NBA Draft prospects 2022: Who are the best players still available?

There’s only one way to enjoy the 2022 NBA Draft — expect the unexpected. 

At the last minute, Paolo Banchero ended up being the No. 1 overall pick to the Orlando Magic. Chet Holmgren went to the Thunder and Jabari Smith who was the odds-on favorite to be the first off the board fell to the Rockets at No. 3. 

The Kings opted for Iowa standout Keegan Murray and Detroit landed a perfect backcourt mate for Cade Cunningham with Jaden Ivey at No. 5.

The Bulls took the biggest swing by selecting Dalen Terry who was ranked No. 31 according to the Sporting News’ big board.

For the complete list of the draft see the live draft track here.

For the best available remaining players in the 2022 NBA Draft check out the big board according to TSN’s Kyle Irving.

NBA Draft prospects 2022: Best players still available in Round 1

The rankings below reflect original positions on Sporting News’ big board of top 60 overall players. All analysis is from TSN’s Kyle Irving.

Tier 1: The Big Four

Rank Player Position Age Class Height/Weight Team Plays Like
1. Paolo Banchero F 19 FR 6-10, 235 lbs. Duke Julius Randle
2. Jabari Smith Jr. F 19 FR 6-10, 210 lbs. Auburn Chris Bosh
3. Jaden Ivey G 20 SO 6-4, 200 lbs. Purdue Ja Morant
4. Chet Holmgren C 20 FR 7-1,190 lbs. Gonzaga Kristaps Porzingis

1. Paolo Banchero, F, Duke (6-10, 235 lbs)

While he likely won’t go first or second, Irving has Banchero as the number one player on his big board.

From Irving’s evaluation:

At 6-10, 235 pounds, he has the perfect blend of an NBA-ready body and polished skill set, able to create his own shot and make plays for others. Banchero is a matchup nightmare with the potential to play the five in today’s evolving outside-in NBA. 

His biggest question mark is on the defensive end of the floor. If he can lock in to become a two-way player, Banchero has every opportunity to become a big-time star.

MORE: Paolo Banchero, first-round pick… as an NFL quarterback?

Tier 2: Likely top-10 picks

Rank Player Position Age Class Height/Weight Team Plays Like
5. Keegan Murray F 21 SO 6-8, 215 lbs. Iowa Pascal Siakam
6. Shaedon Sharpe G 18 FR 6-6, 200 lbs. Kentucky Jalen Green
7. Dyson Daniels G 19 6-6, 180 lbs. G League Ignite Tyrese Haliburton
8. Bennedict Mathurin G 19 SO 6-6, 195 lbs. Arizona Jaylen Brown
9. Jalen Duren C 18 FR 6-11, 250 lbs. Memphis Dwight Howard

5. Keegan Murray, F, Iowa (6-8, 215 lbs)

Irving has Murray as the headliner of this tier. Murray will certainly be in play for the likes of the Kings, Pistons or Pacers when they’re on the clock. Murray has the skill set to fit in any system and could be a plus defender on day one in the NBA.

6. Shaedon Sharpe, G, Kentucky (6-6, 200 lbs)

Sharpe may be the biggest question mark in the draft but his tools and skills are hard to deny. Irving likens Sharpe to last year’s No. 2 overall pick Jalen Green. Sharpe could end up being a bucket early in his NBA tenure.

7. Dyson Daniels, G, G League Ignite (6-6, 180 lbs)

Irving calls Daniels the prospect who could be the best perimeter defender in the class. Length, energy, size and a year of seasoning with the G League Ignite could help Daniels come off the board early.

Tier 3: Rounding out the lottery

Rank Player Position Age Class Height/Weight Team Plays Like
10. Johnny Davis G 20 SO 6-5, 194 lbs. Wisconsin Josh Hart
11. AJ Griffin F 18 FR 6-6, 220 lbs. Duke Norman Powell
12. Jeremy Sochan F 19 FR 6-9, 230 lbs. Baylor OG Anunoby
13. Mark Williams C 20 SO 7-0, 245 lbs. Duke Jarrett Allen
14. Malaki Branham F 19 FR 6-5, 180 lbs. Ohio State Khris Middleton
15. Ochai Agbaji F 21 SR 6-5, 215 lbs. Kansas De’Andre Hunter
16. Ousmane Dieng F 19 6-9, 185 lbs. NZ Breakers Brandon Ingram

10. Johnny Davis, G, Wisconsin (6-5, 194 lbs)

We’ll see the Taco Bell commercial featuring Davis quite a few times on ESPN tonight. Irving believes he can end up being a high-end role player on a championship team one day. Whoever selects Davis seems to be getting a ready-made pro.

13. Mark Williams, C, Duke (7-0, 245 lbs)

Irving likens Williams to Cavs big man Jarrett Allen, who is coming off a year where he was named an All-Star. There will be some interesting teams around this section of the draft who may be rushing to the podium with the Duke big man’s name on a draft card.

14. Malaki Branham, F, Ohio State (6-5, 180 lbs)

Khris Middleton may be the most underrated player in the NBA today. Does that mean Branham is the most underrated prospect in the draft? The Ohio State wing was a late riser but could be the best scorer in this class.

Tier 4: Mid-to-late first-rounders

TyTy Washington, Nikola Jovic, Jaden Hardy and E.J. Liddell are names NBA fans are likely going to be accustomed to hearing next season. The mid-to-late tier on Irving’s big board could have the league’s next diamond in the rough.

