Pounding the Rock’s 2022 NBA Draft Lottery Big Board

Another NBA season is on the books, and the Golden State Warriors are at the top of the basketball pyramid for the fourth time in the past eight years. As Steph Curry and company shower their championship trophy with champagne, the San Antonio Spurs are a week away from the 2022 NBA draft and are making their highest pick since they brought Tim Duncan and his fundamentally solid game to a 2-1-0.

The arrival of the decorated Wake Forest graduate made the Silver and Black instant title contenders. But fans shouldn’t hope that the front office will land a franchise-changing talent with the ninth pick. Promising prospects exist for the good guys in the back of the lottery’s mind. Perhaps PATFO will consider the idea of ​​using their wealth of assets to trade for a player with Rand All-Star benefits.

Although my 2022 big board has more than 60 players, for brevity, here is a definitive list of lottery-level prospects with a concise scouting report that should give you enough information to get the full picture on draft night.

Noah’s Lottery Big Board

1. Chet Holmgren | center | gonzaga

This Chet Holmgren discourse has been divisive from the moment he set foot on the hardwood for Gonzaga, but the svelte center is easily among the most distinctive prospects of the last decade. Not only can he nail three-pointers, run breaks, and deliver flawless dimes as a seven-footer, but he’s a generational rim protector. Strength and space design are fair concerns, but an NBA staffer can develop these areas over time.

2. Jabari Smith Jr. | Power Forward | Maroon

How many six-ten forwards have a velvety shot from catching, from dribbling and on the move? Jabari Smith Jr. is the only one in this draft who fits that description, and few have those credentials in NBA history. There is untapped scoring potential but that will only materialize if he improves his grip and finishing. Smith is switchable on the perimeter, making him an exciting two-way teen with a high floor.

3.Paolo Banchero | Power Forward | duke

Paolo Banchero was ahead early in this draft cycle, but gradually relinquished the rank of first overall winner as others emerged. This makes the Duke newcomer unmistakably the most sophisticated scorer in this class. He can place points on the board with his back to the basket, off the pick and roll, face down the middle, or take defenders off the dribble. Banchero could be a fundamental cornerstone.

4. Jaden Ivey | Combo Guard | Purdue

Jaden Ivey is an athletic prodigy who can change pace and hit top gear in the blink of an eye. The seedy combo guard blew up past defenders in isolation, going coast-to-coast in turns and being ranked as one of the top pick-and-roll scorers in the nation. Though teams may not ask him to serve as their main initiator, he read the court well and made some incredibly creative passes. Adding a reliable jumper is his key to NBA glory.

5. Keegan Murray | Combo Forward | Iowa

A dependable floorspacer, elite transition finisher, put-back machine, post-up powerhouse, opportunistic cutter, dexterous rollman, and dependable isolation option, Keegan Murray fits seamlessly into the pace-and-space era. While he has plenty to offer on offense, he also acts as a deadly event creator, amassing steals and blocks with his wingspan and engine. Keegan turns 22 this season, but he could develop into a three-tier top scorer.

6.Shaedon Sharpe | Rifle Guard | Kentucky

Considering Shaedon Sharpe will have played almost a year without organized basketball by the time the Summer League begins, he could be the highest risk-reward prospect in the lottery. The Canadian Guard secured top spot on the recruitment radar after a remarkable EYBL show with UPLAY Canada, displaying unrivaled self-creation on the top. He’s far from a polished product and a no-show on defense, so teams are rightly wary.

7. Benedict Mathurin | Rifle Guard | Arizona

You’ll have a hard time finding prospects who can match Bennedict Mathurin’s world-class athleticism and shooting versatility. The sophomore guard can nail threes moving in any direction or sprint around screens and even showed some functionality outside of dribbling. He shifts outwards well, makes brilliant cuts and can lob as a lob. There were periodic defensive errors but he should eventually be a plus at that end.

8.Johnny Davis | Rifle Guard | Wisconsin

If you need a bucket, look no further than Johnny Davis. The sophomore swinger carried an almost unprecedented workload for Wisconsin on his way to becoming one of the biggest breakout stories of the year. Are its relative inefficiency and limited range a cause for concern? Maybe, but no one has a more refined midrange package with this mix of hard shooting and a willingness to defend the top opposing perimeter player.

9. Jalen Duren | center | memphis

Jalen Duren offers a patient franchise the opportunity to mold the youngest player in this draft class. The 18-year-old center has a strong rim-protection instinct, an incredible lob catch radius and tremendous gravity as a roll-man. Those qualities, coupled with a league-worthy physique, elite athleticism and an encouraging feel as a passer, suggest he could morph into a two-way force when the fundamentals catch up with his God-given gifts.

10. Jeremy Sochan | Combo Forward | Baylor

The main appeal for Jeremy Sochan is his composure as a team defender, his ability to defend multiple positions man-to-man, his punctuality as an editor, and his potential as a spreader from a variety of sets. Despite being harmless as a goalscorer and long-range shooter, the Polish forward has a way of earning minutes as he is the connective tissue that keeps things moving smoothly on both ends. There is untapped talent and his bottom feels secure.

11. Tari Eason | Combo Forward | LSU

After a dysfunctional freshman season at Cincinnati that saw the program fire head coach John Brannen, Tari Eason had an exceptional second campaign for LSU. The explosive forward was one of college basketball’s most prolific players, wreaking havoc with his 7-2 wingspan and hitting to the basket. His training has reportedly gone poorly, but his physical tools are alluring in the right developmental situation.

12. AJ Griffin | Small advance | duke

AJ Griffin became one of 14 freshmen in NCAA history to hit at least 44% of their three-pointers on more than four attempts per game while playing in a Power Five conference. The 18-year-old forward thrived off the ball on a stacked Duke roster, but displayed enough flashes of self-creation to earn some top ten glimpses. Several serious knee injuries in high school weakened his explosiveness. Can he regain that athleticism in the NBA?

13. Dyson Daniels | pointguard | G League Ignite

Even though DysonDaniels Beginning the year in the shadow of prominent five-star high school recruits Jaden Hardy and Michael Foster, the jumbo point guard steadily distinguished himself as the sole lottery talent for the G League Ignite. The Australian native is one of the best full-backs in this class and has a steady presence as a game manager. As Daniels gets to the line more often and develops an outside shot, his ceiling increases significantly.

14. Ousmane Dieng | Point forward | New Zealand breakers

A disastrous start to his NBL career with the New Zealand Breakers had scouts questioning Ousmane Dieng’s future, but the teenage forward turned things around at the end of the season. It’s rare to find guys who can do six-ten with this level of ball handling, fluidity, defensive versatility and live dribbling passes. This mix of skills should give PATFO reason to consider taking a boost from a boom-or-bust perspective.

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