Four of The Knicks Wall’s writers come together to mock the 2022 NBA Draft; New York’s moves and explanations for each of the 58 picks this year.
The New York Knicks have a precarious spot in the 2022 NBA Draft. With the 11th overall pick, they are seemingly out of contention for a top prospect (unless a future star emerges at the back half of the lottery, like Donovan Mitchell or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander). However, the Knicks possess a treasure chest of future picks and may very well seek to trade up in the draft order.
Besides the Knicks, four writers from the staff, Eli Cohen, Nick Carannante, Nick Scolaro, and Quentin Haynes, were assigned teams and handed the general manager duties to control the draft. Here’s how it turned out.
1. Orlando Magic
Paolo Banchero, power forward, Duke: The debate around the number one pick seems to center around Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith, but that shortchanges Paolo Banchero, who is every bit the caliber of prospect as the other two. Banchero’s fit in Orlando is perfect: he provides a top scoring option for a team that desperately needs one, is insulated defensively by Orlando’s many excellent defenders, and would form one of the biggest and most skilled frontcourts in the league alongside Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
Chet Holmgren, center, Gonzaga: Sam Presti is in no rush to push the red button, but in the meantime, he’s got nothing but swings at the plate. It’s easy to believe in Chet for anyone but the development history of OKC makes it even better. He also gives them a defensive anchor with a DPOY upside that will eat offensively from the east buckets set up by SGA and Josh Giddey.
3. Houston Rockets
Jabari Smith Jr., power forward, Auburn: With Christian Wood shipped off to Dallas, the Rockets will need to fill a void in their frontcourt and who better than 6’10” marksman Jabari Smith Jr. Smith Jr. is arguably the best prospect in this class and possesses guard-like skills in a big man’s frame. Newly acquired Boban Marjanovic is offensively limited and who knows what Alperen Sengun could be, so Smith Jr. provides some juice down low for Houston.
4. Sacramento Kings
Keegan Murray, power forward, Iowa: The Kings can go several different ways here, including trading back. I decided to go with Murray, a combo forward who can offer a scoring punch right away while giving the Kings another building block for the future.
5. Detroit Pistons
Jaden Ivey, guard, Purdue: An absolute dream scenario for the Pistons who, at five, land a guy who’s closer to being the best guy in the class than the fifth-best. Ivey’s athleticism, rim pressure, and burgeoning shooting off-ball make him the perfect counterpart to Cade Cunningham, whose defense and passing instincts likewise complement Ivey’s weaknesses. If all goes well, this backcourt will be devastating opponents for years to come.
6. Indiana Pacers
Shaedon Sharpe, guard, Kentucky: Arguably the team in the top seven that has the least of its core set up. They have Duarte and Haliburton in the backcourt long term and a slew of older players they will be looking to trade such as Myles Turner and Malcolm Brogdon. While it’s uncertain what they will be doing long-term and who will be on the team post the trade deadline, Shaedon Sharpe’s wildly high upside makes it worth the risk for a team desperately in need of a star to surround its role players.
7. Detroit Pistons (TRADE)
Details: Portland trades Jerami Grant, Killian Hayes, and the 46th pick to Detroit for the seventh pick.
AJ Griffin, wing, Duke: Is this an overpay by the Pistons? Probably, considering Hayes showed some real growth last year and is only two years removed from being the seventh pick himself. But Detroit here decides to make a major move, adding a wing sniper and betting the defense comes along as he regains some athleticism and continues to get comfortable on the court. The Pistons now have a well-rounded, sky-high ceilinged young core of Cade, Ivey, AJ Griffin, and Saddiq Bey, and are gearing up to throw a monster offer at Deandre Ayton. The future is bright.
8. New Orleans Pelicans (via Lakers)
Bennedict Mathurin, shooting guard, Arizona: New Orleans has just about everything on their roster, making this a true luxury pick. I’m going Mathurin, who has some upside as a 3-and-D wing who can get his shot off in different ways.
