2022 NBA Draft Big Board: Updated Top 50 Prospects

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterMay 4, 2022

2022 NBA Draft Big Board: Updated Top 50 Prospects

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    With the NBA draft's early entry deadline passed and the combine two weeks away, it's time for a big-board update.

    The top three remain practically interchangeable and team-dependent, which could make for one of the more exciting starts to a draft in recent memory.

    At this stage of the process, scouts are going back through film to pick up on details they may have missed the first time around. 

Nos. 50-41

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    50. Julian Strawther (Gonzaga, SF, Sophomore)

    Strawther could return to a higher-usage role at Gonzaga, but it's his off-ball scoring (shooting, cutting, transition) that the NBA covets. He was in perfect position to play to his strengths this season alongside Chet Holmgren, Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard. 

    49. Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana, PF/C, Junior)

    Even with an older-school game, Jackson-Davis could earn a role playing to his strengths as a post scorer, roll man and finisher. 

    48. Jabari Walker (Colorado, PF, Sophomore)

    Walker got off to a slow start from November to January, but his shooting over the final two months was could remind scouts that he can offer translatable scoring versatility.

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

    For a 6'8" forward, Minott's athleticism, passing and defensive activity could make him worth a second-round gamble, despite how little he produced and poorly he shot from outside.

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

    A lack of playmaking ability for a 6'3" limited athlete hurts Besson's value, but his shot-making looks dangerous enough to translate in a microwave scoring role off the bench.

    45. Keon Ellis (Alabama, SG/SF, Senior)

    In the second round, teams should start to forget about upside and instead see value in Ellis' likely three-and-D outcome. 

    44. Harrison Ingram (Stanford, SF, Freshman)

    Ingram may benefit from more creation reps and shooting practice at Stanford, though NBA teams could get in early on his versatility as a 6'8", 230-pound wing who can make shots and pass.

    43. JD Davison (Alabama, PG, Freshman)

    Davison's explosiveness and playmaking could be enough for him to carve out a second-unit spark role. Problems with shooting and decision-making will make it tougher for teams to picture him as a starter. 

    42. Alondes Williams (Wake Forest, PG/SG, Senior)

    Questionable shooting and decision-making for a 22-year-old will keep Williams in the second round, where he feels like a value pick whose athleticism, creation and passing can translate to drive-and-finish offense and playmaking. 

    41. Ryan Rollins (Toledo, SG, Sophomore)

    NBA combine scrimmages could offer a great opportunity for Rollins to showcase his smooth creation skills and shot-making. A strong performance in Chicago against projected second-rounders could help validate his breakout against mid-major competition. 

Nos. 40-31

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    Rebecca S. Gratz/Associated Press

    40. Terquavion Smith (NC State, SG, Freshman)

    Smith feels like a candidate to rise during workouts, where his shooting and athleticism can blind NBA executives from his inefficient numbers.

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

    Workout season will be important for Christie, who was billed as shooter and shot poorly at Michigan State. The eye test still says to buy his jumper long term. At 6'7", he's smooth releasing off spot-ups, screens and dribbles.

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

    Kamagate's athleticism and reach for easy-basket finishing are the draw, though flashes of tougher shot-making and some ball-handling ability could tempt a team to reach in the first round.

    37. Leonard Miller (Fort Erie Academy, SF/PF, 2003)

    Miller is exploring different options for next year, including college and professional-path leagues. The 2022 NBA draft still seems most likely after he goes through some workouts. One team figures to give him assurances about picking him. The 6'9" forward became a must-track prospect after the Nike Hoop Summit, where he showcased eye-catching face-up skills and touch for scoring.

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

    Nothing about Keels' game screams upside, though the versatility to handle in ball screens, make spot-up threes and defend multiple positions says he's an NBA fit. 

    35. Jalen Williams (Santa Clara, PG/SG, Junior)

    Williams made a jump up our board after second viewings, as his skill versatility and efficiency felt overlooked during the season. Between his shooting, passing, pick-and-roll play and defensive tools, he shouldn't need plus athleticism. 

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

    Once projected top-five, Hardy is starting to look like a potential value pick in the 20s or 30s. Despite an inefficient season in the G League, he still managed to shoot his way to 19.5 points per game, and chances are he's a better shooter than his 30.9 three-point percentage suggests. 

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

    McGowens' production felt overshadowed by Nebraska's losing season and some typical freshman inconsistency. He'll need to show scouts in workouts that he's a better shooter than what the numbers say, but for a 6'7" guard who can score out of pick-and-rolls, create for himself and hit tough jumpers, it's worth betting on his three-point development. 

    32. Walker Kessler (Auburn, C, Sophomore)

    The 30s will be too low for Kessler if his shooting ever clicks. Right now, he's just a shot-blocking specialist with limited scoring skills or defensive versatility. But he's clearly putting work into adding the three-ball, as evidenced by his 50 attempts. 

    31. Christian Koloko (Arizona, C, Junior)

    Though Koloko has obvious offensive limitations, his strengths as a rim runner, finisher, post scorer and defender seem sure to translate. 

