2022 NBA Draft Big Board: Updated Top 50 Prospects

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterJanuary 19, 2022

2022 NBA Draft Big Board: Updated Top 50 Prospects

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    As the season moves along, more prospects are rising and emerging onto NBA radars. 

    Scouts are starting to identify new names or see upside in others that previously seemed masked. 

    This may also be the closest No. 1 overall debate between three players since Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid. Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith are each No. 1 on different boards across the league. 

    We're ultimately entering a key stretch of scouting as most power-conference prospects are facing stiff competition game after game.

Sleepers to Track Outside the Top 50

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    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    Tevin Brown (Murray State, SG, Junior)

    Second in the nation in shots made off screens, Brown deserves NBA looks for his movement shooting. He's up to 43.4 percent from three, but he's also developed into a more dangerous pick-and-roll ball-handler (92nd percentile) who can offer some playmaking and rim pressure.

                   

    Iverson Molinar (Mississippi State, PG/SG, Junior)

    Coming off a 24-point game in a win over Alabama, Molinar should be earning more national attention and NBA looks. Without shooting threes as well as he did last year (43.6 percent 3PT as a sophomore vs. 30.2 this season), he's still scoring 17.9 points on 47.6 percent shooting while already surpassing last season's assist total. His floater (48.5 percent), 88.6 free-throw percentage and previous shooting numbers suggest his jumper is far more effective than what his current three-point percentage says. He's also shown a comfort level playing off the ball, though at 6'3", his improved two-point efficiency and playmaking feel should make it easier for NBA teams to picture his fit.

                     

    Alondes Williams (Wake Forest, PG/SG, Junior)

    Making noise by averaging 20.3 points and 4.9 assists, Williams has entered the draft conversation. He can be careless and turnover-prone (3.4 per game), and he's a limited three-point shooter (31.9 percent). But Williams deserves consideration for his explosiveness at 6'5", pull-up game (48.8 percent) and slick passing.

                      

    Jalen Williams (Santa Clara, PG, Junior)

    Averaging 18.9 points, Williams had some notable flash plays against Gonzaga last weekend that helped validate the breakout season. He's shooting 40.0 percent on threes, 88.2 percent on free throws and 63.0 percent on floaters, numbers that reflect excellent touch. For a 6'6" ball-handler with range, Williams has become a sleeper worth tracking for teams that see a fit, as opposed to a player whose lack of explosiveness will prevent him from getting shots off.

                  

    Jaylin Williams (Arkansas, C, Sophomore)

    Williams played a key role in Arkansas' weekend win over LSU, finishing with 11 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and four drawn charges. Defensive and passing IQ (3.2 assists per game) are his differentiating strengths. Showing he can make open jumpers (4-of-18 3PT) could really turn Williams into an interesting, draftable prospect.

Nos. 50-41

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    50. Josh Minott (Memphis, SF/PF, Freshman)

    49. Jordan Hall (Saint Joseph's, SG/SF, Sophomore)

    48. Walker Kessler (Auburn, C, Sophomore)

    47. Orlando Robinson (Fresno State, C, Junior)

    46. Jabari Walker (Colorado, PF, Sophomore)

    45. Justin Lewis (Marquette, SF/PF, Freshman)

    44. Ousmane Dieng (New Zealand Breakers, SG/SF, 2003)

    43. Michael Foster (G League Ignite, PF, 2003)

    42. Hugo Besson (New Zealand Breakers, SG, 2001)

    41. Aminu Mohammed (Georgetown, SG/SF, Freshman)

    • Averaging 24.8 points over Fresno State's last four games with nine three-point over team's last six, Robinson has become one of the nation's most skilled scoring bigs. He doesn't block shots at the rate of most projected first-round centers, but Robinson's value revolves around his offense, specifically the ability to finish plays in the paint, create for himself and knock down mid-to-long-range jumpers.
    • Kessler's defensive numbers and rim protection may be strong enough for teams to look past his scoring limitations. He's blocking an outrageous 19.6 percent of opponents' two-point shots with 7'1" size and quick reads/jumps that make it easier to picture his rim protection translating. Though he's struggled as a shooter, it's somewhat encouraging to see he's confident in his jumper, considering Kessler has taken 24 threes in 17 games.
    • Athletic questions made it important for shooting to become a strength for Hall. This year, the point wing is up to 2.5 threes per game on 37.4 percent while averaging 16.1 points, 6.6 boards and 6.3 assists. He'll have trouble creating separation at the next level, but his passing and shot-making still give him a chance to carve out a Kyle Anderson-like role.

