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Raphielle’s 2022 NBA Mock Draft, Vol. 4

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It’s finally draft day, and it’s expected things could start to go crazy once the Kings are on the board with the fourth overall pick. But it might be a little late, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday that the Pistons and Trail Blazers agreed on a deal around Straw Grant. In exchange for Grant, the Pistons would receive a 2025 first-round pick (via Milwaukee; top-4 secured) and a 2025 second-round pick, with the two teams also trading a 2022 second-round pick (Detroit’s 36th vs. Portland locations). And that is not all. Denver will receive a 2025 second-round pick from Portland, while Detroit will receive the most favorable 2026 second-round pick between Portland and New Orleans.

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The 2022 second round pick swap doesn’t really matter here. What? Portland holds the 7th overall pick, which could be included in another trade. According to Sportzshala’s Chris Haynes, this choice could be used in an attempt to acquire a Raptors wing. And Anunobi. With the Trail Blazers rebuilding around Damian Lillard, it’s obvious that the timing of creating an opponent is critical. It is clear that the front office is struggling to organize a rotation that could be a factor in the West.

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With that part of the business cleared up, let’s move on to the final pre-draft layout, where the betting lines offer a big curve ball early Thursday morning. Paolo Bankerowhose chances of being first overall had improved earlier in the week, was listed by several bookmakers as the favorite to hear his name be called first (-200 per PointsBetWith Jabari Smith the second at +120). To say the change is interesting would be a huge understatement. Bookmakers know something? Or is Smith still the player most likely to go first? Good luck trying to figure it out.

First round

one. Orlando: PF Jabari Smith (Auburn)

Smith was the favorite to bet on first place overall. PointsBet listing their odds at -450 as of Wednesday night. But then the shift mentioned above happened, so what are the players to do? I stick with Smith here. Former Auburn’s offensive skill set is enticing, even with the need to keep improving his mid-range performance, and he’s also a solid defender whose motor skills are undeniable. Depending on the matchup, Smith can be used in either a four or a five, and eventually a three-of-a-kind if the young phenom can tighten his knob. Since there is still no specific schedule Jonathan Isaac back on the court, adding Smith to the herd could help in that regard as well.

2. Oklahoma City: S/PF Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)

Many viewed Holmgren as the most likely alternative to Smith as the first overall pick, but that may not be the case given the shift that took place early Thursday morning. PointsBet near former Gonzaga center at -130 to be selected second overall, and Oklahoma City is a very good fit for Holmgren. Ability to make it progress together Alexey Pokushevsky would be very interesting to watch in Oklahoma City and the Thunder also have young frontcourt players like Darius Basley as well as Jeremiah Robinson Earl in the register. From a fantasy standpoint, the biggest issue will be that Oklahoma City won’t hesitate to close Holmgren at the end of the season, as they did with Josh Giddy.

3. Houston: PF Paolo Bankero (Duke)

As noted above, Banchero’s chances of finishing first overall at the start of the week had skyrocketed, and now there’s another shift in his favor. Banchero was the top betting favorite as of early Thursday morning, but Wojnarowski reported that the top three picks were “increasingly firm”: Smith, Holmgren and Bunchero. A former standout Duke heading to Houston would make him an incredibly valuable fantasy rookie due to his playing ability and the fact that the Rockets were operating without a “traditional” point guard, with Kevin Porter Jr. having filled that role last season.

four. Sacramento: PF Keegan Murray (Iowa)

Here’s where you can have some fun. It was reported that the Kings might be interested in postponing this selection if the price was right. Jayden Ivey (-171 to rank 4th overall PointsBet) is pursued by several teams. If not, who would be the best available player on the Sacramento board? The case can certainly be made for Ivy, but there are questions about the fit due to the presence De’Aaron Fox as well as Davion Mitchell. Another option would be Murray, a versatile forward who was one of the most progressive players in college basketball last season. Murray listed +150 can be selected here by PointsBet.

