IT IS TIME for the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 23rd. We've got you covered with the NBA draft tracker of the entire first round with pick-by-pick analysis on the fit of each player to each team and their profile. This is a VERY top heavy draft and still, hours and minutes and second from the first pick of the draft and there is STILL no word on who the official first pick of the draft will be. Will it be Paolo Banchero or is it Jabari Smith? The Orlando Magic are on the clock with the first pick of the NBA draft and we're excited to be tracking everything as the night goes on. Let's have some fun and if you have any questions, contact Dan Servodidio and James Grande who will be bringing the analysis to the tracker throughout the evening.
Pick 1.01 - Orlando Magic
Paolo Banchero, F – Duke
Analysis: In any other draft, Paolo Banchero would be the clear-cut No. 1 pick. He ended up the number one draft pick, but the Orlando Magic were very tight-lipped about it until they announced the pick. The Duke freshman has arguably the most offensive upside of any prospect in this class and may even have a higher floor than Jabari Smith. He uses his bigger, stronger frame to post up and score easily inside, while the ball-handling and playmaking vision can help him become a top offensive option at the next level. The biggest knock on Banchero’s game, though, is his lack of defensive effort and consistency – though maybe that’s something that improves in the next year or two.
Fantasy Fit: The Magic needed high-volume, efficient scoring and that's what they get here with Banchero. With Cole Anthony leading them in scoring a year ago, Banchero immediately will step in as the team's number one option. This is a home run landing spot from a fantasy perspective. With Mo Bamba potentially on his way out and Wendell Carter Jr. shifting back to center, Banchero is going to slot in as the Magic's starting PF and could lead them in scoring and challenge Carter Jr. for the team lead in rebounding too.
Pick 1.02 - Oklahoma City Thunder
Chet Holmgren, F/C – Gonzaga
Analysis: Chet Holmgren is one of the most unique draft prospects in recent memory. Built like a stick at 7 feet and 195 pounds, the Gonzaga freshman looks physically different than anyone else in the NBA. Still, the thin frame didn’t stop Holmgren from being an elite shot-blocker in college with his 7-foot-6 wingspan. He also has a fascinating offensive skillset with legit three-point shooting ability, ball-handling chops like a guard, and smooth movement for his size. The worry, of course, is how Holmgren’s lanky frame will hold up against bigger, more physical NBA bigs. He’ll need to bulk up, similar to Anthony Davis coming out of Kentucky.
Fantasy Fit: The 2021 center position for Oklahoma City was a stop-gap. A stop-gap for someone like Chet Holmgren to walk into their lives. Holmgren can do everything offensively as he shot nearly 40% from three to along with his near double-double averages during his one year of college basketball. He's going to be a really great fantasy asset in ‘22 considering how great he is protecting the rim as well. He won’t lead the team in scoring considering Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is still around, but he is going to be a perfect pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop partner for SGA and Josh Giddey for many years to come.
Pick 1.03 - Houston Rockets
Jabari Smith, F – Auburn
Analysis: It’s not often you see college basketball freshmen enter the NBA with a pro-ready jump shot. That’s Jabari Smith’s calling card on offense as he continually hit from mid-range at Auburn and also proved to be a deadly three-point shooter, making 42% from deep last season. Smith’s already polished shooting touch at his 6-foot-10 size should make him a solid pro for years. His defensive versatility and the size/quickness combo to guard multiple positions are why he could be a star. His ball-handling and drive-to-the-rim ability need some development.
Fantasy Fit: Up until about 7:59 pm EST, Smith was going to be the first overall pick in the NBA draft. Then he wasn't. But he lands with the Houston Rockets who were playing insanely fast last year and with the addition of Smith slotting in as the starting power forward, that's going to remain the case. Smith can do everything offensively, but he is landing on a team that already features Jalen Green, Kevin Porter, and Alperen Sengun, who are all offensive-minded players in their own right. That said, with the departure of Christian Wood, Smith figures to pick up a lot of his slack.
