We’re less than a week away from the Draft, and the rumors are starting to heat up. While last year, the Top 5 already seemed more or less settled a month before D-Day, the situation changes for the 2022 edition because all the cards can still be reshuffled. You still don’t know who your favorite franchise is making eyes at? You’ve come to the right place for the answer. Between the six mock drafts ofESPN, Bleacher Report, The Athletic, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports and The Ringerhere are the latest trends reported by the American media.
As a reminder, a mock draft corresponds to a simulation choice by choice which is based on the quality of the prospects, the different needs of the NBA franchises and the latest rumors from the corridors across the Great League.
# LOTTERY PICKS
Looking at the table from afar, we can see that if the Top 4 or even 5 of the Draft is already acquired, the order is a little less so. While almost everyone two months ago saw Chet Holmgren as the first unanimous pick, now it’s Jabari Smith Jr. who squats at the top of the table. Position 4 would indeed be a real added value for the Magic, but Jalen Suggs could knock on the door of the front office from Orlando to defend the cause of his former high school teammate. Chet is the top raw talent in this crop, but when it comes to the Magic’s needs, Jabari Smith Jr. seems like the best option to round out the roster based on the latest trends. Since the end of March Madness, the former Auburn has taken over the fine unicorn, and since then he has not come down from his pedestal. On the side of Oklahoma City, we could therefore recover a pivot which arouses the curiosity of the whole world. Chet Holmgren could land in the franchise with 163 draft picks and where development smells good. This is good because there are needs on position 5 at OKC, and the Thunder are not afraid to take their time with their foals. Alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the duo can sparkle from the first season.
For the end of the podium, it would be Paolo Banchero who would be packing his bags in Houston soon. The former Blue Devil is the ideal position 4 to complete the young Texan racket, where Alperen Sengun has been alone since the departure of Christian Wood. Jaden Ivey would be the fourth lad called up by Adam Silver in six days, but do we really need a back in Sacramento, who also has a profile similar to that of De’Aaron Fox? Iowa strong winger Keegan Murray could strengthen the racket of the Kings who are once again dreaming of the Playoffs. They also dream so much that they could simply transfer their pick to another franchise. Have. Going back to Murray, he is more seen to strengthen the paint of the Pistons who pick in fifth next Thursday. If Jerami Grant is on the way out, replacing him wouldn’t be bad. Otherwise, Detroit could strengthen the back line with Ivey, who would thus form a promising duo alongside Cade Cunningham.
From pick 6 to pick 13, the names wander because the uncertainties are greater at the level of the real needs of each franchise. At the house of the Pacers, it seems like they want to select a guard. Bennedict Mathurin has the profile to complete the roster but that of Shaedon Sharpe intrigues them. However, since he hasn’t played an official game since October 2021, Indiana could be reluctant and play it safe by picking the former Arizona player. Point guard Dyson Daniels would be prominent on the Portland side, where his defensive complementarity alongside Dame Lillard and Anfernee Simons could delight jaded Blazers fans. But like Sacramento, a trade from pick #7 to recover a confirmed player cannot be ruled out. The selection task for the Pelicans will probably be easier, they who seem to want to recover the position 2 that Indiana did not choose two picks before.
On the side of the ninth pick, the Spurs were initially on deck to recover a pivot in the person of the young buffalo Jalen Duren. But for a month, the priorities seem to have changed a little and San Antonio could finally recover a position 2 or 3 according to the remaining talents. However, it remains quite open. At the Wizards, we would like to strengthen the backcourt alongside Bradley Beal, and Johnny Davis has obviously caught the eye of the franchise following a successful workout. But here too, ideas are evolving and Washington could do the same as the Spurs by observing the prospects expected higher and not selected like Sharpe or Mathurin. VSWith the Knicks, it’s still the same: post 1, 2, 3 or 5, the US media have not agreed on the real needs of New York during this Draft 2022. Duren? Griffin? Williams? Mystery mystery. Let’s go back to the Thunder side and for this 12th pick, we would go more on a winger. Either to develop with Ousmane Dieng who has been making a comeback in the mock drafts since April, or just to perfect with AJ Griffin. On the side of Charlotte, we are very clearly lacking a pivot and to counter this, Mark Williams could be the chosen prospect. In two months time, the Hornets have nevertheless had time to perform workouts with other players, and the media believe that they would be able to draft a position 4 or even 2. But do not panic for fans of Carolina North: Mark Williams could be picked up with the 15th pick next. Finally, among the increasingly ambitious Cavs, we seem set to bet on a youngster who is already a little experienced with Ochai Agbaji, the senior back from Kansas and reigning NCAA champion.
