The Orlando Magic are the lucky winners of the lottery and will pick No. 1 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft. The Magic will be followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 2, the Houston Rockets at No. 3, and the Sacramento Kings at No. 4. The draft will be held on June 23 in Brooklyn.
This year’s draft class is led by three big forwards with distinct skill sets. Duke’s Paolo Banchero has been the top player on our board all year because of his creation and passing ability at 6’10, 250 pounds. Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren has been our No. 2 prospect for his length, shooting projection, and elite rim protection instincts. Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. is maybe the best pure shooter in the class, and the best perimeter defender of the top three. Purdue guard Jaden Ivey could also draw looks in the top three.
The 2022 NBA Draft order is finally set. Here’s our instant projection of the first round.
1. Orlando Magic – Paolo Banchero, F, Duke
Banchero has maintained his status as our top prospect from the very start of this draft cycle because of his striking combination of size and offensive skill. At 6’10, 250 pounds, Banchero has the ball handling and live dribble passing chops of a guard with multiple avenues to produce points for himself and his teammates. He already has an advanced midrange scoring package and the strength to bully defenders down low. He’s also one of the very best passers in this draft class, using his size to drop beautiful high-low dimes and the threat of his scoring to hit open teammates when defenses send two to the ball. Banchero is not an elite athlete in terms of speed or vertical explosiveness, and there are questions about how he’ll translate defensively. The three-point shot is his other big swing skill after hitting 33.8 percent of his triples at Duke. No other player in this class has a better chance to become a primary offensive option at the next level, and that’s why Banchero is our top prospect. Read our full scouting report on Banchero here.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder – Chet Holmgren, F/C, Gonzaga
Holmgren is a long and skinny 7-foot big man who has positioned himself as one of the top rim protectors to enter the draft in recent years. His sub 200-pound frame has invited plenty of doubters, but Holmgren’s toughness and skill as a shot blocker showed up all over the tape both at Gonzaga and during his decorated high school career in Minneapolis. While he should be an excellent interior defender, Holmgren’s offense is more of a question mark. He proved he can effectively space the floor from three-point range after hitting 39 percent of his threes on 105 attempts. He’s also a smart and quick passer who keeps the ball moving on the perimeter. He’s a good cutter — finishing in the 90th percentile of the country on those play types, per Synergy Sports — and can hit shots in the post even without deep position because of his plus touch. It’s fair to have concerns about how much Holmgren will score at the NBA level, but his offensive skills should fit seamlessly into a team structure while he provides elite rim protection. Read our full scouting report on Holmgren here.
3. Houston Rockets – Jabari Smith Jr., F, Auburn
Smith is an elite three-point shooter at 6’10 who will draw serious consideration for the No. 1 overall pick (and might even be the front-runner right now). His deep shooting range and quick release gives him the ability to take and make difficult shots from all over the court. He should be a high-volume and highly accurate shooter behind the arc after hitting 42 percent of his threes in his freshman year at Auburn. Smith is also a good defensive prospect who can step out on the perimeter and hold his own on switches. He probably shouldn’t be relied on to be a full-time rim protecting center in the league, but his strengths defensively — quick feet with a 7’1 wingspan — should fit nicely into where schemes are headed. The worry for Smith is his ability to score inside the arc and create easy looks off the dribble. He made only 43.5 percent of his two-point field goals and finished with nearly as many turnovers (63) as assists (68). Playing with better guards than he did in college will be a big boon for Smith, and if he can improve his handle and his finishing craft he could easily turn into the best player in this class, even if we prefer 2-3 prospects over him at the moment.
