2022 NBA Draft Grades: Ranking Every Team’s Performance

With the 2022 NBA Draft now in-the-books, it’s time to grade every team’s performance. Factors that will be taken into consideration include talent, fit, available players, direction, and monumental trades. An A+ is only handed out to truly exceptional performances, so any team receiving this grade should be absolutely ecstatic about their haul. Teams are ordered by their grade, although they are placed alphabetically within their specific grade. 

No Grade – No Selections Made

Brooklyn Nets 

Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers traded the 23rd pick and Danny Green to the Grizzlies for De’Anthony Melton, who is a reliable backup point guard. He just averaged 10.8 PPG, 2.7 APG, and 1.4 SPG on a 37.4 3PT%. Philadelphia simultaneously moved Green’s contract and acquired a guard who can keep the Embiid-less minutes competitive. It was a steal for the 76ers! 

Phoenix Suns

Utah Jazz

Exceptional Draft (A+)

Detroit Pistons 

  • Jaden Ivey (5)
  • Jalen Duren (13)
  • Gabriele Procida (36)

What a draft for Detroit! Jaden Ivey has superstar potential and pairs perfectly with Cade Cunningham. Their backcourt now features one of the most electric duos in the NBA. They solidified their center position by trading for the hyper-athletic Jalen Duren. He will lock down the paint on defense while acting as a transition and lob threat. Gabriele Procida’s elite three-point shooting will space the floor, and his defense is legit. Finding a 3&D prospect who can contribute immediately at 36th overall is the cherry on top for Detroit. 

https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/1540131147182645248?s=20&t=jmWV4In425Zkm1hjZkDepQ

Oklahoma City Thunder 

  • Chet Holmgren (2) 
  • Ousmane Dieng (11) 
  • Jalen Williams (12) 
  • Jaylin Williams (34) 

Chet fills the three biggest needs for the Thunder – rim protection, shooting, and rebounding. He has arguably the highest potential in this draft. Ousmane Dieng needs some time to develop, but his playmaking and ball handling at 6’10” is extremely intriguing. Plus, he showed elite mirroring on the defensive end. Jalen Williams provides shooting, ball handling, and playmaking, while Jaylin Williams contributes two-way interior production. Overall, the frontcourt is completely revamped, and Oklahoma City looks dangerous. 

Fantastic Draft (A)

Charlotte Hornets

  • Mark Williams (15)  
  • Bryce McGowens (40)

Charlotte fixed their massive center problem by selecting an equally massive prospect. He’s 7’2” with a 9’9” standing reach. The Hornets now have elite rim protection and a lob threat for LaMelo Ball, a crafty playmaker. McGowens, meanwhile, is an athletic shooting guard with some off the dribble potential. He flashed the ability to contribute on the defensive end, and his biggest weakness currently is consistency. Charlotte also traded the 13th pick for a bunch of future picks, including a 1st rounder next year. Overall, they filled their biggest need and added draft capital. 

Houston Rockets

  • Jabari Smith Jr (3) 
  • Tari Eason (17) 
  • TyTy Washington (29) 

Although Paolo Banchero didn’t fall to them, they were still able to walk away with Jabari Smith Jr – a 6’10” forward who provides elite switchable defense and a 42 3PT%. Tari Eason is a defensive monster, but he also drives well and showed catch and shoot 3PT ability. Finally, Houston grabbed Washington with their third 1st round selection. He’s a steady point guard who can play on or off-ball. If Kevin Porter Jr is having a terrible night, Washington can step in and not turn the ball over. 

Orlando Magic

  • Paolo Banchero (1) 
  • Caleb Houstan (32) 

Orlando deceived everyone, as they chose Paolo Banchero instead of Jabari Smith Jr. Paolo’s my number one prospect, as he is comparable to Carmelo Anthony. They made the right selection and got an advanced isolation scorer with excellent playmaking ability at power forward. Caleb Houstan was drafted purely based on potential; at 6’8”, he can shoot the three and has decent handles. It’s a good selection, as Orlando isn’t looking to compete immediately. 

Great Draft (A-)

Indiana Pacers

  • Bennedict Mathurin (6) 
  • Andrew Nembhard (31) 
  • Kendall Brown (48) 

Ivey didn’t fall to them, but Mathrun will be a fantastic 3&D player at a minimum. He showed some off the dribble capability and can be a future All-Star if everything breaks for him. Nembhard is a steady presence who can handle the ball for the bench unit. Kendall Brown disappointed his freshman year, but the 6’8” wing displayed some tantalizing ball handling. 

Miami Heat

  •  Nikola Jovic (27) 

The 6’11” Jovic was 16th on my Big Board; he can handle the ball, shoot three-pointers, score in the post, and act as a secondary playmaker. Miami can trust him to create his own offense, which is exactly what they need. His defense is worrisome, but he will be surrounded by elite defenders in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Miami stopped Jovic’s surprising fall and got maximum value at 27th overall. 

