The 2022 NBA Draft Grades
June 25th, 2022
By Alan Lu
With the 2022 NBA Draft having been wrapped up, it is time to give out grades to see which of the NBA teams made really good moves, and which teams’ decisions could have used room for improvement. There were some really intriguing selections and trades that were made through draft night, and here is how I feel how each team fared in this year’s draft.
Without further ado, here are my thoughts on how 27 of the NBA teams did on draft night, as I will rank them from best to worst among those who participated here. Also, here is the trade tracker from NBA.com for those that wish to revisit what each teams received in trades. News of a couple of draft-day trades came in late (Besson to Milwaukee, Kamagate to Denver), so grades were revised to reflect on how teams fared on draft night.
The Pistons had a terrific draft night. They drafted two lottery picks in Ivey and Duren, both of whom can be star players in this league, especially Ivey. Ivey is an explosively athletic, scoring point guard that really emerged to have a breakout sophomore season. Duren is a very athletic rim protector that will help shore up the Pistons’ defense, and they also added a solid 3 and D role player in Procida in the second round. They got great value with all three picks, and the Cade Cunningham-Jaden Ivey backcourt will be really fun to watch next year.
4. Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue
Ivey is a tremendously athletic point guard that can really attack the hoop to score the basketball, and he’s shown a much-improved outside shot. He also is a fairly solid playmaker and defender, although he will still need to improve his court vision and focus on the defensive end at times. Ivey is a tremendously talented player that had a terrific sophomore season, and the Pistons made a great pick to select him at 5 this year.
13. Jalen Duren, C, Memphis
The Pistons get a very athletic, energetic center in Jalen Duren, and they get a player that has solid interior skills and has a lot of upside. Duren is a tremendous athlete that has a very long wingspan, and he is also an underrated passer for his size. He will need to continue to expand his offensive skills, but he could end up being an elite rim protector in this league.
The Pistons also got great value by being able to select a player considered heavily in the top 10 at 13, and he fits what they have, as they need a pick and roll partner and lob threat for Cade Cunningham, and Duren will give them that for their team.
36. Gabriele Procida, G-F, Fortitudo Bologna (Italy)
Procida is an athletic, skilled swingman that had a strong season in Italy this year. He is a high motor player that shoots and defends well, and he can finish plays above the rim. He doesn’t take a lot of shots, but he is selective with them and makes them efficiently, and Procida could project to be the consummate role player for the Pistons in this league.
The Detroit Pistons’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: A (1st Overall)
The Heat add a tall, very skilled offensive-minded forward in Nikola Jovic, whose size, shooting, and playmaking skills should really help him and the Heat in the NBA. There may be duplication concerns because his skill set has similarities to Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Max Strus, but Jovic’s size and offensive skills will likely strengthen the Heat’s offense for the foreseeable future.
27. Nikola Jovic, F, Mega Mozzart (Serbia)
The Heat made a solid pick by selecting Nikola Jovic, a tall, offensively gifted forward whose size, shooting, and playmaking skills enable him to create mismatches that swing in his team’s favor. Jovic is a solid shooter that has good court vision, and he is a versatile offensive player that makes sound plays on the court. He will need to improve his defense and add more muscle to his frame, but Jovic is a talented prospect that has the skills to be a very solid role player in the NBA.
The Miami Heat’s 2022 Draft Night Grade: A (2nd Overall)
The Raptors made a terrific pick in selecting Koloko at 33, and they get a very athletic center that could develop into a very good rim protector in the NBA. He had a strong junior season, and while he will still need to continue to expand his skill set offensively, he has the tools to be a very good role player in this league.
33. Christian Koloko, C, Arizona
This was a really good pick for Toronto, and they get a very athletic, rim protector in selecting Koloko at 33. Koloko is a very tall, energetic center that has shown improved offensive skills, and he’s shown that he can be a good interior player on both ends of the floor. He will still need to continue to work on his perimeter skills, but he is a talented prospect that should thrive in his role for the Raptors in this league.
The Toronto Raptors’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: A (3rd Overall)
Overall, the Houston Rockets had a very good draft night. Earlier, they seemingly took a lowball trade in accepting the 26th overall pick and four, spare parts role players for Christian Wood, who turned in a solid season last year as their starting center.
On draft night though, the Rockets really delivered, and had a great night overall. They made three terrific picks in acquiring Jabari Smith, Tari Eason, and TyTy Washington. The Rockets arguably got the best player in the draft at 3, they get a long and rangy athletic forward at 17, and they get a lottery-caliber playmaking point guard at 29 after swinging a deal with Minnesota to get him. The Rockets had a great night, and they should feel really good about what they did here.
3. Jabari Smith Jr., F, Auburn
Plenty of people assumed that Jabari Smith would go number 1 to Orlando, but he fell all the way to 3 at Houston. The Rockets get great value by picking Smith there, and Smith is a very athletic, skilled forward that can shoot and score the basketball, and he is a rangy defender.
Smith has the skills to be a multi-All-Star in this league, and he may very well be the best player to come out of this draft. He will still need to improve his court vision, but Smith is a tremendous prospect that could be a superstar in the NBA, and he will immediately contend for the Rookie of the Year award next season.
17. Tari Eason, F, LSU
He is an athletic, energetic combo forward that could be an impact player right away for Houston next season. Eason is a rangy defender that can guard multiple positions and he also can score the basketball in a variety of ways. He is a high-motor player that has proven that he can contribute in a supporting role, and he has very big hands that can enable him to make plays on both ends of the floor. Eason was a terrific pick up for the Rockets, and he could end up being a very good role player for them in the NBA.
29. TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky
He is an agile, skilled playmaking point guard that can score and distribute the basketball, and he was seen as a potential lottery talent that dropped all the way to 29 this year. He’s struggled with shot selection issues and can play too recklessly at times, but Washington is a talented prospect that gives Houston another ball handler, and he has the skills to develop into a solid role player in this league.
