RKG and Bedouin present V2.0 of the 2022 Mock Draft. This mock was completed with the two alternating picks, RKG on the odds and Bed on the evens.
1. Cincinnati Kings
C/PF Latrell Mason (Cincinnati) - This is a no-brainer. Mason was the second-best player in the CJBL last season, behind only SG Trendon Knox. Only 17 years old, Mason projects as a two-way starter with high offensive upside. The Kings traded the 3rd and 8th overall picks to move up to 1st overall and keep Latrell in the same city where he played his college ball. Most significant concern is, will he be motivated to be great? If so, he could be a future All-Pro.
2. Cincinnati Kings
SF Victor Olojakpoke (Villanova) – If Mason at #1 is a no brainer I’m not sure I have the words to describe the selection of ‘Poke’ with the second selection. Since the start of the CJBL season Poke has attracted considerable attention and was arguably the trigger for the draft pick trading war that occurred at the deadline. Despite the incredible tournament performance of Knox, Poke is highest ranked wing on the board with amazing measurables and elite defensive potential. How much he’ll provide offensively as a rookie is a legitimate question but alongside Owens at SG he’ll provide the Kings with a dynamic wing rotation moving forwards. And now that we’re done with the Kings things might start to get interesting.
3. New York Renegades
C/PF Rashaad Haslem (Georgetown) - The Rens acquired this pick after trading down with Cincinnati to also obtain the 8th overall pick in exchange for the 1st overall pick. This is primarily a BPA selection, although New York is in desperate need for a big. Haslem may have better defensive upside than Mason, but he does not project to be amazing offensively. Still, he is a nice fit next to the "offense-only" SF Jerome Bradley, and opens up a multitude of options for the 8th overall pick a bit later on.
4. Louisville Colonels
Trendon Knox (Arizona) – The Colonels will be thrilled at how things have played out ahead of them in this scenario as their biggest need is clearly SG, which was a significant hole for them last season. They’ll be making their choice between the top 2 SG prospects; Knox and Dunn. However, whilst there is an argument that the younger Dunn may have slightly more upside we cannot see the team passing up on Knox who is coming off one of the all-time great CJBL seasons, leading the league in scoring and winning the title after a supernova tournament performance. Assuming the team moves Akele back to his natural SF position I can see the more offensively gifted Knox complementing Akele’s all-around skill very nicely.
5. Las Vegas Scorpions
C Treyvon Miller (San Diego) - In a bit of a surprise, the Scorpions take Miller over C/PF Deandre Stackhouse. The Scorpions may favor Miller over Stackhouse because Miller has higher offensive upside and may do better on the offensive boards than Stackhouse. If Vegas goes this way, then expect Omar Grant to move back to PF for 2022, then potentially be available on the trade market for the 2023 off-season. The Scorpions will certainly also try hard to trade down and pick up a few more selections, as it is possible that either Knox or SG Marcus Dunn will still be available at #5.
6. Dallas Predators
C/PF Deandre Stackhouse (Kansas) - So we’re deliberately masking our own selections are we? But jokes aside that honestly wouldn’t be a huge shock. Both the Scorpions and the Predators need a big man and I can see the argument for Miller as the higher upside pick between him and Stackhouse. Whilst I think the Predators will take Stackhouse and lock in their starting center for the future I can see one alternative scenario. If the team is high on Davis, who looked like an absolute steal before his injury, the team could look at a PG with this selection since both Cousins and Wade are entering free agency. But I think at the end of the day they back themselves in and take Stackhouse.
7. Atlanta Devils
SG/SF Cortez Ellison (USC) - I predict that I will be holding the draft hostage at the 5th overall pick unless and until someone trades with me. Back on topic, the Devils should be really pleased with whoever they get at the 7th overall selection. It looks like their biggest need is at wing, as although they drafted SG Javion Edwards last year, they have no other strong SF on the roster. The Devils are set at C/PF with the Slattery/Ellington/Spencer trio. SG/SF Ellison can start at SF and also backup Edwards. This may also be a sneaky place for PG, as there is no depth behind Marques Thomas and Atlanta almost missed the playoffs when he missed a few weeks with injury. I could see the Devils also taking PG Deleon Slay, who has the body type to play several positions but is a bit raw.
