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NBA mock draft 2022: SB Nation bloggers make picks for their teams

It’s time for the latest SB Nation NBA mock draft, with picks made by our team communities.

2022 NBA Draft Lottery Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA playoffs are over, the Golden State Warriors are champions once again, and it’s officially time to roll into draft season. The 2022 NBA Draft is going down on Thursday, June 23.

Now it’s time for the annual SB Nation NBA mock draft. Each of our NBA team communities made a selection for their club in the first round. Trades were not allowed.

For more draft coverage, check out the latest mock draft from our own Ricky O’Donnell, who projected the entire first round here, and also broke down (and ranked) the top 60 prospects in the 2022 class here. You can find complete draft coverage from our team communities at our NBA draft hub.

The Orlando Magic were on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick this year, and kicked us off with a bang.

1. Orlando Magic - Jabari Smith Jr., F, Auburn

I do not envy the decision Orlando’s front office has in front of them, this was no easy task. I gave all three top big men (Smith, Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero) a look here. If I were running the Magic, I think I would lean towards taking Banchero, but I wanted to make this as realistic as possible (and I’m not convinced Orlando is seriously considering him).

I went with Smith because I think his combination of elite shooting and defensive upside plays in this league on any team/within any ecosystem. I’m not worried about his handle and limited ability to create space in one-on-one situations (or his finishing ability). He just turned 19, and I think his upside is as strong as anyone’s in this class. — Aaron Goldstone, Orlando Pinstriped post.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder - Chet Holmgren, C, Gonzaga

I know the Thunder have been linked quite heavily with Jaden Ivey recently, but this is an easy pick for me. Holmgren is an excellent two-way player whose rim protection and outside shooting will greatly benefit the Thunder. Oklahoma City was top-10 in Defensive Rating with Jeremiah Robinson-Earl at center, imagine the improvement with a player like Chet who can anchor a defense effortlessly. His shooting from outside, 39% for the season, should also improve the Thunder’s spacing. Oklahoma City did struggle to space the floor last season when they played Favors, Bazley and Dort all at the same time. This will not be an issue with Holmgren. It should also allow Coach Daigneault to put Bazley in the dunker’s spot more often and maximize his hops. — J.D. Tailor, Welcome to Loud City

3. Houston Rockets - Paolo Banchero, F, Duke

The trade of Christian Wood to Dallas essentially locks the Rockets into taking whichever of the top three big men fall to them, and that’s Banchero here in our mock, and also likely to be Banchero in real life as well. He’ll fill the offensive engine role in the frontcourt to complement Jalen Green in the backcourt, and now has the road cleared to start from day one in H-town. It wasn’t long ago that Banchero was considered the consensus best player in the draft, and he had a great season at Duke, so to get him at three is a massive win for Houston.

Two years into a rebuild and to come out with Green and Banchero in the first two drafts? Rockets fans should be enthused. — Darren Yuvan, The Dream Shake

4. Sacramento Kings - Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue

The dream scenario is that one of the top three presumed picks miraculously falls here, but I’ll reluctantly take Ivey with the previous picks going chalk. As questionable as the fit of Ivey in Sacramento is, I just can’t pass on a guy with his present ability and long-term upside, especially as the Kings. This selection creates some real fit concerns, but for a team that went 30-52 last season, this selection should ultimately be about getting the best player on the board. At this spot in the draft, I would only consider trading this pick for a King’s ransom (pun intended) where a team falls in love with Ivey and seriously overpays for the pick.

Keegan Murray has also been a popular name mocked to the Kings, but at No. 4, it’s hard for me to envision him ever having the top-of-roster impact Sacramento needs to warrant being the pick. I also strongly considered taking a massive swing on Shaedon Sharpe here, but for GM Monte McNair, entering the final year of his contract, that’s a tough risk to take.

Welcome to Basketball Hell, Jaden! — Leo Tochterman, Sactown Royalty

5. Detroit Pistons - Bennedict Mathurin, G, Arizona

Safe pick, foolish pick or a swing for the fences selection? In reality, Bennedict Mathurin might be all three. In choosing between Math and the “safer” choice in Keegan Murray or the “bolder” pick in Shaedon Sharpe, you realize that Mathurin is just flying under the radar as the next best example of every archtype, but doesn’t really lead the class in any particular trait. In the end, this is a player who fits the Pistons’ (and Troy Weaver’s) DNA as a tenacious, smart player who could turn into a player who contributes on both ends of the floor.