Pick 1.04 - Sacramento Kings
Keegan Murray, F – Iowa
Analysis: What a difference a year makes. A season ago, Keegan Murray averaged just 7.2 PPG as a freshman at Iowa and wasn’t really on the NBA Draft radar after playing in the shadow of Luka Garza. As a sophomore, Murray improved drastically as he became the go-to scorer for a fast-paced Hawkeyes offense and averaged 23.5 PPG with a big jump in usage. He also shot nearly 40% from three this past season and should be a productive 3-and-D starter on the wing at the next level. It is a slight worry, though, that Murray’s upside may be capped since the soon-to-be 22-year-old is a late-bloomer.
Fantasy Fit: If the Kings are OK with Domantas Sabonis at the center position, Murray could find himself starting at power forward. We're unsure of Richaun Holmes' situation, but if he returns and the Kings shift Sabonis back to PF, that would impact Murray. of the picks in the top-five, Murray may have the least fantasy value of any player. He is, however, someone who can help you with ratios considering his ability to stroke it from three, shooting 40% from the arc a year ago.
Pick 1.05 - Detroit Pistons
Jaden Ivey, G – Purdue
Analysis: With plenty of bigs populating the top five, Jaden Ivey stands out as the best guard in this draft. The Purdue product made a big jump from his freshman to sophomore seasons and starred last year on one of the best offensive teams in college basketball. Ivey can drive hard and finish well at the rim with a quick first step that helps him blow by defenders. He’ll need to improve as an on-ball defender to guard opposing guards, but the offensive playmaking skills are already there to be a nightly highlight reel.
Fantasy Fit: Buy stock in the Pistons before it's too late. With Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey in the back-court, you're looking at one of the league's best young dynamic duo's around the league. We saw Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green thrive next to one another by the end of the 2021 season and I could see this situation playing out similarly. Ivey could fill the scoring void left by Jerami Grant as he was shipped to Portland a few days before the NBA draft. I like Ivey as your fourth or fifth guard on your fantasy roster.
Pick 1.06 - Indiana Pacers
Bennedict Mathurin, G/F – Arizona
Analysis: Bennedict Mathurin is another sophomore who benefited a ton from staying another year in college basketball and becoming a two-way star for Arizona’s top-tier squad. The Canadian shot 38% from three-point range last season in the Pac-12 and his perimeter scoring is a big reason why he’s a lottery pick. Mathurin brings physicality and positional versatility on defense and can finish strong around the rim on the offensive end. He can play either the two or three at the next level, but his ball-handling will need to improve to become a more complete offensive player.
Fantasy Fit: If this pick doesn't all but sure up the fact that the Pacers are looking to trade Malcolm Brogdon, I'm not sure what does. Mathurin's ability to play both shooting guard and small forward presents a depth problem that Indiana will likely address on the trade market. Once they shuffle their roster and are building around Mathurin, Jalen Smith, Tyrese Haliburton, Chris Duarte, etc., Mathurin can find himself a threat offensively with his new team. He's going to help them stretch the floor and we know Haliburton loves finding open shooters. Perfect fit around their point guard.
Pick 1.07 - Portland Trailblazers
Shaedon Sharpe, G – Kentucky
Analysis: Anyone who tells you they know what to expect from Shaedon Sharpe is lying. The former No. 1 high school recruit is arguably the biggest boom-or-bust prospect in this draft. He didn’t play a single minute for Kentucky last year as a freshman after joining the program late and choosing to sit out (smartly, to maintain his draft stock). Still, the 19-year-old has a ton of offensive upside as a taller, athletic guard who can create his own shots, finish well around the rim, and shoot from the perimeter. There are legit questions surrounding his defensive ability and lack of tough competition in recent seasons.
Fantasy Fit: We don't know what Sharpe is going to look like after a year off but the Blazers are willing to take a shot on him. Playing alongside Damian Lillard has its benefits as he's typically the guy drawing all the attention. Portland does not have many guys signed to contracts at the guard position, so Sharpe could be an impact player for them from Day 1. He has late-round fantasy draft appeal as we wait and see how Portland continues to fill out their roster.
