2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Orlando Magic Win The Lottery, What Next?

Welcome to the third edition of the 2022 Mock Draft from Lineups.com. This mock was composed just after the lottery was announced, so we finally have the officially draft positions of each team. Hopefully, knowing the position of each team will make it slightly easier to predict which players will go where in the first round.

As the combine winds down, there have been several risers and fallers on the Lineups.com 2022 NBA Draft Big Board, which I will be updating consistently until draft night. A few players have stood out, for better and for worse, at the combine, including Patrick Baldwin Jr, Tari Eason, Mark Williams, Jalen Williams, and others. Keep an eye on more updates and changes as the pre-draft process continues. There should be plenty of players whose draft stocks will rise and vice versa between now and the night of the 2022 NBA Draft.

1. Orlando Magic – Jabari Smith Jr, Auburn

What a blessing for Orlando to grab the top draft spot. Or could it be a curse? There’s a lot of pressure picking first overall when there’s no consensus No. 1 player. The most likely outcome is for the Magic to select Jabari Smith Jr with the first pick after an incredible freshman season at Auburn. Holmgren is a bit too high risk, and I don’t think the fit is ideal for Banchero in Orlando. Smith offers instant offense with his shooting at 6-foot-10 and should allow the Magic to spread the floor a bit more, with Wendell Carter playing more of a traditional center role. Also, Mo Bamba is probably gone before next season; it’s time for the “Smith Era.”

2. Oklahoma City Thunder – Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga

The most “Oklahoma City pick” is drafting the unicorn, Chet Holmgren, at No. 2. Oklahoma City is in the midst of an impressive rebuild; they have an incredulous amount of draft picks over the next few seasons. Additionally, the Thunder already have Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey to build around for the future. I would be stunned if they chose someone other than Holmgren here because they don’t need guards, and Banchero doesn’t seem like the right fit.

3. Houston Rockets – Paolo Banchero, Duke

It should go without saying, but Houston is likely not passing on Paolo Banchero for a guard, considering it already has several young, high ceiling guards in Jalen Green and KPJ. This feels like a good fit based on Houston’s style last year; the Rockets finished second in pace in the NBA, which means they love to get the ball and push it in transition. That should be the perfect scenery for Banchero, and now, the Rockets just need to secure a couple more veterans to show these young players the way.

4. Sacramento Kings – Keegan Murray, Iowa

Sacramento has a tough decision: add more perimeter players that it doesn’t necessarily need or add a forward who can complement star Domantas Sabonis. While the decision seems simple, it would be insanely difficult to pass on Shaedon Sharpe or Jaden Ivey. Ultimately, I think the Kings go with Keegan Murray, who can immediately help on both ends of the floor. Murray is a solid defender, great shooter, and tough shot-maker, evidenced by his second year at Iowa. His ability to step out and take bigger forwards off the dribble or hang around the perimeter and hit jump shots should allow Sabonis to work more in the mid-post and DHO and P&R situations. The fit just feels right.

5. Detroit Pistons – Jaden Ivey, Purdue

Detroit can’t pass up Jaden Ivey here, no matter how enticing Shaedon Sharpe is to NBA teams. The Pistons need another effective guard alongside Cade Cunningham to relieve some pressure on him. There are few better fits to go next to a pass-first and playmaking point guard than an incredibly athletic combo guard that can score at a high level. This is a match made in Heaven and should make up the Detroit backcourt for the next decade if it plays its cards right.

6. Indiana Pacers – Shaedon Sharpe, Kentucky

Murray and Ivey are both off the board, so Sharpe becomes the next-best option for the Pacers at No. 6. Sharpe has an incredibly high upside as a primary scorer, so pairing him with another pass-first playmaker in Tyrese Haliburton makes nothing except perfect sense. With Malcolm Brogdon likely on his way out of Indiana, Sharpe should step in immediately for the Pacers during their rebuild. While Sharpe is a risky gamble at pick No. 6, it’s hard to see Indiana passing on him for anyone other than Benn Mathurin.

7. Portland Trail Blazers – A.J. Griffin, Duke

Portland has too many holes in its boat to plug, so it just has to start somewhere. If Griffin falls to the Trail Blazers at No. 7, they should scoop him up and play him alongside Anfernee Simons and Damian Lillard, assuming Lillard stays in Portland next season. This is a more complicated pick to predict because it is entirely possible that Lillard and Portland part ways in the off-season. The future for this organization will look more apparent in the coming weeks. Still, for now, Griffin would be a fantastic selection given his exceptional shooting and potential primary scoring upside.

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

New Orleans has somewhat adopted a form of positionless basketball since acquiring C.J. McCollum before the trade deadline. McCollum has often brought the ball up the floor for the Pelicans and has taken on much more of a playmaking role for them in the last few months of the season. Brandon Ingram is also more than capable of handling the ball, creating for others, and scoring at a high level. If New Orleans grabs Benn Mathurin, it will get a phenomenal shooter, athlete, and defender with a much higher ceiling than some are admitting. Mathurin would surely get scooped up by the Pels if he was available.

9. San Antonio Spurs – Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

Few players would fit the “Spurs System” better than Johnny Davis. Davis was a menace on defense for a Wisconsin team that was elite on that end of the floor. Additionally, you could book Davis for 20 points per night against any team in America; he rose from a virtually unknown player to a household name in the collegiate basketball world in just a few months. Not many players are willing to outwork Davis, and I feel that he would fit in flawlessly next to Dejounte Murray in San Antonio. This pick entirely depends on which position San Antonio values the most right now.

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

Washington desperately needs a playmaker in its starting lineup. Raul Neto is likely not a long-term solution at guard next to Bradley Beal for the Wizards. Dyson Daniels is not necessarily a true point guard, but he should be more than capable of eventually bringing the ball up the floor and starting an offense at the NBA level. Daniels may not make it to the tenth pick, but if he does, I could see Washington scooping him as TyTy Washington is a bit more of a risk here.

11. New York Knicks – Jeremy Sochan, Baylor

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (from LA Clippers) – Ousmane Dieng, New Zealand Breakers

13. Charlotte Hornets – Mark Williams, Duke

14. Cleveland Cavaliers – Malaki Branham, Ohio State

15. Charlotte Hornets (from New Orleans) – Ochai Agbaji, Kansas

16. Atlanta Hawks – Tari Eason, LSU

17. Houston Rockets (from Brooklyn Nets) – TyTy Washington, Kentucky

18. Chicago Bulls – Jake LaRavia, Wake Forest

19. Minnesota Timberwolves –  Nikola Jovic, Mega Mozzart

20. San Antonio Spurs (from Toronto Raptors) –  Jalen Duren, Memphis

21. Denver Nuggets – Jaden Hardy, G-League Ignite

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

23. Philadelphia 76ers – Jalen Williams, Santa Clara

24. Milwaukee Bucks – Terquavion Smith, NC State

25. San Antonio Spurs (from Boston Celtics) – Kendall Brown, Baylor

26. Dallas Mavericks – Walker Kessler, Auburn

27. Miami Heat – Hugo Besson, New Zealand Breakers

28. Golden State Warriors – Christian Koloko, Arizona

29. Memphis Grizzlies – Patrick Baldwin Jr, Milwaukee

30. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Phoenix Suns) – Leonard Miller, Fort Erie Academy

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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