But in terms of upside, I think Mathurin’s is secretly higher than Murray’s, and not that far away from Sharpe’s. He’s an explosive athlete who knows how to use his athleticism and body to finish in traffic. He’s got a beautiful, natural high release point on his jumper that could turn him into an extremely dangerous scorer and is worth investing in. He would be a great running mate with Cade Cunningham in transition, and with his ability to cut to the rim and shoot off of screens. He also has just enough of the building blocks as a secondary ballhandler to intrigue. In a draft with a clear top 3 and a bunch of question marks, there are enough positives to Mathurin that make me roll the dice and hope he surprises. — Sean Corp, Detroit Bad Boys

6. Indiana Pacers - Keegan Murray, F, Iowa

The Pacers have a lot of work to do this offseason, and as tempting as it sounds to take a big swing on a young Shaedon Sharpe or Dyson Daniels, filling a major need in the front court with Keegan Murray makes the most sense. Murray is ready to play, at least at the offensive end, and while he will be 22 years old when the season starts, there’s still plenty of time for him to continue developing his game at both ends with the young core of players the Pacers are assembling. Murray is a legit 4 with the ability to both post up and shoot the three at 6’8. While his post game may atrophy under Rick Carlisle, being able to score inside and out from that position will make him a major addition for the Pacers. — Tom Lewis, Indy Cornrows

7. Portland Trail Blazers - Dyson Daniels, G, NBA G League Ignite

The 6’7 Australian has a 7’ wingspan and uses it to great effect on defense. What he lacks in explosive athleticism, he makes up for in smarts, instincts and willingness… aspects the Blazers could use in their defensive wings. Daniels will provide a secondary facilitator/playmaker alongside Damian Lillard. His outside shot is a work in progress, but that’s one of the easier attributes to develop, particularly with floor-spreading teammates. He’s on the radar of new Assistant GM Mike Schmitz, and he may be on Portland’s as well. — Dave Deckard, Blazer’s Edge

8. New Orleans Pelicans - Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky

No prospect that’s expected to get selected in the lottery oozes more boom/bust potential than Shaedon Sharpe. The 18-year-old rocketed up draft boards after his play last summer to become the No. 1 recruit of the 2022 high school graduating class before getting reclassified after enrolling early at the University of Kentucky. Since then, he hasn’t played a lick of competitive basketball, making it extremely hard to evaluate and rank him.

The Pelicans, thanks to possessing certifiable star power and depth on the roster, are in as good of a position as any team to take a swing on such an unknown, especially with Dyson Daniels and Bennedict Mathurin off the board. New Orleans has shooting, defensive and playmaking needs, and both of those players would have checked some boxes, but if Sharpe fully develops, he could raise the floor of a team led by Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram the highest. — Oleh Kosel, The Bird Writes

9. San Antonio Spurs - Jalen Duren, C, Memphis

San Antonio is operating in a middle ground, teetering between rebuilding and retooling as Gregg Popovich enters the likely final act of his coaching career. Though Dejounte Murray emerged as a first-time All-Star a season ago, this roster desperately needs top-flight talent. At 18 years old, Jalen Duren is the youngest prospect in this class, with the tools to become one of the best players at his position down the line. Duren will have the luxury of learning the ropes behind Jakob Poeltl without the pressure of starting from day one, and there is perhaps no franchise more comfortable taking things slow with rookies than the Silver and Black.

The Memphis alumnus would give San Antonio their first legitimate lob threat since DeWayne Dedmon rocked rims off the bench in 2017, and fans will stare in awe at his outrageous catch radius. Duren seems to have a solid grasp of his tremendous gravity rolling to the basket out of ball screens, and made more than a couple of crisp short-roll passes to perimeter shooters. David Robinson and Tim Duncan have made themselves available to youngsters after hanging up their sneakers. Could you imagine how much basketball knowledge Jalen Duren could soak up if he arrived in the 2-1-0 willing to be a sponge? The well-built center is a work in progress, but if his impressive measurables intersect with sound fundamentals, the Spurs are potentially looking at a two-way stud. — Noah Magaro-George, Pounding the Rock

10. Washingon Wizards - Tari Eason, F, LSU

The Washington Wizards are in great need of another point guard. But that doesn’t mean that they have to use this pick on a point guard. After all, Washington is rumored to be eying a trade to bring in another such player, and of the remaining players available, Eason can play both forward positions and could defend wings and power forwards in the NBA. Given the Wizards’ goal of being a more defensive-minded team, Eason looks like a more enticing prospect, even if the forward rotation becomes more crowded in the short term.

