For those who haven’t followed the story, or listened to the “F” In Sports podcast, I am a history teacher by day. I’ve been teaching since the fall of 2013, and have had a number of very sharp and very fun students. Frequently, I get an advisory full of sports fans because I am a sports fan and NBA Draft fans, and that leads to fun conversations every year. One kid who stuck out was named Aman. Aman was sitting at his lunch table on the first day of school, in a Dallas Mavericks t-shirt, so I sat down and said “Hey, Aman, who is the winning the NBA Finals this year and why is it the Houston Rockets?” Aman chuckled and said, “there’s no way anyone beats the Golden State Warriors… but MAN, it would be cool if someone did.” I immediately knew this was a smart kid.

(Sidebar: that was the 2017-18 school year, Houston had just acquired Chris Paul, and had he not hurt his hamstring… I still think I’d have been right.)

Left: A picture left on my whiteboard | Right: A cake Aman brought in on my birthday

The 2017-18 school year was fun for a number of reasons, namely the Rockets were playing meaningful basketball from the start of the season until the end of the school year (the last day of school was May 24th, 2018… the day of Western Conference Finals Game 5, where Chris Paul got hurt). Moreover, the Dallas Mavericks were a miserable 24-58. Aman, and Mavs fans, had little in the season to cheer for. But I kept trying to tell Aman to watch the Rockets, and wait for the draft. The lesson was Dallas loves international kids, and the best international kid ever was 18 years old. Aman learned patience that season, amongst other things, while Rockets fans like myself learned about the fragility of a moment in time.

But Aman also learned to look to the draft, how to look at and grade prospects, and the value of drafting and rebuilding. This week, after the Houston Rockets earned the third overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, he reached out and sent me his mock. With his permission (as well as permission to share his first name), here is how the first 14 picks of the 2022 NBA draft will shake out… According to Aman.

Aman’s 2022 NBA Lottery Mock Draft

NBA Draft Pick 1. Orlando Magic: Center, Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga, Freshman)

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NBA Draft hopeful Chet Holmgren

The Orlando Magic are in a really interesting position with this pick. I think this pick could be Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr., or Paolo Banchero, but it all depends on what they would like to do with their franchise, and obviously, who they think the best prospect is. They have a young frontcourt consisting of names like Franz Wagner, Jonathan Isaac, Chuma Okeke, Wendell Carter, and Mo Bamba, and the top three players in this draft are all forward/centers. I think it’s possible that the Magic could trade Isaac since he has been injured and they are already overloaded at the forward position. I still think that Isaac has the potential to be one of the best defensive players in the league, so it is possible that they do keep him. If they do keep him, I think they would look to draft Holmgren to start at that center position. Drafting Holmgren would allow Wendell Carter to come off the bench as a four and keep Bamba as a backup center. The Magic could then figure out what they would like to do with their other young forwards but drafting Holmgren would give the Magic one of the best young defensive starting lineups in the league.

Chet Holmgren is arguably the best defender in this draft class. When you watch Gonzaga play, it looked like their opponent could never score in the paint because Holmgren was either blocking shots or heavily contesting them. Despite being 7’0, Holmgren is also quick enough to navigate around the perimeter and can defend guards and forwards when needed. Although he isn’t a true scorer, Holmgren is also gifted offensively. You don’t see a 7’0 center casually walking the ball up the court and hitting a pull-up three every day. Holmgren is an active offensive player and can score from practically anywhere on the court. Whether it’s in the paint, mid-range, three-point-range, or free-throws. Holmgren can also handle the ball and can finish above the rim effectively. Watching Holmgren play is a gift, he’s like no other. Adding Holmgren to the roster would reunite him with his high school teammate Jalen Suggs and would help round out the Magic’s starting five.