4. Sacramento Kings – Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue
Ivey’s breakout sophomore year at Purdue established him as the top guard prospect in this year’s draft. At 6’4, 195 pounds with a reported 6’9 wingspan, Ivey is a big guard who can play both on and off the ball. His best attribute is his elite speed — from his blazing first step at a standstill to his ability to burn defenders in the open floor, Ivey is able to create separation from even the most athletic defenders with his burst. He’s also a great leaper around the basket with impressive midair agility who can contort his body and extend his arms for acrobatic finishes. Ivey made a big leap as a shooter as a sophomore — going from 25.8 percent to 35.8 percent this year from three-point range — but will have to continue to prove he can hit shots at a high clip. I’m more bullish than some on his defense because his length and recovery speed can make up for some errors in technique. The big question for Ivey is if he can handle de facto point guard duties, or if a team needs a more traditional floor general next to him. Regardless of that answer, his size, speed, and nimbleness should make him successful on any properly spaced NBA floor.
5. Detroit Pistons – Adrian Griffin Jr., F, Duke
As the top-four prospects in this class have separated themselves from the pack, Duke wing Adrian Griffin Jr. headlines Tier 2 for his combination of youth, physical tools, and shooting touch. Griffin has an outstanding frame for an NBA wing at 6’6, 225 pounds with a 7-foot wingspan. He projects as an elite three-point shooter after hitting 44.7 percent of his threes on 159 attempts as a freshman at Duke. While Griffin is big and sturdy, he lacks great flexibility and agility, which limits him both as a north-south driver on offense and screen navigator on defense. Griffin doesn’t yet produce many free throws or consistent rim pressure, which limits his offense despite such impressive shooting. Griffin is already built like a grown man despite being one of the youngest prospects in the class. There are options with safer floors still on the board, but Griffin’s potential ceiling gives him the pole position for the fifth pick.
6. Indiana Pacers – Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky
Sharpe was the top prospect in next year’s high school class before enrolling at Kentucky midseason and becoming draft eligible. He did not play a second for the Wildcats this year, which makes him perhaps the biggest wildcard in the draft. A 6’5 shooting guard with a reported 7-foot wingspan, Sharpe combines impressive speed and vertical pop with enticing flashes of pull-up shooting. He routinely made plays above the rim in the EYBL, and already has his footwork down on step-backs. Scouts will need to evaluate his decision-making at both ends, and decide just how well his burst and explosiveness measures up against the top young shooting guard prospects in a similar archetype (our two cents: he’s a very good athlete but a step below the Anthony Edwards/Jalen Green line). Sharpe is one of the best upside bets in this class after the top-four, but the fact that he’ll go a year without playing a competitive game by the time his rookie season starts makes him an especially tricky evaluation.
7. Portland Trail Blazers – Jalen Duren, C, Memphis
Duren is the second youngest player in this draft, but his imposing physicality will be his best attribute from day one in the league. Duren is expected to measure at 6’10, 250 pounds with a 7’5 wingspan while possessing arguably more raw power than any prospect in this class. Duren is not a floor spacer at this stage (he didn’t make a three-pointer in college), but he’ll provide value as a lob target, offensive rebounder, and short roll passer on offense. His status as a prospect of this caliber likely depends on how you evaluate his defense. I’m on the optimistic end there because I believe he has the versatility to play multiple coverages against the pick-and-roll. Duren has the length to play drop coverage and the quickness to stick with ball handlers on the perimeter for a few moments when he gets to the level of the screen. He should also be a major deterrent at the rim after posting a 10 percent block rate as a freshman. Centers of Duren’s ilk typically aren’t viewed as super valuable, but his youth, physical gifts, and emerging passing ability provides plenty of reason to believe in him.
8. New Orleans Pelicans – Keegan Murray, F, Iowa
Murray was probably the best player in college basketball this year as a sophomore at Iowa. A 6’8, 225-pound forward with a 6’11 wingspan, Murray should provide valuable movement shooting skills for a player his size with above-average defensive ability. He hit 39.8 percent of his threes this year on 166 attempts by utilizing a quick release and the size to shoot over most contests. He’s able to quickly square himself for a shot when running off a screen and he shouldn’t have any problems hitting from the NBA line. Murray can also score in transition and hit the offensive glass some, and did a remarkable job avoiding turnovers this year despite a loose handle. While Murray certainly has a high floor in the league, his ceiling is questionable. He’s not an electric shot creator off the dribble, and he’s not blowing anyone away athletically. He should have a long career as a 3-and-D forward, but taking him in this range would be trying to hit a double rather than a home run. While Murray likely won’t last this long, his shooting would be a natural fit next to Zion Williamson.