The Rockets’ end of the Christian Wood trade with Dallas (and also later Minnesota):
The Houston Rockets seemingly got lowballed on their end of the Christian Wood trade, as they received a late first round pick and four, fringe rotation players, but they made up for it by getting a lottery level talent in being able to acquire and select TyTy Washington at 29.
The Houston Rockets’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: A- (4th Overall)
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans had a terrific draft, as they were able to get two great value picks in Dyson Daniels and E.J. Liddell. Daniels is a solid ball-moving combo guard that defends well, and his high basketball IQ and versatile skill set should enable him to fit in well with New Orleans. E.J. Liddell is a strong, versatile combo forward that has improved immensely on offense, and he is a solid defender that will give New Orleans defensive versatility. Matkovic is an athletic big man whose offensive skills could enable him to be a solid backup in the NBA in the near future.
8. Dyson Daniels, G-F, G-League Ignite (Australia)
The Pelicans made a very good pick by selecting Dyson Daniels at 8. He is an athletic, skilled combo guard that has strong playmaking and defensive skills, and he has the skills to be the consummate role player in the NBA. He will need to improve his jump shot, but he is a versatile player that has a solid skill set and feel for the game that should enable him to thrive in this league.
41. E.J. Liddell, F, Ohio State
The Pelicans made a terrific pick up by selecting a first round-caliber talent at 41. E.J. Liddell had a strong junior season this year, and he is a versatile, combo forward that can shoot, distribute the ball, and defend. He turned into one of the best defenders this year, and he has shown that he can both defend out on the perimeter, and also really excel at defending in the paint. He was one of the best shot blockers this year, and Liddell has the skills to be the consummate role player in the NBA.
52. Karlo Matkovic, F-C, Mega Mozzart (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
He is an athletic, energetic big man that played well overseas, and he is an offensively skilled big man that can score in the post and pass the basketball. He will need to add more range to his shot and improve his defense, but Matkovic’s blend of athleticism, production, and offensive skill set could enable him to be a solid rotational big man in the NBA.
The New Orleans Pelicans’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: A- (5th Overall)
The Boston Celtics made a very good value pick, especially in the late second round, and they got a solid, high-upside player at 53. Davison will need to add his game more to the modern NBA, but he is a very athletic, team-oriented player whose strong playmaking and solid defensive skills combined with his upside should enable him to be a solid player in this league.
53. JD Davison, G, Alabama
This was a terrific pickup for Boston. He is a very athletic, pass-first point guard that will fit in well to Boston’s team structure in the NBA. Davison came into the season as a highly touted recruit, but struggles with his jump shot and his lack of a score-first mindset may have caused his draft stock to take a tumble this year. He doesn’t really look to score very often, and he didn’t shoot the ball very well, but he is a solid playmaker that has a good feel for the game, has the tools to be a solid defender, and he also is a terrific athlete that can make highlight reel-worthy plays on both ends of the floor. Davison is an old school, table setting point guard that runs the team well, and he is a high upside prospect that has the talent to succeed in the NBA.
The Boston Celtics’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: A- (6th Overall)
The Timberwolves made good moves, as they got a solid rim protector in Walker Kessler, were able to draft the versatile Wendell Moore, who can play the point or off the ball and has solid all-around skills, and they also were able to get other players that could fit into bench roles for their team. Minott has a lot of the same skills as Jarred Vanderbilt, so in the future they could effectively replace Vanderbilt’s skill set by letting him go and develop Josh Minott to fill his rotation spot. Spagnolo could develop into a Shake Milton-esque rotation guard off the bench with some extra seasoning.
Days after the draft, the Timberwolves were able to package Walker Kessler to get three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert in a blockbuster trade with the Utah Jazz, which will surely make the Timberwolves contenders in the Western Conference for the upcoming season.
22. Walker Kessler, C, Auburn
Walker Kessler is a solid rim protector, and he was one of the most productive players in college basketball this year. Kessler is a very tall, highly energetic, rim-running center that rebounds well and blocks a lot of shots, and he can catch plenty of passes to score around the basket. He will need to continue to improve his outside shot, but Kessler is a fairly polished prospect that could step right in to be a rotational big man in the NBA.
26. Wendell Moore Jr., G-F, Duke
The Timberwolves made a very good pick by selecting a versatile, skilled guard in being able to acquire Moore at 26. Moore is a skilled, versatile playmaking guard that has a solid set of all-around skills. He is a strong, physical guard that can score off the dribble and from the post, has solid playmaking and defensive skills, and he’s also improved his jump shot.
On the other hand, there are concerns if his jump shot will still be reliable as he will have to adjust to a longer three-point line, but he had a strong junior season at Duke, and Moore is a smart, skilled prospect that could project to be the consummate role player in the NBA.
45. Josh Minott, F, Memphis
He is a very athletic, high-motor forward that will make a lot of hustle plays around the basket. He will need to improve his skill level offensively, and he will have to improve his jump shot and playmaking skills. He’s not a polished prospect by any means, but he has elite physical tools and a good motor that could enable him to be a solid role player in this league.
50. Matteo Spagnolo, G, Vanoli Cremona (Italy)
He is an agile, skilled combo guard that can shoot and pass the basketball. He’s not an overwhelming athlete and will need to improve his defense, but he is a skilled combo guard that could help the Timberwolves off the bench.
2023 2nd Round Pick (via NY)
The Timberwolves also acquired a 2023 2nd round pick as part of the McGowens-Minott trade.
2026 2nd Round Pick
The 2026 2nd round pick and cash considerations is what the Timberwolves received from Indiana as part of the Kendall Brown trade.
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: B+ (7th Overall)
The Hawks had a very good draft night overall, and they got great value by selecting AJ Griffin, a lottery level talent that was considered to be a potential top 5 pick, at 16. Their other moves were less spectacular, but the Hawks should feel really good about the moves they made on draft night.