Milwaukee Bucks

  • MarJon Beauchamp (24) 
  • Hugo Besson (58) 

The Bucks selected a hyper-athletic wing who dominated in transition, flashed some isolation upside, and defended at a high level. Sound familiar? Beauchamp will fit perfectly with Milwaukee as they know how to develop this archetype. Hugo Besson is another great selection because he can play on or off-ball. His flamethrower of a shot will space the floor for the Bucks, which is a must for that squad. 

New Orleans Pelicans 

  • Dyson Daniels (8) 
  • EJ Liddell (41) 
  • Karlo Matkovic (52) 

McCollum shouldn’t be the primary ball handler or playmaker, and Daniels can take over for him. He’s a patient playmaker who makes the right reads. Daniels also adds elite perimeter defense and size (6’7”). New Orleans can create a terrifying Death Lineup: Daniels, McCollum, Ingram, Jones, Williamson. Liddell is great value at 41 considering he had a 1st round grade. He contributes post offense, rebounding, toughness, and spot up shooting. Matkovic is years away from contributing, but the 6’10” power forward provides interior scoring and rebounding. 

Good Draft (B+)

​​Chicago Bulls 

  • Dalen Terry (18) 

With their only selection, the Bulls took Dalen Terry. He’s 6’7” and showed fantastic playmaking flashes. His perimeter defense can be suffocating, especially because of his 7’1” wingspan. He will not necessarily contribute heavily to the Bulls next season, but Terry is a potential steal. 

​​Cleveland Cavaliers 

  • Ochai Agabji (14) 
  • Khalifa Diop (39) 
  • Isaiah Mobley (49) 
  • Luke Travers (56) 

Agabji is a 3&D prospect who can fit perfectly at small forward or shooting guard. He compensates for Garland’s defense and spaces the floor for Jarrett Allen. Plus, he can step in immediately and help the Cavs compete. I’m not high on Diop, and Cleveland doesn’t need a center who is a couple years away from contributing. Mobley can be a solid role player, and the locker room will be boosted due to him being Evan’s brother. Travers is 6’8” and able to play multiple positions, but his three-point shooting needs work. 

​​Dallas Mavericks

  • Jaden Hardy (37) 

Dallas landed Jaden Hardy with their only selection, and I’m surprised he fell to 37. He displayed elite isolation scoring for the Ignite. His inefficient shooting hurt his stock, but Hardy should provide microwave offense for the Mavericks when Luka Doncic is taking a breather. Dallas got a steal here, as Jordan Poole is a solid comparison for Hardy. 

Memphis Grizzlies

  • Jake LaRavia (19) 
  • David Roddy (23) 
  • Kennedy Chandler (38) 
  • Vince Williams Jr (47)

LaRavia fits perfectly with Memphis. He plays hard on defense, spaces the floor as a spot up shooter, and has a secondary playmaker upside. His off the dribble scoring needs work, but Memphis doesn’t need that with Morant, Bane, and Brooks on the roster. Roddy put up monster stats at Colorado State, but this was a massive reach. Superior prospects such as TyTy Washington, Nikola Jovic, MarJon Beauchamp, and Wendell Moore were available here. Kennedy Chandler has defensive limitations at 6’0”, but he gives them backup guard insurance if Tyus Jones is not brought back. Williams is a 6’6″ forward who isn’t elite at anything but does a little of everything. 

Minnesota Timberwolves 

  • Walker Kessler (22) 
  • Wendell Moore (26) 
  • Josh Minott (45) 
  • Matteo Spagnolo (50) 

Kessler displayed elite rim protection, but it was a reach. Towns is firmly established at center, and taking a backup center at 22 is borderline irresponsible. Moore, however, is a plug-and-play 3&D wing who has some playmaking to his game. Moore will fit perfectly with Edwards and Towns. Minott is 6’8” and dominates in transition. He can be a plus defender given his size, athleticism, and instincts. Spagnolo’s creative playmaking will give the Timberwolves Ricky Rubio vibes, but he’s a much better perimeter shooter. Spagnolo is a great pick at 50th overall. 

San Antonio Spurs

  •  Jeremy Sochan (9) 
  • Malaki Branham (20) 
  • Blake Wesley (25) 

Sochan was a reach at 9th overall, but his elite defense is intriguing. He can almost legitimately guard 1-5 and flashed some playmaking. With Dejounte Murray and Sochan in the lineup, opponents will find it hard to score. Branham dominated in the midrange and showed isolation scoring chops. He’s a great three-point shooter who fits perfectly next to Murray. Branham was an absolute steal at 20th overall. Finally, the Spurs selected Blake Wesley: an athletic combo guard who can defend. He’s a streaky shooter, but he can be an impact player when his shot is going. 