9. San Antonio Spurs – Bennedict Mathurin, G, Arizona
Mathurin blossomed into one of college basketball’s biggest stars as a sophomore and helped transform Arizona into a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. The 6’5 guard cemented himself as a lottery pick with deep shooting range, opportunistic cutting, and the ability to impact the game offensively without holding the ball. Mathurin’s shooting will have to be his calling card, and he hit 37 percent of his three-pointers on 225 attempts this year. He has deep range on spot-ups and more importantly showed the ability hit shots while running off screens. Mathurin’s cutting ability also jumped out on tape: he’s great at eating up the space the defense gives him in the lane, and he’s an explosive two-footed jumper when he’s near the basket. The question with Mathurin’s offense is how much juice he’s going to provide off the dribble: his handle can be a bit shaky, and he missed a fair amount of open passing windows in college. The defense could also be a tricky evaluation: Mathurin should have the quickness and length to be good defensively against smaller guards, but he’s often prone to off-ball lapses and poor technique. There are a lot of great, young combo guards in the NBA right now, and if Mathurin continues to develop as a dynamic shooter he has a good chance to join them.
10. Washington Wizards – Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin
Davis was a three-star recruit entering Wisconsin who went from a solid bench piece as a freshman to one of the biggest stars in college hoops as a sophomore. A strong 6’5, 195-pound combo guard, Davis combines tough and versatile shot-making with impressive point of attack defense to emerge one of the safest two-way bets in this class. While Davis lacks blow-by speed and top-end athleticism, he proved he needs little space to get off his shot. He torched defenders on midrange pull-ups, powering through contact at the rim, and dragging smaller defenders into the post. He only hit 30.6 percent of his threes this year, but he has a quick release on spot-ups and should be a much better shooter than that at the NBA level when he’s not expected to single-handedly carry his team’s offense. Defensively, Davis slides his feet well and walls off driving lanes with his chest. He’s a smart rotational defender off the ball and should be able to hold his own against bigger players on switches for a few moments. Davis feels like more of a high-floor prospect than a high-ceiling one, but his determined one-on-one scoring, projectable shooting, and trustworthy defense should play in almost any environment.
11. New York Knicks – Dyson Daniels, G, G League Elite
Daniels was the most impressive draft-eligible player on this year’s G League Ignite as the program’s first-ever international recruit coming over from Australia. A 6’8, 200-pound wing with a 6’11 wingspan, Daniels is the consummate role player who will earn playing time with his defense and add offensive value with his passing and ball handling. He is a tenacious point-of-attack defender with quick feet and active hands who can cut off driving lanes, get over screens, and force takeaways in a variety of different situations. On offense, Daniels fits the ‘connector’ mold: he’s a quick ball mover on the perimeter who can also bend the defense with his driving. He’s a good enough passer to be a secondary playmaker in most lineups. There is one notable weakness for Daniels at this stage, and that’s his outside shooting. He made just 30 percent of his threes on the year, but he did get better as the season went along. Daniels will carve out a role as a perimeter stopper on defense, and if his jump shot improves, he could become the type of versatile ball handling wing teams crave.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor
Sochan emerged as one of the biggest surprises of this draft class as a freshman at Baylor. A 6’9, 230-pound forward with a 7-foot wingspan, Sochan is arguably the most versatile defender in the draft while also showing flashes of creation skills on offense. Sochan is an incredible horizontal athlete for someone his size, showing no problem sticking with guards on the perimeter while also being big enough to battle inside. He projects as a wing stopper and switchable defender who has several avenues to offensive value. Sochan is an impressive ball handler and a smart passer whether he’s stationary or on the move. His biggest red flag is his jump shot: he hit 29.6 percent of his threes on 81 attempts, and only made 58.9 percent of his free throws. After averaging only 14.7 points per-40 minutes at Baylor, Sochan will have to prove he can score enough to make NBA defenses respect him. While his offense feels like a project right now, Sochan is simply the type of winning role player teams need in the playoffs. Someone this big and this switchable feels destined for a long and lucrative career.