Offensively, Eason’s 3-point percentage improved in his sophomore season as he adjusted to the new line, which is also promising for him as an NBA player. The Wizards may be reaching a little for him based on the draft boards, but Eason won’t be asked to “save the franchise.” He’s there to assist a core of Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis. — Albert Lee, Bullets Forever

11. New York Knicks - AJ Griffin, F, Duke

The choice between AJ Griffin and Johnny Davis (whom I fully expect to be gone before pick 11 in the real draft) is a difficult one. I love me some Johnny Davis, but I just can’t see the Knicks passing up Griffin. He’s a New York-bred wing with good size who can absolutely shoot the lights out — 44.7% from three in his freshman season at Duke. The defense may be lacking, but Tom Thibodeau will get the best out of Griffin on that end... or else bench him until he gets fired.

The real concern with Griffin is his injury history. Is he falling out of the top 10 because teams are scared off by his medicals? But if the Knicks feel comfortable with his health moving forward, this pick is pretty much a no-brainer. — Joe Flynn, Posting and Toasting

12. Oklahoma City Thunder - Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor

Sochan is the best player left on the board in my opinion, and he fits the Thunder’s current core well. Oklahoma City does not have a big wing who can defend multiple positions and play different roles on defense. At the moment, Coach Daigneault sticks Dort or Bazley on the opposing team’s best player, but neither player is particularly comfortable in that role. Dort gives up a ton of size when guarding big wings, and Bazley’s work as an off-ball helper is limited when he is assigned to just one individual.

Taking Sochan would address that issue and allow the Thunder to play different coverages in the pick and roll. Oklahoma City ran a lot of drop coverage last year, which secured the interior but gave up a ton of threes. Sochan’s size and ability at the point of attack would allow the Thunder to switch more often and to be more unpredictable.

I would also like to add that Sochan is somewhat of a late developer. He did not start playing basketball until he was 12 years old and was initially coached by his mother. I would not be surprised to see Sochan’s growth as a player continue rapidly in the NBA, so for me, he’s the ideal pick at 12, both addressing a weakness for the team, and also boasting untapped potential. — J.D. Tailor, Welcome to Loud City

13. Charlotte Hornets - Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin

This was kind of an awkward pick to make because very rarely does the board fall this way in mock drafts. Johnny Davis isn’t a perfect fit with LaMelo Ball and he’s quite redundant with James Bouknight, but he’s the best player available and offers a replacement to free agent Cody Martin. He would bring some defensive pop on the perimeter and has a chance to grow into a very good scorer in time. We’ll have a chance to address a need with the next pick. — Jonathan DeLong, At the Hive

14. Cleveland Cavaliers - Malaki Branham, G, Ohio State

Malaki Branham, if he’s the Cavs’ actual pick, is more of a pick for later than right now. But in theory, he fits as a connective piece between the team’s core pieces — Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. He’s got the size necessary to play on the wing, can be a secondary creator off of Garland, and if his 3-point shooting at Ohio State translates to the NBA, is the kind of spacer the team needs.

Given time to develop — perhaps playing spot miniutes in year one as Caris LeVert fills the the role he’d ideally fill in a year's time — he can be a nice complementary piece that offers skills the Cavs’ lead options don’t. — Chris Manning, Fear the Sword

15. Charlotte Hornets - Mark Williams, C, Duke

Williams is a perfect blend of best player available and need. The Hornets have been searching for rim protection and strong center play for years. Williams has a massive reach and the upside to anchor a defense. This pick along with last year’s selection of Kai Jones could solidify the Hornets center rotation for years to come. — Jonathan DeLong, At the Hive

16. Atlanta Hawks - Jalen Williams, G, Santa Clara

The Hawks continue to lack consistent wing play. Williams is an appealing two-way wing prospect who could potentially help fill the void left by whatever roster shakeups the Hawks make this offseason. His length and shooting ability make him an intriguing 3-and-D prospect. — Zach Hood, Peachtree Hoops

17. Houston Rockets - Ousmane Dieng, F, NBL

Dieng as a high upside pick makes a lot of sense here for Houston. With four draft picks last season and another three this year, the Rockets only have so much space. You can only develop so many guys at once, so with Houston holding so many picks, it makes sense to roll the dice on a longer-term project, which Dieng is. However, he also has one of the highest ceilings in the draft, so if he develops, this could be a big hit for the Rockets. And without the pressure to start or contribute heavily right away, it gives the 19-year-old forward from France a chance to acclimate to the NBA. If he’s there at 17, Rafael Stone is likely overjoyed. — Darren Yuvan, The Dream Shake

