2022 NBA Mock Draft: New No. 1 pick in updated post-Combine projections

There is plenty of reshuffling in our updated 2022 NBA Mock Draft following the NBA Combine, including a new projected No. 1 pick.

It has been nearly a week since the conclusion of the NBA Combine. The results from that event — both in terms of on-court play and off-court team interviews — have completely shaken up this 2022 NBA Mock Draft.

There has been movement in virtually every spot in our first-round projections as there appears to be a large amount of so-called “domino effect” selections. While it’s still relatively early in the draft process, teams have a general idea of who they are eyeing.

The questions start at the top, though. There isn’t a lot of separation between prospects ranked outside the top three. Depending on what happens there, the teams picking just outside the lottery could have their plans completely blow up or have a prospect fall into their lap that they weren’t expecting.

Things at the top of the board, however, are starting to become a little clearer. The Magic are deciding between Auburn’s Jabari Smith and Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren for the No. 1 overall selection, and they appear to be leaning in favor of Smith.

What does that mean for the rest of the draft? Here’s a look at our latest first round projections for the 2022 NBA Draft:

—Biggest transfer portal winners so far
—Most important players for the ’22-23 season
—Most underrated transfer additions for ’22-23

1) Orlando Magic

Jabari Smith, SF/PF, Auburn – 6-foot-10, 220 lbs.
16.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 42.9 FG%, 42.0 3P%

Smith has both produced at a high clip in college and flashing obvious signs of immense untapped potential. His size and athleticism should make him an elite defender at the next level, and his 3-point shooting is spectacular. Smith will need to work on his ball-handling and shot creation skills, but there’s a lot to work with here. Orlando thinks Smith’s 3-point shot is a differentiator between him and Holmgren and that he can turn into a two-way star sooner than later.

2) Oklahoma City Thunder

Chet Holmgren, PF/C, Gonzaga – 7-foot, 195 lbs.
14.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 3.7 bpg, 60.7 FG%, 39.0 3P%

Holmgren is one of the truly unique prospects in NBA Draft history. He’s an elite rim protector who is also a dynamic weapon with 3-point range and the ball-handling and creation skills of a guard. The only downside, though, is that he’s rail thin. Questions about his durability in the NBA are legitimate, but there’s no one else who can do all the things he can do on the court. Oklahoma City would give him plenty of time and opportunity to develop his body.

3) Houston Rockets

Paolo Banchero, PF, Duke – 6-foot-10, 250 lbs.
17.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 47.8 FG%, 33.8 3P%

Banchero is the most lethal and polished scorer in this draft and should have the biggest immediate impact. His versatility and ability to create for himself at 6-foot-10 is incredibly appealing. There are some concerns about the 19-year-old’s defense, but his offensive production and upside far outweighs those concerns. He and Jalen Green would form a lethal offensive duo.

4) Sacramento Kings

Shaedon Sharpe, SG, Kentucky – 6-foot-6, 200 lbs.
Did not play in 2021-22

Sacramento is rumored to be shopping this pick to either add a veteran or to trade into the top 3. If the Kings keep it, though, they appear most likely to take a swing on Sharpe. He was the top prospect in the 2022 high school recruiting class before reclassifying and enrolling at Kentucky in January, only to sit out the remainder of the season to protect his draft stock. He might be the guard with the most upside in this class thanks to his size, elite athleticism (NBA-record 49-inch vertical), and ability to score at all three levels.

5) Detroit Pistons

Bennedict Mathurin, SG/SF, Arizona – 6-foot-7, 195 lbs.
17.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 45.0 FG%, 36.9 3P%

Mathurin already plays like a pro. There isn’t anything he can’t do offensively, and he’s shown the willingness to take – and make – big shots in clutch moments. There’s a shortage of wings who can create offense for themselves in today’s NBA, which is why Mathurin is a valuable prospect. Some Pistons decision-makers believe he is the best wing in this class and would be lethal paired next to Cade Cunningham.

