The 2022 NBA Draft features a star-studded class with four legitimate options to go No. 1 overall at the top of the board. The Orlando Magic are on the clock with the first pick, followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, and Detroit Pistons to round out the top five.
SB Nation has been covering this draft class all year, and now we’ll finally know who is going where as draft night arrives.
Auburn forward Jabari Smith Jr., Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren, and Duke forward Paolo Banchero gives this draft three players standing at least 6’10 with distinct skill sets at the top of the class. Smith is the best shooter, Holmgren is the best defender, and Banchero is the best passer and shot creator. There’s also Jaden Ivey, the 6’4 Purdue guard who might be the best pure athlete available.
Check out our top-60 big board, as well as our breakdowns of Banchero, Holmgren, and Ivey. Additionally, you can bet on the draft order at DraftKings Sportsbook, and check out our first 2023 mock draft here.
We’ll be keeping you updated with every pick, as well as links to all of the great coverage around the SB Nation communities below the table. As a reminder, there are only 58 picks in the draft this year instead of the normal 60 total, as the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat both lost their second-round picks as part of their respective punishments for tampering charges handed down by the league.
NBA Draft 2022 tracker: Every pick in this year’s draft
|1||Orlando Magic||Paolo Banchero||Duke||Forward||Freshman|
|2||Oklahoma City Thunder||Chet Holmgren||Gonzaga||Forward/Big||Freshman|
|3||Houston Rockets||Jabari Smith Jr.||Auburn||Forward/Big||Freshman|
|4||Sacramento Kings||Keegan Murray||Iowa||Forward||Sophomore|
|5||Detroit Pistons||Jaden Ivey||Purdue||Guard||Sophomore|
|6||Indiana Pacers||Bennedict Mathurin||Arizona||Guard||Sophomore|
|7||Portland Trail Blazers||Shaedon Sharpe||Kentucky||Guard||Freshman|
|8||New Orleans Pelicans||Dyson Daniels||G League||Wing||Born 2003|
|9||San Antonio Spurs||Jeremy Sochan||Baylor||Forward||Freshman|
|10||Washington Wizards||Johnny Davis||Wisconsin||Guard||Sophomore|
|11||Oklahoma City Thunder||Ousmane Dieng||France||Forward||Born 2003|
|12||Oklahoma City Thunder||Jalen Williams||Santa Clara||Guard||Junior|
|13||Detroit Pistons (via Hornets)||Jalen Duren||Memphis||Center||Freshman|
|14||Cleveland Cavaliers||Ochai Agbaji||Kansas||Wing||Senior|
|15||Charlotte Hornets||Mark Williams||Duke||Center||Freshman|
|16||Atlanta Hawks||AJ Griffin||Duke||Wing||Freshman|
|17||Houston Rockets||Tari Eason||LSU||Forward||Sophomore|
|18||Chicago Bulls||Dalen Terry||Arizona||Wing||Sophomore|
|19||Memphis Grizzlies||Jake LaRavia||Wake Forest||Forward||Junior|
|20||San Antonio Spurs||Malaki Branham||Ohio State||Guard||Freshman|
|21||Denver Nuggets||Christian Braun||Kansas||Guard||Junior|
|22||Minnesota Timberwolves||Walker Kessler||Auburn||Center||Sophomore|
|23||Memphis Grizzlies||David Roddy||Colorado State||Wing||Junior|
|24||Milwaukee Bucks||MarJon Beauchamp||G League||Wing||Born 2000|
|25||San Antonio Spurs (via Celtics)||Blake Wesley||Notre Dame||Guard||Freshman|
|26||Minnesota Timberwolves||Wendell Moore||Duke||Guard||Junior|
|27||Miami Heat||Nikola Jovic||Serbia||Forward||Born 2003|
|28||Golden State Warriors||Patrick Baldwin Jr.||Milwaukee||Forward||Freshman|
|29||Houston Rockets||TyTy Washington||Kentucky||Guard||Freshman|
|30||Denver Nuggets||Peyton Watson||UCLA||Wing||Freshman|
|31||Indiana Pacers||Andrew Nemhard||Gonzaga||Guard||Senior|
|32||Orlando Magic||Caleb Houstan||Michigan||Forward||Freshman|
|33||Toronto Raptors||Christian Koloko||Arizona||Center||Junior|
|34||Oklahoma City Thunder||Jaylin Williams||Arkansas||Forward||Sophomore|