18. Chicago Bulls - E.J. Lidell, F, Ohio State

Nobody knows if the Bulls will be keeping this pick, but if they do, they should be targeting someone who can help them contribute from day one. This team’s goal is to still be a playoff contender, so choosing a high-floor, low-ceiling player is a safer option than taking a prospect who will take some years to develop. EJ Lidell from Ohio State will help fortify Chicago’s depth at the small and power forward positions. He played at both of those positions while with the Buckeyes and will give the Bulls help on the wing.

He can shoot from deep, too, with a career average of 34%, improving on that aspect of his game in each of his three seasons. In his final season, Lidell averaged 19.4 points and 7.9 rebounds while knocking down 37% of his shots from behind the arc. His presence will also help on the boards, an aspect where Chicago struggled a bit last season. At 6’7, he will additionally provide another wing on defense, because while the Bulls have their fair share of solid perimeter defenders, more depth is always welcome. Especially when it comes from the three and four position spots.

If Chicago does end up making this pick, choosing Lidell would instantly help fortify their wing depth. He’ll give them additional help as a 3-point shooter (something the Bulls need desperately more of) along with some defense. — Vijay Vemu, Blog a Bull

19. Minnesota Timberwolves - Nikola Jovic, F, KK Mega Bemax

The Wolves need to be aggressive with their first of four picks on draft night. Swinging for the fences by selecting Nikola Jovic — a 6-11 shooter who is the sixth-youngest prospect among the top 50ish players — makes a ton of sense. Minnesota needs more size and length on the wing, as well as more shooting around Karl-Anthony Towns to ensure maximum spacing that both Towns and Anthony Edwards can leverage into easier scoring looks. Jovic fits the bill. His smooth, consistent stroke led to him shooting 35.6% from deep in the Liga ABA (I would be surprised if he didn’t improve upon that in the NBA), and he showed a willingness to attack close-outs and make good reads from there.

A lineup of D’Angelo Russell, Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Jovic and Towns would hold an average wingspan of about 6-11 and contain five defensive playmakers whose skills are accentuated by the team’s high wall scheme. Jovic is an aggressive off-ball defender who uses his length well, but is still figuring out how to use it on-ball, where he struggles because he lacks lateral quickness. If he is able to improve his fluidity as a defender, he’ll be a steal at 19, but that’s no guarantee. — Jack Borman, Canis Hoopus

20. San Antonio Spurs - Kendall Brown, G, Baylor

The Spurs should be targeting players with size, defensive versatility, and upside to improve their roster for the long haul. San Antonio gets all three by choosing Kendall Brown. The Sunrise Christian Academy product had a promising freshman season at Baylor in which he flashed unique two-way utility as a pick-and-roll ball-handler and switchable defender. Brown was among the best cutters and transition finishers in the nation, making him a suitable fit for a team requiring savvy off-ball movement as it has become increasingly heliocentric around leading man Dejounte Murray.

The former Bear must develop a league-average 3-point jumper and shore up his ball-handling to achieve his high-end outcome. Thankfully, Brown will be 19 years old for the entirety of the regular season, so the Silver and Black can afford to be patient with his development. Even if he fails to influence winning as a rookie, he has an outstanding foundation as a glue guy who can operate as an above-the-rim play finisher and high-motor defensive nuisance while the other skills come along. — Noah Magaro-George, Pounding the Rock

21. Denver Nuggets - Ochai Agbaji Dieng, F, NBL

The Nuggets are likely to target players who can contribute on the defensive end of the floor as early as next season, but there is no better value than getting Agbaji at 21. If this happens on draft night, the Nuggets should be running to the podium to announce the pick themselves, as Agbaji possesses the skill set to contribute next season and beyond. Agbaji would give the Nuggets another high-level shooter they could slot into the starting lineup or bring off the bench. And he’s not just a scorer, either, as Agbaji showcased traits to be a high-level defender during his time at Kansas. — Brandon Ewing, Denver Stiffs

22. Memphis Grizzlies - Dalen Terry, G, Arizona

The Memphis Grizzlies could lose both Tyus Jones and Kyle Anderson in free agency, and they may use the draft to replace either player. How about someone that could potentially replace both of them? Terry won’t be able to fulfill this role right away, and they could bring back either free agent on short-term deals in the interim. Nonetheless, Terry has a versatile skillset to potentially cover for both players as a 6’7” combo guard.