16. AJ Griffin, G-F, Duke
The Hawks get a terrific pick by selecting AJ Griffin at 16. Griffin is an athletic, skilled swingman that is one of the best movement shooters in the draft, and he also thrives at making hustle plays to help his team on both sides of the ball. He’s had knee and ankle injuries that may have caused him to slip in the draft, but when healthy, he’s shown that he can be a very good player on the floor.
51. Tyrese Martin, G-F, Connecticut
He is a strong, mobile swingman that doesn’t seem to be spectacular at any one area, but he is an energetic hustle player that can shoot and defend his position on the court. He’s also a terrific rebounder for his size. He’s not a high upside pick, as he’s not super quick and isn’t expected to consistently create his own shot, but on the Hawks he won’t have to. As long as he shoots and defends well for them, he would provide them with solid minutes as a 3 and D role player in this league.
The Hawks also received cash considerations as part of the Ryan Rollins-Tyrese Martin trade.
The Atlanta Hawks’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: B+ (8th Overall)
The Mavericks managed to get a proven veteran big man in Christian Wood, although there are some concerns about his character. They also made a good value pick in getting a high upside prospect in Jaden Hardy, a very athletic, scoring guard that will need to improve his shot selection. Overall, the Mavericks had a good night in this draft.
37. Jaden Hardy, G, G-League Ignite (USA – Henderson, NV)
Hardy came into the year as one of the most talented prospects for the 2022 draft, and he is a very athletic, prolific scoring combo guard that can score in bunches. However, despite being a volume scorer in the G-League, he had an up and down season overall, and Hardy really struggled with his efficiency. While he started the year as a projected lottery pick, he experienced a precipitous drop, though it was sort of expected due to his offensive struggles and highly inconsistent play in the G-League this year.
This year, Hardy didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, and his decision-making was quite shoddy at times, as he sometimes would be prone to rampant chucking and poor shot selection. Still, Hardy can be a really good player on his best nights, and he still is a guard that has a lot of upside. He had a relatively disappointing season and draft night, but for the value, this is a rather solid pick for the Mavericks. Hardy is a very talented prospect that could thrive as a microwave type of scorer for the Dallas Mavericks; that is if they have the patience to work with and help develop his game in the NBA.
They received a very talented big man that has some character concerns, but Wood has proven himself to be one of the better centers in the NBA over the past two seasons, and he could reach another stratosphere when paired with Luka Dončić next season.
The Dallas Mavericks’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: B+ (9th Overall)
The Magic surprised a lot of people by selecting Banchero to be the top pick, but they added two quality players, one of whom could be a star player in this league, and the other has the potential to develop into a very good 3 and D forward in the future.
1. Paolo Banchero, F, Duke
The Magic made a surprise pick by passing on Jabari Smith to select Paolo Banchero at 1. Banchero is an athletic, very skilled forward that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he is also an underrated passer for his size. He has shown that he has the skills to be an elite scorer, but he will need to be a more consistent outside shooter and defender in games. While it was a curious move to pick Banchero at 1, Banchero will provide scoring for Orlando, and he will be a solid player that can certainly be a 20-point, 10-rebound player while providing offensive versatility in this league.
32. Caleb Houstan, F, Michigan
Houstan came into the college basketball season as a highly touted recruit that won at the high school level, and he had played alongside future lottery picks, Cade Cunningham and Moses Moody at Monteverde Academy. However, Houstan had an up and down freshman season, as he was inconsistent as a shooter and scorer. On some nights, he thrived as a shooter and defender, and for short stretches, he’s shown that he can take over games. On other nights though, he really struggled to make an impact on the floor. He also had to deal with an occasional infrequent number of touches on offense, which may have negatively impacted him this year.
He will be going to a team that will expect him to play a similar role as a 3 and D role player in the NBA. Houstan has the size to play a multitude of positions, and his shooting and on-ball defense could enable him to thrive as a role player in this league if he can be a more consistently productive player on the floor.
Highest 2028 2nd Round Pick from Lakers or Wizards (owed to Lakers)
The 2028 2nd round pick and cash considerations were what the Magic received in trading away the 35th overall of this year’s draft.
The Orlando Magic’s 2022 Draft Night Grade: B (10th Overall)
Oklahoma City Thunder
Time will tell to see if the Thunder truly had a great draft night. They made a very good pick to select Chet Holmgren at 2, and they acquired a uniquely skilled big man that could develop into a star player in this league. On the other hand, they’ve continued to stockpile long, athletic project players rather than begin the process of adding quality basketball players to build a cohesive team. They have a huge collection of long, athletic players, but there are concerns if their skills fit each other, and it remains to be seen what sort of basketball team they will have in the future.
2. Chet Holmgren, F-C, Gonzaga
The Thunder made a very good pick by selecting a uniquely skilled big man in Chet Holmgren, as he will provide them with strong playmaking skills, rim protection, and he also has a promising three-point shot. Holmgren will need to get stronger and be more aggressive on offense, but he is a very versatile player that could be a really good point center in this league.
11. Ousmane Dieng, F, New Zealand Breakers (Australia)
The Thunder traded a handful of first round picks to get Ousmane Dieng, so they really wanted to select him at 11. Dieng is a very athletic, tall swingman that may have a great deal of upside, and he is a tantalizing prospect that has intrigued by showcasing versatile scoring, some point forward ability, and rangy defense this past season. He really struggled early on in the NBL before settling in to play better late in the year.
At this stage, he’s more of a project player and drafting him at 11 may be a bit of a reach, as he may be far from being a polished prospect right now, but in the modern NBA, athletic, versatile wing players have become tremendously valuable, and Dieng has the tools to become a good player in this league.
12. Jalen Williams, G-F, Santa Clara
After having two pedestrian seasons in college, Williams had a strong junior season at Santa Clara that was followed up by a tremendous combine showing this year. He is an athletic, skilled swingman that tested very well athletically, and he is an efficient scorer that can make shots and distribute the basketball. He will need to show that he can play just as well in a complementary role and will need to improve his defense, but Williams is a talented prospect that has the tools to be a solid role player in this league.