Pick 1.08 - New Orleans Pelicans
Dyson Daniels, G – G League Ignite
Analysis: Dyson Daniels is our first player from the G League ranks after he opted to go the semi-pro route out instead of college. Despite the alternative path, the Australian product has the real ceiling of being one of the best all-around talents in this draft class. At 6-foot-8, he’s a taller lead guard who passes and handles the ball well with playmaking ability. Daniels is also arguably the best perimeter on-ball defender in the draft and has the size/length to guard multiple spots. His shooting and lack of three-point threat need to improve, but the high-level defense and floor general point guard skills make up for it.
Fantasy Fit: With the acquisition of C.J. McCollum at last year's trade deadline, Daniels' fantasy value is definitely not maximized in New Orleans. Don't forget New Orleans drafted Kira Lewis Jr. in the first round of the 2021 NBA draft, so Daniels isn't a shoo-in to start from Day 1. With Lewis there, as well as Devonte' Graham, Daniels is going to have to fight for playing time, but if he can defend as his profile suggests, he'll find his way onto the floor. Not the best fantasy asset for your drafts.
Pick 1.09 - San Antonio Spurs
Jeremy Sochan, F – Baylor
Analysis: College basketball fans will remember that Jeremy Sochan wasn’t even the best player on his team last year. Even still, the freshman’s raw talents and NBA-caliber skills were on full display if you watched closely. At 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds, Sochan has the size, length, athleticism, and positional versatility to develop into an exceptional pro defender – and he has arguably the most defensive upside in this draft. The offensive game and shooting need development, but the defending skills are already there for Sochan to play meaningful minutes right away.
Fantasy Fit: Considering how much work he needs offensively, he's not going to make much of a fantasy impact in 2022. We've seen this from the likes of Matisse Thybulle and Patrick Williams over the past couple of NBA drafts.
Pick 1.10 - Washington Wizards
Johnny Davis, G – Wisconsin
Analysis: Wisconsin’s breakout star is another college sophomore who took a massive jump from his freshman season. Johnny Davis quickly emerged as one of the best two-way players in the Big Ten last year en route to winning the conference’s Player of the Year honors, averaging 19.7 PPG and 8.2 RPG. He can create shots on his own and score from all levels, including the toughness and competitiveness to drive hard to the rim. Davis’ on-ball defense and bigger frame for a guard will translate well to the NBA.
Fantasy Fit: We saw the Wizards run out Raul Neto, Ish Smith, and Tomas Satoransky for 82 games in 2021. Davis is the point guard of the future in Washington and is a guy who can take the load off Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis when they need a bucket. He's a great rebounding guard and can contribute in multiple categories. This a great landing spot for Davis for fantasy purposes, especially if Bradley Beal is dealt at some point before or during the season.
Pick 1.11 - New York Knicks (Traded to Oklahoma City Thunder)
Ousmane Dieng, F – New Zealand Breakers
Analysis: Ousmane Dieng is a French-born prospect who played last year in the New Zealand pro league and quickly rose up on draft big boards this summer. Though relatively unknown to NBA or college basketball fans, the 19-year-old received a ton of pre-draft hype for his potential to develop into a star or quality role player down the line. At 6-foot-10, Dieng has great size for a wing and he boasts plenty of offensive upside if he improves his three-point shot. He’s already a solid passer with three years of pro-league experience under his belt, but the shooting and defensive concerns had some teams scared off.
Fantasy Fit: There are a LOT of guys that are already established NBA players on this Thunder roster playing the same position as Dieng. We'll see how he fits, but he has a lot of potential if his development is handled correctly. His 2022 value is very unclear at this point. We need to see how this OKC roster pans heading into the preseason.
Pick 1.12 - Oklahoma City Thunder
Jalen Williams, F – Santa Clara
Analysis: Jalen Williams rose up teams’ big boards after an impressive NBA Draft Combine performance that saw him separate himself from other fringe first-rounders. There’s understandably a bit of an unknown risk with the Santa Clara product after the junior took a few years to emerge and played against easier college competition in the West Coast Conference. Even still, the two-way talent and upside are there. Williams shot nearly 40% from three last season and developed some playmaking and ball-handling skills in a point-forward type of role. He also has the defensive effort, size, and versatility to guard multiple spots as a 3-and-D winger.
