Much of the 2022 NBA Draft order is now set following last night's Lottery.
As expected, the Charlotte Hornets came away with the 13th pick in the draft. They also hold the first pick outside of the lottery, the 15th slot, thanks to the New Orleans Pelicans advancing into the Western Conference playoffs. This pick was involved in the Devonte' Graham trade.
Shortly after the Lottery, NBA mock drafts began flying around the internet. Jonathan Givony of ESPN's Draft Express released a new mock draft which had the Hornets taking Duke big man Mark Williams - 13th and Kansas wing Ochai Agbaji - 15th.
The Mark Williams pick makes a lot of sense. It fills a major need underneath with a big man who can not only block/change shots, but can also score the ball on the other end. This past season, Williams averaged 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks over the course of 39 games. At 7'0", 243 pounds, Williams would give the Hornets a true center which would then allow Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington to play their natural spots at the three and four. More importantly, his defensive presence will set the tone on that end of the floor - something the Hornets desperately needed this past season. Williams was named to the ACC's All-Defense team and was also awarded the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
As for Ochai Agbaji, I'm not quite there with him. Yes he took a massive jump over these past two years but there were some games where he just went completely quiet. Most notably in the NCAA Championship against North Carolina where he only notched 12 points in 37 minutes of action. That said, there is some upside with Agbaji, especially as a scorer. Personally, I think Jeremy Sochan of Baylor would make more sense considering he's a better defender than Agbaji. But if the Hornets take Williams at 13, then maybe they do look for a guy who can really score it at 15.
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