Pippen Ain’t Easy’s 2022 NBA Mock Draft: Final two-round forecast

Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, 2022 NBA Mock Draft (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, 2022 NBA Mock Draft (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Malaki Branham, 2022 NBA Mock Draft
Malaki Branham, 2022 NBA Mock Draft (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

170. . SF. Charlotte Hornets. Ousmane Dieng . 15. player

Between LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, and last year’s selection James Bouknight, the Hornets are already loaded up on talent at the guard positions. For that reason, I expect them to select one of the talented wings that should be on the board around this position, most notably Ousmane Dieng.

Dieng fell on many scouts’ draft boards after a sluggish start with the New Zealand Breakers. As he adjusted to the better talent around him, Dieng started to get a feel for the game and was performing much better in one of the world’s best basketball leagues. For that reason, his box score stats aren’t too indicative of the player he actually is right now and I expect his private workouts to heavily influence where he falls in the draft.

Malaki Branham. 16. player. 125. . SG. Atlanta Hawks

Malaki Branham is a player I think will also be very high on Cleveland’s radar with the 14th pick, so Atlanta should be happy to see the Cavaliers pass on him here. Branham averaged 13.7 points and hit 41.6% of his threes as the primary offensive initiator for a well-rounded Ohio State squad last year.

Branham is an adept shot-creator and should generate instant microwave offense in the NBA. He will likely struggle defensively, but it’s not like defensive woes are stopping teams from drafting offensive talent on the perimeter these days. He’s been likened to a Tyler Herro-esque scoring threat and could thrive off the bench or as starting two-guard in the future with Atlanta.

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