9. San Antonio Spurs
Jalen Duren, center, Memphis: The Spurs have a lot of young talent everywhere and the way this board shook out, there’s no perfect fit, so they opt for adding an explosive rim-running, shot-blocking, sweet-passing center in Jalen Duren. It’s hard to imagine Duren not being a solid starter at the very least, and if all breaks right, he could be much more. This move also allows the Spurs to shop Jakob Poeltl, who could bring back real value if they want.
10. Washington Wizards
Johnny Davis, shooting guard, Wisconsin: The Wizards are accumulating young talent to compete for the play-in game. While Brad Beal’s future is still up in the air, it makes sense for the Wiz to continue getting two-way talent. Someone that can play with Beal as well as potentially without him is exactly what the Wizards need and Johnny Davis fits that role as one of the best two-way players in the class who should be able to come in and compete immediately.
11. New York Knicks
Ochai Agbaji, shooting guard, Kansas: Agbaji provides great two-way potential at the wing for the Knicks, who are in need of some more scoring. With Johnny Davis and Bennedict Mathurin already selected, the 2022 Final Four Most Outstanding Player is the guy here.
12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Clippers)
Ousmane Dieng, forward, New Zealand Breakers (NBL): With Chet for the frontcourt, the Thunder still need help on the wings. They still need to take upside swings and can afford to do it more than most teams. With their developmental track record, they can bet on themselves to help Ousmane Dieng reach his incredibly high ceiling.
13. Charlotte Hornets
Tari Eason, power forward, LSU: The true Swiss Army knife of this year’s class, Eason can do it all on the defensive end while offering a rim-rocking big man on the other side. At this point, Charlotte goes BPA and takes another electric forward to mix up their looks inside.
14. Cleveland Cavaliers
Dyson Daniels, wing, G League Ignite: It’s wildly unlikely Dyson falls this far in the actual NBA Draft, but if he were to, it’s hard to imagine a better backcourt-mate for him than Darius Garland. Daniels can play the shooting guard spot or the 3 alongside Collin Sexton or Caris LeVert and brings yet another great, versatile defender to pair with Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
15. Charlotte Hornets (via Hornets)
Mark Williams, center, Duke: Williams gives Charlotte the center they were looking for in the long-term. Big, athletic center who can block shots, dominate on the glass and be the overall presence needed with LaMelo Ball. Odd that they would go back-to-back centers after taking Kai Jones in 2021, but Williams could be their cornerstone center of the future.
16. Atlanta Hawks
Malaki Branham, shooting guard, Ohio State: The Hawks are as active as anybody in the league right now with the front office only being 100% committed to Trae Young and De’Andre Hunter. That leaves a lot of flexibility for what the Hawks will do with this pick if they keep it. Branham is one of the most versatile offensive players in the class and the versatility he brings is exactly what Atlanta needs going forward as they’re trying to build around Trae.
17. Houston Rockets (via Nets)
Jaden Hardy, shooting guard, G League Ignite: Despite a crowded guard rotation, Houston adds Jaden Hardy to the mix to play alongside Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. Hardy is a three-level scorer who will add offensive firepower and creativity to an immensely talented Houston backcourt.
18. Utah Jazz (TRADE)
Details: Chicago trades the 18th pick, Nikola Vucevic, and Patrick Williams to Utah for Rudy Gobert.
Jeremy Sochan, forward, Baylor: The big move that Utah has been waiting for years to make is finally here. It’s clear that the Mitchell/Gobert pairing has run its course and Donovan Mitchell is the right player to back. That leaves Utah in a precarious situation, but getting a combination of a young player, a veteran, and a pick would be the best case for the Jazz. They need to compete and keep Mitchell happy so he does not ask out himself but wants to develop on the fly. Getting more flexible and switchable after the rigidity of Gobert is the right move and taking one of the best and most versatile defenders in the NBA draft in Jeremy Sochan gives them a great starting point, especially to pair with Patrick Williams.
