The 2022 Draft class doesn’t look to be as deep as the one we had last year but there are a few gems on the top with All-Star potential and almost half a dozen of prospects that could develop in decent role players for NBA franchises. Here is the complete breakdown of the first round with the relative information on the preliminary projections for every player that was drafted in the 1st Round based on what we’ve seen and know so far:
General Comments: Scoring big man who can create his own shot down low or on the perimeter while he is a creative passer with solid playmaking vision. Probably the most NBA-ready prospect in terms of scoring ability, while the pair with defensive bigs like Wendell Carter Jr., Mo Bamba and Bol Bol will help cover for his defeciencies on the other side of the court.
NBA Comp: Chris Webber
No. 2: Chet Holmgren (G/F) to the Oklahoma Thunder
General Comments: Mobile stretch big who has shown signs of an elite rim protector, he can bring the ball up the floor himself and shoot from the logo; he is extremely skinny and will need to add strength to contend with all NBA centers while his inside game is non-existent.
General Comments: A well-gifted durable two-way forward who is already a knockdown shooter with tremendous defensive versatility; his game seems boring but he is almost a lock to be a double-double machine for years.
General Comments: One of the class’s older prospects, he is a two-way versatile intelligent forward with a high basketball IQ who can score, pass, play off-ball and defend any frontcourt position. Looks like a world-class role player destined for many years in the league.
General Comments: Lead scoring guard and explosive athlete with great first step, he is a tremendous driver that can finish with either hand, is active without the ball but struggles with defense and 3point shooting.
NBA Comp: Shades of Ja Morant
No. 6: Bennedict Mathurin (SG/SF) to the Indiana Pacers
Age on Draft Day: 20
Notable 2021-22 Stats: 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds on 36.9 3P%
General Comments: Score-first wing with tremendous range, thrives playing off screens and running in the open court. A willing passer and defender, he has a nice ceiling and offers solid upside as long as he is able to develop into a prototypical 3 and D player, the position most coveted by NBA franchises today.
NBA Comp: Jason Richardson
No. 7: Shaedon Sharpe (SG) to the Portland Trailblazers
Age on Draft Day: 19
Notable 2021-22 Stats: None — sat out lone season at Kentucky
General Comments: An extremely athletic wing with above average offensive instincts he is also a strong on-ball defender thanks to his physical tools but lacks experience to play good team defense. Sharpe offers tremendous upside as a potential hidden gem with a big ceiling, but after a year away and no competition above the high school level he is likely expected to spend much time in the G League before earning a rotation in the NBA.
NBA Comp: JR Smith
No. 8: Dyson Daniels (PG/SG/SF) to the New Orleans
General Comments: A defensive menace with size, athleticism and an emerging offensive game, he is a multi-positional defender who lacks athleticism and quickness but is an above average passer who possesses a strong pick-and-roll game. Questions about his shooting remain but he is poised to be a contributor on the defensive side of the ball.
NBA Comp: Shades of Lonzo Ball
No. 9: Jeremy Sochan (PF) to the San Antonio Spurs
General Comments: Defensive minded forward who is versatile enough to defend inside and out, protecting the rim or stopping the ball. 3-point shot is a work in progress but he is a smart kid who can have an impact besides the numbers.
NBA Comp: Jarred Vanderbilt
No. 10: Johnny Davis (SG) to the Washington Wizards
General Comments: Scoring combo guard with an old school game, he is very good from mid-range and can also post up smaller opponents. A chemistry player who will be fine setting up his teammates instead of dominating the ball, he is a natural-born leader whom coaches love and offers role-player upside but could very-well develop into an All-Star in the right environment.
NBA Comp: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
No. 11: Ousmane Dieng (SG/SF) to the Oklahoma City Thunder
General Comments: An extremely raw boom or bust prospect who looked good in the secod half of the season playing in New Zealand, he projects as a 3-and-D forward with defensive versatility thanks to size and quickness.
NBA Comp: Kyle Anderson/Nic Batum
No. 12: Jalen Williams (SG) to the Oklahoma City Thunder
Age on Draft Day: 21
Notable 2021-22 Stats: 18.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.2 steals, on 51.3 FG% and 39.6 3P%
General Comments: Scoring wing with a ton of versatility and above average playmaking ability who lacks elite athleticism but makes the right plays on both ends of the floor and has some high-floor upside as long as he works on all aspects of his game.
General Comments: One of the youngest players in the draft, Duren is an elite rim protection with a 7’5″ wingspan who can guard in space and in pick-and-roll situations. Not a shooter but a good finisher around the rim that will need a couple years to develop into a consistent rotation player, he landed in a perfect situation and there will be no pressure since day 1.