13. Charlotte Hornets – Tari Eason, F, LSU
Eason left Cincinnati after his freshman year to come to LSU, where he enjoyed a breakout season that firmly established him as a first round pick. At 6’8, 216 pounds with a 7’1 wingspan, Eason is a monster athlete with a relentless motor who can be a buzzsaw at both ends. Eason has a habit of simply ripping the ball away from the opposition when he’s on defense, posting a ridiculous 4.5 percent steal rate and 6.3 percent block rate this past season. When he forces a turnover, it’s usually two points the other way: Eason scored in the 90th percentile on transition opportunities thanks to his excellent straight line speed and comfort handling the ball in the open floor. Eason’s offense requires more projection right now: while he made 36 percent of his threes (on 78 attempts) and hit 80 percent of his free throws, he’s still a reluctant shooter with a slow release who can’t yet be reliably counted on to space the floor. He also badly struggles to play with his left hand, as noted in this video by Adam Spinella. Despite coming off the bench the entire year, Eason led the Tigers in scoring and blocks while finishing second in rebounds and steals. His combination of size, athleticism, and tenacity deserves a serious look in the lottery.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers – Malaki Branham, G, Ohio State
Branham wasn’t projected as a one-and-done coming into Ohio State as a recruit ranked around No. 40, but he emerged into one by coming on strong to end his freshman year. A 6’5 shooting guard with a reported 6’10.5 wingspan, Branham is an old-school shooting guard who prefers midrange pull-ups but also offers catch-and-shoot potential. Branham took 153 non-rim two-pointers this year and knocked them down at an impressive 43.1 percent clip. He created most of those looks himself (only 18 percent were assisted) by knowing how to get to his spots and having the ability to rise and fire. He was also impressive from three-point range, hitting 41.1 percent of 90 attempts almost exclusively on spot-ups. If his pull-up midrange shots can become pull-up threes, he could have more upside than anticipated. Branham also needs to become a tougher and more engaged wing defender, and he has the tools to do it.
15. Charlotte Hornets – Mark Williams, C, Duke
On a Duke team with potential first round picks at every spot in the starting lineup, Williams stood out for his elite length and shot blocking instincts. Williams has a clear translation to the NBA as a rim protector on defense and lob threat on offense. He has a reported 7’7 wingspan that would make him one of the league’s longest players from the moment he’s drafted. His 11.7 block rate ranked top-20 in the country. On offense, Williams will roll hard to the basket, finish plays at the dunker spot, and attack the glass. He’s not a threat to space the floor (he made zero three-pointers this in his two-year college career) and isn’t much of a passing hub after finishing with one more turnover than assist this season. Players in Williams’ archetype usually aren’t considered at this point of the draft, but Charlotte desperately needs a center, and Williams’ strengths make him a nice fit with their young core.
16. Atlanta Hawks – TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky
Washington skyrocketed up the recruiting rankings as a high school senior and ditched his commitment to Creighton for the brighter lights of Kentucky. A 6’3 guard with a 6’9 wingspan, Washington offers impressive touch from midrange with spot-up shooting potential and secondary playmaking ability. He does his best work in the midrange, using pull-up jumpers and the best floater in the class (he finished in the 91st percentile on runners, per Synergy Sports) to put pressure on the opposing defense. He also has catch-and-shoot ability after making 35 percent of his threes this year. The question for Washington is how his game will look on a properly spaced floor after sharing time with so many non-shooters at Kentucky. The Hawks could use another playmaker with length next to Trae Young, and Washington checks both boxes.
