2022 NBA Mock Draft: Version 1.0 midway through NBA season

Paolo Banchero, Trevor Keels, 2022 NBA Mock Draft (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Paolo Banchero, Trevor Keels, 2022 NBA Mock Draft (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

University of Iowa (NCAA). 29. 23.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.5 steals, 2.1 blocks, 58% fg, 36% 3pt, 77% ft, 30 mpg. Pick Analysis. 7. player. Sophomore, Forward. Keegan Murray

The San Antonio Spurs have not played a true power forward in some time. Between DeMar DeRozan, Keldon Johnson, & Doug McDermott, Coach Pop has preferred to play a plethora of wings instead of an actual four. Size is important in the NBA, & it is unlikely that coach Popovich will continue to be compromised in this aspect of the game. Enter Keegan Murray, who has come out of seemingly nowhere to become one of the top players in college basketball as a sophomore.

The 6-foot-8 Iowa native improved every single aspect of his game from year one to two in the NCAA, most notably expanding his range to behind the arc. Though he won’t turn many heads on the account of his athleticism, Murray has proven to be a plus defender over the last two seasons in Iowa City. His athleticism will likely limit his ceiling at a decently physical position, but his well-rounded game should be enough to land him in the top ten.

Freshman, Forward. 7.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.5 blocks, 54% fg, 45% 3pt, 71% ft, 18 mpg. Pick Analysis. Duke University (NCAA). A.J. Griffin Jr.. 8. player. 84

Why the Duke Blue Devils don’t play A.J. Griffin more is simply beyond me. Stuck playing under twenty minutes per contest, Griffin was one of the top high school recruits in the nation a year ago. He has played well in limited action in Durham, showcasing his elite athleticism and three-level scoring.

Both of these attributes should, in theory, make him a phenomenal NBA prospect. Surely, scouts & executives would have liked to have seen him play more, but there is still a lot of season left to go & the NCAA Tournament could help boost his stock.

There are many directions that the Kings could go with this selection, but it is near certain that their pick won’t be a guard, considering the logjam they have already created for themselves in that department. Regardless of what Sacramento decides to do with their backcourt this Summer, finding a younger & cheaper replacement for Harrison Barnes will certainly be towards the top of their priorities.

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