19. Minnesota Timberwolves
TyTy Washington, point guard, Kentucky: The upstart Wolves could use another point guard option. D’Angelo Russell is rumored to be available in trade and Jordan McLaughlin is only fine as a backup. As a lottery pick, Washington is a bit of a bleh pick, but at 19, you get good value on someone who could be the rim-pressuring/shooting lead guard needed in the future.
20. San Antonio Spurs (via Raptors)
Jalen Williams, wing, Santa Clara: The Spurs’ one area of the depth chart that could use some bolstering is at shooting guard, assuming Devin Vassell is the team’s small forward. Jalen Williams would make for a great complement to the Dejounte Murray–Vassell tandem, slotting in to add shooting and playmaking while offering some defensive upside (or at least no defensive detriment). This could be considered insurance for Primo, but Williams could easily fit alongside last year’s lottery pick as easily as he could with the starters, adding yet another young dribble-pass-shoot wing to a team slowly building up an impressive arsenal of them.
21. Philadelphia 76ers (TRADE)
Details: Denver trades the 21st pick to Philadelphia for Matisse Thybulle and a 2023 second-round pick (most favorable of Atlanta, Charlotte, or Brooklyn).
MarJon Beauchamp, wing, G League Ignite: Beauchamp is a bit raw and the jumper isn’t there right now, but he’s an NBA-level athlete with a pro body right now. His defense, athleticism, and ability to thrive as a cutter off of Harden, Embiid, and Maxey play right now, but the shooting will be the swing skill here.
22. Memphis Grizzlies (via Jazz)
E.J. Liddell, power forward, Ohio State: Memphis has been the Draft Twitter darling for the last few years now, and Liddell fits that mold. E.J. Liddell gives the Grizzlies a great rim protector to help alongside JJJ. It also gives them a very versatile and switchable defender with playmaking upside on offense. This all lends itself to an incredibly productive hardworking player that is ready to contribute on day one and will likely outperform his draft value, which is why Memphis will love him.
23. Philadelphia 76ers
Dalen Terry, guard, Arizona: More size and creativity for Philadelphia. Terry is a 6-7 forward from Arizona who can help Philadelphia’s second unit with his creativity and defense. His upside might be that of a high-level role player, but the Sixers could bring what he offers to the table right away.
24. Milwaukee Bucks
Patrick Baldwin Jr., forward, Milwaukee: The local Wisconsin kid lands in one of the best organizations we currently have in the NBA. Baldwin Jr. struggled in his lone season at UW-Milwaukee but provides a unique mix of shooting ability and size to go alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, who struggled at times to maintain offensive consistency.
25. San Antonio Spurs (via Celtics)
Nikola Jovic, forward, Mega Bemax (Serbia): Come on, it wouldn’t be a mock draft without the Spurs taking one international guy. But Jovic is more than just a token European, he brings a ton of intrigue as a shooter and playmaker at 6’11″. The defense leaves a lot to be desired, but Jovic has a ton of upside, and will likely spend most of his rookie year in the G League. If the potential is actualized, he and Jalen Duren would make for an incredibly interesting front line.
26. Dallas Mavericks
Kendall Brown, small forward, Baylor: The Rockets have plenty of offense on their existing roster with Jalen Green, KPJ, and Alperen Sengun. They add to that side of the ball with Jaden Hardy and Jabari Smith Jr., so this pick is focused on defense. Kendall Brown is one of the better athletes in this NBA draft and a potential big-time wing defender that fits the roster perfectly. With three picks in the first round, the Rockets will be short on roster spots. A young raw prospect like Kendall Brown that needs time to develop and can flourish in the G League is exactly what they should be looking for at 26.
(Note: This mock was completed before Dallas and Houston traded the 26th pick for Christian Wood and more. For all intents and purposes, Dallas makes the Brown selection and is trading it to Houston.)
