Yahoo Sports NBA draft analyst Krysten Peek updates her top five picks for the 2022 NBA Draft — including a new name in the top three.
KRYSTEN PEEK: There’s an early three-man race for the top spot between Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, and Jabari Smith. Paolo and Chet went head-to-head last month, with Banchero edging out Holmgren as the best prospect on the court. Here’s a look at the top five in Yahoo Sports’ latest NBA mock draft.
At number one is the 6 foot 10 forward out of Duke, Paolo Banchero. He had one of the most impressive halves of basketball in the win over Gonzaga, where he was doing a little bit of everything, from finishing at the rim, and knocking down 3 pointers in transition. Banchero has an NBA-ready body and could contribute solid minutes to an NBA team right now. Up next is Auburn forward Jabari Smith.
He has been one of the most productive bigs early on in this season, and is the type of player NBA teams are looking for at the next level. He’s solid in the pick and pop, averaging 44% from three-point range. At number 3 is Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren. There is no player like him in this draft class. And he could easily be the number one pick in the draft, when June rolls around.
We’ve seen great flashes of what the seven-footer is capable of doing in the open court. But he needs to get a little more consistent, especially when facing tougher opponents. Coming in at number 4 is Purdue’s shooting guard Jaden Ivey. The 6 foot 4 sharpshooter has deep range and great body control at the rim.
He has improved on every single stat line from his freshman year to sophomore season, and is the guy with the ball in his hands at the end of the shot clock. And, finally, at number 5, is G League Ignite guard Jaden Hardy. Hardy was the top guard coming out of high school and has a jump shot that is difficult to guard, with a high release.
And he’s one of the best players at creating separation when getting a shot off. Playing in the G League against other pros, Hardy is averaging 18 points and 3.4 assists per game. For continual coverage on the NBA draft and all NBA news, keep it right here on Yahoo Sports.