Nos. 40-31

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    40. Yannick Nzosa (Unicaja, C, 2003)

    39. Trevion Williams (Purdue, C, Senior)

    38. Dereon Seabron (North Carolina State, SF/PF, Sophomore)

    37. Ismael Kamagate (Paris Basketball, C, 2001)

    36. Alex Fudge (LSU, SF/PF, Freshman)

    35. Julian Champagnie (St. John's, SF/PF, Junior)

    34. Peyton Watson (UCLA, SF, Freshman)

    33. Caleb Houstan (Michigan, SF/PF, Freshman)

    32. Bryce McGowens (Nebraska, SG/SF, Freshman)

    31. Christian Koloko (Arizona, C, Junior)

    • While there are clear questions about Seabron's NBA fit, at some point it's worth putting stock into his unique skill set for a 6'7" wing or forward. He's averaging 19.6 points and 3.3 assists, using mostly his ball-handling and size for getting downhill or out in transition. He's just 7-of-31 from deep with no made jumpers inside the arc. But at his height, Seabron's ability to create easy baskets for himself and play-make seems enticing enough in the second round.
    • While the draw to Koloko stems from his 3.3 blocks per game and defensive mobility, he just shot 7-of-7 from the floor against Utah, two games after scoring 22 points in a win over Washington. He's becoming one of the most effective post players in the country (98th percentile), though it's his tools and motor for rim running and finishing that NBA teams will value offensively.
    • Having missed 19 of his last 21 threes, Houstan has seemingly lost all confidence. Nothing about his statistical profile screams first-round prospect, as he's been ineffective inside the arc (43.1 percent) while shooting 29.4 percent from deep. Keeping him on the board reflects belief in high school scouting and his shot eventually falling. Whether he declares in 2022 or later, the idea of a 6'8" shot-maker remains appealing.
    • The bar is low, but Watson put together promising flashes in consecutive games for UCLA. His 10 points, two threes, eight boards, two blocks and two assists against Oregon served as a reminder of the type of two-way versatility he can potentially offer. Though still far away offensively, at 6'8", his defensive versatility and passing should buy him time to develop his body and scoring skills.  He'll remain an interesting flier worth taking if he falls to the second round.

Nos. 30-21

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    Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

    30. Mark Williams (Duke, C, Sophomore)

    29. Ochai Agbaji (Kansas, SG/SF, Senior)

    28. Dyson Daniels (G League Ignite, PG/SG, 2003)

    27. Wendell Moore (Duke, SG/SF, Junior)

    26. E.J. Liddell (Ohio State, PF, Junior)

    25. Nikola Jovic (Mega Leks, SF, 2003)

    24. Trevor Keels (Duke, SG/SF, Freshman)

    23. Blake Wesley (Notre Dame, SG, Freshman)

    22. Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee, PG, Freshman)

    21. Christian Braun (Kansas, SF, Junior)

    • Averaging 1.5 three-pointers, 2.9 blocks and 2.5 assists, Liddell has transformed his body and game. No NCAA player has finished a season matching those shooting, defensive and passing numbers at once. He's still mostly a post-up and roll man, but Liddell has clearly taken a major step toward modernizing his skill set for today's game. He won't look like the star at the next level that he is at Ohio State, but some team using a pick in the 20s figures to see a role-playing big man who can contribute as a back-to-the-basket scorer, potential floor-spacer, ball-mover and defensive presence around the rim.
    • Though Chandler played well against LSU and Kentucky, scouts are questioning his ability to execute against NBA athleticism and length. His draft value takes a big hit if teams aren't sold on him becoming a top-15 starting NBA point guard. Chandler has only shot 29.6 percent on pull-ups and just 5-of-21 on floaters, which are concerns for a 6'0", below-the-rim ball-handler.
    • It's tough to get too high on a center who doesn't handle, create for himself or shoot. But Williams and his 7'7" wingspan are too effective around the rim to ignore because of a less-exciting archetype. He just went for 19 points, 11 boards and eight blocks against North Carolina State. Some team will find value in his rim protection, finishing and offensive rebounding.