27. Miami Heat
Andrew Nembhard, point guard, Gonzaga: One of the most experienced and savvy point guards in this draft, Nembhard fits right into the Heat culture. Kyle Lowry is a shell of himself at this point, paving the way for the former Gonzaga Bulldog to work his way into a key floor general role on a very deep team. There is little doubt that Erik Spoelstra will have Nembhard as a contributor in some sort of capacity next season.
28. Golden State Warriors
Walker Kessler, center, Auburn: Kessler is a great shot-blocker with excellent defensive ability, taking some of the pressure off of an older Draymond Green. If James Wiseman was healthy, this would likely be a different selection; however, with Wiseman’s future relatively unknown, Kessler fills a need for the Warriors, who look to continue their run of dominance.
29. Memphis Grizzlies
Bryce McGowens, shooting guard, Nebraska: Another Grizzlies pick, another value pick. There were safer backup point guard options to potentially replace Tyus Jones, but the upside of Bryce McGowens makes this a no-brainer. No team has gotten more out of its young role players than the Grizzlies and they do that by putting them in the best position to succeed. They can offer that to McGowens and utilize his scoring off the bench to maximize his potential.
30. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Suns)
Jake LaRavia, small forward, Wake Forest:
This trade comes at a perfect time, after we, the Nuggets, traded 21 for Thybulle. With the backcourt defense addressed, the Nuggets take a swing on a 4 who can really shoot and pass the rock. Though it may not be the cleanest fit, this pick helps Denver build out their bench even more as they look to get healthy and make a deep playoff run.
(Note: This mock was completed before Denver and OKC traded the 30th overall pick and JaMychal Green. For all intents and purposes, OKC is selecting LaRavia and trading him to Denver.)
31. Indiana Pacers (via Rockets)
Kennedy Chandler, point guard, Tennessee: You can make a case that Chandler is the best point guard in this draft and at the very least the best floor general. That is something the Pacers need, Chandler will fit perfectly next to Duarte and Haliburton. He also is the right guy to play next to Shaedon Sharpe to help him reach his ceiling.
32. Orlando Magic
Wendell Moore, wing, Duke: Paolo is reunited with Duke teammate Wendell Moore, who’s a steal at 32. The Magic are loaded at every position, but with longtime mainstay Terrence Ross on an expiring contract, we’ll be looking to deal him to a contender at some point in the year. Meanwhile, Moore acts as a veteran rookie stabilizer, and brings a bit of everything, assuming the shot holds, especially that patent Magic draft pick staple: a seven-foot wingspan.
33. Toronto Raptors (via Magic)
Dominick Barlow, forward, Overtime Elite: The Raptors can afford to be patient with Barlow, who fits Toronto’s big forward mantra. The former G League talent is 6-foot-10 with a plus-five wingspan and has the skill set to be an effective backup forward in time. Another season, in the G League, this time with Toronto’s squad, before a second-half look seems ideal for all parties.
34. Oklahoma City Thunder
Matteo Spagnolo, guard, Cremona: There are only so many spots on the roster, taking a stash pick has its benefits for anyone. Sam Presti more than most as we have seen him use the rights to players overseas as additional assets to secure draft capital. Spagnolo is a fun prospect that could help in the future but also help as an asset as his rights are owned by Real Madrid.
35. Orlando Magic (via Pacers)
Josh Minott, power forward, Memphis: With their third selection, the Magic finally make a classic Magic pick, going for an uber-raw, toolsy-as-heck defensive project. Expect Minott to spend all of next year in the G League, rebuilding the shot and refining the very interesting passing instincts.
36. Portland Trail Blazers
Johnny Juzang, guard, UCLA: Portland has been in desperate need of a good wing to go alongside Damian Lillard for years. Although Juzang is sort of a one-dimensional player, he is a very good shooter and natural scorer who can take some of the load off of Lillard. Defensively, this pick doesn’t help Portland very much, but Juzang’s talent is too much to pass up.
37. Sacramento Kings
Christian Koloko, center, Arizona: With Richaun Holmes dealing with his legal troubles, Sacramento would be wise in investing in a center. Koloko doesn’t have the highest ceiling but does have the defensive ability and rim-running offensive game to be an effective backup center right away for the Kings.