NBA Comp: Andre Drummond
No. 14: Ochai Agbaji (SG) to the Cleveland Cavaliers
General Comments: 3-and-D guard/forward who is considered already a capable 3-point shooter and is strong enough to defend NBA talent. He plays hard on both ends of the floor which limits any doubts about his future in the league and lands in an ideal situation where he will be asked to fit in with a great young core.
NBA Comp: Malik Beasley
No. 15: Mark Williams (C) to the Charlotte Hornets
General Comments: A defensive minded center with a great NBA frame (7’7″ wingspan), he is a high level rebounder and enforcer in the middle with good hands who will likely struggle with the speed of the game and has a bad tracking record with FT shooting.
NBA Comp: DeAndre Jordan
No. 16: AJ Griffin (SF) to the Atlanta Hawks
Age on Draft Day: 18
Notable 2021-22 Stats: 10.4 points on 44.7 3P%
General Comments: 3-and-D prototypical wing who has struggled with injuries, he is a great talent and a knockout 3-point shooter who has defensive upside as well. The son of former NBAer Adrian Griffin, the Hawks traded away Kevin Huerter in order to open up playing time for him and he is a clear dark horse for the All-Rookie team as long as he stays healthy.
NBA Comp: Gary Trent Jr.
No. 17: Tari Eason (SF/PF) to the Houston Rockets
Age on Draft Day: 21
Notable 2021-22 Stats: 16.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 1.1 blocks on 52.1 FG% and 35.9 3P%
General Comments: Versatile defensive forward who possesses above average playmaking skills and isn’t afraid of contact, he has good instincts and could very well develop into an elite player if he is able to unlock a perimeter shot.
General Comments: Another versatile forward who put up big numbers as a junior, theoretically he benefits from today’s position-less game, however he may struggle as he is too slow of a small forward, lacking great speed on the perimeter and great athleticism and length on the block while his shot is shaky.
NBA Comp: Matt Harpring
No. 20: Malaki Branham (SG) to the San Antonio Spurs
Age on Draft Day: 19
Notable 2021-22 Stats: 13.7 points, 3.6 rebounds on 41.6 3P%
General Comments: A terrific outside shooter who had a strong finish to the season and climbed up the draft boards really fast. He can create space and attacks the rim, he looked like a man next to boys throughout the draft process.
NBA Comp: Caris LeVert
No. 21: Christian Braun (SG) to the Denver Nuggets
General Comments: A feisty player and a streaky shooter, he attacks the rim and is a solid spot-up shooter while he has the intangibles to make it to the next stage. Above average defender who could become a reliable role player down the road.
NBA Comp: Chase Budinger
No. 22: Walker Kessler (C) to the Minnesota Timberwolves (traded to the Utah Jazz in the Rudy Gobert trade)
General Comments: An elite rim protector with high basketball IQ, he has the potential to be a top defender for years to come but he is not the most athletic body and will struggle with the speed of the game and with lengthy and bigger opponents. Limited offensive player but he is not afraid to shoot and could unlock another level to his game.
NBA Comp: Justin Patton
No. 23: David Roddy (SF/PF) to the Philadelphia Sixers
General Comments: Roddy isn’t your typical NBA prospect as he is built more like a football player but has an extremely high skill level and he fits in today’s NBA as a multi-dimensional forward who can play small-ball basketball.
NBA Comp: Georges Niang
No. 24: MarJon Beauchamp (SG/SF) to the Milwaukee Bucks
General Comments: A scoring combo guard who is one of the top athletes in the class, Wesley is a truly explosive player who has lead-guard potential but he lacks a 3point shot and makes his money attacking the rim
NBA Comp: RJ Hampton
No. 26: Wendell Moore (SF) to the Minnesota Timberwolves
Age on Draft Day: 20
Notable 2021-22 Stats: 13.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 3-pointers on 50%
General Comments: A standout defender with NBA level athleticism who is now putting it together on the offensive end. His ball handling is improved and he projects as as a player who can run some point at the next level to go along with his 3&D skill set.
General Comments: A playmaking forward who comes from Serbia, he needs to work on his body but he has strong playmaking skills and is a savvy competitor who will likely earn playing time due to the combination of size and skills he already possesses.
NBA Comp: Hedo Turkoglu
No. 28: Patrick Baldwin Jr. (SF/PF) to the Golden State Warriors
General Comments: Baldwin has size but is lacking athleticism and had a very rough year shooting the ball but he looks like a diamond in the rough and he lands at the perfect position for him as the Warriors will try to develop him and there will be no rush for him to produce.
NBA Comp: Brian Cook
No. 29: TyTy Washington (PG/SG) to the Houston Rockets
General Comments: A long, wiry athlete with a great first step for his size and awesome above the rim ability. It is still up in the air whether he can have an impact in the next stage
NBA Comp: Derrick Jones Jr.
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