2022 NBA Mock Draft 2.0: New Names Enter the Top 30

Paolo Banchero
Paolo Banchero / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
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2022 NBA Mock Draft
Moussa Diabate - Michigan v Tennessee / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Michigan. 29. . . Moussa Diabate. 19. player.

The San Antonio Spurs are back up at 19th overall, and with that pick, I have them surprising fans and selecting Michigan’s Moussa Diabate.

This selection would be right on the cusp of being a bit of a reach, but I think context matters more than just about anything in Diabate’s case. He’s is a high-energy, high-motor big man that I think some team may target in the mid-to-late-first round of this year’s draft to prevent him from returning to school and potentially raising his stock.

While I have come to think of Diabate as more of a modern center, he has played most of his minutes with Michigan at the power forward spot with Hunter Dickinson playing the 5, and I think this is part of the reason he hasn’t turned as many heads like some other young bigs this season. In addition, Michigan had one of the most difficult schedules in the NCAA this season, yet Diabate was able to make his presence felt in some big games.

He has not exactly been a model of consistency this season, but his potential as a switchable defender that can hold his own on the perimeter is what makes him so appealing. On the other end of the floor, he’s shown flashes of comfort with putting the ball on the floor and getting to the rim with deceivingly good acceleration for someone his size.

His best game by far was his 28-point, 8-rebound performance against Keegan Murray and Iowa, but I thought he was also Michigan’s x-factor in their NCAA Tournament win against Tennessee.

With this pick, I think the Spurs will also show a high level of interest in Ousmane Dieng and Kendall Brown if either is still available.