Nos. 20-11

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    Matthew Putney/Associated Press

    20. JD Davison (Alabama, PG, Freshman)

    19. Harrison Ingram (Stanford, SG/SF, Freshman)

    18. Jean Montero (Overtime Elite, PG, 2003)

    17. Max Christie (Michigan State, SG/SF, Freshman)

    16. Jeremy Sochan (Baylor, PF, Freshman)

    15. Kendall Brown (Baylor, SF, Freshman)

    14. MarJon Beauchamp (G League Ignite, SF, 2001)

    13. Tari Eason (LSU, PF, Sophomore)

    12. Jaden Hardy (G League Ignite, SG, 2002)

    11. Jalen Duren (Memphis, C, Freshman)

    • Despite only averaging 7.9 points, Sochan has fans around the NBA. Some think he could have a path into the lottery just based on his archetype and the specific boxes he checks. At 6'9", he's a three-point threat (35.3 percent) and plus passer (2.0 assists per game in 21.9 minutes) who guards multiple positions and play-makes on defense. Box scores don't always reflect Sochan's impact. Is it a coincidence that Baylor lost two of its last three games with Sochan out nursing an ankle injury? His ceiling is limited, but there is value tied to his role-player outlook.
    • While Sochan moved up the board, we moved his freshman teammate down into the next tier. Brown has struggled to score without much of a handle or shot, which is obviously worrisome for a wing. Still, there is enough to like about his elite explosion, passing and defense to consider him with a late lottery or mid-first-round pick.
    • We've preached patience with Christie through weeks of poor shooting early in the season. He's looked more confident over the past few weeks, and the eye test sees an NBA shot-maker with solid fundamentals for converting jumpers off the catch, dribble and movement. He still lacks creation skill and explosion, which forces him to rely heavily on his outside shot. But he looks the part of a complementary scorer and floor-spacer who generally makes good decisions and possesses strong defensive tools and IQ.

Nos. 10-6

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    10. Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona, SG, Sophomore)

    9. Patrick Baldwin (Milwaukee, PF, Freshman)

    8. Keegan Murray (Iowa, PF, Sophomore)

    7. TyTy Washington (Kentucky, PG/SG, Freshman)

    6. AJ Griffin (Duke, SF/PF, Freshman)

    • Coming off a 28-point, five-assist game against Tennessee and Kennedy Chandler, Washington continues to build a case to lottery teams with three-level scoring, passing IQ and efficiency. He's now shooting 44.1 percent off the catch and 46.6 percent on pull-ups, and he compensates for his lack of exciting burst with touch and length for finishing, having made 16-of-28 floaters and 72.0 percent of his attempts around the basket. With 81 assists to 30 turnovers, Washington has demonstrated plenty of shot-making skill and playmaking feel. Scouts are still trying to figure out who he is at the next level—a lead guard, a combo, a 2 or simply a well-rounded reserve. 
    • No. 7 on Bleacher Report's preseason boardGriffin has inched up to No. 6 after a 22-point effort in his first start for Duke. He's gotten comfortable in a supporting role, demonstrating a nice balance of off-ball shooting/scoring and self-creation when given space to operate. At 6'6", 222 pounds, Griffin is up to 44.9 percent from behind the arc while using his driving and strength to convert 64.3 percent of his twos. It wouldn't be surprising if he went hot and cold throughout the rest of the season, given his particular usage and age (18). Griffin's long-term ceiling looks as high as anyone's not named Holmgren, Smith or Banchero, given his physical profile, handles to create, shot-making skill and defensive tools.
    • Out since January 5 with a calf injury, Baldwin has no reason to rush back from a draft-stock perspective. His game isn't suited for his No. 1 option role at Milwaukee, where he's often the center of defenses' attention and often forced to create something out of nothing. We're on board with the idea that he'll have more success at the next level, providing shooting and shot-making in an NBA-spaced offense alongside stronger creators or playmakers. Though there are real questions about his ability to separate one-on-one, we're still high on his combination of 6'9" size, stroke and ability to convert off dribbles and movement.

Top Five

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    Young Kwak/Associated Press

    5. Johnny Davis (Wisconsin, SG, Sophomore)

    4. Jaden Ivey (Purdue, SG, Sophomore)

    3. Paolo Banchero (Duke, PF, Freshman)

    2. Jabari Smith (Auburn, PF, Freshman)

    1. Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga, PF/C, Freshman)

    • A 25-point, four-block game at Alabama helped Smith sell scouts even harder on his No. 1 overall potential. His shooting stroke (44.2 percent 3PT) continues to be the driving force behind his case, while the flashes of pull-ups, fallaways and transition takes help create visions of an NBA star scorer. 
    • I'm still giving the slightest edge to Holmgren, who similarly offers shooting range but also more easy baskets (73.2 percent 2PT), passing and defensive upside (3.3 blocks per game).
    • Banchero remains neck-and-neck with both Holmgren and Smith as well, especially now that he's started to show more playmaking and three-point shooting over the past the past week.

                 

    Stats courtesy of Synergy Sports, Sports-Reference.com.

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