right away. However, he was the leader of this Notre Dame basketball team that upset #6 Alabama in the NCAA Tournament.

25. San Antonio Spurs (from BOS) – Walker Kessler | C | Auburn | 7’1” | 245 LBS

Kessler has really worked on his shot from distance and he led the nation in block percentage this year. Playing next to a stud in Jabari Smith and going up against the tough competition in the SEC helped him grow as a player. Kessler is a subpar athlete, but he’s smart and could be a nice backup to Poeltl.

26. Dallas Mavericks –  Kennedy Chandler | PG | Tennessee | 6’0” | 172 LBS

If there is any fear that Brunson leaves in free agency, Kennedy Chandler is a terrific pickup here for the Mavericks at 26. He is one of the quickest guards in the draft and a great shot creator. His defense is solid as well, even though he is undersized. Chandler is a hard worker and after Tennessee lost to Michigan in the tournament, he was embraced by Juwan Howard who gave him words of advice. I have a hard time predicting where Chandler falls in this NBA draft, but I like his fit with Dallas.

27. Miami Heat – Wendell Moore | SG/SF | Duke | 6’6” | 215 LBS

Moore shot 41.3% from three this season and was used as a facilitator and scorer off the ball for Duke. If you plug Moore into this Heat team, I can see him doing similar things for them under the coaching of Erik Spoelstra.

28. Golden State Warriors – Christian Braun | SG/SF | Kansas | 6’7” | 218 LBS

When the Warriors are clicking they’re one of the most fascinating teams to watch in the NBA. Braun played a huge part in the success of the Jayhawks this season and it was because of how well-rounded his game was. He can defend, shoot and score in transition. His game is a perfect fit for what the Warriors like to do.

29. Memphis Grizzlies – Jaden Hardy | SG | G League | 6’4” | 190 LBS

Although he isn’t the most athletic player, he has deep range and can be a shot creator. Similar to why I had Memphis taking Baldwin Jr. at 22, I like the Grizzlies taking a chance on Hardy here with pick 29. He didn’t live up to the hype in the G League and scouts have cooled off on his game. This seems like the perfect opportunity for the Grizzlies to swoop in and add a talented player and develop him within their organization.

30. Oklahoma City Thunder (from PHX) – Ismael Kamagate | C | Paris | 6’11” | 220 LBS

Kamagate has impressed overseas. He is a terrific shot-blocker with good hands and is an elite athlete. He will have to improve on his outside shooting, but he can be a successful roller that throws down powerful dunks. He plays above the rim and has improved as a rebounder.

31. Indiana Pacers (from HOU) – Leonard Miller | SF/PF | Fort Erie International | 6’11” | 210 LBS

With the first pick in the 2nd round, I would like to see the Pacers take a swing here on Leonard Miller. Miller is draft-eligible because he turned 18 in 2021. He still could decide to skip the NBA Draft and play one year in college, but with his skill set, he will easily be drafted this year. He has a different-looking shot, but he hits 41% from three. Leonard has handles like a guard, showcased defensive upside, and made it hard for players to shoot over him with his 7’3″ wingspan. I have spoken with a few draft guys and they cannot accurately gauge where Miller’s NBA draft stock is right now, so he could end up being a first-round pick if he goes pro in 2022.

Next. NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Full first-round picks for all teams. dark