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2022 NBA Mock Draft

Chet Holmgren daily college fantasy basketball CFB DFS picks March Madness - rotoballer icon

Howdy, all! This mock draft is based on a mix of fit, projected draft range, and most of all, my opinion on these players. This is not meant to be a predictive mock, but rather, one that creates a fantasy-style draft of each available player in the draft pool and where they would be best suited to play.

Do not be alarmed if a player is drafted significantly higher or lower than consensus. Drafts are not as random as they once were thanks to an increase in talented reporting and analyzing from just about every major or up-and-coming outlet available. At the end of the day, these mock drafts are for fun and do not provide more than an individual's analysis.

Take any and all concerns to @RotoSurgeon on Twitter for any explanations. Enjoy!

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including NBA Writer of the Year, Best NFL Series, MLB Series, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


1) Orlando Magic - F/C Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

While I may be higher on Paolo Banchero due to my belief in his longevity, there is no doubting that Chet Holmgren's upside isn't as palatable as it gets. The 7-foot freshman from Gonzaga demonstrated a high level of skill, IQ, and shot-making that translated perfectly from his touted high school days.

Holmgren averaged 14.1 points per game while shooting 61% from the field and 39% from three. 38% of his shots came from three-point range and he reached the free-throw line 3.1 times per game. He was much more than an offensive factor as he also managed an absurd 12.6% block rate that resulted in 3,7 per game. His 0.8 steals at a 1.6% rate are not as impressive but they are not a reason for worry.

The primary concern remains of Holmgren's frame. Some may compare his body to Kevin Durant's coming out of college, one which was so frail it could not bench press a single rep at the combine. However, Durant was basically a shooting guard when he entered the league that developed into a forward. Even in the modern, positionless NBA, it will be difficult to project Holmgren outside of the front-court long-term. He has the capability to guard anyone and everyone, regardless of position but can his body hold up? We will not know until we know and the bet to develop him to that point is quite risky.

Luckily, Orlando can slot him as their 4 to start his career next to Wendell Carter Jr. who is more inclined to play inside and can handle banging bodies. The Magic have invested a lot of draft capital into their backcourt and wing with recent picks like Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, Chuma Okeke, and Franz Wagner. Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac are recovering from injury but are viewed as key pieces as well. Targeting a big such as Holmgren makes sense regardless of need but given Orlando's structure, he is perfect for their long-term plans to lead the current core.

Comp: Porzingis with more body control


2) Oklahoma City Thunder - F Paolo Banchero, Duke

The best player in the draft falls beyond the 1st pick. While this may be uncommon given the recent history of 2nd overall picks (do a quick search on Google), Banchero presents easily the highest floor of this draft class with plenty of ceiling to boot.

Banchero can do just about everything. He's capable of leading an offense by pushing the ball upcourt, defending players his size (6'10" 250lbs) or smaller at a high level while also providing shot-making from across the floor. His 3-point percentage sat at just 34% on 3.3 attempts per game but the stroke looks good without any hitch. The free-throw percentage (best indicator for future shooting success) is a tad worrisome at 73% on 4.8 attempts per game but a 56% true shooting is not too shabby from a freshman taking as many shots as he did.

The 6'10" "Forward" is a dream piece for any franchise, even one in the Thunder which has its fair share of lead ball-handlers. Oklahoma City is in a full rebuild and needs every potentially elite piece they can get and can worry about who will tote the rock later.

Comp: Guard Tobias Harris

3) Houston Rockets - G Jaden Ivey, Purdue

Both Jabari Smith and Jaden Ivey make sense for Houston here but given the barren backcourt behind last year's 2nd overall pick Jalen Green, Ivey wins the tiebreaker. Despite trading away big man Christian Wood, Houston still has some solid, young pieces in Alperen Sengun and Usman Garuba who can hold down frontcourt minutes. This draft is also deep with forwards and Houston could very well utilize the 17th pick (or trade up from it) to secure someone comparable to Smith. After Ivey, the draft pretty much craters at guard.

Ivey and Green can work off of each other well allowing Houston to operate without a "true" PG. Ivey is faster and a better defender while Green is a better shooter and more athletic. Sengun, who is set to take over as the full-time Center, is an incredible passer who can complement both guards and take the onus of leading the offense off of them.