The only concern for Chet Holmgren is his size. At 7’0, he only weighs 199 pounds. There are concerns as to whether his game will translate to the NBA because of his size. Will his rim protection be as effective when 280-pound Joel Embiid is backing him down in the paint? Will he be able to effectively score in the paint when 250-pound Myles Turner is covering him the whole game? Holmgren still has time to bulk up as he’s only 20 years old, but the Magic have to understand that taking him at number one overall comes with its own risk.

Player comparison: There is no player like Chet Holmgren, but the most realistic is Pau Gasol

NBA Draft Pick 2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Forward, Jabari Smith Jr. (Auburn, Freshman)

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NBA Draft hopeful Jabari Smith

The Oklahoma City Thunder were projected to get the fourth pick and considering that there is somewhat of a drop-off of talent after the third pick, Thunder fans must be ecstatic to have the second pick. The Thunder have a solid young roster, and with their 36 draft picks over the next five years, they can only grow their team. The Thunder need a player who can consistently score for them and be a threat down the stretch alongside star Shai Gilgeous Alexander.

Jabari Smith Jr. can hit shots from anywhere on the court. During his career at Auburn, he hit crazy turnaround fadeaway jumpers, tough three-point shots, and so much more. Smith Jr. makes it tough for his opponents to guard him with his 6’10, 210 lbs. frame, and he averaged 17 points on 44% shooting from beyond the arc. Adding Smith Jr to the Thunder’s roster will immediately give them a scorer who they can rely on, and his offensive game will only improve while playing next to facilitators like Gilgeous Alexander and Josh Giddey. Smith Jr. is also dangerous defensively as he hustles across the court and brings the energy. Smith Jr has the potential to turn into an All-NBA defender.

There aren’t a lot of concerns about Jabari Smith Jr’s game. He’s an outstanding all-around player, and he deserves the recognition that he’s been getting. The only downside to his game is he looks a little stiff when handling the ball. I would compare him to Kevin Durant, but he’s just not as fluid with the ball. This isn’t something to worried about, and Smith Jr. can still work on this throughout his career, even if it doesn’t improve, he’s shown that he’s able to score despite it.

Player comparison: Michael Porter Jr.

NBA Draft Pick 3. Houston Rockets: Forward, Paolo Banchero (Duke, Freshman)

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NBA Draft hopeful Paolo Banchero

The Houston Rockets find themselves in a somewhat easy position because they will most likely pick whoever is available at their pick out of Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith Jr, and Paolo Banchero. In this mock draft, Paolo Banchero is available at the third pick, so he is headed to Houston. Ever since James Harden’s departure, Rockets basketball has been deserted and boring to watch. The Rockets do have exciting young players like Jalen Green, Josh Christopher, and Kevin Porter Jr; however, Rockets basketball just hasn’t been the same. Jalen Green put up solid numbers at the end of the season, and I am looking forward to seeing how he progresses as a player next season. Adding Banchero to the mix will add another young star to the team, who can carry the offensive load alongside Green.

Paolo Banchero, listed at 6’10, was phenomenal as a freshman at Duke this year, averaging 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists while shooting nearly 50% from the floor. Banchero is a willing scorer, and his consistency throughout March Madness led Duke to an impressive Final Four run. Houston should look to run their offense through Jalen Green, and he would excel with more size around him. Green and Banchero would be able to feed off each other offensively and would make Rockets basketball somewhat fun to watch next year. However, they still won’t be the best team in Texas.

There are some concerns regarding Paolo Banchero’s ability to contribute defensively. He has a great frame to be a solid defender, however, his effort just isn’t there. Throughout his time at Duke, there were times when he wouldn’t hustle to close out or would play lazy defense leading to easy buckets. Currently, I am not too concerned about this considering Banchero’s offensive ability. He has the frame to improve as a defender in the NBA and he did show flashes of being a “good enough” rim protector at Duke. With player development and a few trades and additions, the Rockets could be back to a playoff team within the next couple of years.

