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2022 NBA Draft Recap: 7 former mid-major players drafted in 1st round

This year’s NBA Draft saw 12 total prospects who were molded at the mid-major level earn a chance at a pro career.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Second Round - Memphis vs. Gonzaga
Both Chet Holmgren and Jalen Duren saw first-round selections in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Round One:

2. Oklahoma City Thunder - Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)

With the second pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Oklahoma City selected former No. 1 high school prospect Chet Holmgren — the 2021-22 WCC Rookie and Defensive Player of the Year. In just one season for the Bulldogs, the 7-foot center averaged 14.1 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 1.9 APG, and was a consensus top-three pick among scouts and analysts after a great year in Spokane.

12, Oklahoma City Thunder - Jalen Williams (Santa Clara)

Joining fellow mid-major and WCC product Chet Holmgren with the No. 12 pick in the draft, Santa Clara’s Jalen Williams is heading to Oklahoma City following a season in which he averaged 18 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 4.2 APG earning a 2021-22 All-WCC selection. At 6-foot-6, Williams brings to the Thunder an offensive threat who uses his length well, is a dynamic passer, and can play exceptionally off the pick and roll.

13. Traded to Detroit Pistons - Jalen Duren (Memphis)

Initially selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the pick, Memphis’ Jalen Duren will be heading to Detroit in a three-team trade deal which sees Duren land in an excellent spot given his talents. A 6-foot-11 center, Duren averaged 12 PPG and 8.1 RPG for the Tigers as a freshman earning the 2021-22 AAC Rookie of the Year as a dominate defensive force with 2.1 BKPG.

17. Houston Rockets - Tari Eason (LSU, Cincinnati)

While Tari Eason finished his collegiate career at LSU, the former top-100 prospect first played under coach John Brannen at Cincinnati during his freshman season. On his way to a 2021-22 SEC first-team selection, Eason averaged 16.9 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 1 APG but previously earned an AAC All-Freshman selection with 7.3 PPG and 5.9 RPG for the Bearcats.

19. Traded to Memphis Grizzlies - Jake LaRavia (Wake Forest, Indiana State)

A former Missouri Valley Conference standout, Jake LaRavia was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves before a subsequent trade sent him to Memphis. After being selected as a MVC All-Freshman for the Sycamores, LaRavia would see a huge uptick in production under head coach Steve Forbes averaging 14.6 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 3.7 APG as a 2021-22 All-ACC honoree.

23. Traded to Memphis Grizzlies - David Roddy (Colorado State)

Joining LaRavia in Memphis following a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers is 2021-22 MWC Player of the Year David Roddy after carrying the Rams to a No. 6 seed in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. A 6-foot-5 guard/forward, ‘Big Body” Roddy averaged 19.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG, AND 2.9 APG as a junior last season and can provide the Grizzlies with some depth at the ball-hander position and is a defensive mismatch against almost any guard.

28. Golden State Warriors - Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Milwaukee)

The 2022 NBA Champions selected Milwaukee product and former top-five prospect Patrick Baldwin Jr. who missed most of the 2021-22 season with a reaggravated ankle injury. While his health has been the main question, the Warriors see a long-term project in Baldwin with tons of potential and if given the time to heal and develop properly will pay dividends a few years down the line.

Round Two:

31. Indiana Pacers - Andrew Nembhard (Gonzaga, Florida)

Andrew Nembhard, who began his career at Florida but spent the last two seasons with Gonzaga as a two-time All-WCC selection, was the first selection of the second round. Nembhard was named the WCC Tournament MVP as the 6-foot-5 guard averaged 11.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 5.8 APG during his senior season while leading the Bulldogs to a 23rd consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

44. Traded to Golden State Warriors - Ryan Rollins (Toledo)

Drafted by Atlanta with the forty-fourth pick but traded to the Warriors was Toledo’s 2021-22 All-MAC selection Ryan Rollins who averaged 18.9 PPG, 6 RPG, and 3.6 APG for the Rockets as a sophomore. Rollins spent two seasons in Ohio also earning the conference 2020-21 Rookie of the Year as a 30-game starter and will bring to Golden State an athletic scorer who is versatile with the ball in his hands.

45. Traded to Minnesota Timberwolves - Josh Minott (Memphis)

Another former top-50 prospect went off the board as the Charlotte Hornets selected Memphis freshman Josh Minott before trading him to the Timberwolves minutes after the selection. In 33 appearances for the Tigers, Minott averaged just 6.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and .9 APG, but the 6-foot-8 forward is a raw talent and has all the intangibles to become a solid NBA forward.

47. Memphis Grizzlies - Vince Williams Jr. (VCU)

With the forty-seventh pick in the Draft, Memphis selected VCU guard Vince Williams to pair with the earlier trade additions of Jake LaRavia and David Roddy. A two-time All-A-10 selection, Williams averaged 14.1 PPG, 6 RPG, and 3 APG during his senior season as the Rams leading scorer and rebounder despite listing at just 6-foot-6 and 210lbs.

51. Traded to Atlanta Hawks - Tyrese Martin (UConn, Rhode Island)

As the final former mid-major prospect to be selected in the NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors selected UConn standout Tyrese Martin with the fifty-first pick before trading him away to the Atlanta Hawks. While Martin spent the last two seasons with the Huskies earning a 2022 All-Big East Tournament selection, the Allentown, PA native played at Rhode Island averaging 12.8 PPG, 7 RPG, and 1.1 APG as a sophomore before joining former Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley in Connecticut.