8. New York Renegades
PG Mehdy Brown (Kentucky) – And Jron weeps as he fails to secure another USC prospect. But I agree that the Devils take the wing option given the goal of trading Swayda was to secure a wing rotation for the future, and with Edwards and Ellison they would see that plan through to its natural end. Which, back on track, is the best possible outcome for the Renegades who entered the draft with an all-star wing and have already added a talented player to their frontcourt. Now they can add some talent to their backcourt. They could consider Dunn at SG but I think its more likely that they make their choice between the top two PGs on the board; Brown and Slay. Given Brown is the more accomplished shooter I can see him being the preference here as he is better equipped to punish defences for keying in too aggressively on Bradley.
9. Minneapolis Blizzards
SG Marcus Dunn (Kansas) - A very strong argument could be made for Deleon Slay here, as the Blizzards have nothing at PG and Slay projects as an athlete who can get to the rim and would complement the other 3 point shooters on the roster. On the other hand, Dunn is simply too elite a prospect to pass up at this point in the draft. He was one of the top prep scorers in high school and, as a freshman, led the Jayhawks to a deep run in the CJBL tournament. He can run and would complement SG/SF Lamar Claxton very well.
10. Pittsburgh Vipers
Deleon Slay (Memphis) – The Vipers may be the hardest team to predict so far because they have loads of veteran talent and have several players entering free agency. But if we assume that they bring everyone back then it seems like the frontcourt and wing rotations are largely set. This would leave the backup PG position as the team’s biggest hole. If they took Slay here they would fill that hole but also have a prospect, who at 6’8, is also capable of playing SG in spurts if things don’t work out in free agency.
11. Nashville Stars
C/PF Brandon Weir (Marquette) - The Stars, JBL Champions but a year ago, could be staring at a possible rebuilding project. The question is how will they build around SF Tezale Craig? At midseason, the Stars took a swing at rebuilding on the fly when they traded SG Antoine Peeler and PF Simon Hartford to the Oakland Tritons for Cameron Nix and Bryant Rodgers. Whereas the Tritons pulled off an amazing winning streak and almost made the playoffs, Nix and Rodgers did not live up to expectations and the Stars tumbled down the East standings after Craig suffered a late season injury. With Rodgers a free agent, and also in the twilight of his career, going with a big with the 11th overall pick seems like a no brainer. Weir had a solid CJBL career and was a Top 10 prospect out of high school. On the other hand, there are questions about his athleticism and whether his proficiency at shooting 3 pointers will fit in a league where that is not quite a valued skill of bigs. Still, his defensive utility should translate to the JBL well and be a nice compliment for Craig.
12. Charlotte Drones
PG Isaiah Leonard (Arkansas) – Based on last year’s performance the Drones should be looking for a PF to fill their most obvious position of need or a PG to replace Layton in the starting line-up as he was the worst performing of their veteran players. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a strong PF candidate at this point of the draft so rather than reaching I anticipate that they’ll instead look to PGs and will ultimately select Isaiah Leonard. Leonard has great height at 6’6 and shot over .400 from 3 at the college level, which will help if the team hopes to build an inside out offense on the back on Anthony. Taking Leonard here will also allow the team to put Layton into a backup role, one that he excelled in at times during his years at the Stars.
13. Miami Cyclones
SG Tyrese Porter (Connecticut) - The Cyclones may be one of the tougher teams to peg in this draft because they really have few glaring needs. They have the 13th overall pick by virtue of an earlier trade with the Los Angeles Fireballs. They are set at guard with Rookie of the Year Josh Gamble and Lucious Barclay. They are also set at center with Kelvin Black. They do need to resign Jermaine Curry, however, and it may make some sense to get some additional scoring as a hedge in case Curry gets too expensive in free agency. Tyrese Porter will likely slide because he did not perform well at the scouting combine, but he put up electric numbers as a freshman with Connecticut. Even if Curry resigns, Porter will be a nice option off the bench and for depth. The Cyclones may also go with Aquille Glover here, if they wanted to move Reggie Fortier to PF full-time.