17. Houston Rockets (via Nets) – Ousmane Dieng, F, France
Dieng is a 6’10 wing from France who re-established himself as a first round lock by coming on strong for the NBL’s New Zealand Breakers in the second half of the season. Dieng’s ability to play on the perimeter at his size is what makes him so intriguing. He can handle the ball, run secondary pick-and-roll actions, and started to show his shooting potential late by hitting 13 of his last 32 three-pointers (40.6 percent) in his last seven games to close the season. He also had some impressive flash plays defensively, using his 7’1 wingspan to get into the passing lane for steals and provide supplemental rim protection as a backline defender. Dieng feels somewhat similar to last year’s Grizzlies first rounder Ziaire Williams as a tall, toolsy wing with shooting potential who is probably a few years away from making a consistent impact.
18. Chicago Bulls – Patrick Baldwin Jr. F, Milwaukee
Baldwin was considered the No. 5 overall recruit in his class when he made the decision to play for his father in the Horizon League over going to Duke. His year with Milwaukee was an outright disaster: his numbers were terrible, an ankle injury limited him to only 11 games, and his father was fired as head coach after a 10-22 season. While the days of Baldwin being considered a top-10 pick are over, there’s still reason to believe in his translation to the NBA. A 6’10, 220-pound forward, Baldwin built his reputation as an elite shooter at the high school level. He can be a major catch-and-shoot threat and does most of his damage on spot-ups or one-dribble pull-ups. His size also allows him to compete defensively, and he’s shown enough off-ball awareness to make some impact on that end. Of course, a pure shooter like Baldwin should hit better than the 26.6 percent from three and 41.8 percent from two-point range he managed as a freshman. The long-term health of his ankle might be a concern as well after it also cost him his senior year of high school. The Bulls simply need both size and shooting, and the best version of Baldwin checks both of those boxes if he can regain the form that once made him so highly touted.
19. Minnesota Timberwolves – Kendall Brown, F, Baylor
Brown is a nuclear athlete with immense defensive versatility who showcased impressive feel on the offensive end to emerge as a potential lottery pick. A 6’8, 205-pound forward with a 6’10 wingspan, Brown is a jaw-dropping leaper with great speed who is still learning how to leverage his physical gifts into two-way production. Brown’s calling card will be his defense. He’s excellent guarding at the perimeter for a player his size, showing the ability to stick with guards and quickly turn defense into offense by getting into the passing lanes. He’s also big enough to hold up defensively in the paint on switches. On offense, Brown impacts the game with his passing, transition scoring, offensive rebounding, and cutting. He’s a blur in the open floor who finished in the 83rd percentile as a transition scorer, per Synergy Sports. The hole is Brown’s game is as a shooter. He hit 34.1 percent of his threes this year on low volume, but is often reluctant to fire from the outside. Brown was a super-efficient scorer as a freshman (63 percent true shooting) mostly thanks to his above-the-rim finishing around the basket, but he’ll need to prove he can space the floor to provide peak value in the NBA.
20. San Antonio Spurs – Nikola Jovic, F, Serbia
Jovic is a 6’10 Serbian forward who is the latest potential first round pick for Mega Basket, the same club that once produced Nikola Jokic. Jovic stamped himself as a likely first rounder with an impressive showing in the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup, where he averaged 18.1 points per game and hit 36.4 percent of his threes. Jovic is a dynamic offensive prospect thanks to his combination of size, shooting, and creativity. Jovic’s flash plays are incredibly enticing, with step-backs and sidesteps from three-point range acting as a regular part of his arsenal. He’s also shown some intriguing passing chops when he puts the ball on the floor, which makes him more dangerous than your typical spot-up shooter. The big question for Jovic is the defense. He can be an eyesore on that end getting burned by quicker players and struggling to get over screens. There’s no denying his offensive talent at 6’10, and if a team believes they can get him out of the liability zone defensively, he’s a nice upside gamble at this point in the first round.
