Dyson Daniels, Jalen Williams rise in 1st round


The NBA draft is less than three weeks away and the order at the top is starting to take shape. The top four players – Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero and Jaden Ivey – have remained consistent all season long, but it’s options at Nos. 4-8 that have heated up a bit with G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels entering top-five consideration and NBA draft combine standout Jalen Williams solidifying himself as a projected first-round draft pick.

Yahoo Sports takes a look at the top five picks, plus the most recent moves in the first round and projected picks for all 30 slots.

Yahoo Sports presents Krysten Peek’s latest NBA mock draft. (Graphic by Michael Wagstaffe / Yahoo Sports)

Ht./Wt .: 6-10, 220 pounds Class: Freshman | Auburn: 16.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg

Smith is still the safest option at No. 1 and has interviewed incredibly well for teams at the top. He’s not the consensus overall top pick in the draft, but his upside is incredible with his 3-point shooting (averaging 42% from deep) and his footwork in the paint.

Ht./Wt .: 7-0, 196 pounds Class: Freshman | Gonzaga: 14.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 3.7 bpg

Oklahoma City and general manager Sam Presti have three first-round draft picks and could still tank next year to potentially go after either Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson. Holmgren is the best option at No. 2 and has the potential to change the way the game is played at center at the NBA level.

Ht./Wt .: 6-10, 250 pounds Class: Freshman | Duke: 17.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.2 apg

Banchero feels like a lock at No. 3 with his incredible instincts as a primary ball-handler and his size. It wouldn’t be wise for Houston to pass on Banchero with the young talent the Rockets have coming up in the organization.

Ht./Wt .: 6-4, 195 pounds Class: Sophomore | Purdue: 17.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.1 apg

The Kings could trade this pick and are a huge target for teams that need a versatile ball-handler and scorer. Sacramento has drafted two high-level guards in the last two drafts, and the Kings either need to draft the best-available player in Ivey (a possible Ja Morant 2.0), or trade down to a team that needs a guard and then target either Jalen Duren or Mark Williams for some size.

Ht./Wt .: 6-5, 215 pounds | Class: Freshman | Kentucky: Did not play this season

The Pistons might be the best-case scenario for Sharpe. The troubled guard left Kentucky after empty promises and never played a college game. If a team is going to take a gamble on Sharpe’s potential, it needs to be a team in the rebuild process. Cade Cunningham is the perfect point guard to create for Sharpe, and there wouldn’t be immense pressure on Sharpe to produce right away.

Ht./Wt .: 6-8, 215 pounds Class: Sophomore | Iowa: 23.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg

Ht./Wt .: 6-6, 200 pounds Australia | G League Ignite: 11.3 ppg, 4.4 apg

Daniels had a great showing at the combine with his pro day and interviewed well with the teams. After a slow start in the G League, Daniels surged to close the season, creating for others and showcasing his size and length against much stronger opponents. His upside is off the charts and there has been some chatter that he could sneak into the top five after strong team workouts.

G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels dribbles during a game against the Stockton Kings in November.  (Darren Yamashita / USA TODAY Sports)

G League Ignite guard Dyson Daniels dribbles during a game against the Stockton Kings in November. (Darren Yamashita / USA TODAY Sports)

Ht./Wt .: 6-6, 210 pounds Class: Sophomore | Arizona: 17.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.5 apg

Ht./Wt .: 6-9, 230 pounds Class: Freshman | Baylor: 9.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg

Sochan had one of the best pro days during the draft combine and showcased his speed and consistent 3-point jumper – something that he struggled with at Baylor. The NBA spacing and pick-and-roll option caters to Sochan, and he will undoubtedly be a much better pro than his one year in college would indicate.

Ht./Wt .: 6-5, 180 pounds Class: Freshman | Ohio State: 13.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg

Ht./Wt .: 6-6, 222 pounds Class: Freshman | Duke: 10.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg


Ht./Wt .: 6-5, 194 pounds Class: Sophomore | Wisconsin: 19.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.1 apg

Ht./Wt .: 6-11, 250 pounds Class: Freshman | Memphis: 12 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg

Ht./Wt .: 6-8, 216 pounds Class: Sophomore | LSU: 16.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg

Post Lottery

Ht./Wt .: 6-5, 185 pounds Class: Freshman | Notre Dame: 14.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.4 apg

Ht./Wt .: 6-9, 185 pounds France | NZ Breakers (NBL): 8.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg

Ht./Wt .: 6-3, 197 pounds Class: Freshman | Kentucky: 12.5 ppg, 3.9 apg

Ht./Wt .: 7-0, 242 pounds Class: Sophomore | Duke: 10.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3 bpg

Ht./Wt .: 6-10, 205 pounds Serbia | Mega Basket: 10.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg

This is the most Tim Connelly pick ever. Connelly already had success drafting another Nikola back in 2014, and the secret is out. The new Nikola showed up to his pro day in Chicago with a Luka Doncic-like grin throughout the workout and hit 10 consecutive corner threes in the 30-minute span that impressed scouts. Jovic is a project, but his personality is contagious.

Ht./Wt .: 6-0, 171 pounds Class: Freshman | Tennessee: 13.3 ppg, 4.9 apg

Ht./Wt .: 6-7, 175 pounds G League Ignite: 15.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.3 apg

Ht./Wt .: 6-5, 215 pounds Class: Senior | Kansas: 18.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg

Ht./Wt .: 6-5, 209 pounds Class: Junior | Santa Clara: 18 ppg, 4.2 apg

Williams was the best player on the court in both days of the draft combine scrimmages. He got to the basket with ease, shot the ball well and had some of the best finishes in transition. Defensively, he fought through screens to keep his man in front and was effective in help-side defense, shooting the gap for steals and tips. Last year, Josh Primo (No. 12 pick, Spurs) and Bones Hyland (No. 26, Nuggets) were the biggest surprises of the first round, and Williams could be that guy this year.

Santa Clara guard Jalen Williams jumps and attempt to get the ball past Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren during their game on Feb.  19, 2022, at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Washington.  (Oliver McKenna / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Santa Clara guard Jalen Williams jumps and attempts to get the ball past Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren during their game on Feb. 19, 2022, at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Washington. (Oliver McKenna / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Ht./Wt .: 6-7, 240 pounds Class: Junior | Ohio State: 19.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.5 apg

Ht./Wt .: 6-4, 198 pounds G League Ignite: 17.7 ppg, 3.2 apg

Ht./Wt .: 6-8, 205 pounds Class: Freshman | Baylor: 9.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg

Ht./Wt .: 6-5, 213 pounds Class: Junior | Duke: 13.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.4 apg

Ht./Wt .: 7-1, 245 pounds Class: Sophomore | Auburn: 11.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4.6 bpg

Ht./Wt .: 6-7, 195 pounds Class: Sophomore | Arizona: 8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.9 apg

Terry elected to stay in the draft after not participating in the combine, outside of his agency’s media day. The Grizzlies have an established backcourt with Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks and can afford to take a player like Terry, whom they can mold the next couple of years as a secondary option on the young, talented team.

Ht./Wt .: 6-6, 218 pounds Class: Junior | Kansas: 14.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.8 apg




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