2022 NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Paolo Banchero Is The New Number One

Welcome to the second edition of the Lineups.com 2022 NBA Mock Draft. While the mock draft is of the entire first round, we cover the first ten picks in greater detail, elaborating on their fit with the potential organization selecting them. The draft order was randomly generated on a lottery simulator, and this order will continue to change every time a new edition drops!

Several changes have happened in a short period! A few of those can be attributed to a change in the draft order due to lottery randomization, but others reflect a changing narrative around certain players. For instance, Paolo Banchero had a terrific NCAA Tournament run, and most believe that it may have been enough for him to be drafted first overall this year. Banchero flashed excellent scoring and playmaking prowess, stepping up on the biggest stage and executing at the highest level.

Jeremy Sochan, Dyson Daniels, and Shaedon Sharpe rose several spots in this mock draft, while Jaden Hardy, Patrick Baldwin Jr., and MarJon Beauchamp tumbled.

You can find 1.0 version here.

1. Detroit Pistons – Paolo Banchero, Duke

Detroit can’t engage its fanbase much longer unless it shows some semblance of hope. The Pistons have been horrendous for the past 15 years, so they need to go with a surefire player like Paolo Banchero. He is somewhat like the power forward version of Carmelo Anthony (wouldn’t it be ironic if they pass on a version of him this time?) Holmgren could eventually pay off, but I don’t see the Pistons taking that chance with where their organization currently stands.

2. Houston Rockets – Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

This one is a no-brainer for the Houston Rockets. They could use a potentially game-changing center to pair with Christian Wood in the frontcourt. Houston does not need another backcourt player, especially an alpha scorer, so I think Ivey is out of the equation. Also, Jabari Smith has quite a few similarities to Wood. Wood is signed through next season, and if the Rockets elect to draft Smith, Wood would likely be on his way out soon. In this scenario, though, the unicorn, Chet Holmgren, will make his way to Texas.

3. Indiana Pacers – Jabari Smith Jr., Auburn

Despite desperate pleas for Jaden Ivey from the Indy fanbase, I see the Pacers going with Jabari Smith Jr at No. 3 if he is still available. Smith is touted by many as the best prospect in this class, so grabbing him with the third pick would be a steal. Additionally, Indiana already has Tyrese Haliburton and Chris Duarte as its future backcourt but desperately needs a reliable four; the Pacers already have plenty of guards and centers.

4. Portland Trail Blazers – Keegan Murray, Iowa

Portland could have Jaden Ivey with the fourth pick if it wanted, but it just does not make much sense. Anfernee Simons has proved to be a reliable, high-scoring combo guard; therefore, adding Ivey to that roster could muddy things. Alpha-scoring combo guards can be a great thing when you have just one, but two on the same roster spells disaster. Regardless, Murray is a terrific player to add to the Blazers’ roster because he can fit in with many different NBA teams (low usage, doesn’t need the ball all the time, scores creatively, etc…). He also gives Portland another talented young player to add to a very thin frontcourt. Jusuf Nurkic and Murray would be an exciting combination, to say the least.

5. Orlando Magic – Jaden Ivey, Purdue

Orlando seems quite confident in Wendell Carter’s future, and Mo Bamba played much better this season, too. Additionally, Jonathan Isaac should be back at some point, and Franz Wagner had a successful rookie season. It’s crowded in Orlando right now in the backcourt and frontcourt; however, the backcourt has the most significant need. This leads to the Magic drafting yet another guard, hoping that this one works out. The Magic don’t have any identity yet, but Ivey will immediately make them better.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder – Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky

Oklahoma City has plenty of picks, so if it wants to take a huge risk here at No. 6, it definitely can. With the top five players off the board, Sharpe is the next logical pick for the Thunder, who could start a trio of Sharpe, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Josh Giddey. Oklahoma City needs scorers, and Sharpe provides that. There’s also the possibility that he ends up being one of the best players in this draft class.

7. Sacramento Kings – A.J. Griffin, Duke

Few (if any) NBA organizations are more pathetic than the Sacramento Kings. They have managed to continually mess up in the draft, free agency, and day-to-day operations. Hopefully, snagging Griffin will begin to pull them out of the trenches of the league. Griffin should be an instant contributor on the wing for a team that could use a scoring small forward in the lineup alongside Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox. 

8. New Orleans Pelicans (via Los Angeles Lakers) –  Benn Mathurin, Arizona

Mathurin would be another solid addition to a team looking for athletic 3-and-D players to complement Brandon Ingram and C.J. McCollum. Assuming there is no need at power forward because they plan to keep Zion Williamson, grabbing Mathurin, who could play shooting guard or small forward, makes sense. McCollum can stay at the point with as well as New Orleans has played since his arrival. 

9. San Antonio Spurs – Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

Johnny Davis would be such a San Antonio Spurs pick. Davis is a hard worker who could continue to develop and hone his craft in the Spurs’ system alongside someone like Dejounte Murray. That would be a talented backcourt of the future for San Antonio and should be a reasonably thoughtless pick for the Spurs at No. 9. 

10. Washington Wizards – TyTy Washington, Kentucky

The point guard spot is one glaring weakness in the Wizards’ rotation. Before the trade deadline, they traded Spencer Dinwiddie and brought in Kristaps Porzingis, so the point guard position is wide open for someone like TyTy Washington to step into immediately. Washington has plenty of wings and frontcourt players to build with, so this would be the most likely scenario.

11. Portland Trail Blazers (via New Orleans Pelicans) – Jeremy Sochan, Baylor

12. New York Knicks – Dyson Daniels, G-League Ignite

13. Atlanta Hawks – Jalen Duren, Memphis

14. Charlotte Hornets – Mark Williams, Duke

15. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Los Angeles Clippers) – Tari Eason, LSU

16. Indiana Pacers (via Cleveland Cavaliers) – Nikola Jovic, Mega Mozzart

17. Houston Rockets (via Brooklyn Nets) – Kennedy Chandler, Tennessee

18. Minnesota Timberwolves – Wendell Moore Jr., Duke

19. Chicago Bulls – Walker Kessler, Auburn

20. Denver Nuggets – Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

21. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors) – Malaki Branham, Ohio State

22. Memphis Grizzlies (via Utah Jazz) – E.J. Liddell, Ohio State

23. Milwaukee Bucks – Patrick Baldwin Jr., Wisconsin-Milwaukee

24. San Antonio Spurs (via Boston Celtics) – Kendall Brown, Baylor

25. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers) – Blake Wesley, Notre Dame

26. Dallas Mavericks – Christian Koloko, Arizona

27. Miami Heat – Ousmane Dieng, New Zealand Breakers

28. Golden State Warriors – Hugo Beeson, New Zealand Breakers

29. Memphis Grizzlies – MarJon Beauchamp, G-League Ignite

30. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Phoenix Suns) – Jaden Hardy, G-League Ignite

Andrew has watched sports since as young as he can remember and was fortunate enough to play college basketball. As a kid, he would sneak his Space Jam Michael Jordan jersey into his pre-school so he could wear it every day. Mom was not a happy camper when she found out.

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