NBA Draft Lottery 2022: 1st-Round Odds and Mock Draft Before the Combine

Theo SalaunCorrespondent IMay 16, 2022

NBA Draft Lottery 2022: 1st-Round Odds and Mock Draft Before the Combine

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    With the conference finals set in the NBA playoffs, the remaining 26 teams have something else to focus on this week: the 2022 draft combine.

    Running from Wednesday through Friday, the league expects 76 prospects to join for interviews, scrimmages and a variety of individual drills. With the draft lottery scheduled for Tuesday and the actual draft planned for June 23, this week will prove a pivotal one in the evaluation process.

    At the moment, sentiment about top prospects is still forming. There's a fairly unanimous top three, albeit in different orders, followed by a similarly divisive group of lottery candidates. Here's our latest first-round mock along with lottery odds and some early analysis.

1st-Round Mock Draft

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    1. Houston Rockets: Paolo Banchero, PF, Duke

    2. Orlando Magic: Jabari Smith, PF, Auburn

    3. Detroit Pistons: Chet Holmgren, C, Gonzaga

    4. Oklahoma City Thunder: Shaedon Sharpe, SG, Kentucky

    5. Indiana Pacers: Jaden Ivey, SG, Purdue

    6. Portland Trail Blazers: Keegan Murray, PF, Iowa

    7. Sacramento Kings: AJ Griffin, SF, Duke

    8. New Orleans Pelicans (via Los Angeles Lakers): Ochai Ogbaji, SG, Kansas

    9. San Antonio Spurs: Tari Eason, PF, LSU

    10. Washington Wizards: Jeremy Sochan, PF, Baylor

    11. New York Knicks: Bennedict Mathurin, SG, Arizona

    12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via LA Clippers): Johnny Davis, SF, Wisconsin

    13. Charlotte Hornets: Jalen Duren, C, Memphis

    14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Kendall Brown, SF, Baylor

    15. Charlotte Hornets (via New Orleans Pelicans): Nikola Jovic, SF, Mega Soccerbet

    16. Atlanta Hawks: TyTy Washington Jr., PG, Kentucky

    17. Houston Rockets (via Brooklyn Nets): Dyson Daniels, SG, G League Ignite

    18. Chicago Bulls: EJ Liddell, PF, Ohio State

    19. Minnesota Timberwolves: Mark Williams, C, Duke

    20. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto Raptors): Malaki Branham, SF, Ohio State

    21. Denver Nuggets: Ousmane Dieng, SF, New Zealand Breakers

    22. Memphis Grizzlies (via Utah Jazz): Wendell Moore Jr., SF, Duke

    23. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Kennedy Chandler, PG, Tennessee 

    24. Milwaukee Bucks: Jean Montero, PG, Overtime Elite

    25. San Antonio Spurs (via Boston Celtics): Walker Kessler, C, Auburn

    26. Dallas Mavericks: Justin Lewis, PF, Marquette

    27. Miami Heat: MarJon Beauchamp, SF, G-League Ignite

    28. Golden State Warriors: Christian Braun, SG, Kansas

    29. Memphis Grizzlies: Blake Wesley, SG, Notre Dame

    30. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Phoenix Suns): Terquavion Smith, SG, North Carolina State


    Draft order via Tankathon

Lottery Odds for No. 1 Pick

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Houston Rockets: 14.0 percent

    Orlando Magic: 14.0 percent

    Detroit Pistons: 14.0 percent

    Oklahoma City Thunder: 12.5 percent

    Indiana Pacers: 10.5 percent

    Portland Trail Blazers: 9.0 percent

    Sacramento Kings: 7.5 percent

    New Orleans Pelicans: 6.0 percent

    San Antonio Spurs: 4.5 percent

    Washington Wizards: 3.0 percent

    New York Knicks: 2.0 percent

    Oklahoma City Thunder: 1.5 percent

    Charlotte Hornets: 1.0 percent

    Cleveland Cavaliers: 0.5 percent


    Full lottery odds via Tankathon

Draft and Lottery Preview

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    The conversation about this draft starts with the top three and can remain on that subject for days. Depending on who you ask, Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith could each be the obvious No. 1 pick. 

    In most mocks, those three occupy the top spots in varying orders. Although CBS Sports' David Cobb went against that grain and pushed Holmgren down to No. 4 for Keegan Murray, it's hard to follow that take.

    Here, Banchero goes No. 1 to the Houston Rockets as a versatile forward with an unbelievable, LeBron-esque ceiling demonstrated during an impressive, albeit sometimes-hesitant March Madness run. Smith follows at No. 2 to the Orlando Magic, partly because their already-stacked frontcourt, but mostly because of his stunning profile as a bouncy 6'10" wing who drilled a blistering 42.0 percent of his 5.5 three-point attempts this past season.

    Then, a neat fit: Holmgren to the Detroit Pistons. With the team's core forming around Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey, one could argue that Isaiah Stewart has proved enough for Detroit to prioritize another guard or wing. Instead of banking on developing Shaedon Sharpe or Jaden Ivey, though, the Pistons should jump at Holmgren—a 7'0" unicorn (Stewart, by contrast, is 6'8") who averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game while shooting an enticing 39.0 percent from deep.

    Past the top three, the lottery becomes a mess that the combine may help to organize. Sharpe was a premier high school prospect and, despite never playing a minute for Kentucky, remains an intriguing selection. 

    Unlike Sharpe, Arizona's Bennedict Mathurin and Wisconsin's Johnny Davis each pushed high into most mock drafts thanks to bucket-filled seasons. It's hard to imagine either dropping out of the lottery (top 14), and there's an argument to be made that both should go in the top 10.

    With questions still buzzing, this week—with the combine and lottery—should help clear the haze a little as we march toward draft day.