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

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2022 NBA Mock Draft
AJ Griffin / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

Duke. . AJ Griffin. 149. . . 4. player

With the 4th overall pick, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Duke’s Adrian “AJ” Griffin Jr. 

AJ Griffin has shot a staggering 46% from beyond the arc this season and has proven himself to be the sniper he was advertised as being coming out of high school. The 6’6” wing strikes me as a player that will catch Sam Presti’s eye despite the team clearly needing more help in their frontcourt. At the time of writing this mock draft, the Thunder shoot the seventh-most threes while simultaneously having the worst 3-point shooting percentage in the league. 

This past draft, they selected a very good wing facilitator in Josh Giddey, and to complement him this coming draft, I could see the Thunder selecting a wing player that can shoot, bring a bit more athleticism, and guard up a lineup on defense. If there is any player toward the top of the draft that fits that description, it’s Griffin, even if selecting him 4th overall is a bit of a reach.

While I think the Thunder will take a long look at both Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren with the 4th overall pick, I think the Thunder feel good about their backcourt of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Tre Mann and would rather not spend a high lottery pick on a center. Ultimately, they are attracted by Griffin’s comparable, if not greater, two-way upside and aren’t fazed by his injury concerns.

With this in mind, though, if NBA teams are worried that his athleticism will not return to pre-injury levels or that he will continue to be injury-prone, Griffin could easily drop several spots on boards.