14. Minneapolis Blizzards
PG Jaleen Rifkind (Rutgers) – At this stage of the draft I see a lot of wing prospects but given that the Blizzards have already taken Dunn to play alongside Claxton they will probably be looking to fill a different need. PG and a frontcourt partner (PF or C) for Galloway are the two major needs so I can see the team ultimately making a choice between Ohio State big Doaks and Rifkind. Ultimately, I think they’ll choose Rifkind who has elite athleticism and demonstrated competency from the 3pt line. His FT% issue is a little worrying, but the team is in desperate need of above replacement level PG play if they want to begin their climb up the standings this season.
15. St. Louis Skyhawks
SF Aquille Glover (Michigan) - The Skyhawks are a deep team which is trying to get younger. PG Jevon Novak is on the trading block, which is interesting because, at this pick, the PG prospect cupboard is pretty barren. The Skyhawks seem to be set at big with both Hunter and Astbury under contract. By process of elimination, wing seems to be the most significant need and, fortunately, there are still numerous options left. Although DeAnthony Hunter is the better prospect, we have Glover going here because he is a solid compliment for Donnell Wallace. Whereas Wallace is a spot-up 3-point shooter, Glover gets to the rim at a reasonable clip and converts well. As he can create his own offense, he would seem to fit well next to Wallace or as a reserve. The Skyhawks can also go for a wing with better defensive upside, such as SF Damon Murray.
16. Oklahoma City Barons
Jamell Doaks (Ohio State) – The Barons biggest need is probably at PG but with the next PG a reach at this selection we think the team will elect to strengthen its frontcourt rotation with the selection of Doaks who could play alongside Croyle at PF and back him up at C. There are some strong wing options available here but with Berkley, Cavenell, Livingston and Marshall its just not a big enough position of need.
17. Baltimore Bullets
C/PF Antoine Willis (Arkansas) - I know your secrets, as you study CJBL Twitter and use it as your guide to the best players and prospects! Randall Dozier would have likely went undrafted otherwise. I spotlighted Willis as a guy who was not getting a ton of attention during the CJBL regular season, but his stock has risen as the Razorbacks made a deep run in the CJBL Tournament. As a reminder, Arkansas was able to recruit Willis as a top prospect after winning the CJBL Tournament in 2019. A true rebounding savant, I suspect Willis may have a solid offensive upside and be a strong locker-room presence. The biggest issue is his odd size/body type combination. At only 6'8", but also 246 pounds, can he really be a starting center long term? He seems to fit better as a power forward, but does he have the athleticism for that position? Nevertheless, as both Goodwin and Dozier are rangy wings with wide wingspans, Baltimore seems like an optimal team to take a chance on this type of player.
18. St. Louis Skyhawks
SF/SG Tywan Liggins (Duke) - With the 13th pick in the draft the Skyhawks selected SF Aquille Glover which filled the hole in their starting wings caused by the decision to not pick up Wilkinson’s option. With this selection I think the Skyhawks have two clear courses of action. They could select another SF or SG to fill out their wing rotation behind Wallace and Glover or they elect to draft a PG to serve as backup to Novak, and potentially replace him should GM W7 find an acceptable trade. However, I think that the most likely outcome is that Novak is retained and therefore I think that the team will elect to draft Liggins because of his positional versatility.
19. Chicago Jailbirds
SF Damon Murray (North Dakota State) - The Jailbirds are under new management, and as a result, it can be somewhat difficult to figure out which way they will go in the draft. They have a definite need at PG, but frankly, I would not touch any of the prospects left at on the board until later in the 1st. Chicago has a young stud center in Rasheed Stone who should get plenty of opportunity with Kori Dupree now a free agent. The three C's, Cheaney/Carter/Clarke are still under contract for another season. Still, with depth a concern, it makes sense to get a player who can play multiple positions. As such, senior Damon Murray is the pick, as he can play wing or even center in certain lineups. He is also a nice hedge if the Jailbirds cannot resign Clarke when he is a free agent next season. DeAnthony Hunter is still on the board here as well, but Murray is preferred because of his versatility.