34. Jaylin Williams, C, Arkansas
He is a skilled, mobile big man that had a very good sophomore season at Arkansas this year. He is a skilled low post scorer that passes the ball well for his size, and he also helped lead his team to an upset win over Gonzaga in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. He also is quite adept at drawing charges defensively.
On the other hand, he doesn’t seem to have any one skill that amazes or stands out, and he will also need to continue to improve his perimeter skills. Williams may not be a spectacular player, but he could project to be a solid rotational big man for the Thunder in the NBA.
2027 1st Round Pick (protected)
They added a veteran big man that can space the floor and defend in JaMychal Green, albeit he had a down season this year with the Nuggets, and the Thunder also add a 2027 protected, first round pick after trading away the 30th overall pick and two future second round picks in the process.
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s 2022 Draft Night Grade: B (11th Overall)
The Kings made the surprise move to bypass on the idea of selecting Ivey at 4, or to select him there and trade him to another team to get a slightly lower pick with more assets, in order to select Keegan Murray at 4 instead. While it was understandable that they wouldn’t want to pick a player that didn’t want to play for them, it was a bit confounding that they decided to select a different player at 4 altogether, especially since they could’ve potentially extracted significant value from other NBA teams to either get the guy they want at 5 or 6, or get a similarly talented player while getting back extra assets.
Keegan Murray is a solid prospect that can score and defend, and he will contribute right away, but it remains to be seen if he can be just as effective in a complementary role, as Iowa basically ran almost every play for him. On the other hand, Murray is one of the most polished players and scorers in this draft. They also traded away their second round picks to get future second round picks, so they are going to lean heavily on Keegan Murray to make a significant impact for their team both next season and for the foreseeable future.
4. Keegan Murray, F, Iowa
He is an athletic, energetic combo forward that was a scoring machine as a sophomore at Iowa this year. He’s certainly improved his outside shot and defense this year, and he theoretically may be a good fit for their team. On the other hand, he hasn’t really shown that he can fit in with other good players around him as his team ran basically every play for him, and he didn’t play nearly as much last year.
The Kings passed on a more talented point guard in Ivey (who admittedly didn’t want to be there), but also passed on trade offers that also could’ve netted them more assets in addition to the possibility of getting Murray at a lower spot, especially knowing that many teams wanted Ivey and at 4. Murray is a good player, but the Kings could’ve done a bit more here in this draft, as they made some curious decisions involving this pick.
2024 2nd Round Pick
2028 2nd Round Pick
The Kings received two future second round picks after trading the 37th overall pick to Dallas.
Draft rights to Aleksandar Vezenkov
The Kings received the draft rights to Aleksandar Vezenkov and cash considerations after trading away the 49th overall pick to Cleveland. Vezenkov is a Euroleague sharpshooting forward that projects into a shooting specialist role in the NBA and he is skilled enough to be able to step in to play right away, but his athletic limitations may limit him to top out as a rotation player for the Cavaliers if he decides to come over to play in the NBA.
The Sacramento Kings’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: B (12th Overall)
The Pacers had a solid, all-around draft. They made good picks, and they were able to get three solid role players in selecting Bennedict Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard, and Kendall Brown. Mathurin is a very talented player that may have the skills to develop into a star in this league. They did acquire two point guards in this draft, but they also made a stable of solid draft picks to bolster their team’s talent and depth.
6. Bennedict Mathurin, G-F, Arizona
He is a very athletic, energetic swingman that had a strong sophomore season at Arizona. He is a high-flyer that thrives at making hustle plays on both ends of the floor, and he also is a very good shooter that can rack up points and score in bunches. He will need to improve his decision-making skills in the half court, but he is very good prospect that will help the Pacers in many facets of the game to help them.
31. Andrew Nembhard, G, Gonzaga
Nembhard is a smart, skilled game-managing point guard that had a good senior season with Gonzaga this year. He is a reliable playmaker that will set the table to help his team on offense, and he’s improved as a shooter, shot maker, and defender. Sometimes though, he can get sped up and try to do too much offensively, which can get him into trouble and he doesn’t have elite athleticism or scoring skills, but Nembhard is a sound, table-setting distributor that projects well into a backup point guard role in the NBA.
48. Kendall Brown, F, Baylor
He is a very athletic, energetic combo forward that had a fairly good freshman season at Baylor. He is a hustle player that plays bigger than his listed size, but he will need to improve his perimeter skills, and he can be too passive on offense in games. He will especially need to improve his outside shot. On the other hand, he is a high upside pick that could develop into a versatile role player if he reaches his full potential in the NBA, which would benefit the Pacers greatly.
The Indiana Pacers’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: B (13th Overall)
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs added a slew of talented, draft prospects that will help them in the future. Sochan will instantly help their defense, and Branham will strengthen their team’s offense and scoring attack. Blake Wesley may be more of a project player than Sochan and Branham, but Wesley could project to be a plus-level scorer and defender off the bench, especially if he improves his jump shot.
9. Jeremy Sochan, F-C, Baylor
He is an athletic, skilled big man that is a solid defender that will bother and agitate his opponents, and he may be one of the best defensive prospects in this draft. He also can score the basketball in a variety of ways, and at times has shown a smooth jump shot.
On the other hand, Sochan can be quite inconsistent as a shot maker, especially from downtown. He’s not quite a polished prospect, but he is a skilled big man that has an emerging face-up game, and he has the tools to be a lockdown defender in this league, and he is a talented player that looks to be a good fit on a rebuilding Spurs’ team.
20. Malaki Branham, G, Ohio State
The Spurs get a solid prospect by selecting Malaki Branham at 20. While he wasn’t a featured player, he’s shown that he can shoot and score the basketball in a supporting role, and he can fit into a team structure. He can ably get his shots off and can operate as a secondary playmaker, and he could thrive in a supporting role for the San Antonio Spurs.
25. Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame
I thought this pick was a bit of a reach for the Spurs, even though this was an upside pick for them. On the plus side, Wesley is a very athletic combo guard that can score and defend, and he is an energetic player that will hustle to make plays. He’s shown that he can effectively guard players his size and play with energy, and at times has looked to be a player that could pack a significant scoring punch and also bring tenacious defense at the NBA level.
On the other hand, Wesley struggled to knock down outside shots, especially late in the year, and he is an undersized, 6-4 shooting guard that hasn’t shown that he can effectively lock down taller players. He also essentially plays the same position as their 20th pick, Malaki Branham. Blake Wesley will need to improve his shooting and shot selection, and while he is an aggressive, slashing scorer that will play with energy, his offensive struggles and potential defensive limitations could make it tough for him to succeed right away.
2024 2nd Round Pick (via LAL)
The Spurs received a 2024 2nd Round pick and cash considerations after trading the 38th overall pick to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The San Antonio Spurs’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: B (14th Overall)
I like the potential fit of Beauchamp to the Bucks, and they made a solid pick here. Beauchamp is a very athletic wing player that theoretically fits in very well with what the Milwaukee Bucks would like to do. He is a very athletic, high-motor player that is a strong finisher around the basket, and he is also a rangy defender that covers a lot of ground. He will need to improve his jump shot, but Beauchamp could develop into a solid scorer and defender for their team. Hugo Besson was a solid value pick at 58, and while he’s had his ups and downs, he is a skilled scoring guard that played fairly well in a high level basketball league in Australia this past year.
24. MarJon Beauchamp, G-F, G-League Ignite (USA – Seattle, WA)
He is a very athletic, energetic swingman that has the tools to succeed in the NBA. He is a rangy defender that competes hard and can cover plenty of ground defensively, and he also will attack the hoop to score the basketball. Beauchamp will need to improve his outside shot and court vision.
Even still, the Bucks made a solid pick in drafting him, even if he’s not quite a polished player yet. Beauchamp had a solid season this year in the G-League, and he could be the scorer and wing defender off the bench that the Bucks need on their team in the future.
58. Hugo Besson, G, New Zealand Breakers (France)
The Bucks made a solid acquisition, especially with the last pick in the draft by making a trade with Indiana to select French point guard Hugo Besson at 58. He was productive for the New Zealand Breakers in the NBL, and Besson is a shot maker that has proved that he can succeed at some of the toughest levels of international basketball. He is a crafty scorer that can knock down shots, and he also is a pesky defender that has a relentless motor. He is also a better athlete than advertised, and Besson can make some impressively athletic plays to help his team on the floor.
On the other hand, he was streaky with his jump shot this year, and he also will need to improve his court vision. Still, Besson played well in Australia this year, and he could project to be a solid backup point guard in the NBA.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: B- (15th Overall)
The Charlotte Hornets had a roller coaster ride on draft night, but they ended it on a solid note. They traded a pick in the lottery to get a quantity of picks, but they could’ve had a really good player at 13. They managed to make a terrific pick at 15 in getting Mark Williams, and they also drafted a high-upside player in Bryce McGowens at 40, as they rebounded from the curious trade they made to have a solid draft night overall.
15. Mark Williams, C, Duke
The Hornets made a really good pick to select Mark Williams at 15. Williams is a very athletic center that could end up being an elite rim protector in the NBA. He is a very long and rangy defender that can block a lot of shots to shore up his team’s interior, and he is a very efficient, rim-running big man that has great hands and a long reach that enables him to excel as a lob threat to finish plays above the basket. He may be one of the more polished big men in this draft, and he has the skills to end up being a very solid player in the NBA.
40. Bryce McGowens, G-F, Nebraska
He is a very athletic, energetic swingman that can score and defend when he is on the floor. He can ably create his own shot, and he is a fairly solid scorer off the dribble. He is a high-flyer that can finish plays above the rim, and he also has the tools to be a good defender in the NBA. On the other hand, he’s not a great shooter right now, and he will need to improve his court vision. Still, McGowens is a high upside prospect that was a very good pick for the Hornets at 40, and he could end up being one of the better players to come out of this draft.
2023 1st Round Pick (from DEN via OKA and NY)
2023 2nd Round Pick (via NY)
2023 2nd Round Pick (via UTA)
2023 2nd Round Pick (most favorable of DAL/MIA)
2024 2nd Round Pick (via NY)
The Hornets traded a pick (the 13th overall pick) that could’ve netted them one of the best players in this draft in order to get a quantity of picks. They essentially received a lot of picks in quantity, but gave up a lottery pick to do so. They still could land on these picks, but the odds of them doing so may be more unlikely than if they had a lottery pick.
The Charlotte Hornets’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: B- (16th Overall)
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors selected two promising prospects in Baldwin and Rollins, and while they may not be polished right now, they are offensively skilled players that can shoot, score, and both could pack a scoring punch to help the Warriors’ bench in the future. Santos is a project player that could project to be a 3 and D role player for the Warriors in the long run.
28. Patrick Baldwin Jr., F-C, Milwaukee
Baldwin is a very talented, but raw prospect that entered the college basketball season as a highly touted recruit. He is an agile, skilled big man that can shoot and score the basketball, and he has the capacity to play all three front court positions on the floor. He can score in bunches, and he has some point forward skills and the ability to defend well when engaged and motivated.
On the other hand, he had a disappointing, injury-plagued freshman season this year. Baldwin had to try to carry an under-talented team that lost a lot of games, and he took a lot of tough, contested shots that hurt his shooting percentages. He also had some lapses defensively, and sometimes didn’t seem to give enough effort on that side of the ball.
Baldwin is not a polished prospect by any means, but he still may have significant upside as a prospect for the NBA. In going to a veteran team that is also the smartest team in basketball, Baldwin will be going to a stable situation where he can develop slowly, and if he plays up to his potential, he could develop into a skilled, multi-faceted player that can shoot and provide his team with favorable mismatches to help his team in games in the future.