6) Indiana Pacers

Jaden Ivey, SG, Purdue – 6-foot-4, 200 lbs.
17.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.1 apg, 46.0 FG%, 35.8 3P%

With Malcolm Brogdon reportedly on the trade block, Indiana would be ecstatic if Ivey was still on the board here. Elite athleticism and speed make him a menace in the open court, and he has tremendous defensive upside when he’s locked in on that end. His 3-point shot is still inconsistent, though it’s vastly improved from his freshman season, so there’s hope of continued progression in that area. He can also play some point guard if he becomes more consistent as a playmaker but, with Tyrese Haliburton already in the fold, that doesn’t become as much of a concern.

7) Portland Trail Blazers

Keegan Murray, PF, Iowa – 6-foot-8, 215 lbs.
23.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 55.4 FG%, 39.8 3P%

Portland wants to trade this pick to add a veteran around Damian Lillard. If they’re unable to, Murray is an excellent option. He scores with ease at all three levels with the versatility, length and track record of being able to guard multiple positions on the defensive end. The Iowa product may not be a go-to superstar in the NBA, but it’s easy to envision him being the kind of secondary star all winning teams need.

8) New Orleans Pelicans (via Lakers)

AJ Griffin, SF/PF, Duke – 6-foot-6, 222 lbs.
10.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 49.3 FG%, 44.7 3P%

Griffin did not have as large of a role at Duke as his talent warranted because of early injuries and other talented players on Duke’s roster. But he’s an elite 3-point shooter who showed the strength and toughness to play inside, too. The Pelicans are rumored to have interest in him because of that shooting and his defensive versatility would give them a most explosive option in a small-ball frontcourt with Zion Williamson.

9) San Antonio Spurs

Jeremy Sochan, PF, Baylor – 6-foot-9, 230 lbs.
9.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 47.4 FG%, 29.6 3P%

Sochan is an investment into potential and upside. He’s an elite athlete for someone his size and should be an impact player defensively and on the glass right away. His offensive skills and shooting are still raw, but that defense gives him a solid floor in today’s NBA. San Antonio needs long-term help on the interior and loves that versatility, making this a good fit.

10) Washington Wizards

Dyson Daniels, PG, G League Ignite – 6-foot-6, 199 lbs.
11.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 5.1 apg, 2.1 spg, 45.7 FG%, 33.3 3P%

Daniels is a fantastic playmaker at 6-foot-6 with the kind of unselfish, all-around game that could allow him to develop into an ideal point guard in today’s NBA. The biggest question with his game is his shooting. The Wizards need a point guard and Daniels has the potential to develop into a very good one.

11) New York Knicks

Jalen Duren, C, Memphis – 6-foot-11, 250 lbs.
12.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 59.7 FG%

Duren is a true throwback center in the sense that he doesn’t have much of a perimeter shot, but he’s a beast down low with his strength, impressive athleticism, relentless motor, and shot-blocking ability. We don’t see many true centers anymore because they can be liabilities defensively in today’s NBA, yet Duren has shown the lateral quickness necessary to at least be serviceable when guarding on the perimeter. The Knicks have a major need at center, especially with Mitchell Robinson likely entering free agency.

12) Oklahoma City Thunder (via Clippers)

Ousmane Dieng, SF/PF, New Zealand Breakers – 6-foot-10, 216 lbs.
8.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 39.8 FG%, 27.1 3P%

The Thunder are in this rebuild for the long haul, and they realize their position. That will allow Sam Presti & Co. to take a swing on Dieng, a smooth 6-foot-10 scorer who needs to get stronger and needs time to turn his flashes of brilliance into consistent production. He’ll get that opportunity in Oklahoma City.

13) Charlotte Hornets

Mark Williams, C, Duke – 7-foot, 243 lbs.
11.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 2.8 bpg, 72.3 FG%

Charlotte has needed a center for a while and Williams feels like the perfect fit. He provides elite rim protection and is unstoppable around the rim. His length and athleticism should make him a lethal lob-catcher in pick-and-rolls with LaMelo Ball.

