By Hocine LOUKKAF on 5/12/2022
With many prospects whose impact in the NBA is hard to evaluate and Orlando getting the first pick, having many experts pick Holmgren to join Suggs there, maybe the Magic will better-advised go all-in filling a need at the SG position with former 2022 class #1 recruit Shaedon Sharpe.
#1 Shaedon Sharpe, 6-5 SG Kentucky
Would it be a shocker or a genius move ? Orlando has plenty of long forwards including Wagner and returning Isaac. What the Magic really needs is a superstar scorer and despite the unknown, Sharpe is worth the risk. He looks like a more powerful Jalen Green with a decent shot and great vertical leap. He was once considered the top player of his class before reclassifying and may end up better than the
#2 Paolo Banchero, 6-9 PF, Duke Fr
Despite not being the prospect with the biggest upside, Banchero took Duke to the Final Four while being as consistent as you can be. With at least 16pts, 40% from three (combined 10/19 3pt) and only one game under 46% FG in each of the five Tournament’s games, Banchero has proved that he was a dominant and clucth player, adding a consistent outside shot to his arsenal. If OKC still wants to develop Pokucevski, Banchero looks like the best fit.
#3 Chet Holmgren, 7-0 PF, Gonzaga Fr
After a full year of college basketball, Holmgren hasn’t gained much weight and still has the same glaring weakness, his lack of muscle which got him in foul trouble against Arkansas in the Sweet 16. Yet, he has the motor, the improved shooting and uncanny agility for someone his size. He would form a great pair with the more powerful Sengun, both having great baskeball IQ and the potential to be a solid and versatile frontcourt.
#4 Jabari Smith, 6-9 SF/PF, LSU Fr
Being challenged by Miami’s rugged defense in the Tournament’s second round, Smith has showcased his versatility with 15rbds 4as and 3bl. Yet, he sinked offensively with 3/16 FG and 1/8 3pt, reloading the criticism about his lack of offensive efficiency inside the 3pt line. With Sabonis playing more close to the basket, Smith will have room to take his shots and maybe learn to play the mid
#5 Keegan Murray, 6-8 PF/SF, Iowa So
Despite being unconsistent shooting the ball during his last five games (three games above 37% with 14/21 3pt, two others with 0/8), Murray’s versatility in defense and offense could make him a threat in the NBA. With none of Detroits’s top scorers shooting more than 36% 3pt, Murray looks like a great fit next to Stewart and to bring shooting and weakside defense with his shot blocking ability (above all if Grant leaves).
#6 Jaden Ivey, 6-3 SG, Purdue So
After a great string of games against MSU, Iowa and Texas, Ivey struggled against St Peter’s as he recorded 9pts on 33% FG and 6tos in Purdue’s loss. With 6-5 Haliburton as the PG of the future (if hopefully they don’t trade for Westbrook), Ivey would be a perfect fit and a fan favourite a sthe local guy who would remain in-state.
#7 Jalen Duren , 6-10 C, Memphis Fr
Duren struggled against Boise State and Gonzaga as he averaged 8.5pts (on 33% FG) 9rbds 1bl and 3.5fo in 25min . He still has ways ro go be consistent but Portland dramatically needs someone to protect the rim and it won’t be too-oft-injured and free agent to-be Nurkic.
#8 Dyson Daniels, 6-6 PG/SG, G-League Ignite
Daniels has improved throughout the G-League season recording multiple 10+as or rbd games and would be a great fit next to McCollum, who is much more of a scorer than a pure PG. He would be another great piece to help the Pelicans be a contender if Zion comes back healthy.
#9 Jeremy Sochan, 6-9 SF/PF Baylor Fr
Despite struggling shooting the ball consistently during the last four games (5/17 3pt), Sochan ended his college career (if he remains in the draft) with a streak of four games recording at least 12pts and 6rbds and averaging 13.7pts 8.2rbds 2as 1.5st and 1bl. In a class lacking significant talent at the PF position outside the top 5, the Spurs could use his defense and versatility in a roster loaded with outside scorers.
#10Bennedict Mathurin, 6-7 SG/SF, Arizona So
Despite a tough end of the season with a streak of seven games below 43% FG including four with 33% or less from 3pt, Mathurin is expected to be the safest pick for a team who may lose Beal (player’s option but probably willing to leave) and will need scoring at the SG position.
#11Kennedy Chandler, 6-1 PG, Tennessee Fr
Your traditional floor leader, Chandler has led Tennessee to the SEC title with at least 50% FG in each game including 13as for 0to against Mississipi State before averaging 16pts 7as 4.5rbds 3st in Tennessee two Tournaments’s games. The Knicks need a game changer and Chandler may be that guy.
#12AJ Griffin, 6-7 SF, Duke Fr
Griffin is a polarizing prospect. His body and shooting prowess make him look like a can’t-miss prospect but his inconsistency is concerning. In the ACC tournament, He had 21pts on 4/6 3pt against Miami before recording 10pt on 1/8 3pt against VT and repeated in the Tournament with 18pts on 7/9 FG against Arkansas before sinking with 6pts on 1/7 FG against UNC. At 12, he’s more of a steal for the rebuilding Thunder which might need his shooting.
#13Mark Williams, 6-11 C, Duke So
Before getting in foul trouble against UNC, Williams had been impressive in Duke’s tourney run with 14.5pts 8.8rbds and 4bl in the previous four games, with a combined 25/31 FG, good for 80% FG (sic). The Hornets dramatically need a defensive and rebounding center, Williams could be that guy.