|35||Los Angeles Lakers||Max Christie||Michigan State||Guard||Freshman|
|36||Detroit Pistons||Gabriele Procida||Italy||Forward||Born 2002|
|37||Dallas Mavericks (via Kings)||Jaden Hardy||G League||Guard||Born 2002|
|38||Memphis Grizzlies (via Spurs)||Kennedy Chandler||Tennessee||Guard||Freshman|
|39||Cleveland Cavaliers||Khalifa Diop||Senegal||Center||Born 2002|
|40||Charlotte Hornets (via Wolves)||Bryce McGowens||Nebraska||Guard||Freshman|
|41||New Orleans Pelicans||EJ Liddell||Ohio State||Forward||Junior|
|42||New York Knicks||Trevor Keels||Duke||Guard||Freshman|
|43||LA Clippers||Moussa Diabate||Michigan||Forward||Freshman|
|44||Golden State Warriors (via Hawks)||Ryan Rollins||Toledo||Guard||Sophomore|
|45||Minnesota Timberwolves (via Hornets)||Josh Minott||Memphis||Forward||Freshman|
|46||Denver Nuggets (via Blazers/Pistons)||Ismael Kamagate||France||Center||Born 2001|
|47||Memphis Grizzlies||Vince Williams||VCU||Wing||Senior|
|48||Indiana Pacers (via Wolves)||Kendall Brown||Baylor||Guard||Freshman|
|49||Cleveland Cavaliers||Isaiah Mobley||USC||Forward||Junior|
|50||Minnesota Timberwolves||Matteo Spagnolo||Italy||Guard||Born 2003|
|51||Atlanta Hawks (via Warriors)||Tyrese Martin||UConn||Guard||Senior|
|52||New Orleans Pelicans||Karlo Matkovic||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Forward||Born 2001|
|53||Boston Celtics||JD Davison||Alabama||Guard||Freshman|
|54||Washington Wizards||Yannick Nzosa||DR Congo||Center||Born 2003|
|55||Milwaukee Bucks (via Warriors)||Gui Santos||Brazil||Wing||Born 2002|
|56||Cleveland Cavaliers||Luke Travers||Australia||Forward||Born 2001|
|57||Portland Trail Blazers||Jabari Walker||Colorado||Forward||Sophomore|
|58||Milwaukee Bucks (via Pacers)||Hugo Besson||France||Guard||Born 2001|
We’ll be linking out to SB Nation’s team site coverage below as the first round of the draft moves along.
1. Orlando Magic – Paolo Banchero, F, Duke
By picking the 6-10 forward out of Duke, the Magic got arguably the top offensive prospect of the three players who were presumed to be in contention for the top overall pick, potentially giving the Magic a sorely-needed creator.
Banchero possess advanced ball-handling and playmaking skills for a big, displaying an ability to create that Jabari Smith and Chet Holmgren did not consistently show at the collegiate level. That should help a Magic team that was among the worst teams in the league in many key offensive categories last season. — Mike Cali, Orlando Pinstriped Post
2. Oklahoma City Thunder – Chet Holmgren, F, Gonzaga
Holmgren was our No. 2 prospect in the class, and feels like a great fit for the Thunder’s long-term rebuild. Oklahoma City already has two gifted young guards who can create good looks for others but have shaky outside shots in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey. Holmgren gives them a front court player with extreme length (7’6 wingspan), the ability to space the floor to three-point range on offense, and incredible shot-blocking skills on defense. He was one of the most productive players in the country as a freshman at Gonzaga, and has essentially aced every test he’s faced since first emerging as a top prospect in the high school ranks. It’s easy to question Holmgren’s translation because of his thin frame, but his tools, statistical output, and relentless motor makes him an easy player to bet on. The Thunder got a good one. — Ricky O’Donnell, SB Nation
3. Houston Rockets – Jabari Smith Jr., F, Auburn
This was an unexpected scenario for the Rockets, but a good one, in my opinion, as I feel Smith was the clear best player in the draft. He has elite shooting and elite defense and should be a complement to Jalen Green and if he reaches his ceiling, will be everything the Rockets had hoped Christian Wood would be.