Player comparison: Julius Randle

NBA Draft Pick 4. Sacramento Kings: Forward, Keegan Murray (Iowa, Sophomore)

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NBA Draft hopeful Keegan Murray

The Sacramento Kings are at a difficult position with this pick, and this could be a trade-down situation. In my eyes, Jaden Ivey is the next best player available. However, it seems as though the Kings want to solidify De’Aaron Fox as their point guard for the future. Earlier this season, the Kings traded young guard Tyrese Halliburton as they felt he didn’t fit with Fox. The Kings acquired forward Domantas Sabonis in this trade, and they currently have an interesting roster to say the least.

Since I feel the Kings won’t look to take a guard, Keegan Murray is the next best player available that isn’t a guard. The Sophomore out of Iowa had a superb sophomore season averaging 23 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. Murray is a versatile defender as he has the ability to guard both centers and forwards, and he would be a defensive anchor on the Kings. Along with his defensive ability, Murray is also an offensive threat. Murray is a skilled three-point shooter and can create shots for his own. On the Kings roster, Murray could even be a “small-ball” center next to Sabonis and would be dangerous in the pick-and-roll game with De-Aaron Fox.

There aren’t a lot of concerns with Keegan Murray’s game. He can improve as a post scorer and shooter, but he isn’t an offensive liability, and can be the Kings second or third scoring option.

The Kings have what it takes to piece together a playoff roster. With a few changes here and there, De’Aaron Fox could lead this team to their first playoffs since 2006.

Player comparison: Pascal Siakam

NBA Draft Pick 5. Detroit Pistons: Guard, Jaden Ivey (Purdue, Sophomore)

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NBA Draft hopeful Jaden Ivey

Although the Pistons have an abundance of guards, I don’t think they will pass up on Jaden Ivey. It appears the Pistons like combo-guards who can play both the point guard and shooting guard. The number one overall pick Cade Cunningham had a solid rookie campaign, and things can only go up for the Detroit Pistons. Adding Ivey to the backcourt alongside Cunningham would be a nightmare for teams, also consider that Killian Hayes and Hamidou Diallo would then come off the bench.

Jaden Ivey had an impressive sophomore leap as he averaged 17 points and 3 assists throughout his season at Purdue. The way Ivey plays reminds me of Donavan Mitchell as he is a dynamic shot creator who has the quickest first step in the draft. His ability to get to the rim and score through contact is impressive. Ivey’s overall offensive game makes him one of if not the most exciting guards in this class. He can truly do it all on offense. He can get to the rim with power, he can create mid-range shots with the pick and roll, and this year, he proved that he could shoot the three-ball as he shot 37% from downtown. Pairing Ivey’s dynamic playstyle with Cunningham’s intelligence on the court will be lethal.

Ivey isn’t the perfect guard, as he can be considered a defensive liability. Ivey needs to stay disciplined off the ball. He often lost his defensive assignment when they didn’t have the ball and wasn’t the most engaged defender. Ivey did improve as a defender as his high energy is used to throw off his assignment. Although his defense is not “NBA-ready” yet, Ivey still has lots of time to improve on that side of the ball, and playing next to defenders like Cunningham and Isaiah Stewart will only help Ivey. If Ivey can live up to his hype, Detroit might have the most dangerous backcourt in the next couple of years.

Player comparison: Donavan Mitchell

NBA Draft Pick 6. Indiana Pacers: Guard, Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky, Freshman)

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NBA Draft hopeful Shaedon Sharpe

The Indiana Pacers have undergone numerous changes throughout this season. They hired new head coach Rick Carlisle and they have made roster changes such as trading Domantas Sabonis in return for young guard Tyrese Haliburton and others. After a disappointing season with only 25 wins compared to 57 losses, the Pacers will look to pick up a player who can help them in the future. The Pacers roster is currently incapable of being a top-six seed next year, so I think Shaedon Sharpe will be the pick for the Pacers as he has tremendous upside for the future.