Terry fits a lot of the team’s philosophy. With his 7’0” wingspan, his defensive impact is profound — jumping into passing lanes to generate turnovers, an area in which the Grizzlies thrive. Taylor Jenkins also wants to have as many playmakers on the floor as possible, and they experimented with lineups without a traditional point guard when Ja Morant was hurt. Dalen Terry can seamlessly fit into that system with his playmaking prowess and his pick-and-roll potential. His offense can take another leap as well, showing shooting promise at the end of the season.

At the 22nd pick, there aren’t many upside plays better than Dalen Terry here. — Parker Fleming, Grizzly Bear Blues

23. Philadelphia 76ers - Jaden Hardy, G, NBA G League Ignite

Dalen Terry would’ve been such an outstanding fit here (thanks a lot, Parker!), but alas, most of the wings that are draftable in this range are off the board. There’s a real chance Daryl Morey and company could look to move this pick. If they do make it, I’d have to imagine they’ll go with what they view as the highest upside player on the board. In this case, that’s Jaden Hardy.

Hardy was the No. 2 recruit in the country, according to ESPN. His decision to forgo college and join the professional ranks of the G League likely hurt his draft stock, but could help him in the long term. Hardy flashed his ability as a prolific scorer at times, but also struggled mightily with shot selection, efficiency and defensive focus with the Ignite squad.

In the two seasons since Morey has taken over, the Sixers took a 19-year-old (Tyrese Maxey) and an 18-year-old (Jaden Springer) with their first pick. Hardy could potentially develop into a microwave scorer off the bench and learn from James Harden before taking over for The Beard down the road. Or perhaps Hardy is stashed in the G League, lights it up in Delaware and Morey is eventually able to add a missing piece in exchange for him. — Paul Hudrick, Liberty Ballers

24. Milwaukee Bucks - Justin Lewis, F, Marquette

Yes, this is a reach. Let’s get that out of the way immediately.

Marquette’s Justin Lewis is solidly rated as a second-round pick, so why should the Bucks select him all the way up at pick 24? For one thing, the remaining prospects on the board (particularly at point guard) that are falling don’t move the needle for Milwaukee, and thanks to the Bogdan Bogdanovic fiasco, the Bucks don’t have a second round pick to work with in this draft. That means this pick is the Bucks’ only chance to pick up a player who could contribute in the short-term, and Lewis presents that exact opportunity.

Lewis is 6’7” with a 7’1” wingspan, and at 240 lbs he appears to be a rare combination of strength and fluidity at the forward spot. He boasts a versatile offensive game, a seemingly-reliable outside shot, can rebound on both ends of the court, but has the most upside on defense. Depending on his development, Lewis could become a contributor in the style of Grant Williams, Jae Crowder, or fan-favorite PJ Tucker. Given how this mock draft has shaken out, that potential is more worth the reach than anyone else on the board for the Bucks. — Mitchell Maurer, Brew Hoop

25. San Antonio Spurs - Ryan Rollins, G, Toledo

Do the Spurs need another guard? Probably not, but with the 25th pick of the 2022 NBA Draft, San Antonio selects Ryan Rollins from the University of Toledo. The crafty combo guard is a fringe lottery prospect who should get an opportunity to earn rotation minutes in the event unrestricted free agent Lonnie Walker IV moves on to greener pastures.

Rollins is an adept pick-and-roll ballhandler who snakes screens and stops on a dime to pull up from his favorite spots inside the arc. He is arguably the most polished midrange scorer in this class. Rollins can walk smaller defenders into the paint with his back to the basket for a turnaround jumper, or create space one-on-one with violent dribble moves or step-backs. On the other end, Rollins uses his six-ten wingspan and tremendous anticipation to play the passing lanes and punish opponents for lackadaisical deliveries.

