The 2022 NBA Draft will be held on Thursday, June 23 at Barclays Center as the league welcomes the next era of athletes. Following the results of the NBA Draft Lottery, the first three prospects will hear their names called by the Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Houston Rockets respectively. The Magic make the first overall selection for the first time since 2004 when they used the slot to draft Dwight Howard.
As the league has evolved towards the small ball approach there has been an increased reliance on the backcourt. The 2022 draft class has no shortage of guard prospects and for a backcourt-needy franchise, this is the top 10 big board of guards on the night of the draft.
Top 10 guards
Jaden Ivey (Purdue) - 14.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.6 APG, 44.0 FG%, 32.2 3P%, 73.9 FT%
Ivey tops the list of guards and should hear his name called very early on the night of the draft. He has an explosive edge to him and at 6’4 with a 200 lbs. frame, he matches up nicely against defenders on the perimeter. Giving him an uncontested lane in the open court is a nightmare scenario for defenses, though he could stand to benefit from improving his shooting out on the perimeter.
Shaedon Sharpe (Kentucky) - No stats
Sharpe did not see action on the court for the Wildcats but still chose to stay in the draft. There is a high likelihood that he could be the second guard to hear his name called, and the upside is predicated on his supposed elite athleticism. He is reportedly an excellent passer and shooter and could fit the mold for a team in need of someone to command the offense.
Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona) - 14.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.0 APG, 45.6 FG%, 38.3 3P%, 78.9 FT%
Mathurin is rising among the mock draft boards as of late and it speaks to his physicals which should translate to the next level. At 6’7, Mathurin is somewhat of a combo shooting guard and small forward, and his scoring explosiveness should compliment his size. He’s an aggressive slasher with a quick first step, which is an invaluable skill in today’s league that values the wing position.
Ochai Agbaji (Kansas) - 13.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.6 APG, 44.8 FG%, 37.3 3P%, 71.4 FT%
At 6’6 and 215 lbs., Agbaji should be more than ready to match up on the perimeter. His size and length are a nice compliment to a league that values two-way potential at the wing position, and he’s proven to be a solid three-point shooter with his 37.3 % collegiate career average.
Dyson Daniels (G-League Ignite) - 11.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 5.1 APG, 50.0 FG%, 30.0 3P%, 40.0 FT%
At 6’6, Daniels is a combo guard with good size and length for his position, which he can likely switch between playing shooting guard and small forward. Daniels works great in transition and is a quick downhill runner. He’s confident in attacking the basket when in the halfcourt but will need to improve both his outside shooting and efficiency from the charity stripe.
TyTy Washington Jr. (Kentucky) - 12.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.9 APG, 45.1 FG%, 35.0 3P%, 75.0 FT%
Washington Jr. has good size for a guard at 6’3 and is a confident shooter and scorer. His physicals allow him the advantage to play either the one or the two, and he is largely efficient from the floor. His 35% shooting from beyond the arc is solid and should only improve so long as he makes it a focus of his game.
Jalen Williams (Santa Clara) - 12.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 46.9 FG%, 35.2 3P%, 78.5 FT%
At 6’6 with a 7’2 wingspan, Williams has a bulky frame and borders on playing the shooting guard or small forward position. He’s an efficient scorer shooting 46.9% from the floor and his 35.2% shooting from the three-point line is solid. Despite lacking lateral quickness he is an active defender and should look to improve his discipline on that side of the ball.
Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee) - 13.9 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.7 APG, 46.4 FG%, 38.3 3P%, 60.6 FT%
At 6’1” Chandler is a bit undersized for a guard in the NBA, but what he lacks in size he makes up for with quickness. His quick first step helps create space for him against defenses and he is a confident mid-range shooter, shooting 46.4% from the floor. He is also slowly becoming a confident three-point shooter, averaging 38.3% from beyond the arc. In addition to his size disadvantage on defense, he must look to increase his 60.6% shooting from the free-throw line.
Jaden Hardy (G-League Ignite) - 17.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.2 APG, 35.1 FG%, 26.9 3P%, 88.2 FT%
At 6’4” and 200 lbs., Hardy has the build to transition to the next level and has displayed the ability to score at all three levels. He’s an excellent shooter at the free-throw line, averaging close to 90% at the charity stripe. A disappointing season with the Ignite resulted in less than stellar numbers. He must be more disciplined and avoid attempting erratic shots once he transitions to the NBA.
Blake Wesley (Notre Dame) - 14.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.4 APG, 40.4 FG%, 30.3 3P%, 65.7 FT%
Wesley brings a ton of upside to whichever team calls his name and he’s proven to be an explosive scorer and solid ball handler as the lead guard. He can more than likely be a high-usage player in the NBA, with the knock being the limited minutes he got with the Fighting Irish early on before eventually starting in 28 of 35 games. He’s shown a knack for creating shots for himself and in particular thriving in scoring off the dribble.