Nos. 30-21

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    30. Nikola Jovic (Mega, SF, 2003)

    There may be questions about how well Jovic's creation will translate, but his shot-making and passing give him margin for error. For a 6'10", 18-year-old wing who's seemingly productive in every setting, he's worth a look in the 20s. 

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

    A mixed showing in Portland at the Nike Hoop Summit didn't seem to help Montero. Despite questions about his shooting consistency, finishing and defense, his creation and passing should still translate and add value to a backcourt that could use an extra spark of offense.

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

    Wesley figures to spend time next year in the G League or learning from the bench. His shooting and finishing craft need work, but given his tools and athleticism for blowing by and defending, patience will pay off if he continues to build on three-level scoring flashes and secondary playmaking.

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

    An improved shooter and playmaker, Moore now checks enough boxes for teams to picture a role player. He'll play a connector role that won't call for consistent self-creation to score.

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

    Liddell feels like a safe bet to to emerge as a useful role player who can continue to have success scoring from the post, making spot-up threes and defending. A team more interested in adding a sure thing than swinging for upside could deem Liddell worth looking at in the late teens or early 20s.

    25. David Roddy (Colorado State, SF/PF, Junior)

    Roddy has become one of the outliers worth betting on, given how skilled and effective he looked this year as a shooter, creator, passer and finisher. There are questions about who the 6'6", 252-pound forward will guard, but his offensive versatility should work well enough for Roddy to earn minutes somewhere.

    24. Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee, PG, Freshman)

    Chandler will add speed and creativity off an NBA bench. He'll need his jumper for scoring, and it wasn't always on at Tennessee. However, he did look comfortable shooting off the catch, and between his pick-and-roll savvy, crafty finishing and pesky defense, Chandler should be able to win a backup job regardless.

    23. MarJon Beauchamp (G League Ignite, SG/SF, 2000)

    Beauchamp's off-ball scoring instincts and wing defense are the selling points. His three-point development is still important, though he looks threatening enough for a 6'7" slasher, cutter and offensive rebounder who'll add value by guarding different positions. 

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

    Scouts are expecting Dieng to climb boards, as his upside suddenly looks more believable. It's tough to picture him offering much as a rookie, but at 6'9" and 18 years old with guard skills, his potential trajectory remains enticing. 

    21. Christian Braun (Kansas, SF, Junior)

    Braun did a better job this year figuring out how to optimize his physical tools/athleticism for two-point scoring and defense. He took fewer threes but made a higher percentage of them and showcased more ball-screen playmaking to increase his versatility. 

Nos. 20-11

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    20. Jake LaRavia (Wake Forest, PF, Junior)

    LaRavia is our biggest riser after going back through film. His versatility feels perfectly suited for an NBA supporting role, assuming the three-point shooting on limited volume wasn't fluky. For a 6'9" forward, LaRavia should fit in nicely with his shoot-dribble-pass skill set and clear defensive instincts.

    19. Kendall Brown (Baylor, SF, Freshman)

    Brown's explosiveness looks potent enough for him to contribute without a great deal for offensive skill. It may be a year or two before he's a regular rotation player. He'll earn minutes by getting easy transition buckets, cutting and playmaking defensively, though he could eventually add some value with his passing and open shooting.

    18. Mark Williams (Duke, C, Sophomore)

    Williams' strengths and weaknesses are well defined. Teams know what they'll be getting, and certain ones who already have centers may not show any interest at all. Teams with a need for rim protection will target Williams as a potential Clint Capela type, though he also showed he has some post game and touch by making 72.7 percent of his free throws.

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

    Shooting, athleticism and defensive tools create a role-playing floor for Agbaji. Limited skills for creating, pull-up scoring and playmaking suggest it will be tough for him to offer anything more than three-and-D.

    16. Patrick Baldwin (Milwaukee, SF/PF, Freshman)

    Baldwin has a good chance to help himself during workouts after a freshman season that couldn't have gone much worse. The eye test on his jumper (plus high school and FIBA tape) should make it easy for NBA teams to ignore his numbers. And though his lack of explosion does raise questions about how well his creation can translate, there should still be first-round value tied to his shot-making for a 6'9" wing or forward. 

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

    Washington's stock took a hit over the past two months, even if there was reason to believe an ankle injury factored into his play falling off. He's still a well-rounded guard with three-point range, a comfortable pull-up game, outstanding floater and high passing IQ. The big question is how much could his athletic limitations hold him back as a creator.

    14. Johnny Davis (Wisconsin, SG, Sophomore)

    After receiving a 32.5 usage percentage, Davis will be looking at a major role adjustment. It wouldn't be surprising to see an inefficient rookie season from the guard who didn't take many threes and had trouble consistently creating separation. 

    Still, it is worth betting on Davis' tough shot-making and defense. Even if his lack of shooting and explosion hold him back, a team should still get a two-way player who can apply pressure with his driving, pull-up game and defense.