Adjusting to NBA competition after spending two seasons at a mid-major will take time. That said, the undersized swingman is a reliable 3-point stroke away from having the tools to develop into the quintessential Sixth Man for a group devoid of many self-creators. — Noah Magaro-George, Pounding the Rock

26. Houston Rockets - Marjon Beauchamp, G, NBA G League Ignite

The Rockets aren’t likely to keep this pick in my opinion, but because there are no trades in our mock, Houston goes Beauchamp. Tyty Washington would be considered here if still available, but the Rockets are very high on Daishen Nix and I think they also keep a veteran point guard around (in addition to starter Kevin Porter Jr.), whether that’s Dennis Schröder or someone else. Beauchamp worked out for Houston, and while he is another long-term project like Dieng, the athletic swingman has been rising up draft boards of late. He needs to improve his three-point shooting, but he averaged 15 points and 7 boards this past season with G League Ignite and has all the physical tools to develop into an athletic three-and-D wing, and everyone needs those. — Darren Yuvan, The Dream Shake

27. Miami Heat - TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky

This is a pick based on value and upside, rather than positional need. Personally, depending on which player is available where, drafting for need can be a little bit overrated. With Washington on the board at No. 27, this is almost a no-brainer for me; in this scenario, I’m comfortable operating in the “draft him now and figure it out later” alley.

Miami lacks true playmakers outside of Kyle Lowry, who turned 36 years old in March. Despite not getting many opportunities as a lead creator at Kentucky, Washington still might be the best playmaker in this draft class. He can virtually make every single pass and would fit seamlessly in Miami’s motion-friendly offense as a secondary creator. Washington’s crafty in the lane, with his change-of-pace paired with an excellent in-between game, holstering a lethal floater and pull-up jumper. Washington also netted 35% of his triples (3.3 attempts) with a quick release and good mechanics. He’s a plus on-ball defender and made strides throughout the season off-the-ball. His length — 6-foot-4 with 6-foot-8 wingspan — compensates for a lack of sheer quickness defensively.

It’s fair to question his immediate fit with Gabe Vincent and Tyler Herro/Max Strus off the bench. But, again, draft him now and figure that out later! Miami has a good track record drafting Kentucky players (Bam Adebayo, Herro) and I don’t think the Godfather would mind selecting another from his alumnus. Even though he doesn’t supply wing or frontcourt depth, Washington would be a home run selection for Miami at 27. — Matt Hanifan, Hot Hot Hoops

28. Golden State Warriors - Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame

When you’re drafting at No. 28, rarely are you looking for immediate help. That’s why I have the Golden State Warriors selecting Notre Dame’s Blake Wesley, a 6’5” combo guard that has one thing the Warriors value tremendously: length. Wesley has a 6’11” wingspan, speed, and craftiness, and if the Warriors are looking for a long-term running partner for Jordan Poole, it really should be an athletic, lengthy guard.

Wesley is pretty raw, both in terms of scoring and finishing, but the Warriors seem to have learned their lesson about taking presumably NBA-ready college players like Jacob Evans. This time, they’ll trust their excellent development staff and hope that Wesley can start contributing sometime in 2023-24. Plus, think of how excited long-time broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald would be when the Warriors draft their first Notre Dame product since Troy Murphy in 2001. He’ll have something to talk about incessantly in garbage time for years! — Sean Keane, Golden State of Mind

29. Memphis Grizzlies - Christian Braun, G, Kansas

Let’s go to the other side of the Memphis Grizzlies’ brand: the older college prospect that slips in the draft due to physical limitations or age. Christian Braun out of Kansas is a fiery competitor that fits the culture for this Memphis Grizzlies team. He’s a feisty defender that can guard positions 1-3 and rebound quite well for his size. Offensively, he’s a versatile scorer that’ll be a plug-and-play fit — “very good” to “excellent” ratings in transition (1.187 PPP), pick-and-roll handling (0.904 PPP), cutting (1.262 PPP), and hand-off (1.086 PPP) efficiency, per Synergy Sports. For a team looking to compete for a championship next season, Christian Braun is the type of rookie able to answer the call when his number is called upon next season — while also getting the luxury of rounding out his game in the G-League. — Parker Fleming, Grizzly Bear Blues

30. Denver Nuggets - Wendell Moore Jr., F, Duke

Even though the Nuggets made a trade and acquired this pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder, I’d be a little surprised if Denver made two first round selections. I expect the Nuggets to try and move one or even both of their first round picks with the hopes of moving up in the draft or acquiring a player who can contribute next season. If the Nuggets do stick and pick here, Wendell Moore Jr. is a great option and is someone the Nuggets have shown interest in. Moore worked out for the Nuggets already, and would give them a player who is phenomenal at on-ball defense and passing, and even has some upside as a scorer at the next level. — Brandon Ewing, Denver Stiffs