San Antonio Spurs Draft

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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2022 NBA Mock Draft
Jaden Ivey - Indiana v Purdue / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

. Purdue. . Jaden Ivey. 4. . player. 149

With the fourth pick in the draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Purdue sophomore Jaden Ivey.

Ivey is a bit difficult for me to gauge overall. Nevertheless, he’s without a doubt the most electric player in college basketball this season and has popped off the screen whenever I’ve had the chance to watch him. He has a lightning-fast first step and elite acceleration in general. His absurd twitch athleticism has garnered him comparisons to the likes of Ja Morant and Russell Westbrook, perhaps unfairly.

Normally, I would be far more skeptical of a prospect that is having a great shooting year after a relatively poor shooting season in his first year, but his shooting numbers from high school make his efficiency much more convincing. The Thunder have already managed to build a surprisingly good defensive team, so adding Ivey to the roster playing next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander could be a very welcome injection of scoring and athleticism the team needs.

I have a few minor concerns about Ivey’s game in half-court situations, but ultimately, he’s the best player available at this position and has a high-enough ceiling to warrant such a high pick. 

I think the Thunder will be a serious trade-up candidate, so I’m not too sure that they’ll opt to keep this pick, but if I were Sam Presti, taking Jaden Ivey as a consolation prize would have me perfectly happy. With this fourth overall pick, a few other candidates that I think Presti will take into consideration are AJ Griffin, Jalen Duren, and possibly even Keegan Murray.

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