44. Ryan Rollins, G, Toledo
He is an agile, skilled combo guard that can score the basketball in a variety of ways, and he also has some playmaking and defensive skills. He will need to improve his three-point shot and show that he can guard taller opponents on the court, but Rollins is a versatile player that could pack a solid scoring punch to the Warriors in the future.
55. Gui Santos, G-F, Minas (Brazil)
This was a surprise selection, but Santos is an athletic swingman that can score and defend on the court. He is an energetic player that will make hustle plays, and he can finish plays above the rim. On the other hand, he will need to improve his jump shot and playmaking skills, and he may be making a fairly sizable leap from going from Brazil’s top league to the NBA. He is a talented prospect that will still need to time to develop his game, but in a few years, Santos could develop into a 3 and D role player similar to Juan Toscano-Anderson for the Warriors in this league.
The Golden State Warriors’ 2022 Draft Night: B- (17th Overall)
The Chicago Bulls were able to fill a need to help add to their roster. They didn’t get an elite offensive player or a high volume scorer in this draft, but they drafted an athletic, defensive-minded swingman in Dalen Terry to bolster their defense. It may not be an exciting move, but it may be a necessary move to strengthen their defense for next season.
18. Dalen Terry, G-F, Arizona
Terry was a low volume, 3 and D role player on one of the best teams in the country at Arizona this year, but it wasn’t thought that Terry would go this high, so this surprised plenty of people. While this pick may have been a bit of a reach, it could end up being a good pick in a few years.
Dalen Terry is a solid wing defender that can cover plenty of ground and can lock down his man. He is a tall, athletic playmaker that also has solid court vision and is a tall, point forward that can rack up assists. He runs the floor well and can score on fast breaks. On the other hand, he doesn’t take a lot of shots, isn’t likely to score much in this league, and he can be quite streaky with his jump shot. Terry may not likely end up becoming a star in this league, but he could project to be a solid wing defender similar to Philadelphia 76ers’ swingman, Matisse Thybulle in the NBA.
The Chicago Bulls’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: B- (18th Overall)
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers got two solid players, but it’s uncertain if they will be able to contribute much right away. Sharpe missed a full season of basketball, and he’s essentially trying to make the jump from high school to the NBA, in terms of actual game action. Walker is an athletic combo forward that could develop into a 3 and D role player in the NBA.
7. Shaedon Sharpe, G-F, Kentucky
He is sort of the mystery man of this draft, but he is a very athletic, physical swingman that has a great deal of upside. Sharpe is a high-motor player that can finish plays above the rim, and he is a rangy defender that covers a lot of ground to get steals and blocks. He also has improved his jump shot recently.
On the other hand, he didn’t play college basketball this year and may be making a sizable jump to the NBA. Also, the fit is a bit odd, because the Blazers are looking to win now with Damian Lillard, and Sharpe is more of a long-term prospect, as he may not be ready to contribute much right away. But if the Blazers are patient with him, they could be getting a really good player for them in the long term.
57. Jabari Walker, F, Colorado
He is an athletic, strong combo forward that could project well into a 3 and D role in the NBA. Walker helped his team lock down Baldwin in his team’s win over Milwaukee early in the season, and he is a versatile scorer that can make shots in a variety of ways. He will need to significantly improve his playmaking skills and he can sometimes run into foul trouble, but his ability to make shots and play aggressive defense could enable him to be a solid role player in the NBA.
The Portland Trail Blazers’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: B- (19th Overall)
There were a lot of rumors about the 76ers wanting to trade Matisse Thybulle and 23, but they kept Thybulle. They traded 23 and Danny Green to get De’Anthony Melton. In a vacuum, Melton is a good role player in the NBA, but the 76ers now have a lot of small guards, and they may not have enough length to effectively defend their main competitors in the East.
The 76ers add a solid role player that can score and defend, and Melton has been effective as a secondary ball mover on the court. On the other hand, the 76ers will now be quite small defensively, which may make it more difficult for them to effectively guard taller players, which was the trade off they apparently decided to make.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ 2022 Night Grade: C+ (20th Overall)
The Wizards were able to fill a need by selecting a productive perimeter player at 10 in Johnny Davis, and they also add a young, athletic center that could be a solid rim protector in the NBA in Nzosa at 54. However, Davis will need to improve his three-point shot and playmaking skills, and he will have to modernize his game more for the NBA. Nzosa is an unpolished big man that regressed offensively this year, and he will need to get a lot stronger and he will also need to improve significantly on that side of the ball.
10. Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin
He is a smooth, skilled swingman that had a very good sophomore season at Wisconsin this year. Davis is an aggressive scorer that plays with physicality, and he also is a very good rebounder and defender that can make a lot of plays on the ball. On the other hand, he will need to improve his three-point shot and playmaking skills, and while he is an above average athlete, he’s not particularly explosive. He’ll have to adjust more to the modern NBA game, but he is a smart, skilled guard that could likely be a solid role player in this league.
54. Yannick Nzosa, Unicaja Malaga (D.R. Congo)
Nzosa is a very tall, athletic center that came into the year projected as a potential high draft pick for this draft. He is an energetic, rim running big man that can rebound, block shots and play interior defense, and he has played in some of the toughest leagues in professional basketball.
However, he had a relatively disappointing season this year. Nzosa struggled to shoot or score the basketball this year, and his lack of strength or polish offensively made it tough for him to be nearly as effective as last year, as his opponents were able to adjust to him. Nzosa is a defensive-minded center that could project to be an upper tier rim protector in the NBA, but he is quite raw offensively, so this was an upside pick for the Wizards. Nzosa will need more time to develop his game, but this could be a solid pick if he can develop his offense to get it to at least a passable level for the foreseeable future.
The Washington Wizards’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: C+ (21st Overall)
New York Knicks
The Knicks gave up a lot just to get Kemba Walker off their roster, and maybe head coach Tom Thibodeau disliked him that much, as he was unwilling to play him in the second half of the season. They did manage to make a solid pick in selecting Trevor Keels in the second round, whose athleticism and scoring skills could pack the scoring punch the Knicks may sorely need off the bench, and Keels also may have the upside to develop into a dynamic, ball-handling star point guard in this league.
