The majority of mock drafts spread throughout will more or less have the same players drafted in the lottery. The NBA scouting sphere is aware of all these players and said players earned these credits. With that being said, there are always first-round picks that get overlooked and turn out to be draft pick steals. Past examples include Desmond Bane in 2020, Jordan Poole in 2019, Robert Williams III in 2018, and others. There are a number of players in the 2022 NBA Draft who can amount to the same.
2022 NBA Draft Potential First Round Steals
Christian Braun holds all the tools to become a great “three-and-d” type of player in the pros, and then some. He’s not necessarily elite in any facet, but overall very good at a lot. Braun can shoot, create his own shot, excel off the ball, play defense on the perimeter and down low, and rebound the ball. He’s built to be a rotational player right off the bat in the league, and can eventually become a very solid starter. The Kansas Jayhawks are the reigning March Madness champions, and Braun played a major role in this.
Speaking of March Madness, Caleb Love of the North Carolina Tar Heels blossomed in a major way. Everything he showed during the biggest stage of college basketball indicates that he can be a borderline elite scorer in the NBA. Love plays a downhill style of basketball and is very aggressive when it comes to scoring. Scoring in bunches is essentially his forté. He can certainly shoot but is also very crafty when driving to the rim. Love’s sheer size for a guard and hustle makes him an ideal sixth-man. Love can become a high-level starter as well, but he will need to work on ball distribution and limiting turnovers.
Nikola Jovic enters the draft with little notoriety, mostly due to playing in Europe. Jovic will spend most of his time in the league playing the four and probably the three depending on what team he’s on. He’s more of a point-forward type, but not necessarily one in the mold of Ben Simmons. Jovic can dribble around opposing defenders, creating space for teammates and himself. He has the capability to create his own shot, whether it’s creating space for a jumper or driving into the lane. His athleticism isn’t elite by any means, but it’s more than enough to be a strong offensive presence. It may take a few years, but All-Star potential is there.
Wendell Moore didn’t always get the recognition he deserved in college, always playing on a very stacked Duke team. Spending three years with the Blue Devils will translate well into the pros, however. Like Braun from Kansas, Moore isn’t an elite prospect but one who does everything at a high level. His defense is very strong, and he can thrive as a third or fourth option on offense. Moore has all the tools to become an NBA starter.
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