This is an absolute win for the Rockets as far as I’m concerned, as Smith is the kind of guy who can fit in just about anywhere, especially a team like the Rockets who need all of the skills that Smith brings to the table. — Darren Yuvan, The Dream Shake
4. Sacramento Kings – Keegan Murray, F, Iowa
Murray is a good fit alongside Domantas Sabonis in the frontcourt, with his shooting and defense, two skills Sacramento lacks roster-wide.
The biggest question with this pick is whether Sacramento drafted based on need rather than overall talent. Most draft prognosticators had Jaden Ivey out of Purdue as one of the top-four players in this class, with Murray on the outside looking in. Murray has often been considered one of the most “NBA-ready” prospects in the draft, which likely factored into Sacramento’s calculus with this pick… It’s clear that the majority of NBA Draft media disagree with the pick, but only time will tell if this was the correct selection. — Leo Tochterman, Sactown Royalty
5. Detroit Pistons – Jaden Ivey, G, Purdue
With Ivey the Pistons are also adding something they have lacked for nearly a decade, which is a player that gets to the rim and the free-throw line with ease. Ivey averaged 7.3 free throws per 40 minutes last season and had both 200 shot attempts at the rim and over 200 free throws.
While Ivey is 6-foot-4, he’s not a natural point guard but is able to take some of the creation and ball-handling duties off of Cunningham shoulders as a capable secondary playmaker and self-creator. — Sean Corp, Detroit Bad Boys
6. Indiana Pacers – Benedict Mathurin, G, Arizona
Mathurin steps in following his sophomore year with the Wildcats, scoring 17.7 points per game, averaging 5.6 rebounds. Being linked so long in the draft process with the Pacers, Caitlin Cooper and Mark Schlindler brought a great breakdown to Indy Cornrows just days after the Lottery.
One thing the Pacers are looking to get with Mathurin is his shot-making ability. Though he shot 45% from the field and 37% from three, he excelled in contested attempts but did struggle with isolation. Mathurin did have a successful March, scoring 27 points in the Pac-12 Championship and 30 in an overtime thriller against TCU to guide Arizona to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. — Nathan S., Indy Cornrows
7. Portland Trail Blazers – Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky
Sharpe burst into the spotlight with his multi-faceted offensive game in the 2021 EYBL sessions. On the perimeter, Sharpe has the framework and athleticism of a modern first option. He creates space with ease off the dribble and around screens. Sharpe has a smooth, rise-and-fire shot form from beyond the arc. His mechanics should allow him to create for himself from all three levels once he develops. Inside the arc, Sharpe is an excellent finisher. He can complete highlight-worthy dunks and shield the ball from defenders with nifty layups… Sharpe has the frame and ball skills to blossom into a dominant force at the NBA level. He could also flame out against tougher competition at the next level. When you consider those two potential outcomes, it is clear that Sharpe has a chasm between his floor and ceiling. — Steve DeWald, Blazer’s Edge
8. New Orleans Pelicans – Dyson Daniels, Wing, G League
For a team with CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson as obvious focal offensive stars, with Jonas Valanciunas and Trey Murphy in support, there’s going to be a necessity for more connectors who do just about everything else on the court than score in volume. Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado are fantastic, but the Pelicans need more players of this ilk. Daniels fits this mold, with the talent and size to grow into something more down the road.
If everything goes right, he could eventually become what the Pelicans were probably hoping that Lonzo Ball would develop into: a big guard who can score at every level, involve teammates, especially in transition, and defend just about anyone on the court. — Oleh Kosel, The Bird Writes
9. San Antonio Spurs – Jeremy Sochan, F, Baylor
With the 9th pick in the 2022 NBA draft, the Spurs selected Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan. In doing so, they took a big step towards regaining the reputation as a defense-oriented program that has eluded them since they parted ways with Kawhi Leonard.