Fantasy Fit: Let's face it, Williams played against inferior college talent during his time with Santa Clara but we've seen PLENTY of players develop into stars despite not playing in a major conference in college. Williams will help the Thunder spread the floor, but like Dieng before him, there is a lot of traffic at the positions they play.
Pick 1.13 - Charlotte Hornets (Traded to Detroit Pistons)
Jalen Duren, C – Memphis
Analysis: The Memphis freshman is a top-tier shot-blocker at the center position and his explosive rim-protecting ability should keep him in the NBA for a while. Jalen Duren is also a high-flying, strong, and athletic dunker/finisher on the offensive end to work well in pick-and-rolls. Outside of scoring around the rim and shot-blocking, though, Duren’s game is limited. His athleticism and strong build should make him a solid NBA center, but he has no three-point range and his offensive skills are minimal overall.
Fantasy Fit: Duren was drafted by Charlotte, traded to the Knicks, and then dealt alongside Kemba Walker to the Pistons. We'll see what this does to the likes of Isaiah Stewart and Luka Garza, but it looks as if there's a new sheriff in town at the center position. If Detroit doesn't move on from Stewart, we could see a 50/50 split at center, which doesn't help either guy in fantasy.
Pick 1.14 - Cleveland Cavaliers
Ochai Agbaji, G/F – Kansas
Analysis: If you watch the NCAA Final Four in March, then you know about Ochai Agbaji. The senior anchored Kansas’ national title squad and won Most Outstanding Player honors after a Big 12 POY campaign. Agbaji brings in four years of college experience and a veteran attitude, which will have him ready to compete against NBA competition right away. Many will knock Agbaji for being a late-bloomer or being a 22-year-old prospect, but it’s encouraging to see him improve statistically and physically with each season in college. He shot 40.9% from three last year and now has the defensive versatility and willingness to guard multiple positions as a 3-and-D wing.
Fantasy Fit: Look, Cleveland isn't exactly the best landing spot for rookies looking to make an impact for fantasy purposes. Because he can stretch the floor, it's a solid fit, but what he'll bring to the Cleveland rotation right away is a little unknown. That being said, if Cleveland is done experimenting with their “big lineup”, Agbaji could slot in at the small forward out of the gate.
Pick 1.15 - Charlotte Hornets
Mark Williams, C – Duke
Analysis: In terms of pure center prospects, Mark Williams might be the most pro-ready with a slightly higher floor than Jalen Duren. With two seasons at Duke under his belt, the sophomore has fine-tuned his elite shot-blocking skills as a dominant defensive presence inside. Williams’ offensive skillset is a bit limited, though, with no three-point threat or jump shot and a lack of ball-handling ability. However, he’s already very good at running to the rim and finishing on pick-and-rolls and lobs – which will make him a solid NBA center combined with his rim-protecting.
Fantasy Fit: It's no secret what Charlotte has been longing for seemingly ever; a center. A center that can anchor the defense. Williams can do just that and is a perfect pick-and-roll guy to pair with LaMelo Ball. This was a fantastic pick for Charlotte and Williams is going to make his presence felt right away. With the 32-year-old Mason Plumlee on the last year of his contract, Williams may push him aside and take over as the starting center sooner rather than later.
Pick 1.16 - Atlanta Hawks
AJ Griffin, G/F – Duke
Analysis: If AJ Griffin played anywhere else but Duke last year, he would’ve gotten a lot more pre-draft hype. The 3-and-D wing prospect has the offensive talent to be a top-scoring option, but he had to take a backseat to Paolo Banchero and even Jeremy Roach in the Blue Devils' offense for much of last season. Still, Griffin’s scoring talent showed flashes – like his lights-out 45% three-point shooting or smooth pull-up game. Outside of the perimeter scoring, however, Griffin needs to develop more as a shot creator and on the defensive end to be a starting wing.