42. Trevor Keels, G, Duke
He is a strong, athletic point guard that can score and defend when he is on the floor. Keels had a tremendous Champions Classic at the start of the season, and he is a good shot-creating guard that excels as a scorer off the dribble. He has been inconsistent as a shooter and will need to improve his court vision, but he is a very talented guard that has elite physical tools and has the ability to develop into a solid player in the NBA.
2 2023 1st Round Picks (protected)
2025 1st Round Pick
The Knicks will be getting heavily protected, so they are almost likely to be late first round picks. They are not getting a high quality of picks, but they did get picks in quantity that could be either used in trades or for depth purposes in the future.
They essentially traded the 11th overall pick, Kemba Walker, and four second round picks to get three protected, likely late first round picks. That doesn’t sound like a great haul, but if they thought Kemba Walker’s presence on the roster was that bad, since their head coach Tom Thibodeau wouldn’t play him later in the year, then it’s an understandable move, especially that they are trying to clear cap space to try sign Jalen Brunson.
The New York Knicks’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: C+ (22nd Overall)
The Cleveland Cavaliers made a solid pick to get an athletic, sharpshooting swingman in Ochai Agbaji, but they also drafted multiple big men with their next batch of picks despite already having lots of big men on their roster, and they also didn’t add nearly enough skilled, perimeter players that can shoot the basketball.
14. Ochai Agbaji, G-F, Kansas
Ochai Agbaji is a very athletic swingman that finally put his skills altogether to have a strong senior season and he led his team to win the National Championship this year. He has the skills to be a solid role player. His strong athletic gifts enable him to score on hustle plays and he has the tools to be a good defender in this league. Agbaji is also a sharpshooter that thrives at making spot-up threes off the catch.
On the other hand, he’s not an elite ball handler and can struggle to create his own shot or make plays for others. He may not be an especially dynamic player in games, but Agbaji is a polished prospect that could be the quintessential 3 and D role player for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
39. Khalifa Diop, C, Gran Canaria (Senegal)
He is a strong, athletic big man that excelled as an interior player overseas this year. He is a solid finisher that can score in the post, and he also projects to be a plus-level rebounder and shot blocker. He’s not a very dynamic offensive player, but Diop may have the skills to be a solid backup center in the NBA.
49. Isaiah Mobley, F-C, USC
This is a feel good story, and the Cavaliers drafted Evan Mobley’s older brother into the NBA. Isaiah Mobley is a solid shooting and passing big man that can handle the basketball, and he could project to be a solid rotational big man. He had a very good junior season, and he was an underrated prospect who was likely undervalued by draft analysts all year long.
On the other hand, he’s not overly explosive, and his athletic limitations may prevent him from being much more than a solid rotational big man in the NBA, and he also has a lot of similar skills to a big man they already have on their roster, former Kansas State standout, Dean Wade.
56. Luke Travers, G-F, Perth (Australia)
He is a mobile, energetic swingman that plays with a chip on his shoulder, and he is a fundamentally sound player that could develop into a plus-level playmaker and defender in the NBA. Travers is a decorated international player that has won a title with Perth in the NBL, and he may have been a tad under-scouted this year. He projects to be a glue guy, and he definitely can make hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor.
On the other hand, he didn’t shoot the ball well at all, and he especially struggled from the outside in the NBL this year. The NBL is one of the toughest professional leagues, so Travers may have more shooting ability than he appeared to show this year. However, he will need to improve his jump shot and he’s not an elite athlete or shot creator, so he’s not likely going to be a volume scorer at the NBA level. Still, Travers is a high-motor swingman whose strong intangibles and feel for the game could enable him to be a defensive-minded, rotation player in the NBA.
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: C (23rd Overall)
The Grizzlies drafted a handful of strong, physical combo forwards that don’t exactly have explosive athleticism, but they already have a lot of forwards and centers on their roster already. Namely they have Brandon Clarke and Xavier Tillman, and while the players they drafted have the talent to be solid role players, it’s hard to project much playing time for most of the players they selected in this draft.
19. Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest
He is a skilled, high-motor combo forward that had a very good junior season at Wake Forest this year, and the Grizzlies traded up to get him at 19. It was a surprise pick, considering that LaRavia wasn’t on many people’s radars to begin the season, and he was thought to go in the late first to the early second round range, and as the Grizzlies traded up three spots to get him, they probably could’ve stayed put to take him at 22.
LaRavia is a fundamentally sound forward that shoots and passes the ball well, but he is only an average athlete and may struggle against quicker, more athletic opponents. He consistently plays hard, and he could be a fairly solid rotation player in this league, but it’s a bit of an odd trade for the Grizzlies, considering that they made the trade up to take a player that may not have nearly as much upside as the other prospects that were taken in this range. On top of that, the Grizzlies have a lot of similar players and forwards, so there may be a lot of players at his spot battling for playing time, which could prevent LaRavia from getting much run in the NBA next season.
23. David Roddy, F, Colorado State
He is a strong, physical forward that has a fairly solid set of all-around skills, and he had a very good junior season for Colorado State this year. He is a big, physical player that has shown some point forward skills, and he showed off a much-improved outside shot. Roddy has the size, strength, and the footwork to be a multi-positional defender at the next level. He is a smart, skilled player whose versatility could enable him to thrive and have a long career in this league.
On the other hand, he’s not particularly fast nor is explosively athletic, and he has a lot of similar skills that may overlap with LaRavia and other forwards that are currently on the Grizzlies’ roster. Roddy is a solid prospect, but the concern is that because the Grizzlies are drafting very similar types of players and already have a deep and talented roster, there may be concerns if there will be enough playing time for Roddy and LaRavia in the short term.
