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Where Kennedy Chandler is Projected to Land in Upcoming NBA Draft

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The 2022 NBA Draft is just two days away, which means VFL Kennedy Chandler will soon find out where he will begin his professional career. 

Chandler is a surefire first-round pick in all mock drafts that have been released this year, ranging from a mid-teens pick to a mid-to-late twenties pick. 

Chandler is among the top true point guards in the draft, joining Kentucky product TyTy Washington Jr. as the consensus top two at the position. 

The 19-year-old VFL figures to bring high-level defense and top-tier athleticism to his new team, serving as a sufficient option off the bench in his first year that can create for himself and others. While Chandler's size hurts his draft stock and star-level potential, his talent is undeniable, and the Memphis native showed that in his lone year at Tennessee. 

With all that being said, let's take a look at where the 2022 SEC Tournament MVP is being taken in the most recent mock drafts around the industry. 

CBS Sports: 

David Cobb, June 19– 

No. 22: Memphis Grizzlies

What they said: 

"The knock on Chandler is that he's just 6-foot and slender, and to some draft heads that screams defensive liability. Sure, he can't guard bigger wings and post players, but Chandler's defense was arguably the most impressive aspect of his lone season at Tennessee. He can hold his own on that side and has plenty of offensive upside to warrant first-round consideration. He also logged the best vertical jump at the combine, which won't hurt his stock." –Cobb

Matt Norlander, June 20–

No. 26: Houston Rockets

What they said: 

"The only thing preventing Chandler from being a top-20 guy is the frame. He's a 6-footer, which is what will cause him to fall on draft night. Otherwise, there's a lot to love here. He was a top-shelf point guard in his one-and-done season with the Vols. Magnificent athlete and someone who's perceived to be a traditional point guard at the next level. He'll still be able to score some, the question is how much. I do think his size will restrict him, and I'm not sold on the staunchness of his shooting, but there is zero debate as to whether he's a top-30 (maybe even top-20) talent in this draft." –Norlander

**Note**: Norlander's mock draft is based on evaluating players' long-term potential in the league rather than how where he thinks they will be taken Thursday. 


Zak Hanshew, June 18–

No. 22: Memphis Grizzlies

What they said: 

"The Grizz make a move on Chandler at 22 and gain a great passer and high-motor scorer who can back up Ja Morant if Tyus Jones packs his bags in free agency. Playing time could be available if he impresses, but Memphis’ ultra-deep roster makes a path to instant minutes a little more difficult." –Hanshew


Jonathan Givony, June 21–

No. 25: San Antonio Spurs

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What they said: 

"With three first-round picks at their disposal and a roster that is far from settled, the Spurs can afford to take a long view in selecting the best player available regardless of positional fit. After a rocky start, Chandler emerged as one of the premier point guards in the college game in the second half of the season, showing blazing speed, dynamic ball-handling and passing ability and an increasingly consistent pull-up jumper. His measurements (6-foot-1, 172 pounds with a 6-5½ wingspan) are what might keep him out of the top 20 like his talent suggests, but didn't prevent him from playing outstanding defense and leading the SEC in steals. The fact that he proved capable of playing off the ball in two- and three-guard lineups should be attractive as well." –Givony

NBA Draft.Net

No. 27: Miami Heat

No analysis

Sporting News

Kyle Irving, June 21–

No. 23: Philadelphia 76ers

What they said: 

"The 76ers were severely lacking playmaking and scoring off the bench behind James Harden and Tyrese Maxey. Chandler could fill both of those holes as a lightning-quick guard who is aggressive as a scorer and decisive as a playmaker. As his freshman season went on, he also started to knock down 3-pointers with more consistency. Add to it that he's a pesky on-ball defender and Chandler has all the makings of a solid backup point guard behind Philadelphia's starting backcourt." –Irving

USA Today Rookie Wire

Cody Taylor, June 20–

No. 30: Denver Nuggets

What they said: 

"The Nuggets gained an additional first-round pick by sending JaMychal Green to the Thunder. With another pick at their disposal, the Nuggets are reportedly considering taking a point guard at No. 30 to shore up their second unit. Chandler, who posted a 41.5-inch vertical leap at the combine, is highly touted as an athletic point guard that can create for himself and others. He is a player to watch here for Denver. He would also be perhaps the best player available at this stage. They have also expressed interest in packaging their two picks to move up, so it will be worth watching what new president Calvin Booth does here."       –Taylor


A healthy assortment of teams take Chandler in the mocks above, but the only team that the VFL was mocked to more than once is the Grizzlies. 

To go to the only NBA team in Tennessee would put Chandler back in his hometown of Memphis, and he would serve as one of the backup point guards to rising star Ja Morant. 

Morant and Chandler already have a relationship, as the NBA All-Star shouted out Chandler on Twitter after the Vols star won SEC Tournament MVP in early March. 

A Morant-Chandler combination would be fun to watch in Memphis, and Chandler's usage in Grind City would depend on what happens with current backup point guard Tyus Jones this offseason. 

(To know more about how Chandler would fit in with the Grizzlies, click here.)

Regardless, Chandler returning home to Memphis would be a great storyline, and it could definitely happen come draft night, as the former Volunteer worked out with the Grizzlies just a couple days ago. 

The only VFL in the 2022 NBA Draft will hear his name called Thursday, June 23. The draft begins at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.