2022 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Which player will become No. 1 and the Knicks’ pick at No. 11


The Magic are there.

For the fourth time in franchise history, Orlando has the No. 1 pick, and the team may need all the time between now and June 23 to decide on their selection.

There is no clear number 1. There are three high profile prospects who can all make their point.

The Post spoke to three talent evaluators and all agreed you can’t go wrong with the top three in forwards Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero. It was believed that there would be no decision made on draft day.

“It’s quite open. I really think you could rotate it, ”said a scout. “It all depends on what you are looking for. They all bring something different to the table.

It sets up an intriguing five weeks of guesswork and debate after Tuesday night’s NBA Draft lottery set the order.

The Post offers a prediction for how the top 14 will go:

Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith
PA; Getty Images

1. Orlando Magic

Jabari Smith, Auburn (F, 6-10, 220 lbs.)

The Magic have won only one season in the past decade and can’t afford to bet on Holmgren, tempting as it is. Smith is the safer choice: a sniper big man who offers rim protection and is very similar in versatility and two-way potential to notable Cavaliers rookie Evan Mobley.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga (F, 7-0, 195 lbs)

At his size and skill level, Holmgren is a unique talent. He shoots deep, he’s a defensive threat, and he’s a natural fit for the modern, wide-range NBA. The Minnesotan is the first college player in 28 years to make 40+ 3-pointers and block 100+ shots in a season. The Thunder are in no rush in their molasses-slow rebuild, so he’ll have time to build muscle.

3. Houston Rockets

Paolo Banchero, Duke (F, 6-10, 250lbs)

The well-rounded Banchero would be No. 1 in some drafts, a multi-level scorer and secondary playmaker coming out of a Final Four with Duke. He joins Jalen Green, the Rockets’ second pick a year ago, to give them an impressive scoring tandem for years to come.

4. Kings of Sacramento

Bennedict Mathurin, Arizona (G, 6-6, 210 lbs.)

It will be the first big surprise of the draft: the playmaker-heavy Kings go with the best fit. Mathurin profiles himself, at worst, as a 3 and D prospect, and that could sell him short. He’s physical, ultra-talented and has improved tremendously over the past year.

5. Detroit Pistons

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

He’s the mystery man for this draft, a highly rated shooting guard prospect who spent part of the year at Kentucky after arriving in Lexington in early January but didn’t play. Pairing him next to Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, gives the pitiful Pistons an exciting duo to build.

6. Indiana Pacers

Jaden Ivey, Purdue (G, 6-4, 195 lbs.)

The South Bend, Ind. native is staying close to home with the Pacers, giving their backcourt an immediate boost. An electric athlete, Ivey will thrive at the next level with more room to run. In time, we will wonder how he fell to six years.

Jaden Ivey
Jaden Ivey
PA

7. Portland Trail Blazers

Keegan Murray, Iowa (G/F, 6-8, 225 lbs.)

Damian Lillard gets an immediate contributor to his side — as long as he sticks around, and it looks like he will — in the Iowa star. Murray is a big winger who shoots from long range, was fourth in the nation in points a year ago and is a better defenseman than advertised.

8. New Orleans Pelicans

AJ Griffin, Duke (G, 6-6, 222 lbs.)

Consistency is a matter, but not talent for the White Plains native. Griffin almost shot 50% from deep for Duke as a unique rookie and has the raw athleticism that should make him more than just a point-in-time shooter.

9. San Antonio Spurs

Jeremy Sochan, Baylor (F, 6-9, 230lbs)

He defends, he can play in multiple positions and he has underrated playmaking skills. It looks like a Gregg Popovich type player.

10. Wizards of Washington

Jalen Duren, Memphis (C, 6-11, 250 lbs.)

Duren is raw offensively, but he’s already an adept rim protector and around-the-basket finisher who can make a difference on the defensive end and hold himself in the paint from a strength standpoint.

TyTy Washington Jr., Kentucky (G, 6-3, 197 lbs.)

The Knicks have needed a point guard for years, and there’s clearly no secret about their affinity with Kentucky players. Washington is a good size for a point guard, is a capable shooter, and his relentless engine will immediately endear him to Tom Thibodeau.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder

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

One of the youngest players in the draft, the freshman sniper from Ohio State was identified as a sleeper by a scout, a high-ceilinged prospect with plenty of room for growth.

13. Charlotte’s Hornets

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

The Big Ten player of the year gives the Hornets more shots and points on the wing, another weapon at LaMelo Ball’s disposal. He’s rebounding well for his size, and his 3-point shooting, just 30 percent last season, will improve because he won’t be asked as much to create his own shot.

14. Cleveland Cavaliers

Ochai Agbaji, Kansas (G, 6-5, 215 lbs.)

The Cavaliers still need more offensive firepower to continue their rise in the tough Eastern Conference, and the talented Agbaji would be a microwave scorer off the bench.


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