14) Cleveland Cavaliers

Malaki Branham, SG, Ohio State – 6-foot-5, 180 lbs.
13.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 49.8 FG%, 41.6 3P%

Cleveland was most effective with a third playmaker on the roster with Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. Sexton is also a restricted free agent and there are some questions about his future with the Cavs. Branham, a local product, emerged during his freshman season at Ohio State as a quality scorer from all three levels who was effective both with and without the ball. His playmaking improved as the season went along, too, making him a good fit here.

15) Charlotte Hornets (via Pelicans)

Ochai Agbaji, SF, Kansas – 6-foot-5, 210 lbs.
18.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 47.5 FG%, 40.7 3P%

The Hornets need more depth on the wing and love players who are versatile, good shooters, and were productive college players. Enter this season’s Final Four MOP in Agbaji, who checks all those boxes. He’ll be able to contribute right away as a shooter and defender.

16) Atlanta Hawks

Johnny Davis, SG, Wisconsin – 6-foot-5, 196 lbs.
19.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 42.7 FG%, 30.6 3P%

A really good player is going to fall out of the lottery. In this scenario, it’s Davis. Atlanta is targeting help on the wing, particularly players who can create some offense and be reliable defensively. The Big Ten Player of the Year carried Wisconsin with dominant two-way play. Along with being a great scorer, Davis showed the kind of defense that is very appealing to NBA teams like Atlanta. He doesn’t have consistent 3-point range yet, but Davis’ slashing ability and two-way potential make him a good fit here.

17) Houston Rockets (via Nets)

Tari Eason, SF/PF, LSU – 6-foot-8, 215 lbs.
16.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.9 spg, 52.1 FG%, 35.9 3P%

We have Houston going with a big man earlier in his mock draft, so now they’ll look to add needed depth and explosiveness on the wing. How does the leading scorer and best defender on one of the nation’s best defensive teams sound? Eason has great size and athleticism that allows him to defend just about every position and be effective as a slasher creating plays off the bounce.

18) Chicago Bulls

Jalen Williams, SG, Santa Clara – 6-foot-6, 190 lbs.
18.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.2 apg, 51.3 FG%, 39.6 3P%

Williams measured a 7-foot-2 wingspan at the combine, and that made headlines, but so did his efficient play on both ends of the court. He already had plenty of fans in scouting circles but proving his combination of defensive upside and offensive efficiency may have secured him a sport in the top 20. Chicago is looking for two-way help on the wing. With Eason off the board, this is a logical fit.

19) Minnesota Timberwolves

Kennedy Chandler, PG, Tennessee – 6-foot, 172 lbs.
13.9 ppg, 4.7 apg, 3.2 rpg, 46.4 FG%, 38.3 3P%

Minnesota needs defense and guard help, especially considering new questions about D’Angelo Russell’s future. Chandler showed great prowess and promise on the defensive end while producing enough offensively, particularly as a playmaker. He should immediately step in and be a quality backup behind Patrick Beverley.

20) San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors)

TyTy Washington, PG, Kentucky – 6-foot-3, 197 lbs.
12.5 ppg, 3.9 apg, 3.5 rpg, 45.1 FG%, 35.0 3P%

The Spurs value versatility, so adding another guard who can play either with or without the ball and has a reliable 3-point shot seems like a no-brainer. That description fits Washington at this point in the draft. He has already been linked to San Antonio and has the kind of offensive upside that could make this a steal for the Spurs.

21) Denver Nuggets

Jake LaRavia, SF/SG, Wake Forest – 6-foot-8, 228 lbs.
14.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 3.7 apg, 55.9 FG%, 38.4 3P%

LaRavia likely became a first-round lock at the combine, where he showcased a smooth shooting stroke — winning the combine’s 3-point drill — and underrated athleticism. At 6-foot-8 in shoes, the Wake Forest product finished top 3 at the combine in both the lane agility and shuttle run drills. That athleticism, along with his size, shooting and high basketball IQ, makes him a perfect fit for what Denver is seeking.