20. Cincinnati Kings
SF DeAnthony Hunter (Texas) – The Kings don’t really need another wing. Ferguson outplayed his pedigree but long term he is likely to be replaced at PG. The team could also use some additional depth in the frontcourt. But at this stage of the draft there is clear value at the wing and as such we anticipate the team will elect to draft DeAnthony Hunter. This will make an already full wing rotation even fuller but he is clearly the best player available.
21. Kansas City Knights
SF Dakari Savage (Syracuse) - With SF/SG Aaron Honeycutt a free agent, the Knights would be smart to hedge their bets and take the best wing available at this point in the draft. Savage is young at 18 years old and may have room to grow. He comes in as an instant scorer and can rebound and play solid post defense. If he can add some weight, he may also be able to play some power forward. The Knights may also look hard at point guards here to take a young guy to develop behind Curtis Price. If Savage is not the pick here, then we suspect PG Calvin Astroth will get a strong look.
22. Boston Crusaders
SG Jerrell Newman (North Carolina) – The Crusaders are in desperate need of additional talent on the wing as they could not get consistent production from the trio of Gaines/Hodges/Dukes last year. As such I anticipate that they will select Newman from North Carolina. He’s not a great defensive prospect but alongside Harrell, who is 1st D Team, his athleticism and scoring have the potential to shine.
23. Phoenix Vultures
SG Derek Okwarabizie (Marquette) - The Vultures have 10 players under contract and solid depth at all positions. They have a strong young team who will get better as the team ages. The biggest need is at SG, and “Bizie” is a nice fit for the Vults here. He seems like a plus defender with a 6’9” wingspan and a solid improve over other reserve SG on their roster.
24. Philadelphia Warriors
PF/C Omari Woodley (Memphis) – The Warriors exceeded all expectations this season and enter this offseason without too many glaring holes. The team is seemingly set 1-3 but faces some questions marks with their frontcourt as both Stevens and Fontaine both entering free agency. As a result we anticipate that the team will be looking to add depth to their front line to protect themselves. At this stage of the draft a lot of the big men are tweeners, talented but undersized. Woodley is has the size to play center in the JBL on day one and as such I anticipate that he will be the preference.
25. Miami Cyclones
PF/C Jawon Tyndell (North Carolina) - After going Porter at 13, the Cyclones could use a PF/C to give some cover if Chappell leaves in FA next year. He can be a nice reserve for both Fortier and Black as PF and C respectively. If they go big at 13, then SG Malik Phillips will likely be given strong consideration at this spot.
26. New Orleans Hurricanes
C/PF Lafayette Okonkwo – With solid depth on the wings I anticipate that the Hurricanes will be looking to add depth alongside Bowen and Pierce. Okonkwo is a little bit of a tweener but this is less of an issue for the ‘Canes who can ensure he always plays alongside one of the two behemoths. And Lafayette in New Orleans just feels right.
27. Toronto Huskies
PG Calvin Astroth (Duke) - The Huskies are primed to be the best team in the East for awhile, but they are thin at PG behind starter Brandon Terry. LeSean Hickman is a free agent and past his prime. Jamar Nelson has not had a ton of minutes, and is a free agent after next year. Astroth has some leadership ability and has the size to play some SG if necessary.
28. Mexico City Jaguars
SF Brandon Kelly (UCLA) – After trading away Navigato the Jags are once again in need of depth on the wing. Brandon Kelly is raw and doesn’t seem to have a highly developed offensive game but at 6’11 with solid defensive fundamentals he should be able to find a role on a team that hasn’t been great defensively.
29. Mexico City Jaguars
SG Malik Phillips (Kentucky) - The unsung hero of Kentucky’s run to the CJBL Final Four may be a steal at this pick. He is primarily an offensive player, but only 17, his potential could rival the other shooting guards who went before him. Phillips is a nice reserve for SG/SF Charles but could even supplant him down the road. A definite sleeper at this pick.
30. Atlanta Devils
PG Jamaal Towns (Texas-El Paso) – The Devils entered this offseason with two needs; another wing player to complete their rotation and a backup PG to ensure that they aren’t so dependent on Thomas. They filled their wing position with Ellison and now with the selection of Towns they can take care of their other pressing need.