Too-early 2022 mock draft: Who might the Thunder have eyes on?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

It’s way too early. The 2021-22 season hasn’t even begun. We don’t know who’s truly good in this past draft, which happened, what, a month ago? Less than that?

Whatever. Let’s look at 2022. It’s never too early to get excited about the talent of the future!

ForTheWin’s Bryan Kalbrosky posted a full 59-pick mock draft for 2022 (only 59 picks because the Milwaukee Bucks were fined a second-round selection due to tampering charges with the sign-and-trade of Bogdan Bogdanovic last offseason).

The Oklahoma City Thunder have up to four first-round picks in addition to a second-round selection:

  • Top-14 protected Thunder pick (would convey to Atlanta Hawks via the Carmelo Anthony trade)

  • Unprotected Los Angeles Clippers pick (Paul George trade)

  • Top-12 protected Phoenix Suns pick (Chris Paul trade)

  • Top-16 protected Detroit Pistons pick (via Houston Rockets, acquired on draft day in exchange for the No. 16 pick)

With all the dealing general manager Sam Presti does, that list very well could change during the season.

Here is the ForTheWin mock draft:

No. 5: Jalen Hardy, G League

Jalen Hardy was excellent in prep ball. He played for Vegas Elite at the 2019 Nike EYBL, where his per-40 numbers were 28.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.9 steals and 35.7% shooting from 3, according to Kalbrosky. As the 6-foot-4 guard departed high school, he was ranked on the 247Sports composite as the No. 3 player in the class -- the same spot as center Evan Mobley last year. Kalbrosky wrote:

"The inaugural G League Ignite proved a viable pipeline for Jalen Green to earn the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft and in its second campaign, the squad is set to feature the excellent scoring prowess of Coronado High School (Nevada) star Jaden Hardy."

No. 24 (via Suns): Jordan Hall, Saint Joseph's

Keep Jordan Hall on your radar, folks. Listed as a 6-foot-7, 210-pound guard, he can pass, rebound and handle the ball and potentially play the wing. Just what Presti likes. As a freshman, Hall averaged 10.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.7 assists with 1.3 steals per game. He shot 38.1% from the field, but he was solid from deep, hitting 35.1% of his 4.7 attempts per game. His assist percentage was historically good, Kalbrosky wrote:

"After testing the waters in the 2021 NBA draft, Jordan Hall will return for another season of college basketball. There is plenty of reason to believe the hype when it comes to his game. Hall is the only underclassman on record 6-foot-7 or taller to record an assist percentage above 35.0 percent, per Bart Torvik."

No. 25 (via Clippers): Jahvon Quinerly, Alabama

Jahvon Quinerly stands out as a scorer. His jumper was elite last season and he could create for himself at the rim. Look at these numbers Kalbrosky found:

"He is a good playmaker and shooter who scored 1.31 points per possession on his jumpers in a set offense, per Synergy, which ranked 97th percentile among NCAA players. Meanwhile, he showed excellent self-creation skills as an absurdly low 6.8 percent of his connections at the rim were assisted."

Another year like that, and Quinerly may not even be available at this point in the draft. At just 6-foot-1, though, he'll need to be particularly impressive this coming season. He shot 47.8% from the field and 43.3% from 3, but he averaged just 9.9 field goal attempts per game. Taking and making more shots would boost his stock. Another thing going against him is his age. Quinerly played a year at Villanova before transferring to Alabama, forcing him to redshirt, so this season will be his fourth year at college. Nevertheless, there's certainly upside from the guard.

"Alabama’s program has had a player selected in the first round in three of the past four drafts and Jahvon Quinerly could continue on that momentum."

No. 35: Max Christie, Michigan State

Max Christie will be interesting to watch as the year goes on. He is a five-star prospect coming out of high school and ranked the No. 19 overall player in the class, showing he has the potential to jump up these boards in the coming months. As senior, he averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals per game, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, as he helped his Rolling Meadows (Illinois) high school go undefeated in the 15-game season. Christie was named the Chicago Sun-Times' Boys Basketball Player of the Year, joining recent NBA company Talen Horton-Tucker, Jalen Brunson, Jahlil Okafor and Jabari Parker. Will Christie stay in that group's company and make it to the NBA?

1

1