Freshman guard out of Kentucky, Shaedon Sharpe, is considered the biggest wildcard in the draft. Sharpe did not play a single game in college; however, he was ranked as the number 1 prospect out of the 2022 high school class. Sharpe is an enticing prospect because of his big frame as a guard. He measures at 6’6, 200 pounds. Sharpe has the ability to create off the dribble and he attacks the rim with ease. The Indiana Pacers would have to be willing to take a risk if they decided to draft Sharpe. Sharpe is a raw prospect and still has much to improve on. His shooting was streaky and there isn’t much to provide on the defensive side of the ball as the only film is from him on high school players. Sharpe has one of the highest potentials in this class, and with the right coaching and support, he could live up to the hype and be the superstar he was expected to be out of high school.

Although drafting Sharpe would be a risk, the Pacers are in the perfect situation to take that risk. As of now, the Pacers are not fighting to win a championship. They recently traded their star player for a younger player with more potential. Drafting Shaedon Sharpe would allow him to play in a bench role behind Malcolm Brogdon. Coming off the bench would allow Sharpe to slowly ease into an NBA-style game and the Pacers would be able to see if he would be ready for a starting role at the start of the 2023 season. Malcolm Brogdon’s contract expires after next season, and if Sharpe is looking good, they could let Brogdon walk. Sharpe and Tyrese Haliburton would complement each other, and they would be able to guide Indiana back to playoff basketball.

NBA Draft Pick 7. Portland Trailblazers: Forward, AJ Griffin (Duke, Sophomore)

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NBA Draft hopeful Adrian Griffin Jr.

The Portland Trailblazers have had a frustrating season following the injury of All-NBA guard Damian Lillard. After Lillard got injured, it seems as though the Trailblazers fell off the face of the earth. The Trailblazers still have a solid young roster, and if they trade Lillard for some draft capital, they could be a solid team in some time. They have emerging young stars in Anfernee Simons, Keon Johnson, and Greg Brown III. The Trailblazers desperately need someone who can score. AJ Griffin had a solid sophomore season at Duke, and his ability to shoot the ball with ease will help the Trailblazers.

AJ Griffin has great physical skills that will help him excel in the NBA. One attribute is his frame as he is listed at 6’7, 200 pounds. Griffin is a creative scorer and can score from anywhere on the court. He shot 48.3% from the three-point range this season. Griffin is also a phenomenal defender, and his frame will allow him to transform into a lockdown defender in the NBA.

The main concern about AJ Griffin’s game is his injury history. He’s had issues with his knee, and he missed two years of high school basketball. The Trailblazers would have to acknowledge the risk of re-injury if they draft Griffin.

The Trailblazers don’t have a lot to work with right now but having a “3 and D” player who can also create shots on his own will only help them in the long run. Griffin can turn into a player who the Trailblazers can trust down the stretch, and he is one of those players who would have an important role on any team.

Player comparison: A bigger Jaylen Brown

NBA Draft Pick 8. New Orleans Pelicans: Guard/Forward Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona, Sophomore)

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NBA Draft hopeful Bennedict Mathurin

In my eyes, the New Orleans Pelicans are not far from making a deep playoff run. As the eighth seed this year, they took the best team in the league to six games. They have almost all the tools it takes to fight for the Larry O Brien next June. They have elite scorers in CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram, and they also have great defenders in rookies Herbert Jones and Jose Alvarado. Oh, and yeah, they have that Zion guy too. There isn’t much the Pelicans need, so the logistical addition is to add to their depth. Bennedict Mathurin would immediately be able to make an impact on this team, as he could evolve into a leading scorer off the bench.

Bennedict Mathurin was one of college’s best offensive threats this year as he averaged 17 points and shot nearly 40% from behind the three-point arc. During his freshman season, his role was to knock down threes, but this year he’s expanded his game as he creates off the dribble and also has solid playmaking abilities. He measures 6’6”, 210 pounds, which is solid for a guard. His length helps his athleticism and helps him move quickly on defense. Mathurin would be a solid addition to the Pelicans and could immediately improve their bench scoring.

