2022 NBA Draft Prospects I Want the OKC Thunder to Draft

Let’s be real. While the recent stretch of Thunder games has been fun (four straight wins prior to tonight’s loss to Brooklyn), this roster needs a lot of help, help I am hopeful will be delivered in the 2022 NBA Draft.

College hoops has delivered in the early goings (see Friday night’s OT thriller between Villanova and UCLA), and as such, I have started circling prospects I want to end up in OKC. Let me know who I’m overlooking.

Note: Prospects are listed by their current draft stock.

Paolo Banchero | Forward | Duke

Someone called Banchero a 6’10” Carmelo Anthony, and that has stuck with me since. The Duke freshman phenom dazzled in their season opener against Kentucky, dropping 22 and 7 and displaying a bag of tricks that makes scouts drool. One dribble pull-ups, drop steps, spin moves, fadeaways, there is little he can’t do.

Adding him to OKC would likely send Darius Bazley into a Bobby Portis-like role, which is fine by me. Paolo could move the needle for the Thunder’s playoff chances.

Chet Holmgren | Big | Gonzaga

If you saw Holmgren standing next to Aleksej Pokuševski, you may assume they are brothers. Despite standing as thin as a science fair poster board, Chet is a force on the glass and as a shot blocker. But it’s his versatility that makes him a special talent. Holmgren can put the ball on the floor, shoot from range, and create for others. I think he has a chance to be a Karl Anthony-Towns-level player, slightly less in his offensive bag but a more impactful defender. The Thunder need to add a big to their core of SGA, Lu Dort, and Josh Giddey.

Check out his 14 point, 13 rebound, 6 assist, 7(!!!) block debut against Dixie State:

Jabari Smith Jr. | Forward | Auburn

My goodness, this guy makes some WOW plays. Smith stands at 6’10” but plays like a guard. There really isn’t much more for me to add here other than that you should watch the below video. Is that Len Bias?

Patrick Baldwin Jr. | Wing | Milwaukee

Baldwin is a 6’9″ shot creator boasting one of the purest jumpers in the class. He has the poise to play out of the pick-and-roll as well. I see some Khris Middleton to his game, and he would provide shooting the OKC roster desperately needs. Give me some PBJ to go alongside SGA.

JD Davison | Guard | Alabama

Absurdly fun player and high-level playmaker. Davison is a top-20 projected diaper dandy and Carlos Valderrama doppelgänger. He uses his explosive athleticism to impact the game in a variety of ways, including attacking the rim, finishing, creating for himself, and picking up steals and blocks. A consistent three-point shot could turn him into an elite three-level scorer.

Davison would pair well with Shai or Giddey in the backcourt because he can play on and off the ball. The Thunder would have the most hair in the NBA.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. | Wing | UCLA

Hooper! My love for Jaime’s game is irrational. He is a tough, blue-collar wing that does it all, defends, rebounds, shoots nearly 40% from three, creates for himself, and can pass. I reckon he would be a lottery pick if he had more athleticism.

The Thunder need wings and shooters and could add one by using one of the Clippers or Suns picks they have this year. As of now, he is my biggest draft crush, and I feel like he is going to fall a bit on draft day like Saddiq Bey and Desmond Bane did. Please go get him, Sam.

Those are the six prospects I am most enamored with at the moment. Jalen Duren, Jaden Hardy, Jaden Ivey, Jean Montero, TyTy Washington, Matthew Mayer, and Mark Williams are some others on my radar. The “college basketball is dead” crowd can go kick rocks because there is some exciting talent in the NCAA this year.

If you liked this kind of content, you should subscribe to the At The Minute podcast and keep an eye out for when we do NBA Draft content. Jackson and I cover it often.

Published by Peter Mitchell

Oklahoma-raised, KC-based. I like covering NBA, NFL, and Fantasy Football, among other things.

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