Fantasy Fit: As if Atlanta needed more shooters? Griffin was absolutely lights out from three, notching a 45% clip as mentioned above. He needs to develop more on-ball creation, but with guys like Trae Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic making plays for Atlanta, Griffin just needs to be ready to spot up, catch and knock shots down. We'll see how much he dips into some of these guys' playing time off the bat, however.
Pick 1.17 - Houston Rockets
Tari Eason, F – LSU
Analysis: Tari Eason is yet another college sophomore who improved his NBA Draft stock with a second year in school. The LSU product is an active and versatile defender who can guard the wing positions and play the small-ball center. He’s a bigger-bodied 3-and-D prospect than others in this draft and that mix of athleticism, size, and strength makes him a valuable commodity on the defensive end. The offensive skillset needs work, but at least he shot 36% from three last season and can hold his own as a perimeter threat.
Fantasy Fit: The Rockets committed to playing small-ball center last year with Christian Wood and when they dealt Wood, they doubled down considering that moved Alperen Sengun into the spotlight. Well, with the draft pick of Eason, they now have two guys they can use in that regard. At this point, he's probably better than Sengun on the defensive end because he's so foul-happy. Sengun better sure up the fouls and the turnovers because Eason is coming. He more naturally slots in at PF, but the Rockets took Jabari Smith with the third overall pick of this draft.
Pick 1.18 - Chicago Bulls
Dalen Terry, G – Arizona
Analysis: Despite being low on the offensive pecking order at Arizona last year, Dalen Terry is rightfully a first-round pick with the upside to outperform his draft position. At 6-foot-7 and 195 pounds, the sophomore has the length, athleticism, and versatility to defend multiple positions and be a taller playmaker on the offensive end. He ran the point at Arizona at times this past season and showed off improved passing chops. The shooting, three-point range, and overall scoring ability need more work, but Terry’s defense will make him a starter for years.
Fantasy Fit: If Zach LaVine re-signs in Chicago, Terry's fantasy value is very much capped in 2022. Lonzo Ball will be back, as will Alex Caruso. Last year's second-round pick Ayo Dosunmu made a name for himself, and Coby White still has a year left on his contract. Terry could see the floor due to how good defensively he can be thanks to his length.
Pick 1.19 - Minnesota Timberwolves (Traded to Memphis Grizzlies)
Jake LaRavia, F – Wake Forest
Analysis: Anyone interested in another 3-and-D prospect? Here we have Jake LaRavia, who shot 38% from three last year at Wake Forest as he took a leap forward overall in his third collegiate season. It remains to be seen how the 20-year-old can hold up as a defender in the NBA, but his shooting will make him a valuable role player. LaRavia’s smooth stroke is a big reason why he rose up draft boards this summer to become a first-round selection.
Fantasy Fit: This trade makes a whole lot of sense for the Memphis Grizzlies considering where they ranked in three-point shooting a year ago. They were 23rd in makes per game, which LaRavia and his 38% from deep last year will help improve upon. With so much attention on Ja Morant, LaRavia could thrive on the perimeter for the Grizzlies.
Pick 1.20 - San Antonio Spurs
Malaki Branham, G – Ohio State
Analysis: If you like guards who can create their own shots and get buckets, Malaki Branham is for you. The Ohio State freshman has a polished mid-range jumper and is fantastic as a pick-and-roll scorer. He also shot 41% from three last season and showed can drain from a catch-and-shoot position as well. The offensive game alone is a big reason why he was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and it will make him a quality backup guard right away. Branham also brings some defensive upside to the backcourt as he improved as the freshman campaign went along.
Fantasy Fit: With the Spurs trading away Derrick White at the deadline last year and now all the rumors swirling with Dejounte Murray potentially being traded, it makes sense for them to take a guard here. Branham is a scorer and will be able to get to the rim with his 6'5" frame and can also knock down three's a 40% clip. As long as Murray's still on the team, Branham's upside is capped, but if he's dealt, Branham could be one of the better rookies for fantasy later on in the season.