Jaden Ivey would slot right into the starting lineup for Houston to help lead an offense that's been discombobulated since James Harden's departure. A combo guard in the form of Ivey would do wonders to help guide the aforementioned talent in place along with whomever Houston adds later in the draft and trades/free agency.

Comp: Ja Morant without the high-end passing

4) Sacramento Kings - F Jabari Smith, Auburn

Jabari Smith is receiving plenty of helium to go first overall and that is quite confusing. He is talented by all means thanks to the incredible shot-making ability across the floor at his size but there is a lot to be desired from a big who is somewhat limited. Smith can defend but you wouldn't consider him a high-end rim protector or versatile enough to defend across the three-point line, one of the two is required to be considered a premier defensive prospect.

The Kings are set on building around Domantas Sabonis and while Smith fits next to him theoretically, neither is a true Center despite having plenty of size between the two. Sabonis has the body to match up against bigs but not the length while Smith has the length but not the body.

However, when it comes to the offensive end, they could play off each other perfectly as Sabonis is one of the best modern bigs around the rim which would only be bolstered by Smith's shooting/spacing. Neither would get in the other's way and they could form a ferocious tandem that teams would find themselves in a tizzy to guard.

Comp: Bobby Portis with a smoother shot

5) Detroit Pistons - G/F A.J. Griffin, Duke

A.J. Griffin is the best shooter in this class. Griffin only averaged 10.1 points per game in his lone college season but the percentages were incredible. 55% from two-point range and an astounding 45% from three. What's more impressive is that 54% of Griffin's shots came from three and he still managed that rate. This resulted in an extraordinary 63% true-shooting number which is as good as it gets for a non-big.

His high-level shot-making and ability to get open with or without the ball in his hands are valuable enough to ignore any flaws. Griffin puts in the effort on defense but is somewhat a step slow due to his uncanny size at 6'6" 222lbs. Nevertheless, you can teach defense, but you can't teach his offense.

The Pistons are in desperate need of spacing and a shooter like Griffin fits not only their roster but their timeline. After drafting Cade Cunningham first-overall last season, the Pistons are ready to build around him and start/develop young talent like Griffin who will be allowed to play through mistakes and grow. Believe it or not, his expectations early in Detroit will be less than those at Duke. Griffin will have all of the minutes he can handle available early on as there is a severe lack of talent between the shooting guard and Small Forward spot.

Comp: Khris Middleton

6) Indiana Pacers - G/F Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky

Sharpe is the biggest unknown in this class and the only reason he is this high is due to Indiana's desperate need for star power. The Pacers have been in limbo since they dismantled the Paul George era and their attempt to deconstruct the NBA by starting two Centers in Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis failed miserably.

Acquiring Tyrese Haliburton was a huge step in the right direction for Indiana. His breakout 2021-2022 season will need to be built on and around. Haliburton is a perfect number two player to complement a star and a shooter like Chris Duarte does wonders in spacing the floor but there is still a need for the go-to guy.

Can that be Shaedon Sharpe? Maybe! No one truly knows but the fact that it is possible is worth taking a shot on. The Pacers are not the organization that star free agents salivate at the thought of playing for and likely won't be unless they can actually win something (or move somewhere sunnier).

Comp: ???

7) Portland Trail Blazers- C Jalen Duren, Memphis

While the Trail Blazers are discussing an extension for Jusuf Nurkic, they have a severe lack of front-court depth and Nurkic's health is far from something to bet on. Duren is the best player available at this point and for an organization like Portland in need of as much talent as it could get, not someone worth passing on for a better "fit".

Duren is a smart big who can defend his rim and run towards the opponents extremely well. He does not offer much in the form of spacing but did shoot 63% from free throws which could result in a solid mid-range development.

