Sunday, July 3, 2022

2022 NBA Mock Draft: Duke’s Paolo Banchero goes No. 1 based on who is most likely to have the best pro career

2022 NBA Mock Draft: Duke's Paolo Banchero goes No. 1 based on who is most likely to have the best pro career

Matt Norlander’s mock draft evaluates players on their long-term potential in the NBA

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With the NBA Draft commencing Thursday night, the time has come again to release a mock draft unlike the others you’ve been checking in on as of late. This annual exercise is one man’s big board come to life. While (thankfully!) we have no shortage of mock drafts for you to peruse that are trying to predict team-by-team behavior, this one, conversely, is my projection on who should be taken and in what order. 

Once again, like the fool I am, I’ve done my best to assemble a No. 1-30 order of who I believe will be the best NBA players and have the strongest pro careers once all careers encapsulated have finished. Let’s mix up this mock-draft exercise, right? 

I’m not trying to tell you who will be the best player as a rookie, or who will be the 10 best players from this class in the NBA by the year 2027. This is a big-picture, all-in-one-basketball projection of who will prove to be the best when the uniforms are put away for good for all of these guys well over a decade from now. If I was in an NBA front office (in a stunner, nobody’s calling yet), this would be my submission for any given franchise’s big board. Try to eschew groupthink, try to trust what the tape is showing vs. what the data is providing, but also making plenty of room for how players’ skill sets will translate and grow in the years to come.

So it’s key to keep in mind that I’m not lining up these guys based on fit or team need. This is purely about projecting who can, and who I think will, be the best NBA players in totality. As best as I can, here is my big-board mock draft..

Eye On College Basketball

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