Pick 1.21 - Denver Nuggets
Christian Braun, G/F – Kansas
Analysis: Christian Braun flew under the radar for Kansas’ national champion squad while Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack, and Remy Martin stole headlines. Heck, even Jalen Wilson might’ve been more well-known. Still, Braun has the athleticism and 3-and-D skill set to be a solid rotational role player. He shot 38% from three last year as a junior and was an excellent finisher and dunker in transition. The on-ball defense could use some improvement, but Braun was a better team defender for Kansas’ top-tier squad.
Fantasy Fit: After a year in which the Nuggets were league average in three-point shooting, they bring in Christian Braun who was a 38% shooter from deep a year ago. He's good with the ball in his hands and can obviously play without it and will have to do with the likes of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. on the floor. His real value hinges on Michael Porter Jr.'s health heading into 2023.
Pick 1.22 - Minnesota Timberwolves
Walker Kessler, C – Auburn
Analysis: Walker Kessler is arguably the best rim-protector in this draft class after averaging 4.6 blocks per game last season at Auburn. He’ll be a great shot-blocker in the NBA with his 7-foot-1 and 255-pound frame that will be imposing in the paint for driving scorers. Considering his size, Kessler did show some limited ability to shoot from deep and there’s potential for him to be a more consistent perimeter threat. Outside of the elite shot-blocking skills, the 20-year-old does need to develop more as a switch defender as his mobility and footwork are still very raw – as are his offensive skills besides dunking.
Fantasy Fit: The one thing we know is that Karl-Anthony Towns is an offensive-minded player first, second, and third, so having a defensive-minded center in Kessler checking in to give Towns a breather is going to cause problems for second units. At this point, he'll be playing against mostly second and third units.
Pick 1.23 - Philadelphia 76ers (Traded to Memphis Grizzlies)
David Roddy, F – Colorado State
Analysis: Not often do you get a guy 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, but here we are. His size is the first thing you notice, but it's not his calling. He's very athletic and shot 43.8% from three for Colorado State last season. He's very solid in a lot of different areas such as rebounding and passing, but again, what position will he play in the NBA with his build?
Fantasy Fit: This pick seems…interesting, considering Memphis also drafted Jake LaRavia, who's going to help spread the floor and play on the wing. Well, that's what Roddy does well too, so the two could potentially eat into each others playing time. No bueno for fantasy.
Pick 1.24 - Milwaukee Bucks
MarJon Beauchamp, G/F – G League Ignite
Analysis: MarJon Beauchamp has the ideal size and frame at 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds to be a solid NBA wing, but he was inconsistent last year in the G League. At the very least, the 21-year-old will be a solid defender in the pros as he improved a ton on that end this past season and plays with high energy. Beauchamp’s offensive game is raw and still needs work, especially as a shooter, but the athleticism and build is there.
Fantasy Fit: Another athletic wing heading to Milwaukee? Wonderful news for the rest of the league..NOT. Beauchamp showed what he's made off in the G-League last year averaging 15 points per game. He has a lot of work to do and a lot of really great players ahead of him on this roster. Little fantasy value out of the gates landing in Milwaukee.
Pick 1.25 - San Antonio Spurs
Blake Wesley, G – Notre Dame
Analysis: As a freshman at Notre Dame last season, Blake Wesley showed flashes of his shot creation and dynamic scoring ability. He often had to singlehandedly carry the Irish offense without much consistent talent around him – which is a big reason why his 40% FG rate and 30% three-point shooting look inefficient. Still, Wesley can score from all three levels and has the upside to be a starting guard because of his offensive skills.
Fantasy Fit: Wesley can be a big volume guy if need be and the Spurs continuing to pile on the guards is interesting. It makes it seem like the Dejounte Murray trade is closer than it seems. If Murray is dealt, Wesley could be valuable on a bad Spurs team.