38. San Antonio Spurs (via Lakers)
Jean Montero, point guard, Overtime Elite: With their fourth and final pick, the Spurs take another big swing, this time on the polarizing guard. Montero is one of the better advantage-creators in the class and has good defensive playmaking instincts. His size holds him back and he has a ton of growth to do as a playmaker, despite making real strides in that regard this year, but the Spurs trust their system to iron out the shot, which has legit upside, and love him as a change-of-pace guard off the bench.
39. Utah Jazz (TRADE)
Details: Cleveland trades the 39th pick to Utah for a top-20-protected 2023 first-round pick (conveys to 2025 second-round pick and Memphis’ 2026 second-round pick via Golden State).
Ismael Kamagate, center, Paris Basketball: While getting more modern and flexible in the post-Gobert world is a must, they need to have some sort of center on the roster. Kamagate is a perfect rim running lob catching big, and that’s something that the Jazz will need with Gobert off the roster. There’s also a wonderful irony with bringing in a French big man to replace Rudy Gobert.
40. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Wizards)
Alondes Williams, guard, Wake Forest: Alondes’ hype died down a bit, but the talented player is still there. The combination of passing and creativity from a 6-5 guard could come in handy as Malik Beasley inches closer to unrestricted free agency.
41. New Orleans Pelicans
Max Christie, shooting guard, Michigan State: New Orleans doubles down and adds another upside wing to the roster in Christie, who could’ve been a first-round pick had he gone back to school for another year.
42. Minnesota Timberwolves (TRADE)
Details: New York trades the 42nd pick to Minnesota for the 48th and 50th picks.
Jaylin Williams, power forward, Arkansas: Adding to the frontcourt now, Minnesota takes Jaylin Williams, the smart Arkansas center who can play alongside both Naz Reid and Karl-Anthony Towns in spurts. His combination of defensive ability passing from the middle of the floor and length makes him an ideal backup center option with room to grow.
43. Los Angeles Clippers
Blake Wesley, shooting guard, Notre Dame: Blake Wesley is a fringe-to-full-on first-round pick, so getting him here is absolute highway robbery for the Clippers, who once again get a high-upside guard/wing late in the NBA draft. Wesley is an impressive shot-creator with really interesting defensive and playmaking upside. If he had shot better than 30% from three, we’d probably be looking at a surefire top-20 pick, but considering his shot diet as a freshman, that seems eminently improvable in a reduced role at the next level.
44. Atlanta Hawks
Gabriele Procida, forward, Bologna: The Hawks are looking to change up their roster. That includes replacing their European wings such as Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Why not bring in a younger version of those guys with one of the most prolific shooters in the draft. The Italian wing is a great shooter and a great athlete that will make him a great off-ball scorer and role player to fit best with Trae Young.
45. Charlotte Hornets
Caleb Houstan, small forward, Michigan: Houstan is a domestic stash candidate after a poor season at Michigan. 6-8 shooters don’t grow on trees, but the lack of secondaries in his game makes him someone who is more of a project than he was coming out of high school. With several forwards in place, Charlotte can wait.
46. Portland Trail Blazers (via Pistons)
Detroit traded the 46th pick (via Brooklyn) to the Blazers in a deal centering around the seventh pick and Jerami Grant.
Christian Braun, shooting guard, Kansas: The Blazers add another wing to the mix in Christian Braun, who is a good transition player and a much better defender than their previous selection, Johnny Juzang. Braun isn’t going to wow you offensively but can be a nice rotational piece for Chauncey Billups and co.
47. Memphis Grizzlies (via Cavaliers)
Ryan Rollins, shooting guard, Toledo: The Grizzlies have hit on nearly every pick in the modern era. Taking another Draft Twitter favorite would be a little on the nose, but could you blame them? A super fun prospect from a small school such as Toledo has sleeper written all over it and would be a steal for the Grizz in the second round.