22) Memphis Grizzlies (via Jazz)

Nikola Jovic, SF, Mega Basket – 6-foot-10, 209 lbs.
12.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.6 apg, 41.4 FG%, 31.5 3P%

Memphis doesn’t have any obvious holes. So with the first of its two first-round picks, I have them gambling on Jovic. He has guard skills in a 6-foot-10 frame and excels at creating shots for himself off the bounce. However, he needs to get stronger and improve defensively, which is why this is something of a developmental pick.

23) Brooklyn Nets (via 76ers)

Walker Kessler, C, Auburn – 7-foot-1, 245 lbs.
11.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4.6 bpg, 60.8 FG%, 20.0 3P%

Kessler was perhaps the nation’s best and most feared shot-blocker last season. Brooklyn has been trying to find that role for the past year or two with veteran centers that haven’t worked out. Kessler has the athleticism to play at a fast pace and could serve as a defensive anchor in the NBA.

24) Milwaukee Bucks

Terquavion Smith, SG, NC State – 6-foot-4, 165 lbs.
16.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 39.8 FG%, 36.9 3P%

The Bucks are another team without many needs, but one thing that became apparent in the playoffs is their need for more individual shot creators. Smith’s draft stock has risen steadily throughout the pre-draft process thanks to his ability to score from all three levels. He was one of the biggest winners from the combine. Milwaukee may take a chance on him in hopes he can bolster the offense of the bench unit.

25) San Antonio Spurs (via Celtics)

EJ Liddell, PF, Ohio State – 6-foot-7, 240 lbs.
19.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.5 apg, 49.0 FG%, 37.4 3P%

Another versatile, positionless player going to the Spurs … sensing a theme here? Liddell’s shooting ability makes him an appealing stretch-4 and he showed he can play defense both inside and on the perimeter at a high level. The Ohio State junior is an older prospect but could provide some impact right away.

26) Dallas Mavericks

Kendall Brown, SF, Baylor – 6-foot-8, 205 lbs.
9.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 58.4 FG%, 34.1 3P%

The Mavs need players who can make a significant impact without being ball-dominant on the offensive end, and that fits Brown to a tee. In fact, Brown is at his best as an off-ball cutter or in transition, where his truly elite athleticism is on display. He is also a quality defender growing into his game on the offensive end.

27) Miami Heat

Caleb Houstan, SG, Michigan – 6-foot-8, 205 lbs.
10.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 38.4 FG%, 35.5 3P%

Houstan reportedly received a promise that he will be drafted in the first round. Could it be from the team that Houstan’s college coach Juwan Howard was with for a decade before going to Michigan? The former top-10 recruit wasn’t as dominant as a freshman as the Wolverines would’ve hoped, but he showed promise. In Miami’s player development system, the Heat could tap into the abundance of talent that’s there and turn him into a late-round gem.

28) Golden State Warriors

Christian Braun, SG, Kansas – 6-foot-6, 205 lbs.
14.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.8 apg, 49.5 FG%, 38.6 3P%

Braun is an elite athlete who excels in transition and is a quality defender. A good-but-not-great spot-up shooter, the Kansas junior is an off-ball cutter who can make plays with the ball in his hands, too. That offensive versatility and defensive reliability, along with his explosiveness, should allow him to carve out a role in an NBA rotation.

29) Memphis Grizzlies

Trevor Keels, SG, Duke – 6-foot-4, 221 lbs.
11.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 41.9 FG%, 31.2 3P%

We mentioned that Memphis doesn’t have many obvious needs. Looking ahead, though, Dillon Brooks will be a free agent after next season and the Grizzlies may not want to spend the money required to bring him back. Enter Keels, another tough, physical wing who can impact the game defensively in a similar way despite not being a great shooter.

30) Oklahoma City Thunder (via Suns)

Patrick Baldwin Jr., SF/PF, Milwaukee – 6-foot-9, 220 lbs.
12.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 34.4 FG%, 26.6 3P%

Baldwin, a top-10 recruit in the 2021 recruiting class, had a disappointing freshman season at Milwaukee largely due to an ankle injury. When he was healthy at the very start of the season, though, he played at the level of a top-10 prospect. With so many picks this year and in the future, Oklahoma City can gamble on his long-term upside because of Baldwin’s versatility, shooting ability and high basketball IQ.