As the basketball season bleeds into February and the 2022 NBA Draft fast approaches, the race for the No. 1 pick is steadily picking up intensity. Still, even months away, no singular prospect has yet solidified their standing as the frontrunner.
The candidate pool, however, appears to be clearing up. Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero and Jaden Ivey — four college underclassmen — have emerged the most likely candidates, and to underscore just how tight the race is we have a new No. 1 at the top since our last update (who is different from the No. 1 name in our prospect rankings).
Our full projections are as follows. Team needs for the selections are not taken into account because the NBA season remains far from complete. And unlike the prospect rankings, which reflect my own views on players, the mock draft below is more of a general guide of where I expect players to be drafted. (Some players who would rank inside our top-30 (including Shaedon Sharpe and Max Christie) are not included because of lack of clarity about their current situations and whether they will be part of the 2022 pool.)