    13. Jalen Duren (Memphis, C, Freshman)

    Duren won't be for everyone considering his lack of shooting, ball-handling and positional versatility. He'll draw interest from teams interested in adding more easy baskets and rim protection, which his 250-pound frame, 7'5" wingspan and leaping ability are sure to provide. 

    12. Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona, SG/SF, Sophomore)

    Workout season should help highlight Mathurin's strengths as an athlete and shot-maker. After seeing him up close, executives might have an easier time forgetting about his inconsistent production and intensity. 

    11. Tari Eason (LSU, PF, Sophomore)

    Versatility and toughness are Eason's signatures. He doesn't project as a high-upside scorer, but for a strong forward, there is a lot to like about his ability to handle in transition, attack closeouts, play physical inside and defend bigs and wings.

Nos. 6-10

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

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

    The draw to Daniels stems from his versatility, which now looks even more attractive that he's up to 6'8". With forward size, he'll operates as a Swiss Army Knife guard who can pass, score off drives and defend three positions. 

    9. Malaki Branham (Ohio State, SG, Freshman)

    Well-rounded, efficient and still 18 years old, Branham has a scouting report with few worrisome holes. He isn't the shiftiest or most explosive, but he may night not need to be given how sharp he is rising into pull-ups and making the right reads as a driver and playmaker. An accurate shooter and super-efficient ball-screen weapon, Branham projects as an easy fit (on or off the ball) with three-level scoring ability and passing IQ.

    8. Jeremy Sochan (Baylor, PF, Freshman)

    The idea of Sochan is still more enticing than his numbers, but at 18 years old, it's worth betting on his development. If the offensive flashes become real/strengths, a team gets a 6'9" defensive ace who can pass, make open shots, attack closeouts and finish on the move.  

    7. AJ Griffin (Duke, SF, Freshman)

    Griffin's 44.7 three-point percentage and shot-making versatility hint at a high floor and easy fit. His age (18), 6'6", 222-pound frame and one-on-one scoring flashes create a high ceiling. 

    Limited burst for blowing by or separating does seem to lower Griffin's chances of reaching that star potential. But that shouldn't matter as much in the late-lottery range. The likelihood of his shooting and cutting translating to off-ball scoring is too high.

    6. Keegan Murray (Iowa, PF, Sophomore)

    Murray's floor is the selling point, as it's easy to picture his off-ball scoring skills carrying over. It's tougher to see the one-on-one offense translating based on his half-court handle. 

    He comes off as more of a safe pick than an upside one with a sense of certainty tied to his production, transition offense, instincts, motor and shooting trajectory.

Top Five

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    5. Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky, SG, Freshman)

    While the top four have been mostly set for months, the No. 5 spot has remained fluid. Despite scouts having seen little of Sharpe, they already view him top-eight, and that's before workout season, where his effortless bounce and shot-making are bound to light up.

    With a perceived gap between Jaden Ivey and the next group of prospects, Sharpe has an edge here at No. 5 with a translatable mix of athletic ability, self-creation and shooting skills for high-upside scoring. 

    4. Jaden Ivey (Purdue, SG, Sophomore)

    Ivey had a forgettable performance in Purdue's NCAA tournament exit, but history says teams should ignore it. He showed too much improved skill throughout the season for a guard with his level of explosiveness. 

    While I still see more of a combo than a lead ball-handler because of concerns over decision-making and pull-up shooting, a worst-case outcome pictures Ivey giving a team a dangerous offensive weapon who'll apply pressure in transition, attacking ball screens and shot-making. 

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

    The only NCAA player ever with at least 40 threes, 100 blocks and 60 assists, Holmgren still appears to have the draft's highest ceiling. 

    Even if teams are skeptical about his strength or half-court creation, the shooting, passing and defense could be enough to justify No. 1 value. Slotting him at No. 3 takes into account the risk tied to his incredibly thin frame and how we've seen foul trouble or passive stretches limit his offensive impact.

    2. Jabari Smith (Auburn, PF, Freshman)

    Smith still has a decent shot at going No. 1 with the idea that we've never seen a 6'10" teenage shooter of his caliber. Throw in the defensive tools and movement, and even a worst-case outcome for Smith figures to be highly valuable. 

    The lack of production at the rim is worth questioning (37 half-court baskets in 34 games), as it relates to his handle and explosion. But it might not matter considering how adept Smith is creating and making shots around the perimeter. 

    1. Paolo Banchero (Duke, PF, Freshman)

    There isn't much separating the top three, and for certain teams, Smith or Holmgren may make more sense at No. 1. 

    While Holmgren, Smith and Banchero each offer similar star potential, Banchero has come off as the lowest risk. Cam Reddish and Ziaire Williams were the only top-10 picks we found with a lower two-point percentage than Smith's 43.5 during their predraft season. And at Holmgren's current weight, he'd join Aleksej Pokusevski as the only NBA players 6'11" or taller who weigh under 200 pounds. 

    With an outstanding physical profile, Banchero also offers the most well-rounded skill and versatility for creation, three-level shot-making and playmaking. 

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