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2022 NBA Lottery Simulation and Mock Draft: Who Would NOLA Take No. 1?

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6. Oklahoma City Thunder: AJ Griffin (Duke, SF/PF, Freshman)

The Thunder could see both upside and shooting value in Griffin, the 18-year-old, 6’6″, 222-pound forward who shot 44.7 percent from three at Duke. In Oklahoma City, he’d have a greener light to experiment with his creation and develop into more of a three-level scorer compared to the spot-up player he was in college.

7. Indiana Pacers: Keegan Murray (Iowa, PF, Sophomore)

Looking to upgrade at power forward, the Pacers could already have eyes on Murray. He’d bring scoring versatility and defensive activity to Indiana’s frontcourt, and he’d be a strong fit with Malcolm Brogdon and Tyrese Haliburton for play-finishing off the ball. 

8. Sacramento Kings: Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona, SG/SF, Sophomore)

The Kings could view 6’6″ Mathurin as an interchangeable wing who’ll immediately bring transition offense and shooting between De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.

9. San Antonio Spurs: Jalen Duren (Memphis, C, Freshman)

Duren would give San Antonio needed athleticism and verticality from the center position. He’d benefit offensively from Dejounte Murray’s playmaking skills, though it’s his rim protection that will drive his NBA value.

10. Washington Wizards: Dyson Daniels (G League Ignite, PG/SG, 2003)

Daniels would give the Wizards’ rotation a needed plus defender. But they’d also try using him at point guard, given his playmaking flashes and mismatch 6’8″ size for a ball-handler.

11. New York Knicks: Johnny Davis (Wisconsin, SG, Sophomore)

For the Knicks, the draw to Davis is his shot-making, toughness and improving creation. He’d slide into the 2-guard slot and move RJ Barrett to the 3 while the team continues its point guard search and experiments using Immanuel Quickley. 

12. Oklahoma City Thunder: Jeremy Sochan (Baylor, PF, Freshman)

If the Thunder can grab offense at No. 6, they can target Sochan with the Clippers’ pick for his defense. His game is also predicated on versatility, and he offers it at both ends with his shot-making, passing, cutting and the ability to guard at least four positions.

13. Charlotte Hornets: Mark Williams (Duke, C, Sophomore)

Assuming the Hornets don’t want to use a lottery pick on a backup point guard, Williams seems like an obvious target for his rim protection when the team is already loaded with wings and forwards.

14. Cleveland Cavaliers: Ochai Agbaji (Kansas, SG/SF, Senior)

Agbaji makes sense for a Cleveland team suddenly looking to win now and add more shooting around Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.

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