Duren is young and somewhat of a project, specifically on offense but that is ok for a team like the Trail Blazers who are closer to a rebuild than a championship despite possessing one of the best guards of the past decade in Dame Lillard and recently trading for Jerami Grant. Duren can help them now defensively

Comp: Hassan Whiteside with Basketball IQ

8) New Orleans Pelicans - G Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

On-ball, off-ball, does not matter, Johnny Davis will find a way to score. Davis's development from freshman bench guard to sophomore star scorer was incredible last season. He put up 19.7 points on 15.9 shots per game which is nothing special as the percentages aside from free throw (79%) left a lot to be desired. That can be somewhat explained by the poor spacing of Wisconsin's offense. After losing Micah Potter and D'Mitrik Trice, the team's collective 3pt% dropped from 36% to 31%. Davis's inability to drain from deep last season certainly did not help but the FT% is bright enough to look past this as a major flaw.

Davis would fit perfectly as a backcourt mate to C.J. McCollum while backing up Brandon Ingram occasionally. He plays bigger than his size and could help on defense against both guards and wings, taking on more physical assignments when necessary. Davis is a piece that could slide right into the rotation and help a team that plans to win now with, or without Zion Williamson.

Comp: Jordan Clarkson with at least average defense

9) San Antonio Spurs - F Keegan Murray, Iowa

It may be controversial to have Keegan Murray this low given the top-5 talk associated with his name but he just leaves a lot to be desired despite ridiculous production as a sophomore. Murray averaged 23.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, and 1.2 steals as a sophomore while shooting 62% from 2-point range and 40% from 3 on 4.7 attempts per game. However, his FT% dipped from his freshman season and so did his three-point attempt rate. Murray's reminiscent of a great college PF whose game doesn't translate to the league as he has the size and play style of a tweener big.

Murray is a step slow defensively and will have trouble creating on his own outside of the paint. Murray can shoot but only as a spot-up guy which is great for any big but not someone to reach on. He will likely be better suited as a Center than Power Forward unless playing next to a spacer like KAT or Jokic.

San Antonio is a solid landing spot though given their lack of front-court depth and ability to emphasize a player's strengths while not asking them to do too much. Murray is NBA-ready in terms of his physique but has little room to grow. The Spurs have been quite guard-heavy in recent drafts with Josh Primo, Devin Vassell, Derrick White, and Dejounte Murray. A big like Murray adds something different even if he may disappoint relative to expectations.

Comp: Marvin Bagley (not as a prospect)

10) Washington Wizards - G Dyson Daniels, G League

Another unknown to a certain degree. Dyson Daniels at least played in the G League, unlike Shaedon Sharpe who sat out the entire college season. G League stats and production are difficult to decipher relative to college given that these young athletes are playing against grown men rather than young adults around their age.

Daniels averaged 31 minutes, 11.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.9 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 14 G League games. He stands at a solid 6'6" while just turning 19 recently. His shooting percentages were not awful with a 45% field goal and 74% free throw but the three-point percentage sat at a meager 26% on 3.6 attempts per game.

It is never bad to know that a prospect attempted threes even if they did not go in consistently. He could develop that part of his game and become a well-rounded guard in the league but it is not the best bet as of now and a crucial part of developing into a high-end Guard. Daniels has great length and bounce which helps him defend and rebound but will that be enough. He is a willing passer with some flashy moves and a good change of pace ability while dribbling.

Washington is as desperate as a team could get for a future PG since John Wall's departure and as of now, it sounds like Bradley Beal is as good as gone. Daniels can slide right in and play through growing pains on a team with extremely low expectations and a deep front court.

Comp: Michael Carter-Williams with touch

11) New York Knicks - F Tari Eason, LSU

Tari Eason transferred from Cincinnati to LSU and essentially transformed into an incredible prospect. Not only did his field goal and three-point percentages spike up, but his free throw also jumped from 57% to 80%, a huge development for any college player to project their shooting into the pros.

Eason has shown the ability to score across the floor, dribble/drive well, and play smart, kicking out of bad situations when necessary. The Knicks desperately need high-IQ, unselfish basketball players who can shoot and defend. Eason's assists don't tell you the whole story of him as a player/passer. He is merely not a creator which is ok for a swing forward.