5. Detroit: PG/SG Jayden Ivey (Purdue)

As noted in the introduction, the Pistons were already active in closing a deal that would send Grant to Portland. Ivey would be interesting here as the Pistons chose Cade Cunningham last season. Cunningham partnership and Killian Hayes didn’t work since both were playing their best basketball Duane Casey did more to hit their minutes. Ivey would have been a better fit alongside Cunningham due to his combination of athleticism and perimeter shooting ability, as Hayes lacked the latter in his two seasons in the NBA.

6. Indiana: SG Benedict Maturin (Arizona)

The Pacers are another team that could be active after Thursday’s draft as a veteran quarterback. Malcolm Brogdonthe name comes up quite often in trade rumors. Given his recent injury issues and the arrival Tyrese Halliburton at the exchange deadline, moving Brogdon and making room in the cap can be attractive. Maturin is a highly athletic defender who has had notable success as a goalscorer. He defends his position well, and the tools Maturin offers will help the Pacers explain Brogdon’s departure if they make a deal.

7. Portland: SG / PG Dyson Daniels (G-league ignition)

The Blazers have already made one deal in an attempt to rebuild their roster around Damian Lillard; is it possible to move this master key to make another one? Daniels’ defensive ability is now his hallmark, but he showed signs of offensive promise as his only G-League season came to an end. Considering this is a drafting moment where it can be difficult to find players capable of immediately helping out in the playoffs, it’s not surprising if the Blazers used this pick to sweeten another trade. Actually, Chris Haynes from Sportzshala Sports reported Wednesday evening that Portland could use the 7th overall pick in an attempt to acquire the Raptors wing. And Anunobi.

eight. Residents of New Orleans (from Los Angeles Lakers): PG/SG Schaedon Sharp (Kentucky)

Sharp is the “mystery man” of this draft class due to not playing at all since joining the Kentucky program in January. New Orleans has a young and talented lineup that will only get better with a comeback Zion Williamson, and for that reason there can’t be much pressure on a lottery player to contribute immediately. Reports of Sharp’s performance in pre-draft practice were all over the place, with some saying he wasn’t all that different from the field, and others praising the young guard a lot. Opportunity to learn ropes from a guard such as CJ McCollum would not be the worst thing for Sharpe, and it should also be noted that Kira Lewis Jr. still coming back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

9. Saint Anthony: FROM Jalen Duren (Memphis)

Düren is a sports center that does most of the damage on both ends of the court in the paint. It runs well on the floor and is also a good rim protector, but the level of effort was sometimes an issue. San Antonio would be a good place for him to land, between the presence Gregg Popovich and how the team uses its G League subsidiary. FROM Jacob Poeltl ahead of the contract year and backups Zach Collins as well as Jock Landale both have partially guaranteed contracts for next season, which could sway San Antonio’s opinion.

ten. Washington: SG Johnny Davis (Wisconsin)

Status Bradley Beal, which denied recent reports that he opted out of the last season of his contract, is the biggest storyline for Washington heading into draft night. Regardless of what happens to the Wizards star, the need for more help on the perimeter is clear. Davis, who has some work as a perimeter sharpshooter, is capable of hitting the spot from a dribble and is also a reliable defender. The addition of Davis to the team could also open the door for the Wizards to have even more ball possession in Beal’s hands, but it will still be necessary to sign a more experienced point guard as a free agent.

eleven. New York: SF Usman Dieng (New Zealand Breakers)

The Knicks need a point guard, which has been talked about for a long time. In that case, would the team consider trading this pick in an attempt to strengthen their position? Dallas’ Jalen Brunson will be a free agent and New York is expected to run after him. In terms of possible trades, the game could also be either a promotion in the draft or the search for a veteran like the aforementioned Brogdon. If New York holds that pick, Dieng won’t fit into that form, but the progress he’s shown as a scorer in the second half of last season is encouraging. He will need to be a more consistent attacking option, but in New York he will not be in a position to be asked to score too many points on the wing all at once.

12. Oklahoma City (from Los Angeles Clippers): PF Jeremy Sochan (Baylor)

Sochan’s versatility in defense is his main advantage at this stage of development, but there are many…


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