#14 Malaki Branham, 6-5 SG, Ohio State Fr
One of the youngest SG prospects, Branham was impressive offensively as he averaged 18.6pts over the last five games with at least 50% FG against solid opponents like MSU, Michigan or Villanova (23pts on 3/8 3pt in the Tournament’s loss). Being furthermore a local kid and filling a need at SG, Branham could be a great get for the reviving Cavs.
#15 Ousmane Dieng (France), 6-9 SF/SG/PG, New Zealand Breakers (NBL) 2003
A once top-10 projected prospect, Dieng has slipped due to injury and a rough start in the NBL. He finished better with three 18+pt games over the last six games despite a bad 4pts 4fo in his last game in the NBL. He might be the next solution at both SG and SF spots to replace the aging and oft-injured Hayward.
#16 Johnny Davis, 6-5 SG, Wisconsin So
The best rebounding guard in the country has also the weakness to be as inconsistent a shooter as you can find (four out of his last seven games with 33% or less FG). Yet, he could bring the toughness the Hawks lack at SG position (turning Huerter into a sixth man) and getting shooting lessons by Trae Young.
#17 TyTy Washington, 6-3 PG/SG, Kentucky Fr
Washington has two good games recently despite his 1/7 3pt against Tennessee. Yet, he’s also had four games under 38% FG but while he was struggling offensively, he has kept his turnover numbers low with 18as for 3tos over these four games.
#18 EJ Liddell, 6-7 PF, Ohio State Jr
Despite five losses over his last seven college games, Liddell has remained consistent with 18.7pts 9.3rbds and 2.7bl during that stretch, while shooting an impressive 49/60 FT. Chicago drafted an upperclassman with Dosunmu last year and Liddell would be a great fit thanks to his toughness and shot-blocking ability next to Vucevic.
#19 Kendall Bown, 6-8 SF, Baylor Fr
With 7, 6 and 4pts in his last three games, we can’t say Brown did his best to make his draft stock rise. Yet, with a roster loaded of guards and scorers, Brown’s do-it-all profile would bring a versatile defender to the Wolves with upside to become a very good player.
#20 Nikola Jovic (Serbia), 6-10 PF, MegaBasket (Serbia) 2003
One of the most talented forwards in this draft, Jovic has to work on his two main weaknesses, shooting consistency and defense. After drafting an athletic combo forward like Sochan, San Antonio could gamble on Jovic and the chance that he becomes an elite player.
#21 Jaden Hardy, 6-5 SG, G-League Ignite
Hardy was a bit of a chucker during his last games in the G-League (four of last six games with 20+ FGA). Yet, Denver needs talent and maybe they can handle the former top 5 prospect who could fill a need at the SG position.
#22 Dalen Terry, 6-7 PG, Arizona So
With 13pts 5.6rbds 4.4as and a combined 9/14 3pt over his last five games, Terry has displayed some rare versatility that could land him a first-round selection. Morant missing 25 regular season games this season and Tyus Jones potentially leaving could be enough for the Memphis staff to pick the rising as their second option at the PG position.
#23 Ismael Kamagate (France), 6-11 C, Paris Basket (France) 2001
Kamagate has been a pleasant surprise in French pro A as he showcased his ability to protect the rim but also maybe stretch-five potential against pros. Brooklyn desperately needs both if non-shooting Simmons ever joins the roster.
#24 Michael Foster Jr, 6-9 PF, G-League Ignite
Foster Jr has been solid against pros on the defensive end (9.6rbds 1.9bl) but still has room to be a more efficient offensive player (46% FG, 22% 3pt). A former local HS star, he should become a fan favourite from day one thanks to his blue-collar mentality and filling a need inside if any of the bigs leaves.
#25 Walker Kessler, 7-1 PF/C, Auburn So
A bit too inconsistent (2pts 2rbds on 0/6 for his last game against Miami), Kessler has nonetheless proven he was one of the top rim-protector in college basketball (4.6bl). After two wings, San Antonio could use his talent behind Poeltl or in cas Poeltl leaves after next season.
#26 Jaylin Williams, 6-10 PF/C, Alabama So
With 14.2pts and at least 10rbds in each of his last four games, Williams as the tools to be an efficient big in the League, with much upside to improve. Dallas needs a mobile iside player who can rebound and protect the rim and at 26, would be glad to see the Razorback still available.
#27 Tari Eason, 6-8 PF, LSU So
Eason’s defense has made him a solid first round prospect and his ability to shoot the ball (35% 3pt) helps his case even more. He fits perfectly Miami’s style of play and could learn a thig or two from Tucker.
#28 Leonard Miller, 6-10 SF/PF, Fort Erie International Prep 2003
The typical late bloomer, Miller has some special physical tools and skills that could make him a star. Golden State has already started preparing the future with Poole, Moody, Kuminga and Wiseman and the Warriors wouldn’t have nothing to lose drafting Miller and letting Draymond mentor him.
#29 Ochai Agbaji, 6-5 SG, Kansas Sr
After a rough start in the Tournament, (5/14, 5/14 and 2/8 F in the first three games), Agbaji has bounced back pretty well helping Kansas winning it all with at least 12pts on 44% FG in each of the last three games. Memphis could use his experience and shooting to solidify the bench.
#30 Wendell Moore Jr, 6-6 SF, Duke Jr
Until the loss against UNC (10pts on 4/14 FG but 8rbds 3as 2st 0to), Moore had been solid finishing the year with a streak of seven games above 45% FG and a combined 28as for 13tos over that stretch. With plenty of raw prospects in its roster, the Thunder could use Moore’s poise and versatility while helping Banchero with a teammate to get used to the pro world.