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2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Pre-lottery look at every team's best option

Jaden Ivey
Jaden Ivey / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Chet Holmgren, 2022 NBA Mock Draft
Chet Holmgren - Saint Mary's v Gonzaga / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Gonzaga. Center/Stretch Four. Chet Holmgren. player. . . 2. 38

Fear of the unknown is an existential terror and natural response for just about any person. It’s the reason so many of us are scared of the dark, refuse to try new food, or simply reject change. That same fear is the No. 1 reason draft experts and front-office execs might be hesitant to pick Chet Holmgren at the top of the 2022 NBA Draft.

Never before has a prospect balanced such alluring talent with a build like Holmgren’s. His offensive playstyle is an outlier, utilizing traditional guard skills like passing, floor-spacing, dribbling, and shooting with such tantalizing length. He’s basically a walking mismatch who employs phenomenal touch near the rim to confuse and overwhelm his competition.

Even more compelling than the offensive upside is Holmgren’s upside as a generational defensive prospect. Whether he’s protecting the rim, switching on the perimeter, or reacting in drop coverage, Holmgren alters every shot in his path.

Orlando hasn’t been a team that shies away from the unknown, taking gambles on prospects whose untapped potential overshadows their tormentingly low floors. But even if Holmgren doesn’t turn out to be a star in the traditional sense, he’ll safely be an influential player no matter what role he fills. The fit becomes more attractive for the Magic when they consider the former Gonzaga Bulldogs’ relationship with combo guard Jalen Suggs—their draft pick from last year.

Only a year and a half removed from its most recent reset, Orlando would be in great shape with Holmgren as its nucleus moving forward.

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