48. New York Knicks (via Timberwolves)
Minnesota traded the 48th and 50th picks to New York for the 42nd pick.
Trevion Williams, power forward, Purdue: With Mitchell Robinson likely signing elsewhere for more money than the Knicks offer, adding Williams to the mix makes sense here. With Jericho Sims in the fold as the athletic and rim-running center, Williams compliments him nicely as a bigger-bodied, low-post scorer who can make plays with his passing and toughness.
49. Sacramento Kings (via Bulls)
Trevor Keels, shooting guard, Duke: Despite having the backcourt of the future, Sacramento could use some more talent there. Keels fell off a bit in our mock draft, but showed the ability to run a team at times at Duke, worth a shot in the second round, and hope he can become a solid backup guard.
50. New York Knicks (via Timberwolves)
Minnesota traded the 48th and 50th picks to New York for the 42nd pick.
Tyrese Martin, wing, UConn: Adding 3-and-D guys to the fold is never a bad thing and Martin fits that bill, like their first-round selection, Ochai Agbaji. Martin improved his shooting during his final college season and can be a nice rotational piece for the Knicks.
51. Philadelphia 76ers (TRADE)
Details: Golden State trades the 51st pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for cash.
JD Davison, point guard, Alabama: The Sixers continue to bid on backcourt players, this time in J.D. Davidson. Still young, Davidson flashed skills that suggested that he could be a solid backup point guard. For Philadelphia, sending him to their G League affiliate is worth a shot this late in the NBA draft.
52. New Orleans Pelicans (via Jazz)
Keon Ellis, shooting guard, Alabama: Last year, New Orleans took an Alabama player and it paid off in Herb Jones. This year, they take a shot on Keon Ellis and hope the combination of defense and slashing could play at the next level.
53. Boston Celtics
Collin Gillespie, point guard, Villanova: Gillespie is one of the most accomplished college players in this draft and Boston values their glue guys and will take a chance on the former Villanova Wildcat in the second round. Gillespie can also provide some shooting off of the bench, which every team could use.
(The 54th and 55th picks by the Bucks and Heat, respectively, were forfeited.)
56. Washington Wizards (via Mavericks)
Hugo Besson, guard, New Zealand Breakers (NBL): A team still without a clear identity that benefits from talent. Besson’s scoring upside makes him a good fit for a team that could use scoring off the bench. Adding to the slew of international talent they already have, the older Frenchman could come in and contribute immediately after putting up good scoring numbers in the NBL.
57. Golden State Warriors
Scotty Pippen Jr., point guard, Vanderbilt: With Gary Payton II in the fold in San Fran, the Warriors add another son of an NBA legend in Scotty Pippen Jr. Like Payton II, Pippen can score, make plays, and won’t be under much pressure at all, despite his big name.
58. Philadelphia 76ers (TRADE)
Details: Cleveland trades the 58th pick (via Miami) to Philadelphia for Isaiah Joe.
Julian Champagnie, wing, St. John’s: A steal this late in the NBA draft, Champagnie could be an effective wing shooter off the bench, with a bit of flexibility as a combo forward. For Philadelphia, giving up Isaiah Joe and replenishing the pipeline with the former St. John’s forward could be the way to go as they value size and shooting around Harden and Embiid.
59. Portland Trail Blazers (via Grizzlies)
Makur Maker, center, Sydney Kings (NBL): Makur Maker is a versatile big who plays much like a guard, running the floor well with some intriguing offensive skills. With Portland in an almost rebuilding mode, it makes sense for them to take a flyer on Maker at this slot.
60. Indiana Pacers (via Suns)
David Roddy, wing, Colorado State: Indiana is in a weird place and really is just trying to put talent on the court. Roddy is one of the weirder prospects in this class but that isn’t a bad thing. Taking a weird, undersized big works next to Myles Turner or in a world without him.
Find The Knicks Wall’s complete coverage of the 2022 NBA Draft here, with more in-depth profiles of top prospects and discussions of second-round prospects and international talent.