# THE REST OF THE FIRST ROUND
As for the rest of the first round, many players do not know where to stand in this 2022 Draft: Blake Wesley, for example, oscillates between 19th (The Athletic) and 33rd place (CBS Sports) according to the media. Another uncertainty in the second part of the first round concerns Jalen Williams. The Santa Clara player, injured in the middle of his second university season, prevented him from grabbing places in the 2021 Draft and therefore comes into 2022 with lowered expectations. Position 2 may be one of the surprises of this vintage, but the franchises are not completely reassured. This is why he oscillates between the 16th and the 21st pick of this Draft. We can also note the crazy rise of Jake LaRavia since his very good performance at the Combine, going from the end of the second round to the end of the first in barely two weeks.
Pick 15 – Hornets
- ESPN: Mark Williams
- Bleacher Report: Jeremy Sochan
- The Athletic: Ochai Agbaji
- Sports Illustrated: Malaki Branham
- CBS Sports: Tari Eason
- The Ringer: Mark Williams
Pick 16 – Hawks
- ESPN: Malaki Branham
- Bleacher Report: Jalen Williams
- The Athletic: Malaki Branham
- Sports Illustrated: TyTy Washington Jr.
- CBS Sports: Malaki Branham
- The Ringer: Tari Eason
Pick 17 – Rockets
- ESPN: Tari Eason
- Bleacher Report: Ousmane Dieng
- The Athletic: TyTy Washington Jr.
- Sports Illustrated: Ochai Agbaji
- CBS Sports: Dalen Terry
- The Ringer: Malaki Branham
Pick 18 – Bulls
- ESPN: Jalen Williams
- Bleacher Report: EJ Liddell
- The Athletic: Tari Eason
- Sports Illustrated: Jalen Williams
- CBS Sports: Jalen Duren
- The Ringer: EJ Liddell
Pick 19 – Timberwolves
- ESPN: Walker Kessler
- Bleacher Report: Tari Eason
- The Athletic: Blake Wesley
- Sports Illustrated: EJ Liddell
- CBS Sports: Jalen Williams
- The Ringer: TyTy Washington Jr.
Pick 20 – Spurs
- ESPN: Blake Wesley
- Bleacher Report: Dalen Terry
- The Athletic: Walker Kessler
- Sports Illustrated: Nikola Jovic
- CBS Sports: Patrick Baldwin Jr.
- The Ringer: Nikola Jovic
Pick 21 – Nuggets
- ESPN: Ty Ty Washington Jr.
- Bleacher Report: TyTy Washington Jr.
- The Athletic: Jalen Williams
- Sports Illustrated: Blake Wesley
- CBS Sports: Kendall Brown
- The Ringer: Jalen Williams
Pick 22 – Grizzlies
- ESPN: Kennedy Chandler
- Bleacher Report: Walker Kessler
- The Athletic: Bryce McGowens
- Sports Illustrated: Jaden Hardy
- CBS Sports: EJ Liddell
- The Ringer: Bryce McGowens
Pick 23 – Sixers
- ESPN: Jaden Hardy
- Bleacher Report: Jaden Hardy
- The Athletic: Jaden Hardy
- Sports Illustrated: Tari Eason
- CBS Sports: Mark Williams
- The Ringer: Blake Wesley
Pick 24 – Bucks
- ESPN: Nikola Jovic
- Bleacher Report: Blake Wesley
- The Athletic: Terquavion Smith
- Sports Illustrated: Mar Jon Beauchamp
- CBS Sports: Caleb Houstan
- The Ringer: Walker Kessler
Pick 25 – Spurs
- ESPN: EJ Liddell
- Bleacher Report: Ismaël Kamagaté
- The Athletic: Nikola Jovic
- Sports Illustrated: Patrick Baldwin Jr.
- CBS Sports: Nikola Jovic
- The Ringer: Jaden Hardy
Pick 26 – Rockets
- ESPN: Mar Jon Beauchamp
- Bleacher Report: Nikola Jovic
- The Athletic: MarJon Beauchamp
- Sports Illustrated: Walker Kessler
- CBS Sports: Wendell Moore Jr.
- The Ringer: Dalen Terry
Pick 27 – Heat
- ESPN: Dalen Terry
- Bleacher Report: MarJon Beauchamp
- The Athletic: Kennedy Chandler
- Sports Illustrated: Jake LaRavia
- CBS Sports: Jaylin Williams
- The Ringer: Kennedy Chandler
Pick 28 – Warriors
- ESPN: Jake LaRavia
- Bleacher Report: Jake LaRavia
- The Athletic: Jake LaRavia
- Sports Illustrated: Wendell Moore Jr.
- CBS Sports: Jean Montero
- The Ringer: Christian Koloko
Pick 29 – Grizzlies
- ESPN: Caleb Houstan
- Bleacher Report: Kennedy Chandler
- The Athletic: Patrick Baldwin Jr.
- Sports Illustrated: Max Christie
- CBS Sports: Josh Minott
- The Ringer: MarJon Beauchamp
Pick 30 – Nuggets
- ESPN: David Roddy
- Bleacher Report: Wendell Moore Jr.
- The Athletic: Kendall Brown
- Sports Illustrated: Dalen Terry
- CBS Sports: Jaden Hardy
- The Ringer: Jake LaRavia