The NBA draft is one of the most unpredictable nights in professional sports. It’s one of the only drafts where it is normal for a team to select a player and then immediately trade him, and it’s not uncommon to have more than a dozen deals the night of the event.
That’s what makes putting together an NBA mock draft, well, a bit of a mockery. But we’ve done the research and the tape grinding and read enough mocks from NBA insiders to feel like we have a good grasp on how things might unfold on June 23 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Check out our take on how teams will proceed (with some NBA draft betting tips thrown in) and be sure to head over to our NBA draft odds page for a breakdown of some draft props on individual picks.
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2022 NBA Mock Draft
1. Orlando Magic – Chet Holmgren, F/C, Gonzaga
Giddy-up. We’re starting off Odds Shark’s one and only NBA mock draft with a bit of a shocker. Holmgren was the favorite to be picked first overall essentially the entire NCAA season, and it has only been in the last couple weeks that sportsbooks have moved Jabari Smith Jr. into the top spot. While Smith is the better shooter, Holmgren has the freakish frame and upside that doesn’t come around too often. We’re betting that the Magic won’t be able to resist Holmgren’s tantalizing combo of defensive and offensive upside – and you can make that bet at +400 at BetOnline Sportsbook.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jabari Smith Jr., F, Auburn
Holmgren seems like a Thunder type of pick as OKC has shown a tendency to swing for the fences on some recent draft picks. But with Holmgren off the board, the Thunder get the guy who many believe is the best player in the draft in Smith. This would be a no-brainer pick for the Thunder, and he’s also plus money to go second at +215.
3. Houston Rockets – Paolo Banchero, F, Duke
With Holmgren and Smith off the board, the Rockets make the easy selection in Banchero, a great athlete who can make tough shots and has the size and versatility to play multiple positions at the next level. Banchero is heavily favored to go third at most sportsbooks.
4. Sacramento Kings – Keegan Murray, F, Iowa
Some people see this draft as having a “big four” as opposed to a “big three” with Jaden Ivey being the consensus fourth-best player. And we agree that there’s a great chance Ivey goes in the No. 4 spot. But we aren’t sure it’s the Kings taking him. Ivey is a bit of a redundant pick with De’Aaron Fox in the backcourt and he’s a bit more of a project than a player like Murray, whom the Kings brass reportedly love.
The most likely scenario here might be the Kings trading out of the pick and another team selecting Ivey, but we’ll say the Kings keep the pick and take the six-foot-eight forward Murray here.
5. Detroit Pistons – Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue
Some say Ivey might have the highest upside in the draft if his talents are nurtured correctly, and we think he would be an ideal fit alongside Cade Cunningham in Detroit’s backcourt. Murray makes a lot of sense here if a team trades up to No. 4 for Ivey, but we like Ivey to slip to 5 at +200 odds at BetOnline Sportsbook.
6. Indiana Pacers – Bennedict Mathurin, SG, Arizona
Reports are that Indiana covets Keegan Murray, so this would be his floor (bet accordingly), but in this mock we have the Pacers landing the young Canadian Mathurin, who was an All-American selection at Arizona last season. Mathurin has reportedly had a fantastic pre-draft process and his NBA draft OVER/UNDER number has moved from 8.5 to 6.5 in the last week alone. Mathurin could go anywhere from 5 to 10.
7. Portland Trail Blazers – Dyson Daniels, G/F, G League Ignite
Everyone is mocking Daniels to the Blazers. The 6-7 guard/forward would be a great fit alongside Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons and comes into the draft as one of the more mature prospects available. This pick is one of the more heavily rumored to be in play.
8. New Orleans Pelicans – Ousmane Dieng, F, New Zealand Breakers
Many people are mocking the intriguing Shaedon Sharpe in this spot, but Sharpe is reportedly sliding down some draft boards after less-than-ideal workouts. So, we have the Pelicans taking the 19-year-old Dieng, a 6-9 forward with the versatility New Orleans covets at No. 8. The Pels already have some good young talent and at least four locked-in starters, so they are in a good position to take more of a developmental prospect.
9. San Antonio Spurs – Jalen Duren, C, Memphis
There is growing buzz around the Spurs wanting to select a big man with their pick, so we give them arguably the top big man on the board in the 6-11, 250-pound Duren. Duren is a traditional center who some believe has plenty of untapped potential at both ends of the court. There are rumblings of concerns over his effort, which doesn’t sound like a Spurs-type player. But the fit is perfect.
10. Washington Wizards – Shaedon Sharpe, SG, Kentucky
Sharpe’s slide ends here with Washington, and realistically this is about as far as he could possibly drop. The Canadian-born Sharpe was the top recruit from his high school class and is clearly very talented. But he also didn’t play last season and front offices have been forced to analyze his game from AAU tape and private workouts that reportedly haven’t gone well.
Sharpe has been getting some buzz that he could go as high as No. 4 if a team falls in love, but we think the rumors of him disappointing in person combined with his lack of playing time will have him fall into the 8-10 range. Sharpe’s OVER/UNDER draft position number at Bodog is 7.5.
11. New York Knicks – Malaki Branham, SG, Ohio State
12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Johnny Davis, SG, Wisconsin
13. Charlotte Hornets – AJ Griffin, G/F, Duke
14. Cleveland Cavaliers – Jalen Williams, G/F Santa Clara
15. Charlotte Hornets – Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor
16. Atlanta Hawks – Ochai Agbaji, SG, Kansas
17. Houston Rockets – Tari Eason, F, LSU
18. Chicago Bulls – Mark Williams, C, Duke
19. Minnesota Timberwolves – TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky
20. San Antonio Spurs – Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame
21. Denver Nuggets – Dalen Terry, G, Arizona
22. Memphis Grizzlies – Walker Kessler, C, Auburn
23. Philadelphia 76ers – Jaden Hardy, SG, G League Ignite
24. Milwaukee Bucks – E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State
25. San Antonio Spurs – Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest
26. Houston Rockets – Nikola Jovic, F, Serbia
27. Miami Heat – MarJon Beauchamp, F, G League Ignite
28. Golden State Warriors – Patrick Baldwin Jr., F, Milwaukee
29. Memphis Grizzlies – Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee
30. Denver Nuggets – Wendell Moore Jr., G/F, Duke