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NBA Mock Draft 2022: Projecting Round 1 of the 2022 NBA Draft

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NBA Mock Draft 2022 - Projecting Round 1 of the 2022 NBA Draft First Round
USA Today Network

On Thursday, June 23, the 2022 NBA Draft airs live at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN; our NBA Mock Draft 2022 for Round 1 is featured below. This is the 76th edition of the league’s annual draft. This event is occurring at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The top 5 projected first-round selections include Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, Jaden Ivey and Keegan Murray.

According to BetOnline oddsmakers, Jabari Smith Jr. has the best odds (-180) of being selected first overall in the 2022 NBA Draft. Major sportsbooks all have Smith Jr. at No. 1. Next, Chet Holmgren has the best odds (-180) of going second. Likewise, Paolo Banchero is projected to go next at pick No. 3. He has -500 odds of getting drafted third overall.

NBA betting picks, sports betting content and rumors are on the main page.

NBA Mock Draft 2022: Round 1 Projection

Pick No. NBA Team Projected Pick
1. Orlando Magic Jabari Smith Jr.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder Chet Holmgren
3. Houston Rockets Paolo Banchero
4. Sacamento Kings Jaden Ivey
5. Detroit Pistons Keegan Murray
6. Indiana Pacers Shaedon Sharpe
7.  Portland Trail Blazers Jalen Duren
8. New Orleans Pelicans Dyson Daniels
9. San Antonio Spurs Johnny Davis
10. Washington Wizards Bennedict Mathurin 
11. New York Knicks AJ Griffin
12. Oklahoma City Thunder Mark Williams 
13. Charlotte Hornets Ousmane Dieng
14. Cleveland Cavaliers Malaki Branham 
15. Charlotte Hornets TyTy Washington 

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NBA Mock Draft 2022: Projecting Round 1 (Continued)

16. Atlanta Hawks Jeremy Sochan
17. Houston Rockets Ochai Agbaji
18. Chicago Bulls Tari Eason
19. Minnesota Timberwolves Blake Wesley 
20. San Antonio Spurs Jalen Williams
21. Denver Nuggets EJ Liddell
22. Memphis Grizzlies Patrick Baldwin Jr.
23. Philadelphia 76ers Mark Williams
24. Milwaukee Bucks Walker Kessler
25. San Antonio Spurs Marjon Beauchamp
26. Dallas Mavericks Max Christie 
27. Miami Heat Kennedy Chandler
28. Golden State Warriors Bryce McGowens 
29. Memphis Grizzlies  Jaden Hardy
30. Denver Nuggets Jake LaRavia  

RELATED: NBA Draft 2022: Which Teams Can Improve the Most on NBA Draft Day?

Pick No. 1: Orlando Magic — Jabari Smith Jr.

Moreover, for a reminder, this draft order is subject to change. Anyway, the Magic could use a 3-point shooter. Jabari Smith is 6’10” and weighs 220 lbs. He ranked fourth in the SEC for made threes (79). Also, Smith is a distant cousin of Kwame Brown, who the Wizards selected first overall in the 2001 NBA Draft.

In Smith’s freshman season at Auburn, he was selected consensus second-team All-American, NABC Freshman of the Year and first-team All-SEC. Plus, the forward was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. His best college performance was displayed on Feb. 16, when Auburn defeated Vanderbilt 94-80 at home.

In Auburn’s 14-point victory, Smith scored a season-high 31 points in 28 minutes played. To add to the statistics above, he ranked third in defensive rebounds (220) in the SEC.

Pick No. 2: Oklahoma City Thunder — Chet Holmgren

Furthermore, the Thunder finished 24-58 (.293) in the 2021-22 regular season, ranking 14th in the Western Conference. While they averaged 53.4 rebounds per game and ranked fifth in the league, the team could use another big man. Mike Muscala played in only 43 games last season. And Darius Bazley actually led Oklahoma City in rebounds, averaging 6.3 per game.

Chet Holmgren is a 7-foot center and weighs 195 lbs. Holmgren was selected consensus second-team All-American and first-team All-WCC in the 2021-22 season. The Gonzaga center averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 32 games played in the 2021-22 season. He ranked first on the Recruiting Services Consensus Index (RSCI) top 100 list in 2021.

No. 3 Pick: Houston Rockets — Paolo Banchero

Next, the Rockets ended their 2021-22 regular season 20-62 (.244), ranking dead last in the Western Conference. Over the last two seasons, the Rockets are 37-117 (.240) under head coach Stephen Silas. In the 2021 NBA Draft, Houston selected Jalen Green second overall. They can only improve upon what they’ve already added. Similar to the Thunder, the Rockets have some of the most firepower in this year’s draft. They own the Nos. 3, 17 and 26 picks.

Assuming the Magic select Smith Jr. first overall and the Thunder take Holmgren at No. 2, that leaves the Rockets with Paolo Banchero. He is 6’10” and weighs 250 lbs. In a total of 39 games played in the 2021-22 season for Duke, he averaged 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Last season, he led the ACC in total points (671). Not to mention, Banchero ranked second on the RSCI top 100 list in 2021. NBA mock draft 2022 articles and other Round 1 projections are on the main page.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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