2022 NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Final first-round predictions and analysis

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 29: A general view of the board after the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on July 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 29: A general view of the board after the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on July 29, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images) /
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2022 NBA Mock Draft
GREENVILLE, SC – MARCH 18: Mark Williams #15 high fives AJ Griffin #21 of the Duke Blue Devils during the second half against the CSU Fullerton Titans in the first round game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on March 18, 2022 in Greenville, South Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

A.J. Griffin. 11. player. 27. . Small Forward. New York Knicks

2022 NBA Mock Draft: 11. A.J. Griffin, New York Knicks

School: Duke

Height: 6’6″

In the 2022 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks should be searching for an offensive-minded prospect with their lottery pick. As a lethal shooter and crafty scorer, 19-year-old wing A.J. Griffin is certainly that. Griffin will be an efficient 3&D contributor with a high floor to become much more than that.

Jalen Duren. 12. player. 149. . Center. Oklahoma City Thunder

2022 NBA Mock Draft: 12. Jalen Duren, Oklahoma City Thunder

School: Memphis

Height: 6’10”

As a defensive beast with substantial athleticism and length, Jalen Duren will help a team reach new heights defensively. On the offensive end, he’ll mostly be effective as a roller to the basket with his ability to soar above the rim. If he’s available to the Thunder here, the idea of pairing Duren with Chet Holmgren to form a superior frontcourt tandem defensively would be really interesting. Of course, Jalen Duren will only grow from here, as he’s only 18 years old . The rim protector and explosive athlete will always bring the energy.

player. 170. . Power Forward. Charlotte Hornets. Jeremy Sochan. 13

2022 NBA Mock Draft: 13. Jeremy Sochan, Charlotte Hornets

School: Baylor

Height: 6’10”

Since the Charlotte Hornets desperately need to bolster its defense this offseason, drafting a defensive-minded asset such as Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan would be an ideal selection. Sochan is one of the best defenders in this draft with his versatility, length, and awareness. The 19-year-old forward would immediately make an impact in Charlotte on the defensive end and his offense would gradually grow alongside rising superstar LaMelo Ball.

Jalen Williams. 14. player. 156. . Shooting Guard. Cleveland Cavaliers

2022 NBA Mock Draft: 14. Jalen Williams, Cleveland Cavaliers

School: Santa Clara

Height: 6’6″

Jalen Williams is soaring up draft boards as a silky-smooth scorer with exciting upside on the wing. He faced weaker competition in college at Santa Clara and will need to improve more defensively, but the 21-year-old playmaker has all the tools to become an elite offensive weapon in the NBA. It would not be a stretch at all for the Cleveland Cavaliers to select rising prospect Jalen Williams with their lottery pick. His skill set would be a fine complement to Cleveland’s emerging core of Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen.

Center. Charlotte Hornets. Mark Williams. 15. player. 170.

2022 NBA Mock Draft: 15. Mark Williams, Charlotte Hornets

School: Duke

Height: 6’10”

Building off on the idea of Charlotte pursuing upgrades to the defensive corps this offseason, selecting Duke center Mark Williams would offer reliable rim protection to the promising squad. Charlotte could attempt to trade this pick for an established starting center such as Indiana’s Myles Turner, but expect them to take the best center available with one of their two first-round picks if they keep both. Mark Williams would fill a position of weakness and serve as a valuable defensive anchor with nice touch around the paint offensively for the Hornets.