21. Denver Nuggets – Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas
Agbaji had already established himself as the consensus top senior on NBA draft boards even before he powered Kansas to the national championship and earned Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors. A 6’5, 215 pound wing with a 6’10 wingspan, Agbaji was always an NBA-caliber athlete, and this past season he fully blossomed as a shooter. He hit 41 percent of his threes on 6.5 attempts per game and finished in the 83rd percentile of the country in spot-up efficiency, per Synergy Sports. Agbaji will need to be a plus defender to earn an NBA role, and there’s reason to believe he can do that thanks to his length and quickness despite underwhelming block and steal rates throughout his college career. He should slot in to an off-ball shooter role in the league, and would be a natural fit for a Denver team that always needs wing shooting around Nikola Jokic.
22. Memphis Grizzlies (via Jazz) – Leonard Miller, F, Canada
Miller was largely off the radar as a 2022 draft prospect before a breakout performance at the Nike Hoops Summit turned him into one the most intriguing lottery tickets in this class. Miller is a pure upside swing as a 6’11 forward comfortable playing with the ball in his hands on the perimeter. The Canadian is a confident shooter who reportedly hit 40 percent of his threes during his prep school year at Fort Erie International Academy in Ontario. He has showed some impressive ball handling and passing ability as well, whether he’s pushing the ball in transition or putting it on the deck to find teammates when attacking a closeout. It’s rare to see a player this big have legitimate flashes of a dribble/pass/shoot skill set, which makes him worth a shot at this point in the draft even if he needs a couple years of seasoning before he’s ready to make a real impact.
23. Brooklyn Nets (via Sixers) – MarJon Beauchamp, F, G League Ignite
Beauchamp is a powerful wing who showed how valuable his combination of athleticism, size, and motor can be during his stint with the G League Ignite. At 6’6, 200 pounds with a reported 7-foot wingspan, Beauchamp showed impressive defensive versatility and opportunistic scoring instincts all season. Defense should be his calling card early in his career. Beauchamp has quick feet and active hands with the length to guard across the positional spectrum. On offense, Beauchamp thrived attacking the rim in all settings, with transition forays, cuts, and straight line drives serving as the foundation of his scoring. While he only shot 24 percent on threes, he did make 68 percent of his twos. Even without NBA-ready floor spacing ability, Beauchamp has enough of a two-way skill set to provide nice value at this point in the first round.
24. Milwaukee Bucks – E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State
Liddell is trying to make the transition from college star to NBA role player after an outstanding three-year career at Ohio State. A 6’7, 240 pound forward with a 7-foot wingspan, Liddell has the length, strength, and improving skill level to develop into a quality NBA four. He made major strides as a shooter every season with the Buckeyes, and hit 37.4 percent of his threes on 123 attempts this year. He also looked a little quicker laterally on the defensive end while doubling his block rate (8.5 percent this season) from his sophomore to junior years. A player like Grant Williams serves as a good model for what Liddell can become if the shooting improvement he showed as a junior at OSU is for real.
25. San Antonio Spurs (via Celtics) – Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee
Chandler was a decorated high school point guard who lived up to the hype as an All-SEC performer as a freshman for Tennessee. At 6-foot, 170 pounds with a 6’6 wingspan, Chandler makes up for his lack of size with plus length, quick hands, and toughness. Chandler is a speedy ball handler who can get into the paint and has the finishing craft to score (60 percent at the rim) in close despite his lack of size. He’s also a good pick-and-roll manipulator who finished in the 73rd percentile on those play types this season, per Synergy Sports. While Chandler is mostly a one- or two-position defender because of his lack of size, he is decidedly feisty at the point of attack, showing the ability to cleanly pick opposing guards for an impressive 4.1 percent steal rate. Chandler also make 38 percent of his threes this year, but surprisingly shot only 60 percent from the foul line. He’ll need to be a reliable shooter from deep and develop his floater to be an effective scorer at the next level, but his ability to run a team makes him a safe bet to carve out a long career as a backup point guard, if nothing else.
