2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Can the Toronto Raptors make a move?

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 26: Chet Holmgren #34 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts after being called for a foul against Paolo Banchero #5 of the Duke Blue Devils (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 26: Chet Holmgren #34 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts after being called for a foul against Paolo Banchero #5 of the Duke Blue Devils (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Jabari Smith, NBA Mock Draft
AUBURN, AL – JANUARY 22: Jabari Smith #10 of the Auburn Tigers (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) 3. /

NBA Mock Draft season is still in full swing, as fans of teams rebuilding teams are waiting patiently to see if they can land their next franchise player. Solid teams like the Toronto Raptors are still watching this class with great interest, as they could snag their next great role player.

In addition to the three-headed monster that will comprise the first trio of picks in some form or fashion, this year’s class is shaping up to be one of the best in recent history. Everywhere you turn, there are elite playmakers that can help a team win in their first year.

With centers that possess guard-like shooting ability, triple-double threats, and mysterious athletic packages that could blossom into something special, this year’s lottery will look to replicate the success of the 2021 class and create some new impact players in their respective conferences.

With the college basketball season plodding ahead and the top prospects in this class starting to separate more from the rest of the common rabble, it’s time to take stock of which players and teams are poised to form a perfect union together in the summer.

2022 NBA Mock Draft 3.0

PF. Auburn. 38. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Jabari Smith. 1

Smith has started to appear at the top of many mock drafts, edging out Paolo Banchero and Chet Holmgren in the eyes of some. With his jaw-dropping athleticism at 6-10, sublime shooting, and production on an Auburn team that could contend for a title, it’s easy to see why Orlando would be interested.

Smith should be in for multiple All-Star games throughout his career if he makes good on his potential, as he is the most effortless scorer in this class. A Magic core of Smith, Franz Wagner, and Jalen Suggs would be more than enough firepower to help them get through the improved Eastern Conference

NBA Mock Draft: Jabari Smith went before Paolo Banchero.

64. Pick Analysis. PF. Paolo Banchero. 2. Scouting Report. Duke. player

The Pistons won the lottery when they designated Cade Cunningham as their point guard of the future, and they could secure their frontcourt’s future by selecting Banchero. He’s merely an OK 3-point shooter, but he does just about everything else on the offensive end, including passing and handling the ball, at an above-average level.

Banchero is a legit three-level scorer with a smooth offensive game and enough power to secure rebounds and defend in the paint. Detroit could eventually ride the Banchero/Cunningham duo back to the postseason, as these two premium athletes should fit well as a pick-and-roll combo for a decade.

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 3. C. Gonzaga. Chet Holmgren. player. 169

Holmgren’s slide ends at No. 3, though that may not alleviate questions about how his skinny frame will hold up in the pros. If he can answer those questions, he should be able to set himself up for a very long, very productive career in Houston alongside Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun.

With the ability to handle the ball and pull up from deep in addition to some tremendous shot-blocking ability, Holmgren should be a productive offensive player from the jump. His defense should help out a Rockets team that ranks near the bottom of the league in several defensive categories.