The 2022 NBA Draft is quickly approaching, and draft boards are changing frequently. David Cobb of CBS Sports has now released his latest NBA mock draftand he took the time to highlight Iowa’s Keegan Murray as someone who could have a lot of volatility.
At 21-years-old, Murray is older than much of this draft class, but that should not keep NBA scouts from taking a long look at him near the top of the draft. Cobb writes that Murray has done enough on the court to dispel those age concerns.
“If you took the names off the front of the jerseys, threw age out the window and discarded recruiting accolades, it would be interesting to see how perceptions around the top of the 2022 NBA Draft class would change,” Cobb writes. “Keegan Murray of Iowa, who is ranked no. 8 on the CBS Sports NBA Draft Big Board, might be the biggest benefactor in those circumstances.”
Continue reading to see how Cobb projects the entire first round.
1. Houston Rockets | Paolo Banchero | PF | Duke
Banchero was the 247Sports Composite’s No. 2 overall player in the 2021 signing class, and played up to that level last season. Banchero averaged 17.2 points. 7.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game last season. During Duke’s run to the Final Four, Banchero took his game to another level. Even in the Blue Devils’ loss to North Carolina, Banchero notched a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
From CBS Sports: “Banchero is the safest bet in the upper range of the lottery this year because of his NBA-ready frame and the fact that he can already score at all three levels.”
2. Orlando Magic | Jabari Smith | PF | Auburn
Smith, another five-star recruit in the 2021 signing class, became Auburn’s most lethal offensive weapon as a true freshman. Smith showed great shooting ability beyond the arc by knocking down 42.0% of his three-point attempts. In the process, Smith scored 16.9 points per game while also averaging 7.4 rebounds per night. His combination of size and shooting ability should make him a star at the next level.
From CBS Sports: “A 6-10 player who is an elite outside shooter is incredibly rare in college basketball, where traditional bigs abound some teams deploy two classic post players in the same lineup.”
3. Detroit Pistons | Keegan Murray | PF | Iowa
After starting in four games as a freshman, Murray played a much bigger role for the Hawkeyes in the 2021-22 season. He started in all 35 of Iowa’s games, and Murray led the team to a Big Ten Tournament championship. Murray was a scoring machine with an average of 23.5 points per game, but he also contributed on defense with just under two blocks per contest. Murray may be older than some players around him, but that could help him make an impact quickly.
From CBS Sports: “But if you throw out age and just look at the game, there is a chance that Murray could be the first player from this draft class to make an NBA All-Star game.”
4. Oklahoma City Thunder | Chet Holmgren | c | Gonzaga
Holmgren may need to add more weight to his massive frame, but that was no issue at Gonzaga last season. The No. 1 player in the 247Sports Composite rankings for the 2021 class, Holmgren dominated for the Bulldogs this year. At 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, Holmgren narrowly missed out on averaging a double-double on the year. It will be interesting to see how much of his physical traits affect his draft stock.
From CBS Sports: “If concerns over Holmgren’s physicality and ability to handle the rigors of the NBA with a lanky 7-foot frame wind up pushing him out of the conversation to be the No. 1 pick, then he’ll be an unbelievable value in this range.”
5. Indiana Pacers | Jaden Ivey | SG | Purdue
Jaden Ivey improved his three-point shooting this past season, and it really paid off for him. Ivey shot 35.8% from beyond the arc, which was an improvement of roughly 10% from his freshman season. That resulted in Ivey averaging 17.3 points per game, which was significantly better than his 11.1 points per game in 2020-21. Ivey even got a pretty favorable comparison in this edition of the CBS Sports NBA mock draft.
From CBS Sports: “The way Ivey gets downhill and finishes in the paint and at the rim with a combination of athleticism and touch is reminiscent of Ja Morant.”
6 Portland Trail Blazers | Shaedon Sharpe | SG | Kentucky
Sharpe was a five-star recruit and the No. 3 overall player in the 2021 signing class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. After coming to Lexington with a lot of hype, Sharpe never played a game for Kentucky. Despite not putting anything on film at the college level, Sharpe is still one of the most sought after prospects in this class.
From CBS Sports: “He’s billed as an athletic shooting guard with the explosiveness to create shots and finish at the rim, and he wound up as the No. 3 prospect ranked in the 2021 recruiting class.”
7. Sacramento Kings | Ochai Agbaji | SG | Kansas
Agbaji could go from winning a national championship to becoming a top-10 pick in the NBA Draft just a few months later. That’s not a bad summer. Agbaji improved steadily in his four seasons with the Jayhawks, and that culminated with him averaging 18.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game as a senior. Along with the national title, Agbaji also earned consensus first-team All-American honors. He is one of the more decorated players in this year’s draft class..
From CBS Sports: “Depending on where he lands, Agbaji could make an NBA team better immediately as a plug and play 3-and-D wing.”
8. New Orleans Pelicans | AJ Griffin | SF | Duke
Coming to the Blue Devils as a five-star recruit in the 2021 signing class, it took some time for Griffin to work his way into the starting lineup. Once he did, Griffin made the most of that opportunity. While knocking down an impressive 44.7% of his three-point attempts, Griffin averaged 10.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. That outside shooting will be very attractive to NBA front offices.
From CBS Sports: “If Cam Johnson can get drafted 11th overall at 23 years old and become a key player for one of the NBA’s best teams, then Griffin can absolutely go in the top 10.”
9. San Antonio Spurs | Tari Season | PF | LSU
Eason transferred from Cincinnati to LSU ahead of the 2021-22 season, and that decision worked out very well for him. The Tigers mainly used Eason off the bench, and he was incredibly effective in that role. In just over 24 minutes per game, Eason averaged 16.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.0 assists. The 6-foot-4 forward even boasts a decent shot from the outside.
From CBS Sports: “Eason enjoyed a breakout sophomore season after transferring to LSU from Cincinnati. He can score at all three levels and is a high-upside, versatile defender.”
10. Washington Wizards | Jeremy Sochan | PF | Baylor
Sochan came out of high school as the No. 115 recruit in the 2021 signing class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings. He started in just one game this past season, but Sochan was incredibly valuable to the Bears off the bench. He provided some punch in that role, and he averaged 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. If there is one thing Sochan must improve, it’s his shooting from range.
From CBS Sports: “Assuming he improves on the 29.6% 3-point mark he posted in one season at Baylor, Sochan should play in the league for a long time.”
11. New York Knicks | Bennedict Mathurin | SG | Arizona
12. Oklahoma City Thunder | Johnny Davis | SF | Wisconsin
13. Charlotte Hornets | Ty Ty Washington | PG | Kentucky
14. Cleveland Cavaliers | Kendall Brown | SF | Baylor
15. Charlotte Hornets | Dyson Daniels | SG | G League
The skinny: Mathurin was a machine for Arizona this past season as he helped the program capture the Pac-12 regular season…