Rank Player Position Age Class Height/Weight Team Plays Like
17. Jalen Williams F 21 JR 6-6, 195 lbs. Santa Clara Tyreke Evans
18. Jaden Hardy G 19 6-4, 185 lbs. G League Ignite Jordan Poole
19. Tari Eason F 21 SO 6-8, 216 lbs. LSU Herb Jones
20. E.J. Liddell F 21 JR 6-7, 240 lbs. Ohio State P.J. Tucker
21. Kennedy Chandler G 19 FR 6-0, 170 lbs. Tennessee Tyrese Maxey
22. TyTy Washington G 20 FR 6-3, 185 lbs. Kentucky D’Angelo Russell
23. MarJon Beauchamp F 21 6-6, 199 lbs. G League Ignite Jerami Grant
24. Nikola Jovic F 18 6-10, 210 lbs. Mega Basket Deni Avdija
25. Blake Wesley G 19 FR 6-5, 185 lbs. Notre Dame Immanuel Quickley

Tier 5: Borderline first round picks

For the teams drafting late in the first round and early in the second, value will be the overused term on the draft telecast. Christian Braun is coming off a national championship with Kansas. Will he hear his name called in this range? Auburn’s Walker Kessler plays like a young Brook Lopez according to Irving. Will that be enticing to a team looking for a rotational big?

Rank Player Position Age Class Height/Weight Team Plays Like
26. Christian Braun F 20 JR 6-6, 218 lbs. Kansas Pat Connaughton
27. Christian Koloko C 21 JR 7-1, 230 lbs. Arizona Mitchell Robinson
28. Trevor Keels G 18 FR 6-4, 221 lbs. Duke Eric Bledsoe
29. Jaylin Williams C 19 SO 6-10, 240 lbs. Arkansas Al Horford
30. Walker Kessler C 20 SO 7-1, 245 lbs. Auburn Brook Lopez
31. Dalen Terry G 19 SO 6-7, 195 lbs. Arizona Michael Carter-Williams
32. Bryce McGowens F 19 FR 6-7,179 lbs. Nebraska Will Barton
33. Jake LaRavia F 21 JR 6-8, 235 lbs. Wake Forest Lauri Markkanen
34. Wendell Moore Jr. F 20 JR 6-5, 213 lbs. Duke Evan Turner
35. Kendall Brown F 18 FR 6-8, 205 lbs. Baylor Josh Jackson

Best of the rest

Canadians Andrew Nembhard and Caleb Houstan came into the college season with a lot of hype. Will they make an NBA front office look smart for getting value in the second round? Peyton Watson failed to live up to the expectations that were placed on him in his freshman year at UCLA. Will more space in the pros help him stand out? 

Patrick Baldwin Jr.’s season at Milwaukee wasn’t headline-worthy. Will he regain form in the league?

Rank Player Position Age Class Height/Weight Team Plays Like
36. Andrew Nembhard G 22 SR 6-5, 193 lbs. Gonzaga Tyus Jones
37. Ryan Rollins G 19 SO 6-4, 180 lbs. Toledo Fred VanVleet
38. Caleb Houstan F 19 FR 6-8, 205 lbs. Michigan Darius Bazley
39. Ismael Kamagate C 21 6-11, 220 lbs. Paris Basketball Hassan Whiteside
40. Justin Lewis F 19 FR 6-7, 245 lbs. Marquette Nassir Little
41. Hugo Besson G 20 6-3, 196 lbs. NZ Breakers Bogdan Bogdanovic
42. Dereon Seabron F 22 SO 6-7, 180 lbs. NC State Gerald Green
43. Peyton Watson F 19 FR 6-8, 200 lbs. UCLA Cody Martin
44. Max Christie F 19 FR 6-6, 190 lbs. Michigan State Danny Green
45. Josh Minott F 20 FR 6-8, 205 lbs. Memphis Derrick Jones Jr.
46. Patrick Baldwin Jr. F 19 FR 6-9, 220 lbs. Milwaukee Otto Porter Jr.
47. Michael Foster F 19 6-9, 220 lbs. G League Ignite JaMychal Green
48. David Roddy F 21 JR 6-5, 252 lbs. Colorado State Evan Turner
49. Dominick Barlow C 18 6-9, 214 lbs. Overtime Elite Precious Achiuwa
50. Khalifa Diop C 20 6-11, 231 lbs. Gran Canaria Isaiah Stewart
51. Jean Montero G 18 6-2, 170 lbs. Overtime Elite Dennis Schroder
52. Alondes Williams G 22 SR 6-5, 210 lbs. Wake Forest Delon Wright
53. Jabari Walker F 20 SO 6-9, 215 lbs. Colorado Torrey Craig
54. Ron Harper Jr. F 22 SR 6-6, 245 lbs. Rutgers Nicolas Batum
55. Trevion Williams C 21 SR 6-10, 255 lbs. Purdue Xavier Tillman Sr.
56. JD Davison G 19 FR 6-3, 195 lbs. Alabama Dennis Smith Jr.
57. Gabriele Procida F 20 6-7, 194 lbs. Fortitudo Bologna Max Strus
58. Moussa Diabate F 20 FR 6-11, 210 lbs. Michigan Jarred Vanderbilt
59. Yannick Nzosa C 18 6-10, 174 lbs. Unicaja Udoka Azubuike
60. Matteo Spagnolo G 19 6-4, 185 lbs. Cremona Evan Fournier
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