For those unfamiliar with the 6’9” forward, he was arguably the best defensive prospect on the entire class. His numbers on that end were impressive, but what really stood out about his performance was his intensity and versatility. Despite having prototypical power forward size, the 19-year-old was able to both stay with guards on the perimeter on switches and battle with bigger opponents. He’s the type of player who sets the tone on that end with his energy level and makes up for other’s weaknesses. While he won’t likely rack up the type of counting stats that turn heads at the NBA level, Sochan could make an impact from Day 1 and has the potential to truly be the leader of an elite defense someday. — Jesus Gomez, Pounding the Rock
10. Washington Wizards – Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin
Davis is coming off his sophomore season for the Badgers, where he averaged 19.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He won the Jerry West and Lute Olson awards for his accomplishments in the 2021-22 college basketball season.
In Washington, Davis will add to a wing rotation that includes Bradley Beal, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert. It will be interesting to see if Washington makes more moves involving wing players in the coming days.
Davis is also the son of Mark, a former NBA player who was at Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va. for college in the 1980s. — Albert Lee, Bullets Forever
11. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Knicks) – Ousmane Dieng, F, France
The Knicks sent this pick to the Thunder in return for multiple future first rounders. Dieng fits everything OKC wants: a young, long, toolsy wing who has no pressure to immediately contribute. Dieng is a 6’10 French forward who played for the New Zealand Breakers of the NBL and got better and better as the season went on. The appeal of Dieng of his ability to play out on the perimeter offensively with such great size. He can handle the ball a bit, and showed promise shooting it from three-point range. Defensively, he’s going to need to add strength to his frame, but has showed good rim protection instincts as the low man at times. Dieng might be a couple years away from contributing at the NBA level, but the Thunder are also a couple years away (at least) from competing. This is a good upside swing to take. — Ricky O’Donnell, SB Nation
12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jalen Williams, G, Santa Clara
Williams was a three-year college player out of Santa Clara who was the biggest winner of the draft combine for his ridiculous measurements and impressive performance in the scrimmages. Williams is a 6’6 wing with an absurd 7’2 wingspan who shot 40 percent from three-point range and also graded out in the 90th percentile of pick-and-roll ball handling. The knock on Williams is his lack of elite quickness. While he did post excellent vertical leaping numbers, he’s someone who very much has to use crafty dribble moves to get where he wants on the floor. Williams’ advanced numbers were worse than you would like for a three-year lottery pick in a mid-major conference, which shows the impact of that lack of athleticism in our opinion. Still, the Thunder need wings and need shooting, and Williams checks both boxes. This is earlier than everyone expected him to go. Williams can contribute now while No. 11 pick Ousmane Dieng develops down the line. — Ricky O’Donnell, SB Nation
13. Detroit Pistons (via Hornets) – Jalen Duren, C, Memphis
Detroit Pistons Troy Weaver said he was going to be aggressive this offseason, and he was true to his word. He sent Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers the day before the draft, and he used a pick secured in that trade to trade back into tonight’s NBA Draft lottery to draft coveted big man Jalen Duren of Memphis… Duren is one of the most athletic big men in the draft, which is a theme for Weaver after drafting perhaps the most athletic guard in Jaden Ivey at No. 5.
Duren is 6-foot-11 and 250 pounds and is one of the draft’s youngest players. He has a 7-foot-5.25 wingspan and averaged 11.6 rebounds and 3 blocks per 36 minutes. — Sean Corp, Detroit Bad Boys
14. Cleveland Cavaliers – Ochai Agbaji, Wing, Kansas
Agbjai, 22, is a 6’5”, 215-pound wing with a 6’10” wingspan who fits a need for Cleveland. This is a team in real need of players on the wing who can shoot and defend and Agbjai is that guy. He maybe doesn’t have the upside of other wing options, but he’s going to likely be good in his role. He provides something they actually need.
