NBA Mock Draft 4.0: The best prospect for every team in the first round

Chet Holmgren - Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Chet Holmgren - Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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For the fourth edition of our NBA Mock Draft, we examine the best prospect which makes the most sense for every team.

The final stages before the 2022 NBA Draft are now unfolding, especially with the lottery having decided the order of selection among teams that missed the postseason. So while the ever-competitive NBA playoffs are still underway, fans of the other teams can now look forward to the upcoming pool of rookies.

Holders of the sixth overall pick, the Indiana Pacers will have a shot to add an immediate contributor as they seek a return to the playoffs next season. The same could be said for the other lottery teams, as the 2022 class has talent in all positions, despite its relative top-heaviness.

With the draft order now in place, here are the best prospects who pose the best fits for all teams.

2022 NBA Mock Draft 4.0 (Picks 1-3)

1.  Orlando Magic – Chet Holmgren | PF/C | Gonzaga | 7’0” | 190 LBS

Chet Holmgren easily possesses the highest upside among all rookies in the upcoming draft. His physical tools may be quite the asterisk, but the Orlando Magic badly need a franchise centerpiece for years to come, and Holmgren could very well be that guy. They could have a bit of a conflict at hand with Mo Bamba still developing, but that is a problem they would embrace considering Chet is on the other side of it.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jabari Smith | PF | Auburn | 6’10” | 210 LBS

With this pick, the Oklahoma City address two things: getting the best talent available and shoring up their putrid frontcourt rotation. Jabari Smith, easily the best pure scorer in the frontcourt among his peers, should be an All-Star for years to come, and may even be the safest pick for any team in this draft. With Smith falling to them at no. 2, OKC’s exhausting rebuild should take a gargantuan leap.

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

While the Houston Rockets took two big men in last year’s draft, no one can measure up to the upside of Duke’s Paolo Banchero. Projected to be a nightly double-double machine, Banchero’s two-way stability and brilliance as a versatile scorer and defender ensure that the Rockets elevate from being just a rumbunctious bunch.