NBA Mock Draft: Magic Pick First In 2022 Post-Lottery Mock

NBA Mock Draft: Magic Pick First In 2022 Post-Lottery Mock

This article is part of our NBA Mock Draft series.

The 2022 NBA draft order is officially set. With the results of Tuesday night's lottery, the Orlando Magic are on the clock at No. 1. 

As things stand just over a month out from the June 23 Draft, there's no consensus top prospect. While Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, and Paolo Banchero are widely considered three of the top players in the class, names like Jaden Ivey, Keegan Murray Shaedon Sharpe could work their way into that discussion.

With the draft order locked in, let's take an initial look at how the dominoes could fall on Draft night.

1. Orlando Magic – Jabari Smith, F, Auburn

19 years old – 6'10" – 210lbs

A rare prospect for his shooting polish and acumen, Smith is physically gifted and specializes in hitting tough shots over his man. Smith's adjustments and success level against NBA defenders will be a storyline throughout his rookie season. In addition to his unlimited scoring ceiling, Smith is a solid defender. He moves his feet well, has sound body control and isn't a liability stretching out to the perimeter.

Orlando's General Manager John Hammond selected Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thon Maker while with the Bucks. Chet Holmgren remains a possibility, but the sky-high potential of the lengthy, athletic Smith fits right in with his style. 

2. Oklahoma City Thunder – Chet Holmgren, F/C, Gonzaga

20 years old – 7'0" – 195lbs

The comparisons to Jaren Jackson Jr. are accurate and justifiable. Coming from slender builds, the impact as shot blockers and three-point snipers puts them in rare company. Holmgren landing in a well-spaced offense would be influential for his growth.

Scarcely utilized in the P&R, that's another layer of his game that will likely be tapped into at the next level. He's an intelligent and underrated finisher. In the long-term, Holmgren has upside in transition – high IQ in general. He displayed success scoring efficiently from almost anywhere in the lane. 

In addition to his skillset, he'll be an asset to whatever pace a team wants to run at. Confidence is his X-Factor as a shooter.

3. Houston Rockets – Paolo Banchero, F, Duke

19 years old – 6'10" – 250lbs

The 6-foot-10 forward operates with an impressive blend of power and craft offensively. Banchero generates good looks in the paint, while possessing a repertoire to score everywhere inside the arc – along with a propensity to knock down threes from the right wing. His moves, footwork and touch are advanced and he'd see plenty of usage in Houston to improve his decision making. His defensive motor was questionable, at times, for Duke, but he has all the traits to flip the switch.

4. Sacramento Kings – Keegan Murray, F, Iowa

21 years old – 6'8" – 215lbs

An amazing fit with Sacramento, Murray checks off most boxes for the prototype of a modern stretch four. With a high motor, quality three-point stroke, active defense and rebounding acumen, the foundation for him to grow into a contributor is present. Power forward is a glaring hole on the Kings' roster and Murray won't subtract from Domantas Sabonis

However, his footwork is underwhelming and his first step is average. There will be growing pains with his inside game. Murray may struggle to create separation for himself against NBA competition, but he elevates well in his shot and uses his length well around the basket.

5. Detroit Pistons – Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky

19 years old – 6'6" – 175lbs

Sharpe's pro day this week has raised the hype to new levels. The 18-year-old's shooting touch and control have generated praise. He projects as a dangerous and explosive off-ball guard. Sharpe's max vertical has reportedly been measured at a ridiculous 49 inches. He's a high flier, but foremost a gifted shooter. However, evaluating his mechanics is much easier than evaluating his handles and court vision with no collegiate or G League experience. Think of a more athletic, taller, Bradley Beal as his ceiling. Sharpe also looks bigger than his listed 175 pounds. 

Detroit swings for the fences here with Sharpe. Taking Ivey could be a possibility as well. Cade Cunningham is turnover prone, but a burgeoning superstar. Putting a shooter next to him, while then allowing Sharpe to play to his strengths, could work masterfully. 

6. Indiana Pacers – Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue

20 years old – 6'4" – 195lbs

He's an acrobatic and crisp finisher – super smooth. His acceleration is off the charts. Ivey slithering through the lane and around defenders is Ja Morant-esque. He displayed admirable growth as a shooter in his sophomore season. He's lax defensively at times, but that speed aids in his recovery.

Ivey slipping slightly down draft boards stems from subpar passing, underperforming on defense and a suspect game going to the left – all pronounced flaws. Nonetheless, he's an electrifying athlete with star potential. If he drops to No. 6, playing alongside Tyrese Haliburton would take the pressure off his development as a facilitator. Halibruton collapsing the defense would unlock Ivey's penetration ability.

7. Portland Trail Blazers – Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor

19 years old – 6'9" – 230lbs 

Sochan's calling cards are defensive versatility, passing, and strong activity off the ball on both ends. The defense stacks up – Sochan's switchability should translate well to the NBA.

Sochan didn't operate out of the post or on either end of the P&R much for Baylor, but he has the opportunity to develop into a mismatch at the next level given that he's a solid finisher. He should punish some smaller players and compensate for subpar shooting displays thus far. Improving from his 58.9 percent free-throw percentage will be necessary.

Portland needs defense badly, so gambling on Sochan can be rationalized. The Blazers are a logical spot for Duren, but drafting the raw big man in the Damian Lillard era seems unlikely. Don't be shocked if Portland moves this pick.