Last year at Kanas, he averaged 18.8 points per game and shot 41% from three. He was also an AP All-American in his senior year with the Jayhawks. He improved each year as a shooter in college, jumping from 31% as a freshman to 34% as a sophomore to 38% as a junior and, finally, 41% as a senior. As a defender, he figures to be, at worst, solid. He feels like a J.B. Bickerstaff player. — Chris Manning, Fear the Sword
15. Charlotte Hornets – Mark Williams, C, Duke
The Duke big man has been heavily connected to the Hornets in mocks leading up to the draft. He projects to be a great fit in Charlotte, as they are currently on the hunt for a center to pair alongside LaMelo Ball and their current core.
Charlotte will also benefit from Williams’ impressive defensive capabilities, as they have struggled on that side of the ball. He also projects to be an elite finisher, quality rebounder, and crazy athlete. — Jack Simone, At the Hive
16. Atlanta Hawks – AJ Griffin, Wing, Duke
After much speculation about John Collins trades and more, the Atlanta Hawks held on and picked with their original No. 16 pick in the first round on Thursday evening. The Hawks ultimately stood pat and selected Duke wing AJ Griffin out of Duke with their first pick.
Griffin appeared in 39 games with Duke last season, his lone collegiate season. He averaged 10.4 points per game and shot 44.7% from three-point-range. The 6’6 wing will look to compete for minutes at potentially both the shooting guard and small forward positions. He figures to compete in Summer League barring unforeseen injury circumstances. For a deeper look at Griffin, check out our full scouting report of him here. — Zach Hood, Peachtree Hoops
17. Houston Rockets – Tari Eason, F, LSU
How’s this for a start? After getting snagging Jabari Smith Jr. with the third pick, the Houston Rockets doubled down on long, athletic forwards who can defend by selecting LSU forward Tari Eason with the 17th pick… Last year, Houston had the worst defense in the league, and now adding two of the draft’s longest, most versatile, most athletic and most skilled defenders available should certainly make an impact.
Both Eason and Smith can guard multiple positions, and a team that had a deficit of size and defense now has the opportunity to flip it into a strength.
Heck of a draft so far for the Rockets, with one more pick to come. — Darren Yuvan, The Dream Shake
18. Chicago Bulls – Dalen Terry, Wing, Arizona
After taking an NBA-ready player in Ayo Dosunmu last year and despite being mocked for them to do so again, the Chicago Bulls switched gears with their first round draft pick in this years draft.
They instead used it on Arizona’s Dalen Terry, a sophomore who turns 20 next month. At 6’7 with a 7’0 wingspan, Terry is a prospect with high upside and a player whose strengths helps solidifies one of Chicago’s offseason needs.
Terry played two years with the Wildcats, averaging more than 20 minutes a game in each and was a full time starter this previous season. He helped lead Arizona to a No. 1 seed and was named on the Pac-12 All-Defense team. Terry took a leap in play from year one to year two, improving in all of his statistical categories (shooting, passing, and rebounding). At first glance, his per game numbers don’t look too good but as Ricky O’Donnell smartly pointed out, Terry’s usage was the second lowest at Arizona. This tells us that his positives come without having the ball in his hands, which is encouraging given how his usage projects on this current Bulls team. It also tells us that some of shooting numbers may need a larger sample size in order for us to draw more concrete conclusions. — Vijay Vemu, Blog a Bull
19. Memphis Grizzlies – Jake LaRavia, F, Wake Forest
LaRavia is a Memphis pick to a T. He’s a smart defender, playmaker, and cutter. His ability to score in a variety of ways should bode well for him as he transitions to more of a complementary role at the next level. Next season, he should be competing for backup 4 minutes with Xavier Tillman, Killian Tillie, Santi Aldama, and whoever else they acquire this season.