Once in the league, Mathurin should look to stay consistent on defense. He’s shown flashes of defensive capability, however, he is a below-average defender. He has the physical traits to be a good defender which provides for some hope. Mathurin should also look to attack the rim more. He relies on his shooting to score which isn’t bad, however, adding paint scoring to his offensive resume would make him a well-rounded scorer.

Player comparison: Jason Richardson

NBA Draft Pick 9. San Antonio Spurs: Center, Jalen Duren (Memphis, Freshman)

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NBA Draft hopeful Jalen Duren

The San Antonio Spurs have not made the playoffs in four years, and as Gregg Popovich’s coaching career enters its final years, they hope to make one last run. After Kawhi Leonard was traded to the Raptors, Spurs basketball has hit a dead end. There hasn’t been much production and it hasn’t been fun to watch. The Spurs have an overall young roster, and there’s plenty of potential for some of their players. This year, guard Dejounte Murray was the runner-up for the Most Improved Player award as he emerged as an all-star guard. The Spurs are lacking a center as they only have two on the roster, and Jalen Duren could work his way to have a starting role for the Spurs.

Jalen Duren plays like a traditional center, which is what the Spurs currently lack. Duren is an explosive shot-blocker and defender in general. He does a phenomenal job of protecting the paint, and he keeps up with guards on the perimeter when he needs to. He is also a spectacular interior scorer as he was a lob threat at Memphis, and he continued to get putbacks off the numerous offensive rebounds that he collected. Surprisingly, Duren is a solid passer as well. Whether it’s from the perimeter or in the paint, Duren was able to find his teammates from all around the court.

The main thing Jalen Duren struggles with his shooting. Duren struggled at the free-throw line as he made only 63% of his free throws. Players who are incapable of hitting free throws have been penalized in the NBA as they are often taken out of the game during crunch time. Duren will need to work on his shooting to round his offensive ability. If he can improve his shooting, he has the potential to be a top center in the league.

Player comparison: Slightly larger Robert Williams

NBA Draft Pick 10. Washington Wizards: Guard/Forward, Johnny Davis (Wisconsin, Sophomore)

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NBA Draft hopeful Johnny Davis

The Washington Wizards haven’t been good in a long time. They looked like they had a promising duo with John Wall and Bradley Beal, but injuries shattered the duo. Star player Bradley Beal has been involved in trade rumors throughout the last couple of years, but the front office hasn’t made any moves. The Wizards have made acquisitions in the past couple of years that prove that they want to win like trading for Russell Westbrook in 2020, and trading for Kristaps Porzingis this season. There’s still a lot to do with this roster to make them a playoff team, but they have to start somewhere. The Wizards desperately need a point guard, but I’m not sure if they’d be willing to take TyTy Washington, Kennedy Chandler, or Dyson Daniels. I also don’t think Bradley Beal would want to play next to a rookie point guard, so this could be a trade-down situation for the Wizards. If they do stick with their tenth pick, I think they’ll take the best available player, who in this case is Johnny Davis.

Johnny Davis is a perfect example of a two-way player. At 6’5, Davis is capable of locking down positions 1-3, and he has a promising future defensively. Davis’ hustle on defense is hard to deny, and he always brought intensity to the defensive side of the ball. He also excels offensively as he averaged 20 points this season for Wisconsin. Davis plays like an “old school” player as he relies on his mid-range shot, which is one of the smoothest I’ve seen in college basketball. Davis also thrives in the paint, and he has a nice turnaround jump shot which continues to work against his opponents. Though he isn’t a true point guard, Davis is a solid playmaker. He makes the easy reads and can confuse the defense with his vision. Johnny Davis is one of my favorite players in this draft class, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can achieve at the next level.

The only noticeable issue with Davis’ game is his offensive consistency. He isn’t offensively efficient as he shot near 35% from the field and is often hesitant to shoot the ball. If Davis can settle into an offensive role on the Wizards, he could be one of the most dangerous young two-way players in the league.