8. New Orleans Pelicans – Bennedict Mathurin, G, Arizona

20 years old – 6'6" – 210lbs

Mathurin is a fundamentally solid shooter, but his bag is surprisingly shallow. Driving through traffic may never be a strong suit of his game, his shot selection is poor at times and good defenses have troubled him in the P&R. Developing into a more well-rounded scorer would be nice, but Mathurin evolving into a three-point dynamo isn't impossible. 

He will make people pay for not boxing him out. Always engaged in the play, Mathurin will generate extra possessions and punish lazy players. He ranks in the 99th percentile for offensive rebounding put-backs. Overall, he's a subpar defender – he's athletic, but lacks elite bend and is overly reliant on help.

New Orleans finished in the bottom-five in three-point percentage this season. Adding Mathurin's shooting and ability to play multiple spots would go a long way toward beefing up the backcourt rotation.

9. San Antonio Spurs – Jalen Duren, C, Memphis

18 years – 6'10" – 230lbs

He's the second-youngest player in this draft and will be 18 years old when the 2022-23 season begins in October. His 7-foot-5 wingspan is tantalizing and he brings fast help inside. He's exploitable on the perimeter, however not overly so. For his age and size Duren has elite mobility.

His post-up game is super bland, and he hasn't shown much success using his left hand. His development will touch all components of his game and shape his success as a player. San Antonio is an awesome destination to develop Duren, but the franchise could go in a multitude of different directions this draft.

10. Washington Wizards – Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite

19 years old – 6'6" – 200 pounds

A jumbo point guard who plays elite defense among his peers, there's a lot to like about Daniels' floor. He's a valuable rebounder at both ends. Daniels is raw and developmental question marks persist on offense, but he's an intelligent player that can impact the game in a ton of ways immediately upon his arrival.

His shot may need a significant revamp. He's a poor free-throw shooter. Daniels has the ability to attack, but at times he seems reluctant to burst or go up strong. Playing next to Bradley Beal would divert a lot of attention. 

Daniels averaged 4.4 assists and 2.4 turnovers across 14 contests. Over his final five games with the Ignite, he averaged 5.2 assists and 1.8 turnovers per game – a positive trend.

11. New York Knicks – A.J. Griffin, G, Duke

18 years old – 6'6" – 225lbs

Sometimes it feels like Griffin's game is in slow-motion. When he's creating jumpers for himself he's methodical. His shot motion is a bit slow, and his release point may need to be addressed. Given that he hasn't displayed a ton of playmaking ability, if he's going to be a catch-and-shoot star this is a huge question mark.

On offense, he always has his eyes on the basket and his spatial awareness is solid. Knocking down nearly 45 percent of his threes this season should keep Griffin in the top-10 discussion. The Knicks love blue-chip prospects from powerhouse schools. Griffin fits the bill.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin

20 years old – 6'5" – 195lbs

Davis isn't generating as much hype as he once was. After Wisconsin's season fizzled out in the NCAA Tournament, the belief is that Davis projects to be a quality two-way player as opposed to a star. While that isn't ideal for some lottery strategists, there remains a lot to like about Davis. 

He can hang his hat on being a high-quality wing defender. He has a great build, he's a fiery competitor and he has good bend fighting around screens. Even if his three-point shooting never develops, Davis will find some scoring success handling the pick-and-roll and winning some isolation possessions. 

Thunder General Manager Sam Presti would likely be amped to snag Davis this late. Playing alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey, Davis would bring defensive intensity and a type of bucket-getting Oklahoma City lacks.

13. Charlotte Hornets – Mark Williams, C, Duke

20 years old – 7'0" – 240lbs

The gap between Duren and Williams has seemingly narrowed in recent weeks with Williams climbing draft boards to fringe-lottery status. Duren's build does carry more appeal, and his extraordinary youth raises his ceiling, but Williams is the ACC DPOY and was underutilized in Duke's offense. 

Williams concluded his sophomore season with a top-five field-goal percentage in the country at 72.3 percent. He also saw vast improvement in his free-throw shooting – potentially hinting at more shooting growth to come. He's an uber-efficient inside presence who can get ahead in transition while acting as a capable passer. Chemistry between LaMelo Ball and Williams could flow naturally. A Robert Williams-esque impact from Williams is certainly possible. 

Measuring impact and productivity at the center position, Charlotte was among the worst in the league. Among qualifiers, only the Pistons, Thunder and Kings accounted for fewer wins above replacement (WAR) at the position than the Hornets.

14. Cleveland Cavaliers – Malaki Branham, G, Ohio State

19 years old – 6'5" – 180lbs

Despite a small sample size of 89 attempts, Branham connected on 41.6 percent of his threes and backed that up with solid free-throw shooting. Ranking in the 94th percentile of pick-and-roll ball handlers, and in the 82nd percentile of spot-up shooters (per Synergy), there is a lot to like about Branham's offensive prowess.

His facilitating is limited, however, and the lack of creation for others will stall possessions at times. Additionally, Branham may never develop into a plus defender. Quick first steps beat him, he doesn't rotate or fill with urgency, and he lingers inside when he doesn't have to. Defensive instincts are lacking in general.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henry Weinberg
Henry is a sports writer and analyst, specializing in NBA analysis, CBB coverage and draft prep. He's a freelance scout, passionate baseball fan, elite fantasy football player and former Butler Bulldog.
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