The Grizzlies didn’t have the space to acquire 2 first-round picks, as they’re operating as a contender. It’s not the sexiest pick, but LaRavia should thrive in this Memphis system — one predicated around defense and playmaking. He’s the type of rookie who could impact winning basketball on day 1. — Parker Fleming, Grizzly Bear Blues
20. San Antonio Spurs – Malaki Branham, G, Ohio State
Let’s start with Branham. He’s probably a safer choice than most fans would have preferred, but one that could pay off sooner rather than later for San Antonio. The 19-year-old guard might not have the elite physical tools to become a star, but his combination of shooting ability and self creation could come in handy off the bench, especially if Lonnie Walker IV leaves in free agency. The Ohio State product shot an impressive 41 percent on three-pointers and was even better as a mid-range shooter in his sole year in college, which could make him an immediate contributor despite his young age. With a smaller usage, his efficiency numbers could improve, which could make him a steal this late in the first round.
The main question about Branham is whether he’ll be able to adjust to the new role he’ll likely be asked to fill in the NBA. The ball won’t be in his hands as much, at least early on in his career, so he’ll have to trade in some pull-up jumpers for spot-up threes. Similarly, he will have to always be dialed in on defense, which is something that might not come naturally to him as a rookie. There will definitely be work to do for Branham, but the talent is there for him to make an impact early in his career if he’s given an opportunity. — Jesus Gomez, Pounnding the Rock
21. Denver Nuggets – Christian Braun, G, Kansas
Braun put together a phenomenal junior season last year averaging 14.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists, while shooting 38.6 percent from beyond the three-point line. Not only can Braun shoot the ball, but he also can defend at pretty high level. Braun does a lot of his work offensively off-ball, which fits in pretty well with what the Nuggets like to do.
To learn more about Braun, check out our draft profile here at Denver Stiffs. Welcome to the Nuggets, Christian Braun! — Brandon Ewing, Denver Stiffs
22. Minnesota Timberwolves – Walker Kessler, C, Auburn
Kessler has some appeal on the offensive end as well. His primary role on that end was as a rim runner in pick-and-roll actions. The North Carolina transfer shot 28/30 (93%) on shots on rolls, including 27/28 (96%) at the rim. Overall, he connected on 74% of his 188 shots at the rim and threw down 23 alley-oops.
The soon-to-be 21-year-old has great hands for a big of his size and is capable of corralling tough bounce passes in traffic before finishing through and above contact. The downside he brings as a roller is that he doesn’t explode out of screens and put pressure on the rim as an high-level athlete; he is able to pressure the rim out of sheer size. I’m not sure how well that will translate to the NBA level, but time will tell.
Kessler has shown a willingness to shoot some 3s out on the perimeter, but defenses won’t respect his shot, as he connected on just 20% of his 3s and shot only 59.6% from the free throw line in his sophomore season at Auburn. He will need to improve operating in space on the perimeter, especially in hand-off actions. — Jack Borman, Canis Hoopus
23. Memphis Grizzlies (via Sixers) – David Roddy, Wing, Colorado State
Last season at Colorado State, Roddy averaged 19.2 points on 57.1% shooting (43.8% from 3, 69.1% from the free-throw line), 7.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.2 steals.
Roddy is built like a football linebacker, but don’t let his size fool you. He’s a highly-productive player. Roddy is a great shooter that can also crash the glass and move the ball. The pick seems a bit redundant after selecting Jake LaRavia, a player that is at the same position. However, their versatile skillsets should make it work. — Parker Fleming, Grizzly Bear Blues
24. Milwaukee Bucks – MarJon Beaucham, Wing, G League
(Beauchamp’s) athleticism is definitely one of the main qualities that stands out about his game. It should surely translate well to the NBA and should complement Milwaukee’s big three well.
Additionally, he brings forth a strong level of defense, especially on-ball. Like Jrue Holiday, he can be a defensive pest, as he averaged 1.7 steals per game in the G-League. — Gabe Stolz, BrewHoop
25. San Antonio Spurs (via Celtics) – Blake Wesley, G, Notre Dame
The Notre Dame guard was painfully inefficient in his sole season in college and might simply lack the shooting touch to get minutes right away, despite his considerable upside. In his defense, he played a huge role on offense for his team, but 30 percent from beyond the arc is just not good enough. As a main ball handler, his inability to make long balls wasn’t as damming, but considering his modest assist numbers, it’s extremely unlikely he gets as many touches in that role early in his career. The fact that he only made 37.5 percent of his unguarded catch-and-shoot opportunities, according to Synergy Sports, simply doesn’t bode well for his ability to get minutes as a rookie.