Solid Draft (B)

Atlanta Hawks 

  • AJ Griffin (16) 
  • Tyrese Martin (51) 

AJ Griffin was perhaps the best catch and shoot player in this draft, and he has desirable size at 6’6” with a 7’0” wingspan. He has off the dribble scoring and defensive upside, but he is sort of redundant with De’Andre Hunter. Plus, he likely fell because of a scary medical history. It’s a good but not great pick. Tyrese Martin shot 43% from three this past year at UConn, but I didn’t think he was going to be drafted. It’s a slight reach, yet the pick isn’t bad. 

Denver Nuggets

  • Christian Braun (21) 
  • Peyton Watson (30) 
  • Ismael Kamagate (46) 

Braun is a lethal spot up shooter who will capitalize on the gravity Jokic exerts. He can also defend his position, contribute in transition, and add some size (6’7”). Watson isn’t a polished prospect and disappointed his freshman season, but the potential is there. He’s 6’8” and flashed ball handling skills. He won’t help Denver next season, but he could in a few years. Kamagate is a rim-runner who sets fantastic screens. He can back up Jokic next season, but I thought there were better players available here. 

Toronto Raptors

  •  Christian Koloko (33) 

The Raptors needed a center who could protect the rim, and that is Koloko’s strength. His ceiling isn’t very high, but he can come off the bench this season and fortify the center rotation. It’s an overall good pick for Toronto. 

Washington Wizards 

  • Johnny Davis (10) 
  • Yannick Nzosa (54) 

Johnny Davis’ perimeter defense is absolutely terrifying. He will compensate for Beal and stop opponents at the point of attack. His mid-range scoring is solid, and he can run the pick and roll. His perimeter shooting is a question mark, but Davis fits with the Wizards. Nzosa can become a good backup center in a couple of years. He’s a rim runner who competes in the paint. Nzosa even flashed a dangerous hook shot.  

Mediocre Draft (B-) 

Golden State Warriors 

  • Patrick Baldwin Jr (28) 
  • Ryan Rollins (44) 
  • Gui Santos (55) 

Patrick Baldwin Jr possesses a ton of upside, but he’s definitely a project. With the Warriors core approaching the end of their prime, they should have added an immediate contributor and taken a risk with their later picks. Rollins can run the pick and roll, and he’s a decent playmaker. I don’t see him supplanting Moody’s bench role, so he may not see playing time. Santos is a fluid wing with some athleticism, and he’s more comfortable operating in the mid-range and paint. I also don’t see Santos getting any minutes for the Warriors next season. 

Portland Trail Blazers 

  • Shaedon Sharpe (7) 
  • Jabari Walker (57) 

Sharpe has boundless potential, but the Blazers were the wrong team for him. The backcourt of Lillard and Simons (once they sign him) is elite, so they don’t need him. Sharpe still requires a year or two to become an impact starter, and the Blazers want to compete now. There were better options than Sharpe here for Portland. Walker is a solid role player who can come off the bench for Portland as a 10th or 11th guy, so I don’t mind the pick here. 

Unsatisfactory Draft (C+)

Los Angeles Lakers

  •  Max Christie (35) 

Christie isn’t a bad pick at 35, but it was for the Lakers. They needed a win-now, older prospect who can come off the bench for them next season. LeBron’s window with the Lakers is tiny at this point, and Christie doesn’t widen it in the slightest. Good player, wrong situation. 

​​New York Knicks 

  • Trevor Keels (42) 

Trevor Keels has potential as a solid 3&D wing who could guard 1-3. The pick is decent, but I am not a fan of trading 11th overall for three protected 1st rounders next year that won’t give them a great pick. There were elite prospects available at 11, such as Duren, Dieng, Williams, and Eason. This grade can change though if they somehow acquire a superstar from those picks. 

Los Angeles Clippers

  • Moussa Diabate (43) 

I am not high on Diabate, and there were plenty of prospects with a better floor and ceiling than him at 43. He will give them some rebounding at 6’11”, but they needed to target a guard with this selection. 

Bad Draft (D)

Sacramento Kings

  •  Keegan Murray (4) 

Don’t get me wrong, I think Keegan Murray will be a contributing player in the mold of Tobias Harris. He’s a great prospect who will help Sacramento immediately. But Jaden Ivey – a potential superstar – was available! They have to take Ivey’s upside and worry about the fit later. Plus, they could have traded down to 6 with Indiana or 12 with Oklahoma City and came away with a king’s ransom. The selection was questionable, and the decision to not trade down was horrific. The Kings are much further away from competing than they think, and it ruined their thought process here. 

Boston Celtics

  • JD Davison (53) 

Davison’s shooting is suspect, and he has a turnover problem. Isn’t that exactly what haunted  the Celtics in the Finals? They also already have Derrick White and Payton Pritchard to handle the backup guard duties, and Davison won’t supplant either of them. I don’t like this pick for Boston in the slightest because I’m not high on Davison’s future. 

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

Hot NBA Draft Stories