Player Comparison: Shaun Livingston

NBA Draft Pick 11. New York Knicks: Guard, Dyson Daniels (NBA G-League)

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NBA Draft hopeful Dyson Daniels

The New York Knicks had an impressive 2020-2021 season as they finished as the fourth seed in the east led by Julius Randle. Although they didn’t make it out of the first round, it was a successful season considering the Knicks hadn’t made the playoffs since 2013. The Knicks were not able to add to their success this season, as they finished 11th in the eastern conference with a record of 37-45. The Knicks are in desperate need of a playmaker as they averaged the least number of assists in the league with only near 22 per game. With Mitchell Robinson’s contract coming to an end, the Knicks could look to take a center here in Mark Williams, however, Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose aren’t getting any younger, and a good playmaker could take this team a long way, so I believe the Knicks should select Dyson Daniels.

Dyson Daniels is able to control a game through his feel for the game. Daniels is able to score from the inside, and is an active cutter, making it easy for his teammates to find him in the paint. Daniels excels offensively through his playmaking. He has mastered the pick and roll, and he always makes opportunities for his teammates to score. He knows the game so well, and he always seems to know where the ball should go. Daniels is also an excellent defender as his frame allows him to guard multiple positions. Listed at 6’6, 199 pounds, Daniels hustles on defense, and will not allow his opponent any easy points. His hustle and intensity on defense can uplift a team, and fans would go crazy for his type of defense.

The major concern about Dyson Daniel is his ability to shoot the ball. Daniels made 30% of his threes and only 53% of his free throws in the G-League. Not being able to consistently hit shots and free throws as a point guard is troubling. The Knicks won’t need Daniels to be their first or second option offensively, but they will need him to knock down open shots and be a threat offensively. If Daniels can work on his jump shot, he could be considered a lethal two-way player with his playmaking ability and his versatility on defense.

Player Comparison: Derrick White

NBA Draft Pick 12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Center, Mark Williams (Duke, Sophomore)

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NBA Draft hopeful Mark Williams

The Oklahoma City Thunder earlier selected their future star in Jabari Smith Jr. With talented players alongside Smith Jr like Shai Gilgeous Alexander, and Josh Giddey, the Thunder just need to fill out their rosters with players who can fit around their core three and make an impact on their team. The Thunder doesn’t have a dominant center on their roster who can be a defensive anchor for the team. With the way their roster is shaped right now, it is likely that the Thunder will select Mark Williams with the 12th pick.

Mark Williams is listed as 6’10, 242 pounds, and has an insane wingspan of 7-foot-7. Williams’ presence on defense and his ability to crash the boards did not go unnoticed during Duke’s March Madness run. Williams was one of the best rim protectors in college basketball this season. He averaged nearly three steals per game and was a nightmare matchup for any center to go against. Williams is also an excellent offensive and defensive rebounder, and this will translate to the NBA. Williams is also active offensively as a lob threat and his finishing around the rim. He is similar to a traditional center; however, he can shoot the ball more efficiently.

Besides the fact that he doesn’t have a consistent jump shot, there isn’t much to be concerned about for Williams. When drafting him, you know what to expect, and the way he plays should easily translate itself in the NBA.

Player comparison: Nicholas Claxton with better free-throw shooting

NBA Draft Pick 13. Charlotte Hornets: Forward, Jeremy Sochan (Baylor, Freshman)

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NBA Draft hopeful Jeremy Sochan

The Charlotte Hornets have an exciting young roster. They are one of the best offensive teams in the league and they are still developing players like Lamelo Ball, James Bouknight, and Miles Bridges who they hope to bring back this offseason. The reason the Hornets could not reach the playoffs these last two years is because of their defense. The Hornets are one of the worst defensive teams in the league as they let up 115 points per game. Jeremy Sochan can arrive in Charlotte as an immediate difference-maker and culture changer.

