San Antonio Spurs Draft

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

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Jaden Ivey / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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2022 NBA Mock Draft
Patrick Baldwin Jr / James Gilbert/GettyImages

. Milwaukee. 211. player. . Big Wing. Patrick Baldwin Jr.. 29

Have you ever gone on a date with someone very attractive who carried a ton of red flags? Maybe your friends and family thought it was a bad idea, but you kept going back for more? You saw a pathway for that connection to blossom into a beautiful relationship that you couldn’t deny. That’s basically what’s happening to whoever picks Patrick Baldwin Jr.—a coveted high school recruit whose shortened college season turned out to be a mess.

A 6-foot-10 forward who is theoretically an incredible shot-maker with Globetrotter range, Baldwin played only 11 games at Milwaukee and far under-performed. Previously lauded as one of the best shooters of his class, Baldwin nailed just 26.6% of nearly six threes per game and shot below 35% from the field.

If you’re convinced that his brief college career was no indication of his true abilities, then Baldwin might end up the steal of the draft. He’s a deadly off-ball player with a smooth jumper and high release point that makes him extremely tough to contest. All he needs is a sliver of daylight to launch jumpers from anywhere along the perimeter.

Baldwin could also be an intriguing event creator because of his length and verticality. However, he’ll often rely on a block or steal to make up for getting beat off the dribble. His defensive IQ is not where it needs to be as he often falls behind in rotations or switches. Time in the G League will be telling for Baldwin. Luckily for him, Memphis Is in no rush to put him in the lineup.