The hope with Wesley is that he’ll eventually become more consistent. He has tremendous upside as a scorer who can make simple reads and defend multiple positions, but it might take some patience to help him reach his full potential. In that sense, the selection of Branham could actually be seen as a positive for Wesley, as it could take away the pressure to contribute right away if a couple of veterans depart in the offseason. A few months in Austin could be all it takes for him to be able to harness his impressive tools and actually enter the battle for minutes in what should be a crowded but young and talented backcourt. — Jesus Gomez, Pounding the Rock
26. Minnesota Timberwolves – Wendell Moore, G, Duke
Defense is perhaps where Moore Jr. could provide an immediate impact. Coach K entrusted the 6-foot-5, 216-pound Moore Jr. to guard elite ball-handlers and Moore Jr. answered the call. With the help of his 7-foot-1 wingspan, he allowed 0.58 points per possession to opposing pick-and-roll ball handlers and 0.62 points per isolation on defense, both of which are insanely impressive marks that rank among the very best defenders in college basketball.
Moore Jr. will be 21 years old as a rookie, but he will come into the NBA as a very polished, well-rounded player that has immediately translatable skills as a point-of-attack defender and 3-point shooter that can support Jordan McLaughlin’s playmaking off the bench on the second side. — Jack Borman, Canis Hoopus
27. Miami Heat – Nikola Jovic, F, Serbia
After all the pre-draft speculation of Miami potentially trading back, Pat Riley and the Heat brain trust must’ve really liked Jovic’s game. And it’s hard to blame them — at 6-foot-11, he can handle, playmake, has shooting upside, can get to the rim without outstanding athleticism and is good off-the-ball. Defensively, he leaves something to be desired, but he’s going to one of the best developmental organizations in the league that will help him round out that portion of his game.
And, again, he’s only 19! While it might be against the grain of the tough, hard-nosed athlete that can defend multiple positions, this is an excellent upside pick from Miami, even if he’s not counted to produce a ton right away. — Matt Hanifan, Hot Hot Hoops
28. Golden State Warriors – Patrick Baldwin Jr., F, Milwaukee
A well below-average athlete, though, Baldwin will need to rely on his length to be effective defensively. However, even if he’s a defensive liability, his scoring potential is good enough to still be an effective role player. With that said, it puts even more pressure on him proving that his ugly shooting numbers at Milwaukee were an aberration.
It’s unlikely to expect Golden State head coach Steve Kerr to integrate Baldwin into the rotation anytime soon. However, that should give him even more time to refine his game with the Warriors developmental coaches, possibly seeing extensive playing time in G-League, and avoid the high-pressure circumstances that generally comes with a first-round pick. — Marc Delucchi, Golden State of Mind
29. Houston Rockets – TyTy Washington, G, Kentucky
After grabbing lengthy wings and defense with their first two picks, Houston went offense and guard with their third pick, injecting some competition for the backup point guard spot.
Washington was originally thought to go a little higher, so this a somewhat of a value pick for the Rockets, who have added one of the best playmakers in the draft, maybe even the best playmaker. — Darren Yuvan, The Dream Shake
30. Denver Nuggets – Peyton Watson, Wing, UCLA
Watson is certainly an upside pick and is a bit of a project entering the NBA. It was a small sample size, but Watson shot just 32.2 percent from the field last season and 22.6 from beyond the arc. There is certainly some upside with Watson though as he is just 19 years old and won’t turn 20 till the start of next season.
At 6-foot-8, 200 pounds, Watson certainly has the frame to develop into a nice wing for the Nuggets that could affect the game on both ends of the court. It might not happen overnight, but Watson could certainly grow into a contributor for the Nuggets down the road. — Brandon Ewing, Denver Stiffs
Second-round news and reaction
For more draft coverage and analysis from all of SB Nation, check out our NBA Draft hub.