26. Dallas Mavericks – Jaden Hardy, G, G League Ignite
Hardy was a consensus top-five recruit out of high school, and had some league insiders believing he’d contend to be the No. 1 overall pick in this draft as he chose to play for the G League Ignite program over going to college. The 6’4 guard didn’t quite live up to the hype, but the package of skills that made him so highly-touted could still serve as the foundation for a successful NBA career. Hardy is a shooting guard with a nasty stepback package, deep shooting range, and a bucket-getter’s mentality. While Hardy’s offense looks incredible when he has it going, he also has some severe limitations. He’s a poor finisher who lacks pop around the basket, and only made 38 percent of his attempts at the rim, per The Box and One’s Adam Spinella. Hardy also finished with more turnovers (42) than assists (38), and shot 35 percent from the field and 27 percent from three. Hardy’s 88 percent mark from the free throw line might be a better indicator of his shooting talent, but there’s plenty of room for growth across his skill set despite his lofty reputation.
27. Miami Heat – Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame
Wesley was ranked outside of the top-100 in recruiting services coming out of South Bend before committing to hometown Notre Dame and emerging as their offensive engine and leading scorer. A 6’5 guard with a 6’11 wingspan, Wesley has tantalizing creation potential with a quick first step, long arms, and the ability to put pressure on the rim. At times it feels like Wesley can get wherever he wants on the floor because of his quickness and craft. Finishing is a different story: he made only 51 percent of his rim attempts, often botching good looks from layup range. Wesley has potential as a shooter, too, but he still needs to prove he can be productive after going 52-of-172 (30.2 percent) from three-point range. Wesley has some obviously impressive physical tools if he can improve as a finisher and shooter. He deserves to go higher than this based on his natural talent.
28. Golden State Warriors -Bryce McGowens, G, Nebraska
McGowens is a big guard with impressive driving ability and real shooting potential at the next level for a team willing to develop him. At 6’7, 180 pounds with a 6’9 wingspan, McGowens has a quick first step and long strides that help him get to the basket. While the shooting numbers from deep were a bit rough — 27.4 percent from three on 140 attempts — the freshman guard showed a clean stroke and enough shooting versatility to think he can improve. McGowens needs to get better defensively and as a finisher (he shot 56.2 percent at the rim, per T-Rank) while adding strength to his frame, but his tools are valuable if they can be refined.
29. Memphis Grizzlies – Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest
LaRavia transferred to Wake Forest this past season after two years at Indiana State and immediately became both an All-ACC performer and a legitimate candidate to sneak into the late first round of the NBA draft. A 6’9, 235 pound forward with a 6’11 wingspan, LaRavia has an enticing off-ball offensive skill set while competing defensively with quick hands and enough size to defend in the front court. LaRavia showed quality shooting versatility for the Demon Deacons, hitting 38.4 percent of his threes this year. He’ll need to prove he can up his volume after attempting only 73 triples all season. He can also provide offensive value as a heady cutter, and by posting up smaller defenders. He finished in the 96th percentile on post-ups this season, per Synergy Sports. LaRavia doesn’t create much off the dribble, and needs to be set up for his threes, but his intersection of size and shooting should be appealing to teams.
30. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Suns) – Jalen Williams, G, Santa Clara
Williams was one of the biggest mid-major stars in college basketball this year as a junior, and now has the NBA’s full attention as a possible late first round pick. A 6’6 guard with a massive 7’2 wingspan, Williams is a skilled pick-and-roll playmaker who also hit 40 percent of his threes on 106 attempts. He led the Broncos in assists this year, and finished in the 86th percentile as a pick-and-roll ball handler, per Synergy Sports. Williams also finished in the 97th percentile as a spot-up shooter. His combination of length, ball handling, and shooting gives him the potential to play on- or off the ball with the ability to guard a variety of different matchups. Williams enters this draft as a small school standout without the hype of most first round prospects, but his skill set should translate nicely into the league if he can prove he can hang athletically.