38. Kennedy Chandler, G, Tennessee
He is a speedy, fleet-footed playmaking guard that played well in his freshman season at Tennessee this year. Chandler can shoot, score, and pass the basketball, and he played better as the season progressed. However, sometimes he can tend to play too wildly on offense, and his lack of size may make it difficult for him to defend taller players. Still, this was a great pick up for Memphis, as they especially were able to get him here at 38, and Chandler has the skills to be a solid role player in this league.
47. Vince Williams Jr., G-F, VCU
He is an athletic, energetic swingman that projects into a 3 and D role in the NBA. He doesn’t take a lot of shots and doesn’t project to be an especially dynamic offensive player, but he can knock down spot-up threes, and he will bring tough, tenacious defense, as the combination of those things could enable him to be a reliable rotation player in this league.
He is a veteran, 3 and D player that was thrown into the Melton-Roddy deal. His contract is also not guaranteed, and he will likely miss next season due to blowing out an ACL in the playoffs. Therefore, there is a very real chance that Danny Green will not play a single minute for the Grizzlies either next year or in the future.
The Memphis Grizzlies’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: C (24th Overall)
The Nuggets were able to get two promising forwards, but while they did draft talented players with their two first round picks, they may have reached, especially with the 30th overall pick to make their moves in this year’s draft. Drafting Braun was an adequate, if unspectacular move, and the Nuggets will get to add a polished role player to their rotation, but the Watson pick was a real head scratcher and it looks to be a significant reach.
The Nuggets are a win now team, and they may be drafting a player that will be less polished than another player they failed to develop, which was Bol Bol. Watson is a very athletic swingman that has the physical tools to be a shutdown defender, and in a vacuum, he could still end up being a solid role player in the NBA if developed properly. However at UCLA, he really struggled to shoot, score, or make plays on offense, and Denver might have a hard time crafting a role for him on offense in the short term. The Nuggets didn’t have enough patience to develop Bol Bol, so it may be hard for them to wait around and give Watson enough time for him to develop into a passable offensive player in the NBA.
The Nuggets also made a solid pick by selecting Kamagate with the 46th pick after they made a trade with Portland. Kamagate is an athletic, defensive-minded center that can block a lot of shots and protect the rim, but he still will need to further improve his offensive skills.
21. Christian Braun, G-F, Kansas
He’s a solid role player that had a very good junior season at Kansas that culminated in helping to lead his team to win the National Championship this year. He doesn’t do much that visually stands out, but Braun is a versatile scorer that operates well as a secondary ball mover, and he is also a solid position defender. He may not have much upside and only possesses above average athletic gifts, but Braun could thrive as a versatile role player in this league.
30. Peyton Watson, G-F, UCLA
This selection was clearly an upside pick, and the Watson pick is both a bold and curious one, as he may have plenty of it. However, I feel this pick may have been a major reach for the Nuggets to take Watson in the first round at 30. On one hand, Watson was a highly touted recruit that showed some point forward skills when he was in high school, and he is a long, very athletic swingman that has shown the tools and the talent to be one of the best wing defenders to come out of this draft. On his best nights, Watson can play shut down defense and lock down his opponents in games.
However, Watson really struggled in college basketball this year as a freshman. While the college game is considerably different from the NBA and is played at a much faster pace, Watson was extremely unproductive on offense at UCLA this year, and he also had trouble getting much playing time. This year, Watson didn’t shoot the ball very well at all, and sometimes would miss layups from point blank range. For a very athletic swingman, he is not a particularly good finisher around the basket, and he also didn’t showcase the same point forward skills he seemed to have in high school.
Watson may be a player that may have the type of potential that comes in spades, and he is a long, very athletic wing player that defends well. However, he is also a developmental project that has a long way to go offensively, and he will really have to work on his jump shot and figure out an offensive role that can help him earn minutes and stay on the floor in the NBA.
46. Ismael Kamagate, C, Paris Basketball (France)
He is a very athletic, energetic center that projects well into a rim protector role in the NBA. He will need to improve his skill set offensively, but he has the talent to be a solid role player in this league.
2 future 2nd Round picks
The Nuggets added two future second round picks along with the 30th overall pick as part of the JaMychal Green trade in which they also traded away a 2027 protected, first round pick.
The Denver Nuggets’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: C (25th Overall)
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers drafted a project player in Max Christie, as he is an athletic swingman that projects into a 3 and D role, but he didn’t shoot quite as well as expected, and he may need some time to develop before he could step in to reliably contribute at the NBA level.
The Lakers are trying to win now with LeBron, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook on their roster, and while it’s a good long-term move to add Christie, selecting him at 35 is a bit curious and may be a bit of a reach because he may lack the offensive polish to add much to their team next season.
35. Max Christie, G-F, Michigan State
Christie came into the college basketball season as a highly touted recruit. He had an up and down freshman season at Michigan State. Christie came in projected to be a sharpshooter, but he didn’t quite shoot nearly as well as expected. On the other hand, he played much more energetically than expected, and he is an athletic, energetic swingman that will make hustle plays to help his team on both ends of the floor. He’s not quite a polished prospect, but he has the tools that could enable him to project fairly well into a 3 and D role in the NBA.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: D+ (26th Overall)
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers only had one pick, and they used it to select a project big man who may be a ways away from being ready to contribute offensively at the NBA level. Diabate is a very athletic big man that has motor in spades, but he will need to be a more consistent player on a game-to-game basis.
43. Moussa Diabate, F-C, Michigan
He is a very athletic, energetic big man that had an up and down freshman season at Michigan this year. He came in as a highly touted recruit, but was inconsistent at making plays over the course of the season. He is a high motor player that can help shore up a team’s interior, but he will need to improve his skill level offensively. Still, he is a talented prospect that could develop into a solid role player in the NBA if he can put his skills altogether.
The Los Angeles Clippers’ 2022 Draft Night Grade: D+ (27th Overall)
These were my thoughts on various NBA teams did in the 2022 NBA Draft. Time will tell to see how they actually fared, but these were my snapshot impressions of how they fared in the moment. It was fun to see these teams make picks and trades, and it will be a fun NBA season next year. Thanks for reading.