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With the NBA Lottery behind us and the Orlando Magic receiving the number one pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, let’s take a look at my first mock draft. This edition will only feature the teams from the lottery.
1. Orlando Magic: Jabari Smith – Forward, Auburn
I know that Chet Holmgren and Jalen Suggs are best friends and their relationship could jump start this franchise, but Smith might make the most impact from day one. Smith being a 40% shooter from downtown would help one of the worst shooting and scoring teams in the league and they will bring back Mo Bamba back in free agency.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren – Forward/Center, Gonzaga
The Thunder will be running to the podium to take the hybrid player from Gonzaga. There isn’t too much that Holmgren can’t do, but everyone will speak about his lack of muscle and weight. But on a team with so much young talent, he has the chance to be an elite player.
3. Houston Rockets: Pablo Banchero – Forward, Duke
Banchero’s game is similar to Chris Bosh’s when he came into the league and he will be the perfect fit with what Houston is looking to do in their youth movement. He’s has a smooth inside/outside game and will be a perfect fit with Jalen Green as the Rockets will look to move up the standings.
4. Sacramento Kings: Keegan Murray – Forward, Iowa
The Kings need a power forward to go next to Domantas Sabonis and someone who can even play next to Richaun Holmes when he’s in the game. Murray can score from the forward position and will provide another target that De’Aaron Fox can find in transition.
5. Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ivey – Guard, Purdue
It seems like the Pistons might have been considered losers for falling down in the lottery, but will end up with the player that might lead the rookie class in scoring next season. Ivey is the perfect guard to go next to Cade Cunningham in the backcourt. Now the Pistons have a real chance to do some damage next season provided they can figure out the Jerami Grant situation.
6. Indiana Pacers: Shadeon Sharpe – Guard, Kentucky
The biggest unknown in the draft is Sharpe because no one has seen him play a game since he was in high school. Back then, Sharpe was the number one player in his class and can provide some serious star potential if he is anywhere close to the player people saw in high school.
7. Portland Trail Blazers: Bennedict Mathurin – Guard/Forward, Arizona
The Blazers will be getting an outstanding wing prospect with an NBA ready jumpshot in the fold. A player who can play both shooting guard and small forward, Mathurin will be a perfect fit next to Damian Lillard as the Blazers begin to retool their roster to become contenders in the West.
8. New Orleans Pelicans: Dyson Daniels – Guard, G-League Ignite
After adding CJ McCollum at the trade deadline and hopefully getting a healthy Zion Williamson back, the Pelicans can really take a swing at player that can fill the stat sheet. Daniels has the ability to be a microwave scorer off the bench, but the real intrigue is the defensive team coming off the bench with him, Jose Alvarado and Herb Jones.
9. San Antonio Spurs: Jalen Duran – Center, Memphis
Jacob Poetl is a potential free agent and adding the best big man prospect in the draft will allow the Spurs to be able to use their cap space on other needs. Duran is an athletic big-man with an old school offensive game. Dejounte Murray will love having Duran in the pick and roll next season in the Alamo.
10. Washington Wizards: TyTy Washington Jr. – Point Guard, Kentucky
The Wizards have a gaping hole at point guard and the best one in the class will fall into their lap. Washington has a solid jump shot, good size and can allow some of the scoring responsibilities to come off of Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis.
11. New York Knicks: Johnny Davis – Guard, Wisconsin
The Knicks could be one of those teams that could find a way to either move up in the draft or be using this pick for another team. But if the pick stays in the Big Apple, they will draft a player that is not afraid to shoot the basketball from all over. New York needs it after finishing the season 26th in the NBA in scoring. You can place him next to RJ Barrett and Julius Randle and the Knicks will have enough offensive firepower to put themselves right back into the playoff chase next season.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder: AJ Griffin – Forward, Duke
After getting their franchise player with the second overall pick, now the Thunder can concentrate on getting someone who can shoot from downtown. Griffin, who hit 45% of his attempts from downtown during his one season in Durham, will fit that mold. He’s especially needed since the Thunder finished 30th in three-point shooting percentage this season.
13. Charlotte Hornets: Mark Williams – Center, Duke
Charlotte have needed a ready-made big man for the last few seasons and Williams has a chance to start on day one. No matter who the coach is in Buzz City, getting the reigning ACC Defensive Player of Year and someone who knows how to finish at them will be the perfect fit next to arguably the best alley-oop thrower in the league in LaMelo Ball.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Ochai Agbaji – Forward, Kansas
Even though Cleveland has Caris LeVert and Isaac Okoro on the roster, they need someone who can score from the wing. Agbaji will fill the need and more. Agbaji, who won the Final Four Most Outstanding Player Award, can fill it up from downtown (40.9%) and can put up big time scoring numbers (19 games scoring 20 or more points during the 2021-2022 season).