2022 NBA Mock Draft: Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren compete for No. 1

Jabari Smith Jr, NBA Mock Draft Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Jabari Smith Jr, NBA Mock Draft Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
(Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /

player. 170. . F. Charlotte Hornets. Ochai Agbaji. 13

2022 NBA Mock Draft — 13. Ochai Agbaji, Hornets

The Hornets get a sturdy upperclassman on the wing in Ochai Agbaji. A physical defender and impressive spot-up shooter, the fit here is pretty clean. LaMelo Ball is a uniquely gifted playmaking hub who elevates everyone around him. Meanwhile, Agbaji would give the Hornets some much-needed toughness and awareness on the defensive end.

Malaki Branham. 14. player. 156. . G. Cleveland Cavaliers

2022 NBA Mock Draft — 14. Malaki Branham, Cavaliers

Malaki Branham’s stock soared over the second half of the season. The raw talent is hard to deny — he has positional size, excellent shooting splits, and plenty of craft off the dribble. He would give Cleveland another source of scoring in the backcourt, which could come in handy after the Caris LeVert experiment yielded mixed results.

. C. Charlotte Hornets. Mark Williams. 15. player. 170

2022 NBA Mock Draft — 15. Mark Williams, Hornets

The Hornets have lacked a reliable rim protector ever since LaMelo arrived on the scene. The defense has suffered accordingly, and this draft could provide the solution. With a 7-foot-7 wingspan and excellent instincts in the paint, Williams looks the part of a defensive anchor in the NBA. He would also find plenty of fruitful scoring opportunities close to the basket due to LaMelo’s presence.