Ranking the best NBA Draft sleepers 2022 is no easy task. Most of the footage, analysis, and man-hours focus on the lottery picks and those top-three talents everybody talks about. But more often than not, teams find even better value late in the first round or even in the second round.
NBA Draft sleepers 2022
For decades, we’ve seen players outplay their draft stock and prove their real worth. There are many intangibles that have a bigger impact on a player’s career than his wingspan, standing reach, or even his age.
We could see that happening again with some second-round picks in 2022 NBA Draft. There’s no shortage of talent in this class and, while everybody will talk about Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, and Jabari Smith, there’s no reason to look down on the lesser-known prospects.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what we feel could be some of the best NBA Draft picks for this class. Buckle up as we walk you through the best NBA Draft sleepers 2022.
Most of the spotlight at NC State was focused on Dereon Seabron, so Terquavion Smith flew under the radar. But Smith got hot as the season went by and he ended up stealing all of the headlines. He averaged nearly 17 points per game on 37% from beyond the arc as an 18-year-old and proved that he could be a high-usage scorer at the next level.
He’s not a plus-defender and efficiency was an issue (he was a 39% shooter overall) but he’s got the ability to create his own shot and is a willing passer. Add his age, physical tools, and nice mechanics and he could be a Buddy Hield-type of player available late in the Draft.
In a class without many impressive shooting guards, Ryan Rollins stands out as one of the most intriguing NBA Draft sleepers 2022. He’s not the most efficient shooter by any means but proved to have a big knack for piling up steals and dominating both ends on the glass. Also, he shot over 53% from inside of the restricted area and was an elite off-ball defender.
Rollins is a work in progress and it’ll take him a while to become a steady offensive contributor. But he was the best player in the MAC last season and is one of the most athletic players in this class. He can be an elite 3-and-D wing if he falls to the right development program.
Wendell Moore is just another example of an incredibly talented player overshadowed by his hyped teammates. Paolo Banchero got all of the attention at Duke and he’s set to turn 21, so it’s no wonder scouts aren’t exactly lining up to get him in the upcoming Draft. Even so, he checks all of the boxes as a Swiss Army knife player, both on offense and defense.
Moore can pile up boards, dimes, and steals at an elite rate and shot nearly 42% from beyond the arc last season. Also, he took pride in his defense and was often asked to guard the rival’s best scorer. There’s always room for 3-and-D specialists in today’s NBA and Moore could be one of the best of those.
Jalen Williams is no longer a hidden gem among Draft enthusiasts and has positioned himself as perhaps the best among all NBA Draft sleepers 2022. Not many scouts take notice of the WCC but Williams turned a lot of heads when he actually got some attention. He’s a tall combo guard with elite playmaking skills and much improved shot-making ability (nearly 40% from three-point range).
Williams can defend both guard spots and even some small forwards. He struggled to stay in front of quicker guards when driving to the rim and isn’t exactly an elite athlete. But he’s got the moves, shooting skills and basketball IQ of an NBA player in the making.
Once again, being a 3-and-D player all but guarantees success in the league, thus making Gabe Brown another prime NBA Draft sleeper in 2022. Standing at 6’8”, he’s got an NBA-ready body and is one of the best shooters in his class from all three levels and the free-throw line. His intangibles and mechanics make scouts feel like his game could easily translate to the pros.
Brown is an enthusiastic and proud defender, both on and off the ball. He rarely makes mistakes or tries to do too much, and has embraced a lesser role for the most part of his career, meaning he won’t try to play hero-ball to get a shot in the league. He’s a freak athlete also.
Jake LaRavia may not wow you with athleticism or flashy plays, but he does what most scouts and coaches would ask from a late-round pick. He plays within his role, is coachable, and has improved in every major aspect of his game in each season in college. He’s coming off shooting 39% from downtown on more than two tries per game and provides elite spacing as a 6’8” combo forward.
He’s got the physical tools to hold his own on the defensive end and could play big minutes right away. He can pick up the dribble, facilitate for others, and even create his own shot from time to time. Also, what he lacks in athleticism he makes up with great instincts in help defense.