Jeremy Sochan put his heart and soul into every single possession during his time at Baylor. He brought energy defensively and he is exactly what the Charlotte Hornets need. Sochan can defend basically every position as he has the strength to defend the paint, and the mobility to guard the perimeter. He reminds me a lot of Draymond Green as he can be the heart and soul of any team. Sochan will be the defensive anchor in Charlotte and has the potential to take any defense to the next level. Any team would find a way to utilize Sochan into their rotation because of the intensity and grit he brings to the defense. Along with being an outstanding defender, Sochan can rebound the ball well with his frame of 6’9, 230 pounds. The Hornets won’t need Sochan to be an offensive threat, but he has the potential to shape his game into a two-way role. He is skilled in the paint, and he’s an unproven shooter. The ceiling is super high for Jeremy Sochan.

The main concern for Jeremy Sochan’s game is his ability to shoot offensively. He doesn’t have a consistent jump shot and defenses would allow him to shoot. He will have time to grow in the NBA as he is a freshman in college now, and if he can polish up his jump shot, the potential is through the ceiling for Sochan.

Player comparison: Draymond Green

NBA Draft Pick 14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Guard/Forward Ochai Agbaji (Kansas, Senior)

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NBA Draft hopeful Ochai Agbaji

The Cleveland Cavaliers had an impressive start to the season as they went back and forth between the fourth and fifth seed during January and February. The Cavaliers aren’t far from being a playoff team again, but they desperately need a wing piece so 7’0 Lauri Markkanen doesn’t have to play small forward. With the 14th pick, I’m not sure who the Cavaliers would take, because I don’t see a clear fit, I don’t see someone that makes sense on this roster. I contemplated between a couple of guys, but considering that the Cavaliers may move away from Collin Sexton this offseason, I think they will draft Ochai Agbaji.

Ochai Agbaji was one of the most impressive college basketball players this year as he averaged nearly 20 points per game while shooting 41% from beyond the arc. He ultimately led Kansas to the national title. It seems like Agbaji is also always available when he doesn’t have the ball with his off-ball cuts to the basket, and his feel for the game. He can also be a ball-handler for the Cavaliers alongside Darius Garland as his strength with the ball leads to hard drives to the rim. At 6’5, 214 pounds, Agbaji is a fearless defender who can guard multiple positions along the perimeter. His strength also gives him a chance to battle defensively against bigs. Agbaji has a well-rounded game and can contribute to the Cavaliers right away.

My concerns for Agbaji regard his fit on the Cavaliers rather than his actual game. The main concern about his game is his offensive consistency. Although he did make over 40% of his three-point shots, Agbaji can be considered a streaky shooter. It is also worth noting that Agbaji was a senior this season, making him one of the older players in this draft class. My main concern about the fit is that Agbaji would most likely have to play small forward for the Cavaliers, and I’m not sure how he’d adapt to that role. The Cavaliers already have Garland and Caris Levert who can facilitate the offense, so I’m not sure what Agbaji’s role at the small forward would be. He could play in a “3 and D” role, but I’m not sure if he’s big enough to always guard the opposing team’s small forward. Will he be able to keep up with a 6’10 Michael Porter Jr. when he has to? Despite these concerns, Agbaji is still one of the best prospects in this class, and if the Cavaliers have similar worries about his fit as a starter, they could always bring him off the bench as a guard.

Player comparison: Mikal Bridges

For more on sports, sneakers, and fandom, follow me @painsworth512 for more. Give our podcast “F” In Sports a listen wherever you listen to podcasts!
(And if you’d like to reach Aman, please let me know and I will direct you to him)

About Author

Parker Ainsworth

Senior NBA Writer, Co-Host of "F" In Sports and The Midweek Midrange. Parker is a hoops head, "retired" football player, and sneaker aficionado. Austinite born in Houston, located in Dallas after a brief stint in LA... Parker is a well-traveled Texan, teacher, and coach. Feel free to contact Parker- https://linktr.ee/PAinsworth512

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