Pick 1.26 - Dallas Mavericks
Wendell Moore Jr., G/F – Duke
Analysis: Some thought Wendell Moore Jr. would return to Duke for another season, but he obviously knew he could be valuable for an NBA team as an intriguing role player. The former five-star recruit spent three years at Duke and worked his way towards winning the Julius Erving Award as the best small forward in college basketball. Moore shot 41% from three last season and improved a ton as a defender to profile as a legit 3-and-D talent in the pros. The big-game experience at Duke and three collegiate seasons will have him ready to compete right away.
Fantasy Fit: It didn't help that Dallas was without Tim Hardaway Jr. for a large chunk of the year, but they were 19th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage last year. Moore was the best SF in college basketball and playing alongside Luka Doncic will provide Moore with a LOT of open looks. He could be viable at some point of the season, not right away.
Pick 1.27 - Miami Heat
Nikola Jovic, F – Mega Mozzart (Serbia)
Analysis: No, it’s not Nikola Jokic being drafted for a second time. This is Nikola Jovic, a Serbian 19-year-old who deserves his own name recognition. Although he underwhelmed in team workouts this summer, the skillset at his size offers plenty of upside. At 6-foot-11, Jovic has perimeter shooting ability, impressive ball-handling and passing chops, and the willingness to drive to the rim. The defense is a liability right now, but the dynamic offensive game could make him a steal in this draft.
Fantasy Fit: The skillset is hard not to love. Jovic can do it all despite the fact he's almost a seven-footer. With P.J. Tucker leaving, there is an opening for Jovic if he stands out during the summer and preseason. He could play a lot early on and although he's not someone we're looking at in standard fantasy drafts, he could be a waiver wire candidate. We'll see how Miami continues to build out its roster this offseason.
Pick 1.28 - Golden State Warriors
Patrick Baldwin Jr., F – Milwaukee
Analysis: A year ago, Patrick Baldwin Jr. was the consensus No. 1 recruit in the 2021 high school class and a presumed top-10 NBA Draft pick. Well, an ankle injury and inconsistent play limited the freshman to just 11 games and 12 PPG after he chose to play college basketball at lower-tier Milwaukee (over Duke and others). Despite the underwhelming, and frankly disappointing, season, Baldwin still has the raw talents and a 6-foot-10 frame to develop into a quality NBA player.
Fantasy Fit: The rich get richer, right? Long-term, Baldwin could be the best value this draft has to offer. The problem for fantasy is that he landed with the Golden State Warriors. There's not much here for the 2022 season.
Pick 1.29 - Houston Rockets
TyTy Washington Jr., G – Kentucky
Analysis: Drafting TyTy Washington Jr. is a bank on him developing more as an overall prospect like the five-star recruit he was out of high school. As a freshman at Kentucky last year, however, Washington underwhelmed for the most part and took a backseat on offense to Sahvir Wheeler, Oscar Tshiebwe, and others. He shot just 33% from three-point range and an ankle injury hindered him. Washington did show off his lethal mid-range and float game, though, so the baseline for a shooting touch is there.
Fantasy Fit: Washington was expected to be drafted a bit higher than where he was taken, so this could end up being a steal for the Rockets. They have a LOT of guard depth, but with D.J. Augustin gone, Washington instantly slots in as the team's backup point-guard behind Kevin Porter Jr. If Porter goes down with any sort of injury, it's possible Washington thrives in fantasy formats. Unless that happens, there isn't that much value here.
Pick 1.30 - Denver Nuggets
Peyton Watson, F – UCLA
Analysis: As a freshman last season, Peyton Watson, unfortunately, played on a UCLA team that was loaded with quality college basketball talent and was just coming off of a Final Four appearance. That situation definitely hindered Watson’s development because he didn’t get the regular playing time like other top prospects – especially the one-and-done guys. Even still, the 19-year-old boasts plenty of potential with a 6-foot-8 frame and the size/athletic combination to develop into a solid NBA wing. Watson’s defensive upside is his best asset and one that got him just enough minutes at UCLA, but the offensive game needs work as he’s raw in all aspects.
Fantasy Fit: As mentioned earlier when Denver took Christian Braun, his playing time depends on the status of Michael Porter Jr. Same can be said for Watson. Hard to like Watson in fantasy this season.