The Knicks don't need more Power Forwards but with Eason's shooting ability and frame, he could be a starting Small Forward alongside RJ Barrett and slide up a spot when the Knicks go small. Eason may lack star upside but you absolutely take a player like him when available

Comp: TJ Warren with a three out of college

12) Oklahoma City - G Malaki Branham, Ohio State

If you need a shooter, Malaki's your guy. While Branham is limited overall and doesn't project well defensively, his shooting is a too good to pass up. As a freshman, Branham averaged 42% from three on 2.8 attempts per game and 83% from free throw on 3 attempts per game. This shot is as good a bet to translate as any and at his size of 6'5", it will be tough to defend when he gets up in the league.

Branham has a quick release and if necessary, can put the ball on the floor and drive to the rim. Branham isn't built to absorb contact in the league but shoots well on the move with a jumper or floater near the rim. He has many ways to win as a scorer and even if he does not start, Branham will impact the league at the next level.

The Thunder are somewhat desperate for shooters and can take the defensive hit here with all of the length and specialists on the floor. Hard to imagine a better complementary draft pick to Paolo Banchero than Branham as well.

Comp: Thin Buddy Hield

13) Charlotte -  F/C Jeremy Sochan, Baylor

The Charlotte Hornets have a massive need in the front court. They've spent some draft capital there with picks like Kai Jones and J.T. Thor but that is just all potential. Jeremy Sochan just adds to that as a big who came off the bench for all but one game in Baylor. He did manage to win the Big12's 6th Man of the Year award and would likely have started on a team that was not constructed as one of the best in the NCAA.

Sochan can get up and block shots while also playing savvy in passing lanes. His arm length is a huge boon as he looks like a wide receiver in space. There is absolutely a worry about how much his offensive game can develop despite taking 38% of his shots last year from three. A 59% free throw percentage is tough to stomach and could signify a cap on Sochan's future shooting upside.

Nevertheless, Sochan moves gracefully for a lanky forward and has plenty of room to grow as not only a shooter but within his body as well. If Sochan is a big who defends at a high level inside-out with an occasional spot-up shot and ability to attack the rim, that is more than the Hornets could ever ask and he would act as a perfect complementary piece to Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball.

Comp: Confident Kevon Looney

14) Cleveland - F Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona

I am not a fan of Bennedict Mathurin but it would be unfair to drop him out of the lottery. Mathurin plays a selfish style of ball and somewhat recklessly at that. Mathurin's percentages look pristine on the surface with a career 38% from three on 5 attempts per game and 52% from two but his free throw dropped significantly from 85% as a freshman to 76% as a sophomore. He can shoot but he always looks like he's falling back unnecessarily from the perimeter and his two-point shots are mostly by the rim.

He has plenty of length and strength but does not use his body well. Mathurin relies on being bigger and stronger to force his way to the rim and in college, he managed to get the calls. The NBA is a different monster where everyone is big and strong, Mathurin's a forward who played like a guard in college but that won't fly in the league.

He is somewhat the opposite of Cleveland's Isaac Okoro who is far too hesitant and solely focused on defense. If you could fuse Okoro and Mathurin, there may be a perfect wing in there but unfortunately, science has not brought society that far. Cleveland has core pieces in place with Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley, Mathurin won't be tasked with doing too much and if they can get him under control early in his career, there could be a very good offensive player there.

Comp: RJ Barrett with a better shot but without the ability to play guard

First Round 15-30

15. Charlotte - G/F Jalen Williams, Santa Clara

16. Atlanta - G/F Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

17. Houston - F Ousmane Dieng, NZ Breakers

18. Chicago - G Jaden Hardy, G League

19. Minnesota -F Nikola Jovic, Mega Mozzart

20. San Antonio - C Mark Williams, Duke

21. Denver - F E.J. Lidell, Ohio State

22. Memphis - G Blake Wesley, Notre Dame

23. Philadelphia - G Kennedy Chandler, Tennessee

24. Milwaukee - G/F Jake Laravia, Wake Forest

25. San Antonio - F Kendall Brown, Baylor

26. Dallas - G TyTy Washington, Kentucky

27. Miami - F MarJon Beauchamp, G League

28. Golden State - G Bryce McGowans, Nebraska

29. Memphis - G Dalen Terry, Arizona

30. Oklahoma City - F/C Jaylin Williams, Arkansas

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