2022 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Surprises Sneak Into Top 10

2022 NBA Mock Draft - Jabari Smith
2022 NBA Mock Draft - Jabari Smith / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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. . Nikola Jovic. 15. 169. . Mega Bemax. player

The Houston Rockets are back at the podium, and with the 15th pick, they select Nikola Jovic of the Adriatic League’s Mega Bemax.

Being that the Rockets are still so early on in their rebuild, I think it makes quite a bit of sense for them to take some upside swings, and if selecting Chet Holmgren isn’t enough for you, then this would mean that the Rockets are swinging for the parking lot. I think Jabari Smith will be another candidate for the Rockets’ first overall pick, but if they opt for Holmgren, I think Jovic could be an interesting consolation prize if the team is looking for an oversized shooter. 

While Jovic’s shooting numbers are certainly not on the level of someone like Jabari Smith, any player at 6’10” that can shoot, rebound, and dish the ball like Jovic can is often pretty sought-after, and given the Rockets’ long-time comfort with drafting international players, I can easily see Houston as being a reasonable landing spot for him.

To put it kindly, Jovic’s defense needs work—and a lot of it—to the point that I don’t think he’ll be an NBA-level defender any time soon. That said, the Rockets having Holmgren at their disposal could offset the need for Jovic to come to the league and immediately contribute on the defensive end. All he would likely need to do for the team is to hit some threes, make some good passes, and continue to build his game from there.

My sincerest apologies go to those of you that were hoping he'd drop to the Nuggets' pick for the sake of having a Nikola Jokic-Nikola Jovic duo in existence.